Tuesday, September 28, 1999

Rules of Engagement - 87

[Continued from previous episode]The SECNAV (yet again) slammed on Chegwidden (C)demanding rushed prosecution of Lt Andy Buxton to appease the Russian sensibility over death of their peacekeepers. He was even more incensed to learn that Harm (H) was on the ship. Mac (M) and Bud (B) were assigned to investigate and, after their welcoming hug, H was surprised to see that M had been promoted. He snapped to attention and became very military. He said he was not JAG anymore so wouldn't help her investigation. Buxton complained to H that it "just felt right" to attack the vehicles driving down the road toward some civilians. He said they were just in the wrong place when I was in the right place. The SECNAV forced a manslaughter charge and Buxton claimed he had spoken with H as a lawyer so he couldn't be a witness. C also sent Brumby (Brum) to "second" Hs defense. B continually reveried a shipboard pilots wonderful life and miserated over being a "legal weenie." The JAG, Aldridge, testified that Buxton had disregarded the rules of engagement and had ridiculed them when they were explained by asking if he needed to "ask the president when he had to scratch his six." Brum argued with H about everything the whole case. Then during the cross examination of the CAG, Capt Pike, Brum took over and tried to blame the CAG for not recognizing incompetence, but Buxton stopped him. The Russian admiral, "liaison" was angry and demanding throughout the trial. H finally took the offensive and explained that: Russian and hostiles flags were almost identical ; the vehicle shot at was the same as used by hostiles to kill civilians; and standing orders were to protect civilians. M pointed to the ROE authorizing "fire only after fired upon" and get "permission" before engaging. H got him acquitted but then recommended reassignment. The CAG sent Buxton TAD to Capodichino as corrosion control officer pending a FNAEB to yank his flight status. H said he would testify against Buxton telling him "you're a menace to yourself and us."

B revealed to M that he and Harriet hadn't been amorous since AJ was born. M called Ht and "fixed it." Harriet called B and "talked dirty," to make him feel better; and B was annoyed when H tried to distract him with offers to fly in an F14 and "even shoot the guns" and told him to "go away."

Tuesday, September 21, 1999

King of the Greenie Board - 86

[DJEs contract renewed and he is now on a carrier flying F14s as "Pappy"] Harm (H) is on the carrier Patrick Henry flying F14s with Skates as his RIO. He suffered a bird strike and was streaming fuel so needed an emergency refueling. Lt. Andrew Buxton, (known as X-man) although almost empty himself, broke off from the tanker so H could refuel and said he "had plenty" despite suggestion that they both wait for the next tanker. H did a single engine, hard, landing on the 3 wire and Buxton hooked the 1 wire after an engine flame out. H had 6 straight "green" landings and was catching Buxton on the "greenie board" a running summary of their landings. Buxton reveled that he was the "king" of the "greenie board" and referred to himself in the 3rd person as "the X-man." Captain Pike, the CAG, chewed Buxton out for not waiting for more fuel. A real fleet JAG "weenie," Lt. Aldridge, briefed the pilots on the rules of engagement in real "gobbledegook" language such that Buxton asked "and if we have to scratch our 6 do we have to phone the president?" After Aldridge left, the CAG said that if a MIG is on your 6 and locks you WILL see a missile come off its rails. CAG tried to bring H in the middle of it but he kept a true lawyers skillful, non-committal answer. Buxton challenged Hs allegiance and H said "were the good guys Buxton, we didn't get that way by firing first." CAG had H take over as division leader from Buxton. Buxton brought up charges on his plane captain (Griggs) when a new Infrared Pod came off on take off. H asked to investigate by CAG. Griggs said that the new device was "a Murphy" and would go on either frontward or backwards. Several people, including Buxton himself, hadn't done a thorough pre-flight check so H recommended that Griggs not be charged. Buxton flew off the handle and said he wouldn’t have him back so H said he'd take him and advised "he's too good to be yours." Before their next mission they watched as Admiral Takushkin came aboard as a Russian observer. They were also told that there was a "spy plane" with a radio-controlled, gyro-stabilized telescope in a Lear jet watching them. Buxton went after a "lone" MIG despite being told he was beyond bounds and to disengage and H warning that they always flew in pairs. When the second MIG got a lock on Buxton from behind H had to engage a lock on it. Despite Buxton's urgings for H to fire he waited and the MIG disengaged. Again, the CAG chewed Buxton saying "you can't be all plumbing and no forehead." H, perfunctorily took blame, and CAG told him to "teach Buxton something." H told the arrogant Buxton that he "confused reality with his score on the greenie board." Pissed off Buxton he maligned H to his RIO as jealous and said he'd prove he was better "the next time I'm up." They were assigned to photo recon of mass grave sites and H went to take care of the spy plane while Buxton went to get photos. Hs warnings went unheeded so he flew in front of the Lear and did a fuel dump on it. Buxton saw a vehicle heading down the road toward some civilians and, despite warnings, strafed it. When they arrived back on board CAG charged him with killing Russian peacekeepers.

Mac (M)was promoted to Lt Col and had a "private" wetting down. Harriet (Ht) brought little AJ into JAG in his sailor suit. Tiner was driving Chegwidden (C) crazy with his ineptitude in office procedures. M was prosecuting Corporal Winrow, against Brumby, (Brum) for misfiring a "Brimstone 2000" anti-tank weapon and starting a fire. He had gone out and gotten drunk the night before. Brum was still, relentlessly, pursuing M socially and bet her dinner on the outcome of the case. Brum was loosing until M called her own witness, Gunnery Sergeant Victor Galindez (G), who was accepting a job with the guns manufacturer. On the stand, and to her surprise, he disclosed that the weapon had a faulty guidance system when it got over 90 degrees. He had gotten into the companies files at night to research the problem. Winrow was acquitted and M had a talk with the G, being impressed by his pursuit of truth despite personal convenience. She talked him into applying with C to run the JAG office. When C commented on Gs prior boxing during his interview, he commented that he held h is own- especially against SEALS! C told him that he knew one SEAL he'd have trouble with and stared at him down his nose in a stand off. He told G that there were navy people in the office he'd have to deal with and G replied "if I'm the gunny they will have to deal with me." He was hired.