Tuesday, 25 February 2003

Air Force brat nostalgia

Apparently, ten anti-war protestors got themselves arrested when some decided “to heck with the whole non-violence thing” and attacked Ministry of Defence police guarding RAF Fairford in England.

RAF Fairford was where I was twelve years ago during the first Gulf War; I spent a lot of time loitering around my dad's office in Base Operations — I think it's the building in the background of that picture on the front page, which they'd taken out of mothballs after shutting down most of the base just a few months earlier — watching CNN with the airmen and officers who were quartered in the then-unused second floor. I don't remember a bunch of war protestors back then, but there may have been a few (we never seemed to get the CND activity). Back then, Fairford was a staging area for B-52 flights armed with conventional ordinance (in addition to Diego Garcia); some early B-52 flights in the war actually originated from Barksdale Air Force Base (Shreveport, Louisiana).

Anyway, go surf the unofficial site; it's got some pretty interesting stuff, including information on some of the past uses RAF Fairford saw. (I can verify that Fairford was/is the Transatlantic abort site for the Space Shuttle in certain orbits; my dad went to the Cape for special training in 1989 or so, and would have been responsible for coordinating things until a dedicated NASA team arrived.)