From the opening credits — heavy on mustaches and music that sounds eerily similar to the soundtrack for an arcade flight simulator — to the ending, which includes a fantastically corny, but earnest advertisement for the “Thrustmaster cockpit simulator,” this F-16 training video is an hourlong orgy of ’90s nostalgia.
Created by the software firm, Spectrum Holobyte, the 1993 video was designed for the company’s FALCON 3.0 air combat simulator, which is focused on the F-16, notes The War Zone’s Tyler Rogoway, who mined a treasure trove of campy mil videos on YouTube to unearth this retro gem.
While easy to lampoon, the video is informative and includes a perfectly cast instructor named Pete “Boomer” Bonanni — no, really — who guides his students (four of whom sport fabulous upper-lip flavor-savers) through the finer points of air-to-air combat. Using cutting-edge technology, we learn the difference between a one- and two-circle fight, expertly demonstrated with the clever use of, well, circles.
The video walks us through the risks of close proximity in a one-circle fight and the dangers posed by the distance created in a two-circle fight — mostly, that if you’ve got more time to shoot the bad guy, he’s got more time to shoot you, too.
Perhaps best of all is when Bonanni illustrates his points with elaborate hand gestures and aircraft models on sticks — a standard instructional practice, until hestarts to swagger across the stage and the lesson sort of becomes an impromptu light show — sans glowsticks.
Say what you will about the instruction’s campiness, but America’s security sometimes depends on a man would be just as comfortable at a rave as on a flightline.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Coast Guard cutter Bertholf on a counterdrug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Trees
U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf left California on January 20 for a months-long mission in the Pacific to support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the largest of the U.S. military's geographic combatant commands.
Coast Guardsmen aboard the Bertholf left Alameda on the 30th day of what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. They left a few days after not getting their first paycheck since that shutdown started and without knowing when the next will come.