Remembering September 11th at the Pentagon

09/11/2018
By Robbin Laird Early on the morning of September 11th, I had an appointment in the Pentagon with a senior Pentagon official. I got there a bit early, and parked just outside the Defense Secretary's office. As I was sitting in the office, the TV was showing the story of…

Visiting MAG-31: An Update on the Warlords

06/07/2015
06/07/2015: On May 19, 2015, a week before visiting the USS WASP and meeting with the crew and pilots doing the operational trials aboard the ship, the Second Line of Defense team went to MCAS Beaufort to discuss the progress made with the Warlords after moving from Eglin. We had…

Visiting HMS Queen Elizabeth

05/09/2015
05/09/2015: At the end of March 2015, Second Line of Defense visited HMS Queen Elizabeth in Scotland.  These photos were shot during the visit by the RN/RAF team and are credited to them. [maxgallery id="118173"] The first photo shows the ski jump on the flight deck for the F-35B.  The…

Visiting the A400M in Seville and in Orleans

04/20/2015
04/12/2015: By Robbin Laird I visited the Final Assembly Line of the A400M in Seville on April 8, 2015 and at the Bricy Air Base at Orléans on April 10, 2015. While at the FAL, I saw 4 A400Ms on the tarmac, one of them a developmental plane and three for…

Looking Back: USMC Ospreys and Harriers Aboard the HMS Illustrious

03/27/2015
03/25/2015: By Robbin Laird In 2007, the HMS Illustrious was the first non-US ship on which an Osprey was to land. I had the opportunity to be aboard one of those Ospreys and land on the ship and observe Marines working with the Royal Navy and operating their Harriers off of the…

Visiting the F-35 Final Assembly Line, Fort Worth

03/01/2015
02/26/2015: By Robbin Laird I had not visited the Final Assembly Line or FAL in Fort Worth since late 2012. Much has changed as the line has matured, and a line stood up in Cameri, Italy and one being built in Japan. The first Italian FACO F-35 rollout will happen…

Remembering the Lessons of Billy Mitchell

09/03/2011
09/03/2011 by Robbin Laird In a recent piece, Ed Timperlake discussed the strategic significance of moving on from older paradigms to ensure US national security.  He argued that One of the great plot devices in suspense and horror movies is the surprise ending, just name the threat; zombies, aliens, vampires…