Saturday, August 06, 2005

I'd Like to Believe This is Change

Okay, full disclosure time, as I used to work for several Government military contractors. I took those jobs even with my opposition to the military-industrial complex in general. You wouldn't believe the war my consience fought with myself over it. I'm only now recovering, a year later. When I started as a contractor, I was working on training Army and Navy folks on how to do their jobs in peacetime. Fielding new equipment, developing new life-saving measures, etc. All of my initial jobs were with small contractors who were more focused on the human aspect of things. My last job was where things started to go wrong, right after 9/11, when the world of contracting was flipped upside down.

I wish I had known, as I stood in the breakroom of a defense contractor less than two miles from the Pentagon, and watched as the planes hit the towers, then turned to see a plume of black smoke in the sky, that that was the beginning of what was coming. I knew the world would change, but I had no idea how drastically that would happen. Training jobs dried up; I was one of the first casualties at our company. I was fortunate enough to grab on to a company that was up-and-coming in the defense industry, taking advantage of the need for the military complex to archive old information in an attempt to transform to a new era.

Then I went to work for a company that worked in intelligence. Nuff said.

It was hard for me to trust the military at first, as I was very suspicious of them, but I grew to trust and even like the guys. The last few years completely ruined that, transforming it into this mean, ugly thing. It was like watching a friend go downhill due to an addiction, but someone else is plunging the needle into them.

That said, I'm seeing some signs of the kinds of folks I used to work with today. I seriously want to salute the US and UK forces. I've been pretty critical of the miliary for the last few years, but the arrival of US and UK teams in Russia are a great example of how they can do something right. It's also heartwarming to see the world coming together to try to help. This is more of what we need to see from the Administration, even if it is only a small gesture. (Okay, seriously, I've had a pretty right-wing week, so I promise to get back to bitching about politicians and stem cells and Roe Vs. Wade and Gitmo next week!)

Sub: U.S., UK rescue teams arrive

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Teams from the United States and Britain have arrived in Russia to help rescue seven Russian sailors trapped in a mini-submarine 625 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

A U.S. Air Force C-5, loaded with two unmanned submersible rescue vehicles along with 40 submariners, divers and other experts, landed in eastern Russia about 3:15 a.m. ET, a U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman said. A U.S. C-17, carrying equipment and specialists, landed about two hours later.

"This is an international effort, involving the British and Japanese, and led and coordinated by the Russians," said spokesman John Yoshishige.

A British plane, also carrying an unmanned rescue vehicle, landed about two hours earlier. The Scorpio 45 has three cameras as well as cable-cutting equipment.

Posted by crimnos @ 11:28 AM