Major Jahara “FRANKY” Matisek, U.S. Air Force, is an AFIT Ph.D. Student at Northwestern University. He has served as an instructor pilot on the T-6 and C-17, flying over 200 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Upon completion of his doctoral studies, Major Matisek will teach Military and Strategic Studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has written for Foreign Policy, Defense One, and Small Wars Journal, to name a few.
When Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower issued a letter to his troops just before the D-Day landings in Normandy in 1944, he told them, “I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle.” He was writing to American troops who had to meet these minimum physical requirements: seven pull-ups, 31 jump squats, 27 push-ups, 52 sit-ups, and a 300-yard sprint in 52.5 seconds. Soldiers — all of them — had to be fit in 1944.
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.
Recent cost overruns and issues with the F-35 have compelled political and military leaders to reconsider ordering more F-22 Raptors. The U.S. Air Force was originally supposed to purchase 648 Raptors back in 1991, but ended up only ordering 195 due to fiscal constraints. While the military could always use more fifth-generation fighters — stealthy F-22s and F-35s — there are numerous issues that make such a decision to restart the F-22 production line problematic. Yet, for some reason, the Air Force appears to have engrossed itself in the doctrinaire mindset of transitioning all its fighter aircraft to an all-stealth fleet, no matter the price tag or externalities such a ham-fisted approach might do to undermine American airpower dominance in the future.