One of the F-16's scrambled to intercept Flight 93 before it got to Washington, was flown by a woman. And she was sent up there, without a single thing to shoot that commercial airliner down with.
“We wouldn’t be shooting it down. We’d be ramming the aircraft,” Penney recalls of her charge that day. “I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.”…
They screamed over the smoldering Pentagon, heading northwest at more than 400 mph, flying low and scanning the clear horizon. Her commander had time to think about the best place to hit the enemy.
“We don’t train to bring down airliners,” said Sasseville, now stationed at the Pentagon. “If you just hit the engine, it could still glide and you could guide it to a target. My thought was the cockpit or the wing.”
He also thought about his ejection seat. Would there be an instant just before impact?
“I was hoping to do both at the same time,” he says. “It probably wasn’t going to work, but that’s what I was hoping.”
Penney worried about missing the target if she tried to bail out.
“If you eject and your jet soars through without impact . . .” she trails off, the thought of failing more dreadful than the thought of dying.
Now, let's begin with the shameful part of this nugget. Somehow, with the BILLIONS upon BILLIONS our nation spends on military and defense, we were caught so badly with our pants down that day, the only thing on our "rapid response" fighters was a nice glossy coat of tire shine on the wheels.
The F-16 can be armed with any of the following array of bad-ass armaments: AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, HARM's, Hydra 70 rockets, bombs, and a bunch of other crap too numerous to spell out here. It also has an onboard M61 Vulcan cannon gatling gun, which I suppose was doing nothing more than holding paper clips or old Pentagon receipts.
I guess that's bureaucracy for you.
Yet despite that, our bravest men - AND WOMEN - ran into harm's way on that day, without a moment's hesitation. And they did so, against an enemy who thinks the only place for women in their society is under a bedsheet, and in constant fear of severe beatings or a good stoning.
Our women, are given the opportunity to fly a high tech modern marvel that requires steel nerves, intelligence that is off the charts, and costs $14 million each.
They will also give their own life, to save others.
Welcome to America. I've never been prouder.