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The Debrief

Posted by Jolly on October 5, 2011

I found this book called "The Debrief" by JD Murphy and WM Duke.  Evidently it's a pitch for the corporate world to take on fighter pilot debrief techniques as a method of improving efficiency in an organization.  Here’s what they say about the book:

"For the last 50 years, elite U.S. Fighter Pilots and Special Operations teams have discovered and used a secret to continuous improvement - a tool every enterprise can benefit from. This is the disciplined and effective debrief... something most company’s talk about but don't know how to do. Whether it's called reflection, feedback, or postmortem - debriefing after every project or event is not an option - it's an imperative!"

 Do you think they included the techniques used by Homer and Deacon in this no shit fighter pilot debrief?  You be the judge.

The Debrief

Two absolutes exist in fighter aviation—1) The military will do everything in it’s power to rescue a downed airman; and  2) Farts are funny—any time, any place—at a funeral—during a speech—having sex—settling into a dentist’s chair—always funny.  If you believe that it is not immediately funny, try telling the story just 24 hours later without laughing—it can’t be done.  It’s Newton’s Fourth Law of the Physical Universe—Farts are Funny.   The confluence of these two absolutes makes for an interesting story. 

The sortie was a Combat Search and Rescue Exercise, better known as a CSAR-Ex.  The purpose is to prepare for an event that we all hope will never occur, the rescue of a downed airman, or in today’s case, an enlisted Intel chick posing as a downed airman.  For the purposes of this tale, the sortie itself will be summed up succinctly—it was chaotic but successful. The debrief, however, was another story.

Regulations require all aircrew members attend the CSAR-Ex debrief, that sacred bastion of fighter aviation where the real learning occurs.  It was here, in the hallowed halls of The Intake, where the paths of Combat Rescue and flatulence crossed—irrevocably and unforgettably to all who attended. 

Enter the FART MACHINE—a Fartual Reality comedic prop of epic proportions.  The FART MACHINE is to the Whoopee Cushion as the Trigonometric Calculator is to the Abacus.  Activated by remote control and capable of making five distinct fart sounds, named colloquially:  The Short, The Long, The Double, The Joker, and the Tear Ass; the FART MACHINE is a sure candidate for a Poolitzer Prize

Shortly before the debrief began, covert insertion of the FART MACHINE into an inconspicuous, yet acoustically beneficial locale was required. OPERATION AIR BISCUIT went off without a hitch, the FART MACHINE deposited into the cavernous bowels of the computer desk at the front of the room with a clear avenue of fire for the remote control necessary to trigger the device.  The proximity to the walls of the computer desk ensured good reverb and terrific tonal quality.   A quick check of the IR Remote was deemed necessary (Homer, the triggerman, was located in the back of the room to detract from the possibility of being associated with the anal utterances) and accomplished as the aircrew were milling about talking loudly—“phfffft” (That would be THE SHORT) the decibel level of the conversation keeping the test toot inaudible but to the most discerning ears.  The A-10 pilot closest to the machine was heard to mutter under his breath, “Who stepped on a duck?”  Operational Check—A. OK. 

The debrief came began formally with a declaration from the Mission Commander—and an abrupt “phfffftttttttttttttt” from the FART MACHINE  (That would be THE LONG).  Snickers from the front row, raised eyebrows on heads that swiveled attempting to find the culprit that booted at such an inopportune moment, and stifled laughter that threatened to shake the rank off of the shoulders of those in the know.  Bobbaloo immediately turned to Deacon and uttered quietly but firmly, “Don’t do that again,” as if Deacon were some sort of Asstriloquist, capable of throwing his farts like a demented Edgar Bergen.  Deacon shrugged his shoulders, showed his hands to be empty, thus proving his innocence, and wiped the tears of laughter from his cheeks.  Bondo fought to regain his composure, an heroic struggle in which he fought bravely but vainly.  In the back of the room, Homer carefully studied the tops of his boots, straining to keep a straight face, knowing he would be an immediate suspect if a smile so much as crossed his face.  The two Brits in the front row were apoplectic with this display of typical American manners.  Standby for round two.

The second wave was a showstopper.  Extensive R & D had proven that THE LONG was always followed by THE DOUBLE, a particularly laughter provoking, two-tone, 4 second, 80 decibel faux fart guaranteed to elicit giggles from even the most proper of people.  Homer decided that discretion being the better part of valor; he would not unleash THE DEADLY DOUBLE until there was sufficient noise to partially drown out some of the noise.  Fortunately, he messed up the timing.

“Any questions on the plan?”  “PHHFFT—ZEEEEEEEEEEEEPSSSSSSSSSSTTTTTT” Several things happened simultaneously—Bondo, already having lost the earlier battle with stifled laughter, now lost the war—game over.  Bobbaloo leaned forward and mouthed “Knock It Off, “ to the entire row of Eagle Drivers—didn’t work.  The F-16 squadron commander stood up and looked under his seat.  One Brit actually said “Pardon me,” and looked embarrassed; the CFACC giggled; every female in the room looked straight ahead and acted like they hadn’t heard anything;  Homer, tears streaming down his face, realized his complicity in the flatulent affair was most surely apparent—but also must have recognized that he was on the brink of making comedy history.

The brief continued for an agonizing 30 minutes, each short moment of silence the possible harbinger of round three.  We eagerly awaited the next salvo, trusting Homer’s comedic genius to discover the proper time to unleash what would be the poop de grace.  We waited, savoring the anticipation—and waited, and waited, and waited.  The Mission Commander ended his brief and offered up the floor to the CFACC for comments.  We watched in horror mixed with pure joy as the CFACC sat down on the computer desk, his derriere located—unbelievably, incredibly—18 inches directly above the Machine.  Bondo experienced such rapture he had an out of body experience; Bobbaloo began sweating like a sumo wrestler in a sauna—and Homer froze.  For two long minutes the CFACC spoke unheard of lessons learned, all the while poised unknowingly over the abyss of embarrassment—and THE FART MACHINE lay as silent as Marcel Marceau playing the quiet game.  The debrief ended, Homer slinking out the back door without even retrieving the Machine.

Most will never know what happened to Homer that day.  In hushed whispers people speak of words like “judgment” and “prudence.”  It was rumored that someone once claimed that Homer was scared—that man now eats through a straw.  Some who have known Homer the longest like to believe a technical malfunction was to blame, claiming loudly as if to convince themselves, “He tried, but the batteries died . . . the batteries just died.” 

I was the last one out of the debrief that day.  Spying a small black object near the back of the room, I picked up the remote control that Homer had dropped in his hurried egress from the scene of the crime.  I held it in my hand as I thought back to past Homeric shenanigans—broken ribs and punctured lungs while jet skiing in Half Moon Bay, tattooed enlisted chicks at Key West Base Ops, his ass hanging out of the window of an Air Force Bus in Hawaii—a small yet representative sample of Homerisms.  With these exploits fresh in my mind, I was confident once again in his utter lack of judgment in matters not pertaining to aviation.  I pointed the remote control at The FART MACHINE, already knowing it would not work—could not work.  I pressed the button and from the front of the room there was silence—followed by a sound like a chain falling off a desk onto a tile floor




Say it ain’t so.



You may want to wear this FU Shirt at your next fighter pilot debrief! No Slugs.....





Posted by Jolly on
Jolly--thanks for making me laugh my ass off today! Does it say anything about us that fart humor never fails to entertain?

Posted by Doc on

Posted by resqav8r on
that's some funny shite ... made me remember a CSARX defrief at the Lick that was hella funny. Sure loved ONW compared to OEF/IF. CRZYi
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