I was a Flight Chief as a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force.

It was 1983 at Laughlin AFB, Texas. I was working in Whiskey Flight in the T-38 Branch when Chief Melton called me to his office. When I got there, my neighbor and friend Alan Jones was already there. The Chief got right down to business.

“This base has been base has been homesteaded with controlled five-year tour since I can remember. AFMPC has caught up with us and PCS’d all my Master Sergeants except three. Two will be the Branch Chiefs and one will stay in Delta flight and retire. I’ve got to come up with eight Flight Chiefs, three in the T-37’s and five in the T-38’s. All my Technical Sergeants will be Flight Chiefs and I’m two short. That’s why I called you two to see me. You’re the best Staff Sergeants I’ve got. I know this sucks on ice, but I want you to be Flight Chiefs. I will help you as much as possible and my door will always be open to you. Will you volunteer for this?”
Al and I looked at each other. We both said “Yes” at the same time. Al got Yankee Flight and I got Whiskery Flight.


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St. Laurent’s jet.

Let me back track a little and tell you how I got there. I was working Aero-Repair on F-4’s at Kunsan AB, Korea. I met my replacement on the way out. To make it even weirder, I was replacing at Laughlin AFB, Texas. Specifically, Whiskey Flight. He said I’d love it. “Whiskey is where they put everyone on appellant leave, awaiting court martial or under investigation. You’ll LOVE IT!”

With that info under my hat, I reported for my first day. I grabbed a chair and sat next to the Flight Chief desk. It was literally a crew chief shack, about 20 by 40 feet. The airmen were at the other end and were playing grab ass and horsing around and smoking.

Seven o’clock came and went with no roll call, no Flight Chief. When I asked the room where he was I was told he was “Always fucking late”. Through the window, I could see the other flights forming up shoulder to shoulder for the morning FOD walk to the taxiway and back. A morning ritual that has every little rock and screw picked up before it can damage a jet engine. When they got to the far end, I started looking for someone in our flight.

I spotted a Senior Airman, three stripes. When he turned I saw his name.
“Airman Michelson?”*
“Yes sir.”
“What are we supposed to be doing?”
“I guess we should be doing the FOD walk.”
“Well why don’t you take the guys out and do the FOD walk?”
It was suddenly quiet. Everyone looking at me. Then more than a few starts to come at me and they weren’t going to talk. Michelson was in the middle.
“Wait a minute,” he said. “Does anyone know this guy?”
I pointed at the roster board and said, “I’m Staff Sergeant Chamberlain, incoming personnel.” The crowd was visibly unimpressed. “Wait a minute”, Michelson repeated. “We should do the FOD walk because he might be a Narc.”

They at the far end when our Flight Chief showed up.
“Where in the fuck is everybody?”
“They’re out doing the FOD walk.”
“Who made them do that?”
“I did.”
“Who the fuck are you?” Pointing to the roster I said, “Staff Sergeant Chamberlain, incoming personnel.” He said, “Congratulations. Comeback at 1600, you’re the Swing Shift Supervisor.”

*Later I found out that “Airman” Michelson was really 1st Lt Michealson, OSI.


The first thing I did was to hold Roll Call outside. In ranks, three lines please. The second thing was to improve appearance. It was AFR 35-10 back then. Anyone refusing my suggestions got a trip to the orderly room to chat with the First Sergeant.

Every shack had a U.S. Flag on it. Like the ones you have at home. The convention was to have someone grab it and stick it up. That ended immediately. At the close of roll call, everyone does an about face and salutes as the “someone” picked stuck the flag up. At first the other flights stood, stared and laughed. Then I noticed Yankee Flight forming up and soon every flight was doing this. If we were busy, the flag detail was increased to two. One to stick it up and one to salute. Sometimes they took the initiative, and both would salute.

After a couple of months, we started winning Flight of the Month. Three times in a row. When we cleared all of our delayed discrepancies over the Christmas/New Years break, Chief Melton came down to see what the fuck I was doing.

Most of the airman couldn’t get a security clearance to get assigned overseas or to a “fightin’ unit”. During the break, I went to the Student Squadron and checked out a projector and all the strike films they had. I then gave them a choice. They could be outside doing bullshit things like trimming grass or wiping down airplanes or they could be in a nice warm flight shack watching movies.

Here are some examples of the movies. Turn off the sound because ours didn’t have sound.

The movie ticket was an AFTO Form 349 that documented the repair of a delayed discrepancy. With the old part that was replaced. By New Years, guys who were off would throw on a uniform and come down to work to watch the films.

Chief Melton just shook his head, said “Brilliant” and left.

We had legendary Flight parties too.  One epic party lasted four day of the Memorial Day weekend and was held at three different locations.  It started in my quarters.  There were five parties going on.  Smokers in the front yard.  Wives in the living room.  The Drinkers in the kitchen where a full bar was set up and the rowdies in the backyard.  It went from there to the Lake, then Royce’s house  and wound up at the dorms.  Just in time to put uniforms on and go to work.  About eight people were being reassigned and leaving the flight.  Including “Butt Plug” who was going to Hahn to be a Lucky Puppy.

Civilians and non-Air Force types can click here for the translations of the Air Force Slang used in this post.

Stories the Air Force Doesn’t Want You to Know

You might think these stories are Urban Legends, but they’re not. 


Hahn AB, West Germany back in 1989.  We had what we called the “Ether Bunny” running around base.  This story comes to you with one degree of separation.  I was hanging in the day room and there was a young airman in distress.  He was all upset.  He wasn’t moving around the pool table too well.  Being the professional NCO, I asked him what was wrong and could I help.  He said he was new to Hahn, fresh out of Tech School.  The previous weekend he was at the club and met some guy.  This guy was buying rounds and soon the 18 year old airman was God’s Own Fucked Up.  But this dude was cool and made sure the airman got back to his dorm room.  The next morning, Sunday, airman wakes up and is God’s Own Hung the Fuck Over.  He’s all sore and having a hard time walking.

Then things got worse.  A discharge started to come out of his ass.  Thoroughly freaked out, he made his way to the ER.  It was determined that the discharge was……………..cum.  

Apparently, the rapist got the idea from the Urban Legend.

He wasn’t the first and wasn’t the last victim of the Ether Bunny.  As more victims came to light, it seems that the M.O was to get the victim drunk at the club.  Get him back to the dorm, make damn sure he’s knocked out by doing the old ether on a rag trick and ass rape him.  No women were involved.  OSI zeroed in on the folks at the hospital but I never heard that he was caught.


My friend was a S.P (Security Police) at Spangdahlem AB.  He showed me the report of a murder in their Base Housing.  The victim was a Senior Master Sergeant.  When the S.P’s arrived, they found the victim hog tied feet to neck.  The hands were tied behind the back and the body was wearing a very fashionable leather hood.  The kind that have lumps of clay where the eyes go and is put on wet so as it dries it gets tighter.  The case was solved almost immediately, because they rewound the tape in the VCR camera on the tripod.  The couple, two men, were playing tie me up and beat me games when the beat-ee passed out.  The other guy, another senior NCO, fled the scene. Naked.  Arrested at work the same day. 


T-38A Talon with the speed brakes down.

We were stationed at Laughlin AFB, Texas.  The wife and I liked to play tennis and one day we used the courts across the street from the O-Club.  It had trees that cut down the wind.  We were playing when I heard shots ring out.  We grabbed our toddler and got real flat.  I was afraid we might get hit as a full fledged gunfight broke out.

There was a big field between the O-Club and the Student Dorm.  The Student Dorm was where all the Lieutenants learning how to fly lived.  This is where the gunfight was going down.

It all started in the Student Dorm when two officers (two men) decided to play tie me up and beat me games.  At some point the beat-ee didn’t want to play and the safe word wasn’t doing shit.  Being a resourceful officer, he picked up a toaster and crushed his boyfriend’s head. 

Someone called the cops because of all the noise.  When the Lieutenant heard the sirens coming he fled into the field.  Naked and armed with a handgun.  The gunfight broke out between him and the cops and ended when he ran out of bullets.  He got the Death Penalty at Leavenworth.


When I was stationed at Kunsan AB, South Korea 80-81 and worked in the Aero-Repair shop. We called egress to pull the seat and some civilians from Hill AFB came out.  From them I learned where the Egress Shop went. 

The S.P.s sent the dogs through the Egress Shop and caught the folks smoking Dope right there at work.  The O.S.I homed in on the Airman that was selling the marijuana.  They wanted to know where he was getting it from.  He said he’d tell them but first he wanted to say he was sleeping with his shop supervisor and it was he who called for the dogs to visit swing shift.

Half the shop went away for smoking shit and the other half went to jail for poking shit. Cue the egress guys from Hill.



Zulu Alert is Air Defense Alert.  F-15’s were sitting Zulu at Kandena AB, Okinawa. It gets lonely on alert.  A pilot and his MALE enlisted Crew Chief were caught doing the nasty inside the intake on a F-15.  When this went public all the pilots started wearing the squadron patch wherever they went.  The pilots of the squadron of the couple had rockers made for the squadron patch that read, “I’M NOT THE ONE”.




George AFB, 1978ish….. It was a dark and stormy night.  The flight-line was as quiet as it gets when flying is cancelled.  We all all cozy in the expediter van when someone gets on the radio.   Two girls, I’m sorry WAFs, I’m sorry again Female Airmen down in Blue Section were talking.  One of them was bragging about her boyfriend.  No one dared to call a hot mic while she droned on about what sex acts she liked in minute detail. The other one then chimed in on the sexual prowess of her lover.  Imagine about a 100 guys all leaning into the radio speaker trying not to miss a word.

Behind the scenes, the husband of one of these sexy ladies was rushing down to the flight-line to get the name of the guy she’s fucking.  At the same time, said guy was rushing over to Blue Section to tell her to shut the fuck up.

The two NCO’s met each other outside of the Blue Section expediter truck.

Fisticuffs erupted.