USAF Commandeers Santa Claus’ North Pole Operation, Establishes 1st Heavy Lift Aerial Squadron (HLAS)
by Untactic Al
December 14, 2019
THULE, GREENLAND (Thule, Air Base) – Military organizations are intensely interested in logistics, and have been since the first large armies were formed. The U.S. DoD is no exception and in this case the USAF is at the epicenter of a controversy with this far-reaching consequences.
Desert Storm was a wakeup call to the USAF in many ways, especially from a logistics point of view. The sheer number of troops and volume of materiel moved over a few short months into the theater were only exceeded by those of World War II. Airlift was stretched to the breaking point and the combined loads and sorties shortened the planned lives of many of the USAF’s cargo aircraft. The situation became so dire that the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) was activated and civilian airliners and cargo aircraft were called to duty.
The logistical difficulties experienced by the USAF during Desert Storm caused leadership to sit up and take notice. Various scientific and research elements of the USAF were tasked to discover and examine other modes and methods of moving large number of troops and equipment rapidly to any spot on the globe. Numerous methods were suggested but each was eventually discounted either due to low transit speeds or the inability to carry heavy loads over strategic distances. Article 107 News has obtained the following exclusive information on the the condition of anonymity.
Then one fateful day this last March, a science geek at Air Force Research Labs remembered the master logistician that he had known since childhood – Santa Claus. He noted that Santa had the ability to deliver billions of tons of cargo anywhere in the world in a single 24-hour mission on a single upload of fuel. From this concept came a research White Paper, of which the title and contents are classified Top Secret SAR (Special Access Required).
The White Paper was fast-tracked through various levels of the Air Force and then funded into a program using non-defined and non-allocated funds. The program was assigned the code name “Have Claws” in a less than subtle attempt of a double meaning pun. The finalized product was presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee which fully approved and funded what is now known as the 1st HLAS (Heavy Lift Aerial Squadron) under the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command.
Under the auspices of the Civil Reserve Aircraft Fleet (CRAF), the complete North Pole operation, personnel, facilities, and equipment were commandeered by the USAF and directed to operate under, and be compliant with, current AF standards.
Pictured above: 1st HLAS conducting flight operations.
Hordes of Air Force IG (Inspector General) teams descended upon the North Pole in late October to inspect the compliance of the program and subsequently declared an overall grade of “Fail” at the outbrief. The Team Commander reported the 1st HLAS was a worse fail than all the other AF IG inspection fails over the last 20 years combined. Things reportedly got so heated that Mrs. Claus had a nervous breakdown and had to be sedated.
Here are some of the highlights of the IG findings, if you can call them highlights.
- Flightline Quality Assurance (QA) conducted PEs (Personnel Evaluations) on elf mechanics. None of the elves use approved tech data when working on the sleigh and the associated support equipment. It was further determined that no tech data existed and the elves performed maintenance based on memory of oral instructions passed down over centuries. Even if tech data had been available, it was eventually discovered that the elves were all illiterate, save for a few supervisors who were only ever found in the break areas with big mugs of hot cocoa.
- Tools were not calibrated, nor was there a calibration program or even a working tool control program.
- QA also performed a Quality Verification Inspection (QVI) on the primary squadron aircraft. This also resulted in a “Fail” and grounding of the sleigh. No aircraft 781 forms were available as they had not ever been created. Safety wire was missing from all fasteners, tubing and wiring were incorrectly routed, gages were not calibrated and critical items such as windshields, wipers, and safety harnesses were missing. The cargo area of the vehicle was missing the required cargo tie down points and non-slip taping.
- The physical fitness program was in dire need of overhaul and enforcement, with the commander being the worst offender. He was found to exceed the maximum waist measurement by 225%, and due to that he was unable to do even one pushup or situp. His run time was also a fail with him having to stop every half a lap for milk and cookies. The Med team determined that much of his weight gain occurred over the Christmas holidays due to binge eating and poor food choices. He was placed on a Fitness Improvement Program (FIP) which is past non-PC years was referred to as The Fat Boy Program. The elves, although relatively fit, suffer from diabetes and hyperglycemia due to a diet consisting of nearly 100% candy canes.
- Not one individual was current for any of the mandatory ancillary training, nor had anyone attended any of the academies or leadership schools. The worst offense was that there were no Community College of the Air Force graduates, nor was anyone even enrolled.
- Elves in production areas used various hand tools and power equipment to build product and not a one used hearing protection, eye protection or hand guards. AFOSH (Air Force Occupational Safety and Health) instructions were completely ignored, to the point that a printed copy was being used as a stand for the hot cocoa machine.
- Due to needs of the government, production areas were to be converted for the manufacture of military equipment, in particular chemical warfare gear and auto-injector antidote pens. This conversion had not been accomplished and elves were still making holiday consumer goods such as decorations and children’s toys. The IG Team directed an immediate halt to production and sent all inventory to a nearby burn pit where it was destroyed. However, they did permit the stockpile of crayons to be retained as they are part of the standard equipment for Marines.
- The IG team concluded the squadron organization was autocratic and its leadership determined to be “toxic” as defined by the Air Force, with Colonel Claus micromanaging down to the smallest detail and employing a dictatorial approach, while promoting an outward image of laisseze-faire jolliness. His Deputy Commander, Mrs. Lt. Col Claus was assessed as too friendly and easy-going with subordinates and never issues any form of disciplinary actions. The IG could not find one example of an issued Article 15, LOR (Letter of Reprimand) or even an LOC (Letter of Counseling).
The IG was not fooled by Col Claus’ outward image of “laisseze-faire jolliness”.
- Awards Program – nonexistent.
- Duty hours and Leave. Workers are forced to work seven days a week on 12-hour shifts. The only day off appears to be December 25th. This is one of the few evaluated areas that the IG Team rated as Excellent.
- One part of the facility was used to house livestock, in this case a small herd of reindeer. There is no veterinarian on site, with the nearest being in Canada. One animal was noted as having a chronic nasal infection which was so severe that it had turned from its normal black color to a bright red. The IG determined the illness was untreatable, that the animal was suffering and directed the animal be euthanized. This was accomplished within 15 minutes and the carcass disposed of in the burn pit.
- Inspection of the primary vehicle revealed that it was not fitted with a Mode 4 IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system and therefore could not be allowed to fly in NORAD airspace. A mod kit was dispatched and arrived on time, but the AF install specialists have been delayed due to the unavailability of a Four Star hotel, rental cars, and adequate dining facilities.
The IG team directed the cessation of all 1st HLAS operations until corrections can be made to bring operations in line with current Air Force directives. The IG Team Commander also removed both Col Claus and Mrs. Lt Col Claus due to loss of confidence in their leadership abilities. Additionally, the elves are all being mandatorily retired and replaced by Civil Service Depot workers and the livestock have been transferred to a rescue group in Norway.
Col. and LtCol. Claus’ are notified of their removal from command.
The IG Team Commander, Col Hugh Dushbag, closed the outbrief with this final remark:
The strategic nature of airlift capability provided by the 1st HLAS is critical to the warfighting capability of the USAF and ultimately the other military branches. Due to the constraints caused by years of military budget cutbacks, lack of funding for new aircraft, and decades of Continuing Resolutions by Congress we are unable to even support a small regional conflict without a fully functioning 1st HLAS. Because of this, the United States Air Force is committed to rebuilding this unit and current plans are that it be combat coded C3 by the end of FY 2022. While we appreciate the past service of the outgoing leadership and their subordinate personnel, we find that a clean sweep is necessary to bring this critical squadron into complete operational service.
Fly, Fight, Win!
So that my dear readers is the real poop. What the Grinch tried unsuccessfully to accomplish for decades, the USAF has done in less than a year.
Prior to joining the Article 107 News Team, Untactic Al had a controversial and checkered 36-year career in the United States Air Force. He recently received his DD-214 blankie. The fact that he made it as far as he did merely illustrates the incompetence of his leadership.
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