What Really Happened at NAS Pensacola, and Why

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

[Note: I received the following over the weekend. It is long, but well worth the read if you want to really understand the program there, how Navy leadership failed those who were injured and killed in this Islamic terror attack, and the real scope of who was involved. Much of this runs contrary to the official government/media narrative, which should come as no surprise to any informed person. I have added some bolding for emphasis.]

From: A Veteran with 20+ years of service, a Naval Aviator who flew combat missions in Iraq, and had 15+ years in counter-terrorism.  Also served as a flight instructor at NAS Pensacola. 

I reported to Building 633 at Naval Air Station Pensacola in October of 2002. Checking in to flight school is a point in time for each future aviator that is never forgotten. Nobody becomes a Naval Aviator by accident.

Setting foot on the quarterdeck and dropping your orders to get stamped at Naval Aviation Schools Command is the culmination of years of applications, college, physical training, aptitude screenings, FBI background checks, and performance well above your peer group who had also been competing for the coveted “pilot spot”. If you get there via the Naval Academy, ROTC, or Officer Candidate School, when you get to Pensacola, you have “made it”, but you are also just starting.

Instructors and staff refer to the entirety of the training program as “The Pipeline”. The start of The Pipeline is the front desk at Building 633 in Pensacola. This is where the first reality check for future aviators sets in, as class and flights don’t start the next day. There are only a certain number of seats for each API (Aviation Preflight Indoctrination) class, and there is a waiting list. “A-Pool” is where you wait (a pool of people, not of water). Building 633 is where A-Pool is administered, and where the weekly Friday morning muster takes place, and where the next week’s “class up” list is announced.

This is where the terrorist attack took place.

The Naval Aviation Training “Pipeline” at a glance:

-A Pool. Pensacola.

-Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), 4 weeks of academic classes and water survival courses. Pensacola.

-Primary Flight Training (150ish hours in a T-6 Texan). Pensacola or Corpus [Christi]

-Advanced Flight Training (Jets, Props, Helicopters). Wings are earned at completion of Advanced. Pensacola (Helicopters), Corpus (Props), Kingsville & Meridian (Jets)

-Fleet Replacement Squadron. (Learning your fleet aircraft). Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard aviators all go through the same training pipeline through Advanced.

It was just after 0700 last Friday when my phone starting ringing. A relative’s best friend called her in a panic because her husband wasn’t responding, and she wanted to know if I knew anything. Luckily, he is a doctor at the hospital at Corry Station, about 3 miles away and nowhere near the shooting and I was able to put them at ease for his safety.

I had a group chat with about 20 officers still in the area. Friends and co-workers were exchanging information, all of them aviators, many still on lock down. Some of them were directly in charge of the response and involved in the investigation. All of this is available now in open media, but this is what I know.

The Saudi terrorist checked in on Monday and seemed “normal”. He held the “dinner party” on Thursday night with more than 10 Royal Saudi Air Force Officers in attendance. At this party, they watched videos of mass shootings, mostly Islamic propaganda. The next morning, Friday, he systematically attacked building 633 while one of his fellow officers followed and filmed, several other Saudis waited and observed the attack from a car.

The attacker started at the Quarterdeck (front desk), and the 3 killed were on duty at the time. Ensign Watson was the duty officer, was shot 5 times and still managed to call first responders and evacuate the building and personally direct them to the location of the shooter prior to dying of his wounds. The other 2 killed were also in the immediate vicinity of the quarterdeck. Many of the wounded were as well, some being wounded as they tried to climb out of windows.

Per Navy policy, none had weapons to defend themselves with.

The first responders that confronted the shooter were from the local sheriff’s department. Two were wounded in the gun battle, and the terrorist was killed. Three active duty Americans were dead, 8 more wounded, 2 deputies wounded. Many of the wounded were shot through the doors of classrooms on multiple floors of building 633. Most of the base remained on lockdown well into the afternoon as the base was systematically searched for the missing Saudi terrorists officers. By day’s end, 6 additional Saudi Arabian officers were in FBI custody, and several were at large in the community and a man-hunt is still underway.

So, over a 5 day span, the terrorist checked in, acquired a handgun with 4 extended magazines and ammunition, posted a manifesto online condemning the US as a “nation of evil” along Islamist and anti-Semitic lines, planned and executed his attack with at least 3 accomplices. At least 10 Saudi Military Officers knew of the plan, and either participated or did nothing to stop it. Each one of these individuals had passed the screening process to come train in the United States. That brief recount of the chain of events begs a series of questions, some of which are easier to answer than others.

Here are some of the most obvious questions, and my best effort to answer them.

  • Was this terrorism?

Absolutely. Much has been made of the lack of a formal declaration by the Military or other Federal Authority, but I understand the delay. Not only is a long term alliance involved (more on that later), but there are several members of the Royal Saudi delegation still at large within the United States. If you declare all of them terrorists, it makes the possibility of an orderly surrender virtually zero. On the off chance that these guys were at Waffle House at the time of the attack and are freaked out and hiding, it’s appropriate to not label them terrorists, yet. Congressman Gaetz has appropriately called this terrorism and called for a review of entire program.

  • Why are we training Saudis in Pensacola?

While the brightest light is on the Saudis in the program, we train aviators from multiple nations in Pensacola. Germany, Sweeden, and Singapore also have a large volume of students train in Pensacola. The obvious comparison to this incident is to the fact that the majority of the 9-11 highjackers trained in Florida. It is an important distinction to note that all of those individuals were civilians and had no interaction with any military training program.

It is equally important to note that 10+ members of the Royal Saudi Air Force knew of a planned mass murder of American military, and either participated in it or agreed in principal to allow it to happen.

Saudi Arabia is currently our strongest ally in the Middle East. We base troops there, we stage equipment there, we get our fuel for operations from there. If we are going to be involved in the Middle East, we need an ally like Saudi Arabia.

We were also allies with Iran, until the Islamic Revolution there resulted in the famous hostage situation.  Then were then allies with Iraq, until Saddam fired on the USS Stark (killing 37 sailors) and subsequently invaded Kuwait. So now we are allied with Saudi Arabia, for now.

  • What is it like training an international student?

Each nation is different, and it was interesting to see some stereotypes play out and interact with different cultures. The Swedish and Norwegians were your typical vikings. The Germans were often humorless, focused, and smart. The Singaporeans were incredibly disciplined, and this group of students policed itself in an impressive manner. Any Sing who did poorly on a flight or test would have the other students ensure they did well the next time around. I’d gladly fight alongside any of these guys any day of the week. I stay in touch with several of my students as their careers advance.

The Saudi students have an entirely different reputation and structure to their training. While all of the other nations employ a form of meritocracy to be in the flight program, the Saudi students are typically the child of a Saudi sheik, politician, or member of a rich/important Saudi family. They all drive luxury vehicles, and flaunt their wealth to the other students and instructors. It isn’t unusual to see a Saudi student wearing designer shoes that cost thousands of dollars in their uniforms instead of their issued shoes or boots.

The Saudis do not stand any of the squadron watches (Like assistant OOD, where the flight schedule is executed), while other nations participate fully in squadron functions. The Saudis also have a cadre of senior officers in Pensacola, ostensibly to monitor and aid the progress of the students. They employ a number of former/retired (US) Navy pilots to serve as tutors to the Saudis, and also to provide instruction on how to properly interact with their US instructors and inside of American society. The retired officers also act as a liaison to the American command structure.

Our instructors are told that we can only instruct the Saudis in flying. Issues regarding disciple, respect, or military bearing, etc all have to be referred to the liaisons. Those issues are rampant among the Saudi contingent, and are well known among the chain of command. While there are certainly some Saudi students who have been respectful and disciplined, the norm is an aloof, arrogant child who seeming feels superior to his instructor.

American and non-Saudi international students are expected to show up to the pre-flight briefs ready to explain all of the concepts required in the flight to the instructor (proof they study and paid attention in class). Saudi students often show to briefs unprepared to meet that standard, and expect the material to be presented to them anew. The norm for the Saudis is to pass the student regardless of performance, unless they are simply a danger to themselves, then they get referred back through the liaisons.

We are paid to move them through the pipeline and deliver them having completed the syllabus. We can’t make them study. One friend had a Saudi student refuse to recover an aircraft from a spin, and simply threw up his hands and stated “If Allah wills it, it will recover.” This was during out-of-control flight, with the aircraft falling several thousand feet per minute. The instructor took controls, recovered from the spin, and returned base. That student eventually graduated.

I have had conversations over the last 3 days with at least a dozen current or former Navy flight instructors. Unanimously, the sentiment is that Saudis should be expelled from training in our program. Not only is there legitimate concern for personal safety and national security, there is a general feeling that they won’t be able to put their feeling aside and provide proper training.

  • Why did the Sheriff Department have to stop the shooting and not active duty watch-standers or military police?

In short, because the Sailors at NAS Pensacola were failed by their leadership.

After the Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga was attacked by a Muslim terrorist, then Candidate Trump was critical of the policy of military members being disarmed while on duty. The only reason that the Chattanooga body count wasn’t higher, was because the Navy Commanding Officer (an aviator) had disregarded policy and had his personal handgun with him in his office and he confronted the attacker and returned fire. He would later say that he disregarded policy because the safety of his command was his ultimate responsibility. He defended his command that day, and saved lives.

The next ideation of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) included provisions to allow commanders the discretion to allow CHL holders to bring their personal weapons onto base to defend themselves in similar instances. Tragically, no US commander has had the guts to implement the allowances granted by law.

We didn’t learn our lessons with the Fort Hood shooting, The Navy Yard Shooting, The Chattanooga shooting, so now we have this. Will we finally recognize the threat and allow those who have sworn to defend the constitution of the United States the ability to defend themselves while at work on US soil? I doubt it. Sadly, I think it will take an action similar to what President Trump took with Chief Gallagher to make stubborn and stupid Navy leadership do what is the obvious and correct course of action.

  • Should we have seen this coming?

Absolutely. When I told my father (a retired Naval Aviator) that a foreign student was responsible, he responded “I’ll bet it was a Saudi.”

A brother is a veteran Naval Flight Officer who trained in Pensacola. His response, “It’s probably a Saudi.”
My neighbor from Pensacola who now flies for an airline “Mother F***, you know it was a Saudi!”

For some reason, there is a political push to excuse these attacks as one-off, or that the perpetrator was “radical”. The news is already saying “There is no direct link to a terrorist organization.”…as if ISIS gives out membership IDs and T-Shirts. The Politically Correct folks tell us to not judge an entire religion or culture by the actions of a single individual.

The Factually Correct among us look at this chain of events and see no coincidences. The fact that such a large portion of the Saudi contingent knew of the impending attack and chose to participate, and none chose to stop it show the truth that many have long known but few in leadership will acknowledge. The actions taken by this Royal Saudi Officer were not at all “extremist”. His views and actions were well in line with the mainstream Saudi Officer in the unit.

Defenders of Islam will say that it is a “Religion of Peace” and only “extremists” join the terror groups. With sad irony, many critics of Islamic terrorism have observed the rise of ISIS with their pool of men and resources flowing largely from Sunni Saudi Arabia have said said that it’s the extremist Muslim who is actually fighting, but the peaceful Muslim is the majority….they just write the checks. The example in Pensacola shows us that it’s the minority extremist shooting his classmates, it’s the peaceful Muslim standing alongside filming.

Students of history will know that these terror attacks are not random nor motivated by “extreme” thinking. It is an American tendency to think that history started in 1776, or maybe 1492 at the earliest. Our schools teach world history and battles that took place in Europe as being between empires like the “Romans” and “Ottomans”.

They leave the parts out where it was the HOLY Roman Empire that defeated the ISLAMIC Caliphate in Vienna, September 11th 1683. This military defeat and it’s date is etched into the cultural identity of every Muslim just like the Alamo and San Jacinto are taught to kids in Texas. The only difference is that Texas school children don’t have a religious document telling them that the conquest continues and it is their life-long Jihad to install islam as the law of the entire world.

The events in Pensacola last Friday are minuscule in the scope of world history. It is, however, a perfect illustration of the war of cultures (and yes, religions) that we currently find ourselves as particpants in. While the Politically Correct in Washington will likely downplay the details and work to wipe the event from the headlines to preserve an alliance, the Factually Correct among us are still walking the streets with Saudi terrorists at large.

Those in our military will follow the orders they gave their oaths to follow, though we strongly disagree with them. We will likely continue to risk our lives and work to train people that hate us, and would kill us if given the opportunity. The King of Saudi Arabia can say that the actions don’t reflect those in his Kingdom. The facts make him a liar.

  • Where do we go from here?

1. Immediately allow all Commissioned Officers and senior NCOs (E-7+) who are qualified (military or CHL) to carry a military equivalent or issued weapon while on duty.

2. All Saudi personnel in the US should be restricted to base, and have their quarters searched for weapons. If they had no knowledge, they should be expelled. If they did have knowledge or participated, they should be executed.

3. Suspend training Saudi personnel indefinitely. Only resume the program when the FBI can conduct background checks for each student and officer. Once screened and admitted, Saudi students should be restricted to base and not allowed into the community.

4. Evaluate the “alliance” between the US and Saudi Arabia beyond the fact that they are a client nation buying billions of dollars in weapons and training. Is our strategic relationship with the Saudi government worth the cost inflicted on us by a Saudi population which clearly hates us and continues to do us harm. Do the officers that we train for combat ever actually participate in conflict in a meaningful way that support US interests or relieve demand on US forces. If not, disband the program forever.

5. Be better students of history. Value reality above wishful thinking. Judge cultures and religions by what they do, rather than what they want you to think. Take political blinders off and build and execute policy based on reality rather than wishful thinking.

[End]

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

75 thoughts on “What Really Happened at NAS Pensacola, and Why

  1. Jimmy MacAfee - December 9, 2019

    What should happen? What the author said under “Where Do We Go From Here?”

    What WILL happen?
    “The Navy Commanding Officer (an aviator) had disregarded policy and had his personal handgun with him in his office and he confronted the attacker and returned fire. He would later say that he disregarded policy because the safety of his command was his ultimate responsibility. He defended his command that day, and saved lives.”

    The officer will be reprimanded, possibly prosecuted and demoted. Navy Brass kisses a$s. (Saudi a$$.)
    Prove me wrong.

    1. Tuna - December 10, 2019

      Great info, but I would have to say that the Israelis are our greatest Ally in the Middle East.

      1. Jake Grafton - December 11, 2019

        Look up the USS Liberty attack and tell me they are an ally.

        1. Fitty - December 13, 2019

          Seriously, when can we let the Liberty go?

    2. Don W - December 12, 2019

      Where do we go from here????
      We make, yes make ALL the leaders of the Military, House, Senate and President and VP take a FULL course taught by former muslims that know what the koran and the life of muhammad are really all about. I spent 18 months doing a study on the book “life of muhammad” and the koran that was taught by three former muslims that even today try to help the muslim population really understand that neither are for peace until ALL people are muslim. The leaders of this nation have NO brains about what is right. Even George Bush made statements that he said the koran is a book of peace. That is BS but the only way you will get the real answers are from people that I mentioned before.
      I am also one of those people that spent a year in Pensacola in flight training in class 22/54. That’s right, 54. I spent 24 years as a Marine pilot and flew many hours in many different types of planes with over 8000s instructor time.
      We should never be training all of these pilots other that the first 10 from each country should be trained to be instructors in their country and then go home and teach there own people.
      That is what I did years ago with the pilots of Vietnam when they were going into the 727’s that us tax payers paid for. Once some were trained, they trained there own. But we went over there to train the first ones.
      Get your congressperson to get the study done.

    3. Gerry Tandberg - December 13, 2019

      I attend AE “A” school at NATTC in Jacksonville before most of the aviation training move to Pensacola.. Unfortunately, after six years in the Navy I was never given the opportunity visit NAS Pensacola and the aviation meseum. As a student of history; both secular and Biblical, I don’t consider the Saudi’s a true friend. Therefore, we should inform King Salman that the USA we will no longer provide aviation training to the Saudi Kingdom. Tell the king to send a Saudi aircraft to bring them all home. Some things will never change, and that includes the Saudi attitude toward infidels (US). Maybe the Germans, French, or Brits will take up the task of training Saudi aviators.

    4. old farta - December 16, 2019

      It not just the navy brass, it includes the arms manufactures and some congressional folks.

    5. jimo - December 24, 2019

      SCHOOLS & TRAINED TEACHERS OUGHT TO CARRY (CONCEALED) TO PROTECT THEIR STUDENTS! (FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE)

  2. Jimmy MacAfee - December 9, 2019

    The “pilot” was angry because he was forced to learn how to land and take off, and he was told he’d only have to fly level.

  3. Jimmy MacAfee - December 9, 2019

    From the picture of the dude, he looks like he practices al-fahsha’ to pictures of Miley Cyrus (or Billy Ray Cyrus.) His right hand was radicalized from the experience.

  4. Jimmy MacAfee - December 9, 2019

    Saudi Royals: supporters of ISIS. Any more questions? Trump had a word with the Saudis soon after election, telling them that their future – after oil – had to be modernization. No more Welfare State.

    Thought Salmon had put these stupid doobies in a hotel prison for reform, but there’s no reforming a Wahhabi; might as well feed them to the last remaining pigs in China, (where they’ll end up where food usually ends up after digestion.)

    Disrespect Islam? Not particularly: only the Salafist, the extreme Shiite, and the Yip Yip Error Dogs of the world. Sufis are OK. Most Indonesians seem to get along.

    1. Jimmy MacAfee - December 9, 2019

      Ambassador Stevens was a Sufi:
      https://www.wnd.com/2013/05/murdered-u-s-ambassador-stevens-a-muslim/

      Tended to think of himself in terms of Lawrence of Arabia. Sufis are not particularly welcomed by Islamists, the kind which supported the war against Syria (which included HRC, who should probably wear a tent with a head covering.) Stevens was murdered with intent – not just by the ISlamists, but by HRC, who wanted Libya to be led by the MB (her ersatz bride, Huma Abedin, was a Muslim Sisterhood acolyte, and her family was Muslim Brotherhood.) Everyone in the administration wanted him dead. Libya was a hotbed of underground Sufi adherents, from the Ghaddafi frying pan into the Wahhabi fire. Stevens was a victim of his romanticism of Islam, and not going along with the playbook of arming ISIS.

      1. Walter Alexander - December 10, 2019

        I agree with most everything you state, however, where is your mention of the NAS police officer, Captain Charles Hogue, and his partner..? Capt Hogue, whom was shot in the knee during the gun battle and continued to get people to safety….? ECSO were not the first responders…!!
        ..ECSO deputies were awesome for what they did, but this most important part of heroic, courageous action by Captain Hogue and his partner keep getting left out of all of these stories…
        Please revise your article to give these brave men the credit they deserve, but mostly, the honor they deserve.

  5. Jimmy MacAfee - December 9, 2019

    IG Report. Is this a distraction?

    1. Nancy Perez - December 11, 2019

      IG is a FARCE, they will DO NOTHING. they work for the command and SECDEF is going to do NOTHING. He wants to keep the sand fleas in the program cuz the DOD makes billions off our weapons sales to Saud Arab

  6. guidvce4 - December 9, 2019

    I totally agree with the author of the article. Reality needs to be interjected into our dealings with our supposed allies. Especially with those in the mideast areas.
    Actions to be taken in regards to the current situation? Find the rest of the Saudi aviator students and lock them up for interrogation by the JAG. Not the FBI. This should be handled by the military. The perps were under military command when the crime was committed, therefore needs to be handled by military.
    Stop taking students from the mideast countries. Punctum.
    Just sayin’.

    1. Jonesy - December 9, 2019

      Also agree with the author. You think all of this would be common sense. End the program immediately. Why are we catering to countries with ideologies that wish to harm us? Get ready for all of the apologists and folks with a “Coexist” bumper sticker to push back.

      I am interested to see what happens to the other Saudi nationals who have been arrested. Will they face any charges, or will they be secreted home because they have rich, well connected families?

      1. Jimmy MacAfee - December 9, 2019

        That’s what happened under the Bushies: the bin Laden family all were flown to safety. Did the Bushies think we were going to storm the barricades and drag their bodies out into the streets? Maybe one day, when we’re pushed too far. But even after 9/11, it didn’t happen. And maybe it’s time for this to begin?

        Notice how the children of American Nobility are just as corrupt and spoiled as Saudi Arabian Nobility? Or should I say: “no ability?” Chelsea Clinton, NBC and wedding dresses: Exhibit A.

        Hopefully, Prince Salmon will end their miserable lives. I wish the same for the No Abilities in our country, who are entitled to spend all of our money on cars and fine living and get jobs for which they are not remotely qualified. Put them on farms, Mao-style. and some of their parents, too.

        1. Nancy Perez - December 11, 2019

          I agree with you Jimmy! The lawyers in this country are the PROBLEM and the filthy LEFT. They are the reason our military can’t win wars anymore. POTUS Trump is trying to change all that.

      2. Nancy Perez - December 11, 2019

        the other nasty saudis will be protected and the SECDEF will be behind all this. This entire this is REPULSIVE! They have a mosque on base you know! and an Imam, I wonder if anyone is questioning him ??

    2. Alec - December 9, 2019

      Ditto. When will we learn?

      1. THE Gunny - December 11, 2019

        usmc_js@msn

    3. Nancy Perez - December 11, 2019

      The JAG is ABOMINABLE, CROOKED as the day is long and the FBI isn’t that much better. I say send them ALL back to Saudi Arabi and never let them back..except if they are guilty then treat them the same way they treated the poor victims. Let them see what it feel like to be shot!~

  7. foods651 - December 9, 2019

    Racist is not terrorist. Sandnaggers hate white people and I don’t like them.

  8. Charles Aronowitz - December 9, 2019

    Saudi Arabia is an enemy nation. We should not be helping them in any way.

  9. phineas gage - December 9, 2019

    Hard decisions have to be made. The idea that we can form a pan-Middle Eastern alliance against Iran with Saudi Arabia and Israel as the anchors may not be tenable.

    Islam, like all religions, is inherently irrational, but it is more irrational than most (if Allah will it it will recover?). It’s time to understand that it is simply incompatible with Western civilization.

    1. Jimmy MacAfee - December 9, 2019

      For our part: we may end up being partners with a new Iran, the way things are going there – the corrupt Iranian version of a Deep State is crumbling as fast as we can say: “poo!” There are a lot of Iranian patriots who don’t think you have to be an Islamist, genocidal nutcase with nuclear fire in their end times theology (and more are becoming Christians, too.) I’d be cautiously optimistic about Iran.

      There will be a need to deal with this latest jihad by the Saudi leadership that will result in another stay at the Riyad Hyatt for all of the Salafist brats. Prince Salmon has some digging to do: look for mass executions this time, not just renditions. Reform will be (must be) bloody, like a French Revolution, only from the top. Same result: heads in a basket. Let ’em roll.

      1. phineas gage - December 9, 2019

        I agree with you. Assuming they are able to overthrow the mullahs and extricate themselves from this theological dictatorship, the Persian people actually present as much better and more reliable allies.

        I’m really hoping this will happen soon and Reza Shah returns–that would be a game changer.

        1. Jimmy MacAfee - December 9, 2019

          Amen.

  10. Ben Colder - December 9, 2019

    When will the military of all people learn that disarming a military base is like a school that has no fire arms allowed is just pure crazy nuts.Why do we have to take this BS?When we do go to war they have all these restrictions on how and when you can engage what a lot of BS.The main reason to go to war in the first place is to kill people and break things other wise stay out of the fight.This is PC ran amuck .I have nothing against muslims except it is a crazy assed reglion.

    1. jim reid - December 12, 2019

      “Muslim” is not a religion. It is a theocracy. There is only room for one: it’s Theocracy or Democracy. Read the Quoran…it’s not rocket science. Remember that “smite” is to strike with a sharp object, usually with the intent of removing the head.

  11. Jimmy MacAfee - December 9, 2019

    Notice the increase in posters on this site? Is it because Dave is writing better, more entertainingly, with greater insight, and because posters like Gregg put out some awesome material? Or is it also because the anger – against the Dems, the Deep State, the criminal cabal in Congress – is reaching a boiling point?

    I watched as the Ulsterman Report, once a great reservoir of what was happening in the al-Bummer administration, get sold to the very people they were exposing. Kind of like Drudge. G0D forbid Dave ever cash out on this site. I first developed my loathing for John Brennan back then, before the site went into enemy hands, when asked a pointed question about the hysterical ninny. VTX lives.

    1. phineas gage - December 9, 2019

      I think it is all of the above. It is one of the best political commentary sites on the web, not too big yet but beginning to rapidly grow and approach critical mass, drawing fuel from the current political environment.

      Dave is an excellent writer–the only one comparable in my opinion is Ace, but his site is just too big in terms of commentary (at least for me).

    2. phineas gage - December 9, 2019

      BTW, Bongino’s new site as an alternative to Drudge is quite good.

      1. Jimmy MacAfee - December 9, 2019

        You’re quite the writer yourself. Glad to read your comments on Dave’s site!

    3. Gregg - December 10, 2019

      Appreciate the complement Jimmy and I enjoy being able to post my stuff

  12. the Eye Man - December 9, 2019

    I trained Iranians at Pensacola back in Mid 70’s when all were sons of the elite class loyal to the Shah. Same attitude and aptitude as reported here regarding the current Saudi students. They were our “allies” and we all know how that turned out. End the training of these folks now.

    1. Jimmy MacAfee - December 9, 2019

      I’ve worked with Indians who were full of attitude, racism and elitism – and with no manners, courtesy or apparent ability. Arrogant buggers. You could put most of the elite of the Pretend Royalty from most nations in a blender, and the result would be…well, they’re in a blender! Nothing left to reassemble! Good.

      1. Nancy Perez - December 11, 2019

        yea who are they fooling, nasty looking people so they are delusion with their superiority complex thinking they’re all that.

  13. Nabi Rasch - December 9, 2019

    Great essay that also makes one wonder what else is being perverted? For example, it came to light last year during a human rights tiff between Canada and Saudi Arabia that key parts of the hospital system couldn’t operate effectively without the Saudi student contingent. (who pay big money to displace Canadian students). How pervasive is this sort of thing throughout N America and what are the likely deleterious consequences?

  14. Jimmy MacAfee - December 9, 2019

    Fox says the Saudi eff-up was infuriated by the nickname “P0rn Stash.” (For his moustache, one would suppose.) I’m guessing the stupid Islamist actually had a p0rn stash hidden in his locker, and thought that was what the instructor was suggesting. Al-fahsha’ and all that.

  15. Gregg - December 10, 2019

    What is the difference between a “Radical” Mus*** and a “Moderate” Mus***?

    A Radical Mus*** wants to Kill us infidels; A Moderate Mus*** wants a radical Mus*** to KILL US!

  16. Gregg - December 10, 2019

    There was an NCIS episode actually depicting how Navy Flight Instructors disliked a certain Saudi Prince who was in flight training. It accurately displayed the pampered life this trainee was living as related in the article above. A little PC because his “Western Ways” was blamed for his partying which was contrary to his family’s deeply held conservative religious beliefs, but believably accurate and is worth a watch

    NCIS was the only network show that I have watched consistently in the last decade. It really did a good job accurately depicting the various scenarios in the Navy and other agencies for much of the its first dozen or so years, but lately it has become too PC and I have largely quit watching because it is being used to send cultural messages father than depicting accurate and/or believable military crime investigations.

    This is the show (somewhat germane) I referenced from Wikipedia and their synopsis:

    Season 6 Episode 12 “Flesh and Blood” Synopsis

    “A Saudi prince training with the Navy flight school escapes an assassination attempt when his chauffeur and car were bombed while parked on base. Tasked with both the investigation and protecting the prince, the team and other agencies face a delicate diplomatic situation as the bombing appears to be the work of terrorists. The team also discovers that the prince is a less than popular figure with his flight instructors and is estranged from his older brother, an official at the Saudi Embassy, who believes his brother’s “Western ways” was the cause of the attack. Meanwhile, Tony’s father appears, much to his discomfort. It turns out that DiNozzo Sr. is a business associate of the prince’s father, leading to questions about whether Tony can remain impartial to the case”.

    1. Gregg - December 10, 2019

      Sorry, Bad proofreading on my part.

      Season 7, Episode 12 – not season 6 for anyone who might want to watch it. And near the end of the second paragraph “father” should be rather – fat-finger typing

  17. B warkentin - December 10, 2019

    Arming ALL of our service men and women. Why should only Officers and NCO’s be armed? Every soldier and sailor that wishes to carry a firearm should be vetted and trained, and then be permitted to carry. When I was honorably discharged, I was an E4 over 7. Why shouldn’t I be able to protect myself? There are some rates that are very difficult to advance in, and that shouldn’t disqualify a sailor from being able to carry.

    1. Bob Perry - December 13, 2019

      There is no absolutely NO reason that military personnel on duty (officer and enlisted) should be unarmed!!! WTF??? Unarmed, we are no more than gate keepers and fire watch!!! We are a MILITARY, for God’s sake, treat us, use us, and respect us as such !!!

  18. Craz - December 11, 2019

    Comment on “Eye Mans’ “ – I too trained Iranian pilots,
    and then went with them to Iran – for 2 years.
    About half of them were as described – the other half were
    “Normal.”
    Some of the normal ones had American wives and when it all went sideways they were murdered for that …
    I don’t like Mullahs or the “Jimmy” who put them back in charge …

  19. DAE - December 11, 2019

    Having literally just finished up a tour as a Navy flight instructor, about 90% of what the author has written about how the program for international students is run is incorrect.

    1. David Blackmon - December 11, 2019

      Cool. If you want to write up your views on the matter, I’m happy to air them as well. Get after it.

      1. Big Al in NC - December 14, 2019

        Thank you, Mr. Blackmon. I, for one, am tired of anonymous and non-cited sources. Period.

  20. Sea N Air - December 11, 2019

    Wait! What? One of those killed was an E2 and one was an E3. But you only want to allow Officer and Senior Enlisted to be armed? BS!

  21. Jim Goodall - December 11, 2019

    I’m a retired MSgt (E7) and I agree with SrNCOs/Chief’s and Senior Officers need to be able to stop the execution of the innocents by muslim terrorists. This ‘No Weapons Allowed on Base rule” needs to end now.

    I also find it quite curious that the Saudis still have a burr up their collective behinds based on…… “The HOLY Roman Empire that defeated the ISLAMIC Caliphate in Vienna, September 11th 1683.” Isn’t it interesting that the date is September 11th! Didn’t something happen on that date in 2001?

    MSgt James C. Goodall, USAF (ret)

    1. David Blackmon - December 11, 2019

      Thank you for identifying yourself, MSgt Goodall, and thank you for your service.

  22. reesephd - December 12, 2019

    I’m a retired Associate Professor from Mercer University, Atlanta. Our administration accepted Saudi students as they paid at least 4x higher than regular tuition. The male adult students were verbally abusive to all the women, including faculty. They would cuss at us in Farsi (only knew this as a friend from Iran here on religious asylum, interpreted what they said and she would engage them in Farsi reminding them to honor our customs and practices or go home!). They required we give them prayer rooms, prayer carpets, and Korans in every building, and Mercer did so for the almighty dollar. The men washed their feet in the bathrooms and some would pray wherever they felt, despite having a prayer room (intimidation). If you think I’m making a broad claim about an entire population you are right. I’m not willing to accept the daily verbal abuse, especially in my country, just because they had the money to come here. Until you hear how this culture treats women based on the Koran, it may sound unrealistic. But believe me when I say I would never want to see any woman in my family to be subject to life in Saudi.
    David, thank you for sharing your experience as an instructor as the attitude of the Saudi students was very familiar. Ultimately, after a student went to the Dean (female) repeatedly hitting his hand on her desk and yelling at her to change his grades to “A’s” Mercer admin finally allowed this class to graduate, but no longer accept Saudi students!
    My thought regarding teaching Saudis the aviation program is to have them taught in their own country, at their expense. Maybe that sounds naive, but it sounded safer and we would still cater to the Saudi ally.
    Grateful for all of our service members’ service!
    Kind regards, Dr. Terri Reese

    1. David Blackmon - December 12, 2019

      Dr. Reese: Thank you for you comments. But I did not write this piece – another person did under condition of anonymity.

      I am considering compiling some of the comments I have received on this piece into a standalone piece of its own – would you mind if I used yours in that way?

      1. Theresa (Terri) Reese, PhD - December 15, 2019

        Thank you for clarifying the author of the post. Yes, you may use my comments about my experience in a future compilation of posts, thank you.

        One thing I want to point out is that anytime someone posts about having a good or positive experience with a Saudi, it’s coming from a man. If a woman was teaching those classes these responses would be more consistently negative.

        Mr. Blackmon, thanks for the common sense article. Please let me know where my comments play out, as I would like to continue to read from your perspective.

        Warm regards, DrTR

      2. Theresa (Terri) Reese, PhD - December 15, 2019

        One additional thought. I hate to spread the name of the university. They eventually did the right thing. I don’t know the legalities – so let’s keep that out, ok? DrTR

  23. Orv Pratt - December 12, 2019

    Been studying Islam since 9/11, it’s a cancer on humanity, needs to be labeled so by the non Muslim world, if not they are sure to take over and the world will descend into darkness.

  24. NonyaBidnez - December 12, 2019

    I was a student officer at the Army Engineer School in 1977. Following an injury halfway through the 12 week class, I took a make-up exam. There, I discovered we had 2 Saudi officers in the class. One was obviously cheating on the exam. The other left the exam room, possibly because there was a woman in the room. Never saw either again. I’m sure they graduated with flying colors.

  25. Abbie Hoffman - December 12, 2019

    What a whack job. This is one step shy of advocating for genocide

    1. Steve Dansker - December 13, 2019

      Abbie Hoffman, I remember you. The domestic terrorist.

    2. David Blackmon - December 13, 2019

      Abbie Hoffman: If you have something of substance to say, say it. Otherwise, go away.

  26. Quaestor - December 13, 2019

    “Primary Flight Training (150ish hours in a T-6 Texan). Pensacola or Corpus [Christi]”

    More precisely, the Beechcraft T6B Texan II, not the antique North American T-6 used during WWII.

  27. Mitch Barkett - December 13, 2019

    Islam is nothing more than a hateful political belief masquerading as a religion that has been hiding behind our freedom of religion amendment for too long. Islamic belief needs to have religious status revoked in this country. It’s like calling Nazism a religion. Every muslim reads the same hateful verses in their so-called holybook, the Koran. Get them out of our country.

  28. kbt - December 14, 2019

    In my teen years I lived in P’cola and happened to date primarily aviators. A few months ago the subject came up, and my adult son was cracking up as I told him about this one guy that wouldn’t leave me alone — he was Iranian, and the cultural differences were so great that I was very uncomfortable around him. I tried to avoid him, but he interpreted my lack of interest as attractive meekness and it just made him pursue me more. But I wanted nothing to do with him. My view of him had nothing to do with bigotry. I’m a world traveler and have friends of different religions and from/in varying countries. but this guy scared me. I couldn’t understand why we were training Iranians. Why train pilots that will eventually turn and fire on our men, try to blow our aircraft carriers out of the water? Even as a teenager it made no sense to me. Only Khomeni’s hostage crisis saved me from that Iranian pilot’s attention, I’m sad to say. But I was certainly glad they shipped all those guys back home. Now, forty years later, I can’t understand why we’re doing the same stupid thing. No muslim country will ever be our true ally. It’s just common sense. Going a step further, I’m really not sure how we can allow muslims in our armed forces. I know what that sounds like, but honestly, muslim soldiers are trying to serve two masters. The day will come when they’ll have to choose, and it’s going to be a bad day for us all. I wish Muslims no harm, only that they’d leave us alone. Unfortunately, that would be contrary to their doctrine.

  29. Walter Zoomie - December 14, 2019

    Shoulda nuked the SOBs after 9/11.

  30. Earl Tilford - December 14, 2019

    I spent a good portion of my military life teaching in the Air Force and Army “Professional Military Education” systems at the Air Command and Staff College, Air War College and the Army War College. I also have a doctorate in “American and European Military History, Soviet and East European Politics and History.” The fact that Saudi officers assigned to Naval flight training are being afforded an opportunity to avail themselves of the finest military flying program in the world aside, since Saudi Arabia does not have nor probably ever will have an aircraft carrier, what are they doing in Pensacola? That aside.

    While I was at Maxwell I became friends with a fantastic human being from Saudi Arabia. I never knew his real name because he preferred to be called simply “Bleuie.” When Bleuie was a major at Air Command and Staff College he signed up for an optional M.A. in Military History offered by Air University in conjunction with the University of Alabama. I taught several courses in that program, including “American Military History,” “Air Power History,” and “The Vietnam War.” Bleuie’s English was not exceptional so he came to me for advice about hiring a tutor. I recommended a retired USAF officer with a PhD from Duke who had taught at the Air Force Academy. When Bleuie finished the course successfully, he offered to fly me and his tutor to Washington to meet the Saudi Ambassador and stay there as guests of the his country. We politely declined stating our official affiliation with the Air Force forbade accepting such generous gifts. During his stay, Major Bleuie often broke bread with us. He became a personal friend.
    In 1990 I was elated to hear he’d made brigadier general and was returning to Air University as a student at the Air War College. Then the Iraqis invaded Kuwait and Bleuie’s orders were cancelled. I heard he was in charge of the Saudi Air Force’s Airborne Command and Control program. The following year, I was gratified to see Bleuie back at Air University. We hugged, and I noted, “You”re wearing Saudi colonel’s insignia. I heard you were promoted to brigadier general. He answered that he was now a major general but he did not want to were his rank insignia noting that ‘too many foreign officers do that to lord it over their classmates. I won’t do it.”

    “Colonel Bleuie” showed up this time with his entire family to include several wives, a crew of servants, chefs, and bodyguards. He rented an entire block of townhouses in a local apartment complex. In those days I daily ran the six-mile course around the Maxwell Air Force Base runway which also included park and recreation areas. On Sundays I’d see Bleuie playing soccer with his children and possibly other Saudi officers. He acquired a mini-bus to haul his kids around. At Christmas I received a nice invitation to the club house at the townhouse complex where he rented. It was an “Invitation to all my Christian and Jewish Friends to a Middle Eastern Feast.” Faculty, students to include a contingent from Israel, and their wives were treated to a fantastic evening of food, drink, and music.

    Bleuie was a gentleman. A kind and compassionate man. I made several trips to the United Arab Emirates and to Israel in the years since. I always hoped to run into him there since the trips I made to the region were connected to international security concerns, but I never did. I also experienced Arab hospitality, which is lavish but also comes with certain strings attached. From Tel Aviv to Dubai there are a myriad of cultures that clash with one another and with the Judeo-Christian West.

    On my first trip to Abu Dhabi in 1998, I gave a presentation titled, “The Future of War.” At that time I was Director of Research for the U.S. Army’s Strategic Studies Institute and we were tasked with looking out to 2015 to determine the strategic paradigm and what strategies might be appropriate for meeting future challenges. We got it right, frighteningly so since we predicted massive unrest throughout the region and that Russia would not return to the global fray before 2015 and that by then China would be moving from regional to global hegemonic behavior. During the question and answer period a Saudi colonel asked, “Do you think a war between the Christian West and the Islamic world is inevitable?”

    I was caught off guard. It was my first visit to the United Arab Emirates and the hospitality had been overwhelming. I stammered a foolish answer. “Why no!” I exclaimed, then stupidly elaborated. “Why we share so very much. We love our families, we cherish freedom, we worship the same God.” The Saudi colonel kept to his feet and yelled, “We do not worship the same god! You are a polytheist infidel and not a worshiper of Allah!” He continued until several robbed ushers intervened. I stated something like, “I apologize for offending you.” There were no more questions but I was invited back to speak a few more times over the years.

    It’s a complex world. We make alliances and not necessarily friendships. Right now it is in our interest to ally ourselves with the Saudis against a common threat from Iran. That will change as the world changes. But what we must do is harken to our own culture and, perhaps, take a cue from Shakespeare. “To thine own self be true and it will follow at the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man.”

    Earl Tilford

    1. Jim Epting - December 14, 2019

      I remember Blueie. Thank you for still having the strength and courage expressed in your comments. God (ours) Bless You!. JimE

  31. […] The piece we posted here on December 9 from from a former instructor at NAS Pensacola (What Really Happened at NAS Pensacola, and Why) has gone viral across the Internet and generated an array of compelling responses. Some are so […]

  32. Ronnnn - December 14, 2019

    Always remember the Muslin definition of PEACE. “Only when Sharia is the law of the land”.

  33. Marty - December 15, 2019

    I totally understand the grief being experienced with this and I am not surprised at all that is was a saudi who (again) did this.

    I was working in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia as an Australian contractor to the Royal Saudi Air Force (1997-2006). My daily task was to teach Saudi maintainers to load munitions to Tornado Bombers purchased from the British.

    I remember turning up to work on 9/11 for late shift and within minutes the first aircraft had struck the world trade center tower in NYC. What struck me as strange was that all of the Saudi trainees were standing around the TV in the minutes prior to the first strike watching the Saudi news. This never happened. Then the cheering and celebrating came, then the second aircraft struck live on TV.

    Immediately I knew this was terrorism and I also knew that each and every Saudi in the room “knew” that something was going to occur and to watch the tv that afternoon (Saudi time).

    The whole country was in on the ‘secret’ and I dare say the Royal Family was in on it too.

    I called my British girlfriend not long after as she worked in one of the local hospitals and told her to pack her bags as we might have to get out of here pretty quick.

    interestingly, in the days that followed after the USA attacked the terrorist traikning camps in Afghanistan, the Saudi’s got very worried indeed. Now why would they be worried if they had nothing to do with it???

    Until we stop being suckers for their oil and arms purchases, this sort of stuff will continue.

    RIP to the guys who didn’t make it

  34. John - December 17, 2019

    As part of the problem solving, the author would only like to see commissioned officers and senior enlisted armed. The author assumes that this group of military personnel are the only personnel with the maturity, skillset, and mindset to be armed. Would the author like to clarify why s/he seems to distrust junior enlisted personnel with firearms. I’m sure that the whole of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Community would disagree with the author on that one.

  35. Ashely Seiler - December 19, 2019

    This article is in accurate in one major detail…the shooter had been in school for a year and a half. He didn’t get it all done in less than 5 days.

  36. Arkay - December 23, 2019

    Let’s see if I get this right: A U.S. military base where the personnel on this base are not permitted to carry weapons to defend said base?? If I told a 5-year-old, he’d look at me like what a stupid world you adults have created.

    What was the thinking behind creating such an idiotic rule as that? Shop owners and security personnel in corporations carry. Security checks with armed security guards check the public entry to governmental institutions. A military base, where background checks supposedly were done should have weeded out the insane, but permitted the sane to carry weapons.

    On another point: Whatever the Saudis believe, that’s their business. However, it’s the business of the U.S. military to not accept them in any program on American soil unless they follow the rules. If they don’t follow the rules, they should be suspended from the program and their money refunded. If the U.S. government or private universities or any entity under the planet accepts their bribery money, then it’s no more original than “selling your soul for a pound of flesh.” “Selling your soul” to the devil is as old as the hills.

    Payback is loss of innocent lives, terrorist attacks on American soil. The complete sellout is when loyal, patriotic, brave men and women are willing to serve their country, but have to bend to rules of engagement that politicians invent to stay in office and fill their coffers. The sellout of one’s soul has huge consequences. The enemy laughs all the way to the bank. He sees that American institutions can be bought. This feeds into his already inculcated feelings of superiority. This superior arrogance is embedded in them from childhood. They are taught that the West are inferior. The West have dirty feet and minds. The West are destructive, blah! blah! blah! They spit on the West. When we kowtow to them and sell our souls, we’re just feeding into their already twisted view of the world.

    Remember Rudy Giuliani returning the ten million dollar check to the Saudi prince after 9-11?? That spoke volumes. Too bad we have forgotten what it means to have a spine. When I say “we” I’m referring to a sick segment of the American public that has forgotten the value of the freedoms they trample upon.

  37. Joe - January 2, 2020

    As a close up and personal Bay of Pigs and the USS Maddox BS I have formed the following attitude. Bring all our troops home. Spend the Aide and the money saved and build a Defense system 2nd to none. 15 or 17 yrs in the Middle East and the latest lack of Support from the Iraqi gov’t at our Embassy should finally make us understand they do not want us there. Marty you said it all. Our Gov’t knows this and because of Arms sales to these savages we turn a blind eye. President Trump did not allow another Benghazi. FBI investigate are you for real?? I have been trying to get updates on this but I guess it will take quite some time to cover things up. We have been dummied up by the PC crowd. We justify destroying of our flag display irreverence for those who were sent abroad to defend what she stands for. The PC crowd will attempt to take away portions of our Constitution. If they can legislate to come into your home to confiscate your means to defend yourself in total disregard for the right too defend ourselves. “against all enemies Foreign & DOMESTIC” I am afraid those elected Officials will make those of us who swore the Oath carry out that Oath. Hope it does not come to that. Do not think it will not.

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