Introduction-Kenn

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OldWingnut
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Introduction-Kenn

Post by OldWingnut » August 20th, 2018, 4:45 am

Let me begin by thanking all of you. None of you ever receives the thanks you deserve.

I've been retired from the Air Force now for longer than I served, which seems strange. I joined the AF because my father served during Korea, and AF service offered me an introduction to computer programming.

I enlisted in Nov 1980, completed AF BMTS/tech school, and was assigned to HQ Strategic Air Command, where I was part of the team integrating the Air Launched Cruise Missile into our nation's strategic nuclear war plan.

While there I was selected to attend university for an engineering degree, and upon graduation I was sent to AF OTS, Class 87-09. Once commissioned, I PCS'd to Los Angeles AFS, where I engineered and managed programs to update and maintain the common Air Force satellite control network (satellite health and status, not payload).

While I was there, I was selected to attend the Air Force Institute of Technology for a graduate degree in engineering, after which I PCS'd literally down the hill to the Air Force Research Laboratory, where I worked to integrate various new weapon systems into Air Force platforms, eventually running the shop before I accepted early retirement ('95 Clinton drawdown...I still hate the Mike Foxtrot to this day for it).

Upon retirement I became a programmer full time, and eventually found time to write several computer programming books. I now find myself very excited about a fictional novel I've started, and my mission here is to learn from you so that my main character, a Ranger, operates in a highly proficient and proper Ranger manner. :) If anyone is interested, I'll post some chapters as I complete them. I'm a rookie at it, but we all start somewhere.

I am truly honored to be able to learn from you. Thank you for your service, and for allowing me to attend.
Old Wingnut (Kenn)
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centermass
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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by centermass » August 20th, 2018, 12:33 pm

Welcome to the site and thank you for your service.

If you're looking for characters for your book, there's no shortage of them here..... :lol:
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CharlieRanger1FFV
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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by CharlieRanger1FFV » August 21st, 2018, 6:18 am

Welcome to the site, Kenn. Thank you for your service.

RLTW!!!
Silencium Mortium

B /1/504 82nd Abn 69 - 70
C co (Ranger) 75th (Abn) Inf, II Corps Rangers, 70 - 71 Viet Nam
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OldWingnut
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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by OldWingnut » August 23rd, 2018, 4:47 pm

It was my honor and joy to serve, to be honest. Sounds corny but it's true. The older I get, the more it means to me. As does your service and thanks.

As for characters, I'm all over it. Mo's better. :) I'm loving your tag line, Center.

To Charlie, my first assignment at HQ SAC, I served with the very pilots who flew the Buffs in Arc Light and Linebacker I and II. They were truly something special to work with. I hope their missions helped. Talk about characters...wow... I gotta mix some of that in.

To anyone else who may have performed a training mission here or there and heard about the GBU-43 ("MOAB"), the bunch that came up with that idea were down the hall from me at the lab. The vids I've seen of it in action...damn. Hoping that was helpful too.
Old Wingnut (Kenn)
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Disinfertention
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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by Disinfertention » August 24th, 2018, 3:46 pm

The guy who came up with a MOAB.... let's make one of the biggest bombs ever, non nuclear.. and drop it from a cargo aircraft. Real men of genius.

Welcome here, Kenn. What generation is your fictional Ranger from?
HHC 2/75 2012-2015
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OldWingnut
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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by OldWingnut » August 24th, 2018, 6:51 pm

They're some smart dudes... :)

Modern times. I'd read an article about how archeologists are using a tech called Lidar (think: radar or sonar, only using a laser). If you've used a laser to measure a room, it's the same principle. In this case, they're mapping the ground terrain in the Yucatan and Honduras, looking for Mayan ruins. Turns out there is a crap ton more to the Mayans than we thought. On top of that, their civilization essentially died out around 900 AD. We still don't know for sure why. This is all true.

My guy left the Army...mission in Afghanistan blowed up, not his fault, and he knows there was something up, so he lost trust (second book, if there is one). So he's working security for an old CO, protecting some guys who are flying Lidar in Honduras. Long story short, they discover an unknown site, and the site has a plant that, when burned, emits a highly toxic fume that has effectively the same effect as sarin (mustard and poison ivy do similarly bad things when burned, although with obviously different effects). The bad guys know about this plant, and when they find out my guy's team discovered the site, the team is killed. That's chapter 1. :) Anyway, they want to use this as a new weapon to take over the US government. My guy puts a stop to it. The idea was this plant destroyed the Mayan civilization at the hands of a power-hungry Mayan king (prologue), and it can do the same to ours at the hands of a ruthless, power-hungry cabal. I couldn't think of a better man to stop it than a Ranger. I don't think anyone else even could.

Thank you for asking. :) My hope here was to learn all I could so I didn't have the character do something out of character and be insulting. It's a story, and there must be a degree of literary license, but the essential details should be dead nuts, or as much as is practical and unclassified. That's my goal, anyway.
Old Wingnut (Kenn)
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AF OTS '87
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AFIT '90 - '91
AFRL '91 - '96

OldWingnut
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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by OldWingnut » August 24th, 2018, 6:58 pm

Although, I gotta tell this story. :) Same bunch of smart dudes, right?

The lab has a 30mm cannon that's used to blow holes in aircraft parts. Battle damage to see how the parts react...wings, tails, canopies...that sort of thing.

Next to this cannon is a "chicken gun." It literally shoots chickens from the grocery at canopies, to simulate high-speed bird strikes. Problem was the birds kept destroying the canopies. Not cracks, either...literally destroying them. It wasn't obvious why, when the canopies in reality survive strikes, although perhaps not with not quite as much energy.

Turns out they were shooting *frozen* chickens. :) True story. We all had a good laugh at that one...
Old Wingnut (Kenn)
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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by OldWingnut » August 24th, 2018, 7:22 pm

To Ranger CenterMass and Ranger CharlieRanger1FFV, I owe you an apology. The FAQ clearly states you are to be addressed as Ranger, as is appropriate. Please accept my sincere apology...I responded in haste and forgot my head. To any other newb to the site, read the FAQ and do not make that error yourself.
Old Wingnut (Kenn)
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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by Disinfertention » August 24th, 2018, 10:25 pm

Good catch, Kenn. Thanks for reading up on that. Ranger CM and Ranger Charlie might have detonated you in place for that! :roll:

I think it's a fun concept and I really like the read-ahead on it. "Believing" I understand your intent with it, of course. I think the thing most shows and movies get right about the Ranger type is the same thing they over-do... 'A type' personality who is an arrogant prick. But no Ranger is arrogant in a situation they are unsure of. I'd venture a guess most are quiet, quick to learn, and beat you at whatever game you put in front of them. This generation of Ranger is a lot smarter compared to the hulk-smash stereo-type. Hopefully that helps your Ranger solve the problems you are presenting. And maybe someone else can correct me if I am off base.

Also, to shamelessly self promote those of my generation, there are several decent books by Ranger's. I'd venture a guess that Leo Jenkins probably wrote a book most identifiable to the "mentality" of a Ranger to some degree. But that is a bit subjective...

I had heard of the chicken gun stuff before on some random spot on the internet. I think Myth Busters did a segment on it even.
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OldWingnut
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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by OldWingnut » August 25th, 2018, 7:11 am

I've read all of Ranger Brad Taylor's books, but I hadn't heard of Ranger Leo. I'll look into that.

"'A type' personality who is an arrogant prick." -- confident people can seem that way to less confident people. It can also be difficult to communicate with those not like you, especially those who haven't had the specific shared experiences of a Ranger. IMHO, any Ranger has the right to be an arrogant prick if they want to be. You have earned that right. I'd prefer to think of it as having a certain swagger, however. :) I would be unwilling to call anyone here an arrogant prick. I'm quite certain I've not earned that right.

My character is also confident--thoughtful, aware, and always thinking through the situation. He applies the force required in the given situation, and not with malice, but with the intention of completing the mission. He doesn't understand what's going on initially, but he knows when he's a target and strategizes accordingly. He is going to get to the bottom of it, having now twice lost a team for unknown and odd reasons. In the book (for the snowflakes), I state he doesn't enjoy application of deadly force, but it comes with the territory. If use of such force in one application saves someone on the team or back home, the unlucky target has chosen the wrong profession and has paid for it. That's my understanding of a Ranger. You just don't mess with them. Not arrogant. Very, very capable and unwilling to fail.

That's actually a challenge. You guys are so damn smart and so aware, it's hard to get the drop on you. :) My guy is always looking ahead and figuring things out, based on logical reasoning and situational awareness, so I have to work hard to throw in the unexpected.
Old Wingnut (Kenn)
USAF (ret)

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HQ SAC '80-'83
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cams
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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by cams » August 30th, 2018, 8:47 am

Humility, not arrogance, is a Ranger trait. Honestly the majority of stories (fiction) I read where the one man army takes on a drug cartel or other group are not believable at all, unless extremely well done.

A story like this would be better suited for a squad of old Ranger buddies gathered together to fight whatever evil genius you’ve conjured up.

Except for First Blood, which was well done, Rambo is highly fictional and beyond reality, a team of Rangers are much more capable, dangerous and believable in your scenario. Just my .02
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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by OldWingnut » August 30th, 2018, 3:32 pm

In a sense, that's what he has. He starts out by himself, but his old CO gets in the mix, several SEALs his old CO worked with, etc. Nobody is a one-man army, except maybe Rambo, and that's not what I'm going for.

Rather, this is a thinking man, put in a bad spot, fighting his way out and doing what (at least I believe) is right. The premise of the character is perfect for the situation, and your insight, Ranger Cams, is invaluable to me. Your .02 is worth much more than that... Just based on what you said, I believe I'm on the right track. We'll see how well done it becomes, but not for lack of every effort. What I don't know is what I'm trying to fill in. No underwear in the jungle...who knew? :) Not a detail I'll forget tho...
Old Wingnut (Kenn)
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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by Disinfertention » August 30th, 2018, 4:52 pm

Yeah, going commando. It's a thing, at least in my generation ... lol

Your CO better be a senior dude to know SEALs btw. 05 +, or have an established background.
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cams
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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by cams » August 31st, 2018, 8:32 am

Ya, I can think of a lot of things I’d rather do than hang out with my old CO and a couple of SEAL’s.
IE: get a bad haircut, brush my teeth with sand, throw rocks at seagulls, slap myself in the nuts with a brick, etc etc...
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"A great civilization is not conquered from without
until it has destroyed itself from within." -W. Durant

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Re: Introduction-Kenn

Post by IntelToad » August 31st, 2018, 2:24 pm

Welcome here.
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