North Korea, Guam, and nuclear war

North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un has threatened to send four mid-range ballistic missiles over Japan and drop them within 18 to 24 miles of Guam. This development takes me back to the days of my youth.

After joining the Air Force at 19 and attending electronic warfare systems tech school, I was assigned to the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. I spend three long years there. Our mission was North Korea. Everything we did was aimed at going to war against North Korea.

Our forward operating base was Osan Air Base in South Korea. If war kicked off with North Korea, we would deploy to Osan. We were required to have a mobility bag packed at all times containing four sets of uniforms. They would hold drills were we had to report to work with our┬ámobility bag. They were supposed to inspect it to make sure it was actually packed, but I don’t think they always did.

We would also deploy to South Korea on a regular basis, usually once a year in February for Team Spirit. We would stay up to six weeks at a time living in tents. One year I remember going in October for ten or so days.

I got into scuba diving while stationed in the Philippines. There were some really fantastic dive spots in the Philippines, but they were far from Clark Air Base. It meant I could only dive on three-day weekends. I wished I could dive more often. Ideally, I wanted to be able to dive every day. It was then that I began thinking about Guam. If I were stationed on Guam, I could theoretically go diving every day.  Being that I was stationed overseas, if I volunteered to go to another overseas assignment, I would get rewarded with 30 days paid leave to use between assignments. Plus, if I volunteered for Guam after the Philippines, I would supposedly get higher priority with my assignment after Guam.

I changed my dream sheet, the Air Force document on file that listed our preferences on assignments, for duty on Guam.

I got my wish. My “dream” was fulfilled. I finally left the Philippines in 1988. I was assigned to the 43rd Bomb Wing at Andersen Air Force Base. I was stationed there for over two years and I loved every minute of it. I got to work on the B-52, something I loved. When I was stationed at Clark Air Base, I worked on the F-4E and the F-4G Wild Weasel. The F-4 was a pain in the ass to work on. If anyone ever tells you they loved working on the F-4, they are lying. I hated the Philippines and I hated working on the F-4.

I loved Guam and I loved working on the B-52.

Guam was fantastic. Not only was the scuba diving better than the Philippines, it was a lot more accessible. I didn’t have to wait for 3-day weekends to go diving. I could go every day. Sometimes I did. I worked the flightline until midnight and would often go diving after work with some of the guys I worked with. Once you get into night diving, it’s hard to get back into daytime diving. In the pitch black with a high-intensity dive light, the colors really pop.

The Philippines was a third-world cesspool. Guam is the United States.

It makes me angry to hear Kim Jong Un threaten Guam. I’m tired of North Korea being a thing. It should have ceased to exist when the Soviet Union fell. It’s 2017. We shouldn’t still be burning calories dealing with North Korea. If North Korea launches missiles towards Guam, we should just nuke it from orbit and be done with it. Should we first wait for North Korea to use one of its nukes on us? To destroy an American city?

No thanks.

3 thoughts on “North Korea, Guam, and nuclear war”

  1. Jose Rodriguez, 43rd OMS comrade

    Sorry but I would have to disagree on your point of working on the F-4. I loved working on the “weasels” in West Germany but I did hate the cold weather. I never was able to get into scuba diving. I took a course with Dave Cronauer but I got kicked out of the class after it was discovered that I couldn’t swim very well. I think Dave had to drop the course too because he had an issue with his ears that prevented him from equalizing the pressure at depth. Guam was a good assignment until they deactivated the bomb wing. I spent my last months there on causal status driving around base picking up palm fronds. I almost got an Article 15 because I slept in during a typhoon evac to Okinawa. I was kicked off the TDY list instead. No matter, since I had already been on a “Busy Boomerang Delta” to Darwin. Oh by the way, I used Uber for the first time last week in Brownsville,Texas after reading your post. It worked great!

    1. The G models weren’t as bad, but the E models are what I hated. The ALR-46 pre-amps were a pain to remove and replace. They both had the terrible chaff and flare dispensers. The ALR-40? Now that I think more about it, I hated the G models too. I hated how you would remove and replace an LRU, the new one would fix it, and the one you removed would be checked to death in the shop and they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. The McDonnell-Douglas rep would always blame the impedance of the aircraft. According to him, some LRUs just wouldn’t work in some aircraft.

      That sounded too much like wizardry to me. Wizards are for Middle Earth, not the electronic battlefield.

      I do remember you being on palm frond duty. I ended up going back to Guam six months after I left for DESERT SHIELD/STORM and I don’t remember seeing any un-policed palm fronds lying about. You did excellent work. I was on permanent dorm guard duty. I would sit at a desk in the day room from 4 pm to 7 am the next morning every other day and pass out toilet paper as needed. There was one girl who would come down every night needing toilet paper. Either she had severe gastric problems or maybe she had a crush on me. Maybe a little of both.

      I don’t remember the Article 15 thing, but I do remember you liked to get your sleep on. Good times!

      1. Jose Rodriguez, 43rd OMS comrade

        Dang, how did I miss your reply. MSgt Buck talked Major Q out of giving me the Article 15. My favorite memory was visiting “Bonita” at the MAC T for midnight chow box lunches.

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