Hey guys, I love the show, you are all doing great work. I wanted to get involved with the show so I thought I would get started here. I noticed that some things were incorrect as far as military equipment,organization,and tactics were concerned. For instance the UN force kept referring to their Chieftain tanks in a couple episodes. The Chieftain is an obsolete vehicle and has almost been completely phased out of service. The UK stopped using them in the mid 1990's. Less then 300 remain active and those are with nations of the Middle East. Another instance would be when Mcguinness is offering up the Happy Valley militia the two abandoned UH-60 Blackhawks. One of the militia states that they have a guy who he thinks can fly helicopters. That is fine and dandy but each airframe(helicopter) is different and takes years of training to learn how to fly. You can't just hop in and hit a switch. I have a friend who is in flight school to learn to fly Blackhawks and he has been in for months and has only seen the inside of a simulator. These are just some examples of what I am talking about. Most people wouldn't notice this stuff but my schooling is in this area and I am slightly OCD so I pick up on it. I would be more then happy to help out with any other stuff you are working on in this area. You guys are doing a fantastic job and I can't wait for the next episode! Matt
Thanks for your thoughts on the UNNDD. I've heard from some folks about the same issues you've raised. In reading up on the United Nations Peacekeeping operations, I pulled from a few older operations to come up with equipment and organization. My thought on the Chieftains, while not specified in the script, was that these guys are using very old equipment at this phase.
There's an episode coming up (eventually) called "From Tongues Hot With Blood" that talks about the political challenges of allowing UN forces on American soil. One of the objections was allowing international forces to bring any armor, arms or aircraft that was in any way comparable to that used by American forces, the logic being that if UN troops decided to actually "peacekeep" in America, the armed forces would have the advantage. By the time the UNNDD are blowing up Pittsburgh, they are using the oldest stuff possible. McInnes, who is a Tornado pilot attached to the United Nations (on loan from the RAF) flew an older version donated by the Saudi Air Force. The Chieftains were surplus from Iraq's Republican Guard and operated by Pakistani commanders.
The use of Saudi and Iraqi equipment (of British origin) was part of that hysteria used to explain why the system just fell apart over symbolism and politics.
Of course, from a listener's perspective this represents facts not in evidence. Sometimes the exposition has to be cut. At the moment, we're trying to put all this back story into the HGWiki.
I'll just say that the Happy Valley Militia generals have about the same military expertise as I do. I think their interest was more about getting the treasure than caring who could fly it. But your point is well-taken. A friend of mine who flew an Apache heard that same scene and mentioned that the odds of those guys having a Blackhawk pilot just hanging around was about as likely as having a neurosurgeon. My thought is that Ying and Co. don't really know the difference between a Blackhawk and the coin-op jet ride you find outside a K-Mart.
Thanks again. PLEASE keep us honest on those points. Anything else you've found odd, I'd love to hear. Sometimes a little OCD is a good thing!