Friday, October 16, 2009

The RNoAF Academy 30 km equivallency march

Another good ol fashioned Air Force experience completed. On a beautiful Trondheim autumn day (and there are not many of them mind you) I weigh down my backpack with sand to about 11.4 kg. I board a perfectly good bus on a ride that consists of establishing possible route strategies with my seat neighbour. The race was on. Trudging through the slush and snow, up and down in the terrain, feels good. It is nice to get out once a the while and really feel the hate build up.

Having a very steep incline at the end of the course was especially pleasing. I tried to follow the Major as long as I could but found myself in the woods (luckily not in the dark) with nothing but silence around me. It is always more comforting to hear the bewildered footsteps of a fellow runner so you at least know you are in the ball park and not by, as I thought, the ticket counter. Eventually I began to notice the many possible shortcuts I "could have" taken. Must be true what the warfare theorists say, "war favours the bold".

I found it a really nice touch that the last stretch before the incline ski hill was basically flat and downhill which gave me a false sense of accomplishment and dare I say superiority. After Tine, who I thought I had left far behind, passed me at the top of Gråkallen, I knew that in a march like this neither the down hill slopes nor the flat stretches are your friend, they are Tine's! Well played, well played indeed!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Reading Circle Session 1

After labouring high and lo and compiling reading material, I can finally see the fruits of my work. The first English language reading circle meeting has just been completed and I am pretty satisfied. Not the maximum turnout but the start up phase is usually bumpy, according to my Hungarian colleague. 3 and a half people plus myself was a good number, and conversation was interesting and on point. Although I will admit some slight modifications should be made in terms of how much reading should be done from meeting to meeting. Perhaps a focus on select chapters rather than whole compendiums would be useful? that is still in the pipe works.
As a discussion text, Boyd biography lends itself as a piece to debate leadership, engineering, mentoring, and the development of the Air Force through the first Cold War decades. Conclusion is, Boyd respected skill and not rank. He was charismatic, unorthodox but commanded immediate respect. He earned himself a reputation among his peers and subordinates, and likewise among the people he pissed off which were more often than not his superiors. In my humble opinion, Boyd comes off as a person who some people admired for what he did and how he did it, while others despised him for the same reasons.