Government Spending

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The U.S. Navy spent $450,000 to send four F-18 fighter jets from Virginia for a spectacular flyover before Sunday's Super Bowl.

Or we'll just have to assume it was spectacular. It wasn't televised. And the stadium roof was closed.

But I bet it sounded cool.

CORRECTION: My mistake. The flyover was televised. So the Navy spent $450,000 to send the jets for a televised flyover across a closed stadium. Calibrate your outrage accordingly.

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  1. what’s a ‘get’?

    1. Some gas absorbed by a getter?

  2. I am pretty sure I saw the flyover on TV, but, yeah, over a domed stadium does not make much sense, and Virginia was the closest place to get some fast movers from? Really?

    1. That’s the funny thing about live television — the insatiable demand for visuals that they try to fill by putting up anything considered remotely on-topic.

      I remember when they started sending camera blimps over stadiums, and I thought, cool, we’ll get an overhead view; maybe that was the original idea, too. Only the stabiliz’n wasn’t good enough to see any of the actual action, so they didn’t show it. Finally after many years they succeeded in delivering a few actual action shots from blimps, but by then they were getting around to installing overhead tracking cameras that soon did it much better.

      Apparently for old times’ sake, though, they sent blimps over even closed stadiums. They also gave shots of fans gathered in various places watching on TV; but that spread into live shots, and then recorded footage. of venues in the host city that had nothing to do with the game.

      But after a few years of coaching football, I’ve lost my taste for watching, so I didn’t watch this year’s Super Bowl, or last year’s.

      1. You know who else had a blimp?

        1. Uniroyal? Cooper? Avon? Wait, no…hmmm…..

        2. Indiana Jones.

      2. Blimps are more for advertising and they are visible before and after the crowd is in the stadium.

    2. What, Texas Air National Guard (Shrub’s old outfit) couldn’t scare up four jets locally?

      1. The Texas ANG only has F-16s. Gotta show off the latest and greatest in killing technology for the masses.

  3. There was a quick, fleeting shot. Looked kinda like ‘oh yeah the jets!, quick, camera 5’.

    Totally necessary.

  4. “The same kind of F-18 fighter operates out of the Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, less than 20 miles from the stadium.

    Commander Ben Hewlett from Virginia Beach, who’s leading the Super Bowl overflight, says he doesn’t know why his group was selected, but he’s happy to do it.”

    Stimulus????
    Now, I’m not a pacifist, but I would have been very happy with 2 dozen multicolored helium balloons. And please, no cracks about combining hopium and helium to get hehopium or hopehelium or somthin’

    1. “And please, no cracks about combining hopium and helium to get hehopium or hopehelium or somthin'”

      And by that I mean please submit as many confabulations of hope and helium as possible.

        1. Heliumun

      1. Helium is a noble gas; it doesn’t combine with elements like hope, except under extreme conditions.

        I will be willing to research the matter further, however, perhaps with a stimulus of $77,453,264.31

  5. Military pilots are required to log a certain number of flight hours every month to stay qualified to fly. And it is important that they do (Think about it, an F18 crashed because of a rusty pilot costs a whole lot more than $450K).

    I don’t know, but I’m guessing that those four jets/pilots would have done just as much flying somewhere else if they hadn’t been specifically directed to do it over the Super Bowl.

    1. Stop frucking up the narrative!

    2. Re: Ice Nine,

      I don’t know, but I’m guessing that those four jets/pilots would have done just as much flying somewhere else if they hadn’t been specifically directed to do it over the Super Bowl.

      I would like to assume those pilots already knew how to fly, questioning the wisdom of spending an additional $450,000 worth of flight time, since they flew over the Super Bowl stadium and not INTO it…

      1. I would like to assume those pilots already knew how to fly

        Dumbest thing I’ve read today, but it’s still early.

        1. Re: Wow,

          Dumbest thing I’ve read today, but it’s still early.

          Learn to read, blockhead:

          “Military pilots are required to log a certain number of flight hours every month to stay qualified to fly.”

          1. Far be it from to to defend the waste of taxpayer money on stuff but there’s a difference between ‘knowing how to fly’ and flying an F-18. I know how to fly a Cessna 150, despite not having flown one in many years. An F-18 is a different experience.
            Have you ever seen an F-18 cockpit?

            F-18 Diagram

            Driving a Hornet requires constant practice to stay current, and one little mistake will cost the taxpayers $50 million and at least one good man.

            1. And they’re not exercising much of it beyond auto-pilot, auto-throttle and some visual formation rules when doing a flyover.

              Oh, and straight flying from steerpoint to steerpoint (which is what they’re doing when going from Virginia to Jerry’s Place and back) can be done in one’s sleep in most modern fighters.

              Oh, and they’re operating comm. with civilian ATCs. Wow. So much training benefit. So much currency demands.

            2. Driving a Hornet requires constant practice to stay current, and one little mistake will cost the taxpayers $50 million and at least one good man.?i>

              Which is exactly why practice runs should be directed toward sports stadiums that are packed to the gills.

              1. Damn shift key.

              2. “Which is exactly why practice runs should be directed toward sports stadiums that are packed to the gills.”

                targeting practice?

          2. What we don’t know is how many hours over the minimum most pilots are getting.

            1. What we don’t know will never stop us from commenting anyway.

    3. Ice Nine beat me to it.

      Every year someone writes a righteous angry op-ed story decrying the use of military fighter jets for flyovers of big sporting events, and every year people have to remind them that the training required for these pilots will mean that they will be flying over something on that day, whether it’s a stadium or an empty desert.

      We don’t “spend” money for the flyovers. They just change the location of the training.

      1. Re: Tman,

        Every year someone writes a righteous angry op-ed story decrying the use of military fighter jets for flyovers of big sporting events[…]

        I would not object but for the fact I am paying for those flyovers with no consent from me.

        You want to see cool airplanes doing flyovers? Hire them yourself.

        1. OM,

          You and I are paying for the pilots to fly the planes whether it’s over the stadium or over an empty desert. Read both Ice Nine and my posts again.

          They are flying these planes on that day one way or the other for required training, whether it’s over a stadium or an empty desert.

          1. When they fly over the desert they are often engaged in combat training with ECM, tactical data links, targetting exercises, opposing forces, live firing and all the other inconsequential crap they would deal with in like, you know, combat.

            When they fly over a stadium they are preparing for what, operating a GPS receiver for future Fedex work?

            1. Not to mention the air shows they do all summer.

              Also, I’d like to know who is requiring these minimums and why? Keeping up your skills is one thing, but setting up a ridiculous number of “minimum hours” just so the defense department can jack up their budgets is another.

              And SO THE FUCK WHAT that they have to get their hours in? If the NFL, NASCAR, et al are paying for it then no one can really complain. But there is no need for the military to build charity work for entertainment companies into their schedules.

            2. They’re preparing to QUELL THE REBELLION OF THE PEOPLE, MAN! BLACK HELICOPTERS AND SIGNALS ON THE BACK OF ROADSIGNS AND STUFF! TOTAL PSY OPS!

              /crackpot…maybe…

              1. Well, bombing packed stadiums could be a good 1st step to an Elite Utopia…jus sayin’.

                1. wylie – EXACTLY

                2. I would point out that the stadium was full of elites.

            3. They’re watching for sleeper terrorist pigeons!

      2. The thing YOU miss is that there is virtually zero training value in flying a semi-tight echelon formation so low and relatively slow over a target. It serves NO combat-related training task that I can think of.

        A flight of 4 fighters ain’t gonna be doing that EVER 500 feet or less off the deck, not even in a strafing run. It trains a little used aspect of formation flight and MAYBE visual navigation.

        Those guys are going to learn and train a hell of a lot more by flying over an empty desert at 20,000 or open water at 5,000 or whatever their usual training is. They’re going to learn jack shit from buzzing Jerry Jones’ massively overbuilt playground.

        1. Timon19,

          Whilst the “value” of flying over Jerry Jones’ massively overbuilt playground may be debatable from a tactical training standpoint, the fact remains that these flyovers are not “special trips” from start to finish just for the game. The flyovers are a part of the training routine, and thus the “$450,000” figure is misleading at best.

          1. How on Earth can a flyover of a stadium in a ceremonial formation be part of any useful training routine? Furthermore, how many pilots in the entire staff get this “opportunity” to train like this in a given year? 1%?

            1. Every second one spends flying a F-18 counts as required airtime, whether it’s straight combat training with ECM or just simple formation practice. I agree that there is probably little value in this part of the required airtime from a combat perspective, but from an overall readiness perspective ANY time spent flying is valuable.

              1. So the point that we (and the pilots) got jack shit for our money stands.

                1. No, it doesn’t. Again, any air time at all, whether it’s flying a simple formation over a plotted course or practicing bombing runs is needed flight time for pilots to remain in a constant state of readiness.

                  Again, the “$485,000” number is misleading at best in describing the costs of maintaining both pilot and aircraft readiness. And no, tax payers weren’t charged this amount so they could fly over the super bowl. As has been said repeatedly, these pilots need flight time, and this qualifies.

                  Trying to make this in to some sort of symbolic representation of government waste is a futile effort, especially considering the fact that there are plenty other of more worthy examples than this non-example.

                  1. If any flight time (no matter how banal) at all is so goddamn critical, then why is the USAF allowing 1-for-1 (or damn near it) substitution of actual flight time with sim time?

                    I realize F-18s are USN, but they aren’t going to be far behind in making that determination, if they haven’t already.

            2. You miss their value as a recruiting tool.

          2. I spent twenty years in the military. I would love to have back all the time I spent on alleged “training” that was actually just SOSDD (same old shit, different day).

        2. I can’t say they’re doing it in this particular instance, but when the flyover is done to coincide with the finale of the national anthem, its a very good simulation of a “time on target” mission, ie I have to drop these bombs, at this point, at this time +/- 10 seconds.

          1. Considering how often they miss (I’ve witnessed several flyovers) that target, I’m going to say that’s not a primary driver at all.

            Otherwise, I sort of agree, assuming they have access to the audio or some cues as to when it’s going on or wrapping up.

  6. You people think that flyover had anything to do with the Super Bowl? What dupes. I’ll tell you what it was about – CHEMTRAILS!!!!

  7. This like a perfect example of potential crowding out. This ain’t exactly a national security issue and there’s no reason that the NFL or MLB shouldn’t be contracting this sort of thing from a private company.

    I bet there’s plenty of old beat up military planes that could be fixed up and more than a few ex-military pilots that wouldn’t mind flying them.

    1. Commemorative Air Force (formerly Confederate Air Force, but that wasn’t pc) has some really cool old planes just down I-20 at the Midland Airport.
      Would be really spectacular to see an ME-109 in Packer colors attacking a B-17 in Steeler colors!

      1. Would be really spectacular to see an ME-109 in Packer colors attacking a B-17 in Steeler colors!

        I’m already thinking of how to do the special effects…

  8. No, it was definitely televised, because I commented on the stupidity of a flyover of a closed dome when I saw it on TV.

  9. Sigh…you know who else liked flyovers?

    1. Definitely not the citizens of Hiroshima.

      1. Laaaaaaciiiiiist!!

  10. I blame the NFL and America’s seemingly insatiable appetite for vacuous entertainment.

    1. And the entertainment seems to get worse and worse as our country goes down the shitter. Christina Aguilera made a fool out of herself singing the national anthem, and the Black Eyed Peabrains put on maybe the worst halftime show ever. Just a sad state of affairs.

      1. Black Eyed Peas

        Worst. Band. Ever.

        My apologies to 98 Degrees and the Backstreet Boys.

        1. I hope they pick me for next year

      2. I thought I was watching the Bizarro World version of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies.

      3. Re: Mike M.

        Christina Aguilera made a fool out of herself singing the national anthem[…]

        What??? I thought that was a male impersonator!

        1. She’s the whitest negro I’ve ever seen.

        2. While I find her employment of warbling every other note to be annoying, I did find her structural note choices in the last few prases to be both pleasing and intersting.

      4. and the Black Eyed Peabrains put on maybe the worst halftime show ever

        Although I could look at Fergie all day, it’s bad when a bunch of old farts like The Who and Tom Petty actually put on better halftime shows (and they basically slept through them).

  11. Do you know who first flew jet fighter aircraft?

    1. Rudolf Hess, right?

      1. That was reply to Kurtz.

    2. I saw on the History Channel that it was the ancient Egyptians, with a little help from space aliens.

      1. Fly like an Egyptian…

        1. There’s a lot of ruins in Mesopotamia.

      2. “African-American Egyptians”
        Mistuh Charlie stole the planes from ’em.*

        *An actual lecture presented to mass assemblies of public school students in my county.

    3. I know, I know!

      1. I lol’ed! And I don’t do that often…the horror…

  12. FWIW, it was televised, for about 4 seconds.

    But yeah, over a closed dome, no less. I’m sure the schmucks who paid $200 to watch the game in Jerry’s parking lot appreciated it.

    1. We’re also crybabies. And fat. And fashion-challenged. Whoooo!

      1. No kidding! I saw a fat guy on the teevee wearing a tucked in tshirt, denim shortpants with velcro flaps on the back pocket, a belt, a tool belt, tube socks and sneakers.
        He was the host.

        1. Still smelly down here. Back to you.

  13. Personally, I was wanting them to fly over for the whole god damned game. Strafe in really low loud and be armed.

    1. They could have at least dropped some fuel/air explosives and melted some snow. That would have received some applause.

  14. The U.S. Navy spent $450,000 to send four F-18 fighter jets from Virginia for a spectacular flyover before Sunday’s Super Bowl.

    Or we’ll just have to assume it was spectacular[…] The stadium roof was closed.

    Must be part of that redistributive culture MNG is so fond of, which supposedly made America such a productive powerhouse – again, according to MNG…

  15. Did they at least strafe some dogs along the way?

    1. Re: Hilarious Commentator,
      They’re F-18’s, man. You would need a T-16 like I have back home to bullseye one of those…

      1. He said dogs, not womp rats.

        Shit, we’re such pathetic nerds.

        1. Re: Barely Suppressed Rage,

          He said dogs, not womp rats.

          Well, aren’t both supposed to be about the same size? He didn’t say “toy dogs”, he said “dogs.”

          1. The womp rats are probably even bigger than a standard dog; didn’t they say they were a couple of meters?

  16. Bill Hicks had it right:

    But I am so sick of hearing about, ‘Well, we, your leaders misspent your hard-earned tax dollars, so you the people, gotta tighten your belts and start paying it all back because we, your leaders, misspent your money.’ You know what would make tightening my belt a little easier? If I could tighten it around Jesse Helms’s scrawny little chicken-neck. ? I’d tighten my belt if that were the case. I’d eat bologna for a week. ? I’d sacrifice.”

    1. I believe I also said something similar.

  17. Shouldn’t whoever runs the superbowl be paying them for that?

  18. $450K to fly over the super bowl… No bg deal to me. They were going to fly anyway, the money was going to be spent anyway. Gotta fly cross country to stay qualified.

  19. I wasn’t sure it was live-televised or whether they just ran stock footage.
    Save the dough; do the latter.

    1. No kidding. They should have just run some Top Gun footage like the Chinese did.

  20. “The U.S. Navy spent $450,000 to send four F-18 fighter jets from Virginia for a spectacular flyover before Sunday’s Super Bowl.”

    The irony is, this is the first mission they’ve had in a decade.

  21. Personally, I would have enjoyed it a lot more if the jets had fired on the stadium.

    /Calvin mode

  22. It cost a lot more to fly Herr Obama and der kinder to Hawaii, why doesn’t reason write about that?

    Why not write about the taxpayer-funded lifestyle of Jimmy Carter.
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..jimmy.html

    Come on, libertarians, we elect them Presidents and after four years they get to live like KINGS at our expense?

    If they need money let them write a book or give a speech, I’m sick and tired of subsidizing their post-presidential lifestyles.

    1. I find it interesting that you pick Jimmy Carter for the target of your ire, when the article you link to indicates that his partial-term predecessor and his opposite-party successor both cost the taxpayers more, even though none of the three served more than 4 years. I’m genuinely surprised you didn’t pick Clinton, who costs the taxpayers more than twice per year what Carter does.

      In any event, whether it be F-18s overflying the Super Bowl or past Presidents collecting pensions, we’re talking about less than 0.0001 percent of the annual budget, which is a lot like fighting over a couple of kernels in a corn field.

      1. If you can’t save pennies, you definitely can’t save dollars.

      2. That’s because Gregory Smith is a hypocritical Red moron pretending to be a libertarian.

        1. Red=Team Red

  23. I understand fly-bys as a recruiting tool, and the pilots must fly to stay current. But getting aircraft from a more local airfield isn’t an absurd thing to expect.

    1. And that a fly-by over a closed stadium sort of defeats the purpose. They could have played a clip of Top Gun on the big screens inside and no one would have known the difference. 😉

      1. Not true.

        When Tom Cruise smiled, the ultra-white flash from his teeth would have blinded 60% of the audience, who would have had to watch the rest of the game in braille.

    2. True. And hey, they could even go out to whatever range it is they train out in West Texas or New Mexico right afterward instead of landing or (God, I hope THIS didn’t happen) refueling off a tanker in order to get back to VA.

  24. New tact? Considering a Super Bowl add costs $3m, the flyover was probably cost effective advertising for the Navy.

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