Streams

Top Gun: Air Force Fighter Pilot

Friday, May 24, 2013

Lt. Col. Dan Hampton, F-16 fighter pilot and now author of Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat(William Morrow, 2013) talks about his career as a decorated U.S. fighter pilot, and what the new age of drone-warfare means for pilots like him.

Guests:

Lt. Col. Dan Hampton

Comments [50]

Lick the Hands Which Feed you from United States

Now we know that President Obama deliberately lied to the American people to get reelected twice on issue after issue. Obama admits that he knows nothing about anything. He has apologized for his incompetence, ignorance and deliberate lies. He admits that had so little concern for America and the American people that he didn't bother to do his job or honor his oath. He holds so little respect for his own cabinet that he never meets with them. His only enemy in the world is the Tea Party and Republicans, not Iran or other people trying to kill Americans or our allies. He will negotiate with any enemy but not with republicans. His government agencies attack the American people. He provide thousands of firearms directly to Mexican Cartels and is responsible for the deaths of more than 300 Mexicans including women and children. Any President that admits to the above has neither earned or deserves any respect of any type. He should be impeached. Regardless of your party or initial support for the President if you still support him - "We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” Samuel Adams.

Nov. 16 2013 09:55 AM
Lick the Hands Which Feed you from United States

Now we know that President Obama deliberately lied to the American people to get reelected twice on issue after issue. Obama admits that he knows nothing about anything. He has apologized for his incompetence, ignorance and deliberate lies. He admits that had so little concern for America and the American people that he didn't bother to do his job or honor his oath. He holds so little respect for his own cabinet that he never meets with them. His only enemy in the world is the Tea Party and Republicans, not Iran or other people trying to kill Americans or our allies. He will negotiate with any enemy but not with republicans. His government agencies attack the American people. He provide thousands of firearms directly to Mexican Cartels and is responsible for the deaths of more than 300 Mexicans including women and children. Any President that admits to the above has neither earned or deserves any respect of any type. He should be impeached. Regardless of your party or initial support for the President if you still support him - "We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” Samuel Adams.

Nov. 16 2013 09:53 AM
JP from Providence, RI

Did an Air Force officer just insult the President? I couldn't believe Hampton said President Obama was unqualified to community organize much less qualified to be Commander in Chief. Hampton embarrasses the good name and service of the US Air Force. He seemed reasonable until the bombshell at the end. And Jami didn't bother to challenge Hampton on his extremely inappropriate insult.

May. 29 2013 11:59 PM
C. Owen from New Jersey

Like many here, I was appalled by the guest's comments. One has to wonder what his plan was when he accepted the invitation to be interviewed. Brian's audience is diverse, but I'd guess most of us generally approve of the President's overall perspective and policy goals. If the guest was trying to sell books (which is the most likely reason for his appearance) then he's a fool; not many of us would care to read his book given his rather stupid comments. I appreciate the views of smarter conservatives, and have no interest in the nuttier variety. The guest would seem to fall in the latter category.

May. 25 2013 01:48 PM
john from office

Thankfully, history will remember President Obama, this self involved A-hole will be dust and forgotten.

May. 25 2013 12:11 PM
Fareh from New york

Brian Lehrer never leave your show to this lady again! Ruined my day! Why did she laugh when Dan clearly insulted the president of this country. I'm not going to try to list his credentials because I think their fairly obvious and I would say he is at least more qualified to be a community leader in Chigago than Dan is!

May. 25 2013 07:27 AM
Nixxnaxx

Imagine my horror at listening rob this guest host giggling and encouraging such vile and disrespectful views. Could she not have collected herself and contained her guest? She seemed very encouraging to this egotistical blowhard.

May. 25 2013 12:13 AM

Col. Hampton is no patriot. He is a coward and (dare I say it) a traitor. He referred to the U.S. President--HIS president--as "that guy," and assaulted the President's name and honor. Col. Hampton is also clearly bigoted and ignorant. As a proud American, I am ashamed that he is/was a colonel.

May. 24 2013 07:50 PM
Kris Bennett from Oregon

As the daughter of an Air Force Pilot (Colonel) and an Army Nurse (Captain) I was appalled at Lt. Col. Hampton's unproffessional, disrespect for our Commander and Chief. While he is certainly entitled to his opinion, speaking as a Lt. Col. on National Radio I would expect him to not use his forum to bash the President. He also seemed to miss the point about the fact that because drones missiles are smaller they can be more precise and thus cause less collateral damage than the huge bombs he dropped or missles he fired. This man was not a very good spokesman for the Air Force.
While he might have been a good pilot, he must have not have had the skills or leadership ability to be promoted to full Colonel. (I assume he retired as Lt. Col. or what he said about the President would indeed be considered treason).

May. 24 2013 07:16 PM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Nice job today here on OBAMA PUBLIC RADIO avoiding Lois Lerner and the thug Barry Obama's corrupt political scandals.

Spying on the press....gee, what spying?

Maybe WNYC should take the 5th.

Arrest Little Barry.

May. 24 2013 04:33 PM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Nice job today here on OBAMA PUBLIC RADIO avoiding Lois Lerner and the thug Barry Obama's corrupt political scandals.

Spying on the press....gee, what spying?

Maybe WNYC should take the 5th.

Arrest Little Barry.

May. 24 2013 04:33 PM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Nice job today here on OBAMA PUBLIC RADIO avoiding Lois Lerner and the thug Barry Obama's corrupt political scandals.

Spying on the press....gee, what spying?

Maybe WNYC should take the 5th.

Arrest Little Barry.

May. 24 2013 04:33 PM

I'm assuming that the Lieutenant Colonel is currently on a "non-active", "out-of-uniform" status to be able to offer his negative opinions of the current "fakir-in-chief". (Did Mr. Lehrer stick his guest host with this "crowd-pleaser" of a guest, or did she select him? (I'm thinking that Mr. Lerher's carefully arched tones might have been enough of a rebuke to satisfy the reputedly tolerant, "Obama-can-do-no-wrong" sycophant mob populating the WNYC audience.)

How could anyone even hint at having more specialized knowledge of military technology than "The One" after reading his voluminous writings on those issues? http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/law/using/centbib.pdf

On the future of unmanned vehicles, whether controlled by remote operators or by "programmed" instructions - in combat, where plans last up until the opponents' first response, I suspect they will be sold as inexpensive, "no-boots-needed" means for justifying initial hostilities. (Whatever measures are called for later will be performed by "barefooted" troops to preserve the credibility of the feckless statesmen-politicians and the credulity of an uncritical citizenry.)

The real challenge will be in the supposedly less chaotic, more predictable civilian uses. Who will be the first to trust the fate of passengers, and potential victims on the ground, to airlines guided by "trained" personnel located in company joy stick ground facilities? You, jgarbuz from Queens? I'll drive you to the airport.

Dios esté con usted, Colonel.

May. 24 2013 04:00 PM
L. DiPasquale from NYC

After hearing some of Hampton's remarks, I felt compelled to check whether he is still actively serving in the military, and was at least somewhat relieved to learn that he is retired. I was completely startled by how he spoke of his Commander in Chief. There are constructive ways of being critical. He was insulting in a completely petty, disrespectful way that disgraced the uniform that he at least used to wear. Whatever his accomplishments in the military, he did not in the interview today conduct himself as an officer and a gentleman. Absolutely disgraceful conduct that greatly diminished his credibility as a serious member of the military.

May. 24 2013 03:21 PM
G.R. from Sutton Place South

I, too, say get that Obama-basher off my radio!

May. 24 2013 03:04 PM
Zuzi from NY

FINALLY, a voice of REASON on NPR. Congratulations to the hostess for being competent and gracious ! Great interview ! And the US is lucky to have such a great military hero !

May. 24 2013 02:38 PM
John Davis from Yonkers, NY

What an appalling interview! Lt. Col. (ret.) Dan Hampton sounded more like a Fox News anchor, and should he have been on active duty making those ludicrous comments about his commander-in-chief he would have been out on his ear post haste.

And his critical assessments were arguably wrong and surprisingly stupid. The record of Air Force bombing by fighter planes is rife with missed targets and huge collateral damage. My father was a command fighter pilot with 80 WWII combat missions and he would have sent that Right Wing nut packing.

Where was Jamie's brain during this comedy? Brian better address this when he returns.
JFD

May. 24 2013 02:23 PM

I apologize to the phone screener for my surliness when I phoned in. I'm glad to see the many comments regarding this egotistical fly-boy with his "Top Gun" mentality challenged; having criticized the host, Ms. Floyd, I can only give her the benefit of the doubt that she was broadsided by the back-street tone of this repulsive guest.

May. 24 2013 01:13 PM
David Tussey, CDR, USN (Ret) from New York City

I am a retired Navy A-7E pilot who flew in the first Gulf War at the end of my career. With 3500+ flight hours and 900+ carrier landings, I think I can go toe-to-toe with Dan Hampton, LtCol, USAF(Ret) regarding tactical aviation.

Hampton's comments regarding the qualifications of our nation's elected Commander-in-Chief are totally unprofessional, and I am ashamed to see an officer and pilot respond with such childish comments. Such comments have no place in the forum of public discussion. Additionally, I was deeply disappointed with his disparaging characterizations of drone "pilots".

This past week, the US Navy celebrated the first carrier landings from an unmanned aircraft (X-47B). Impressive. That event is the vector for tactical aircraft. Hampton's comments, ego aside, do not represent a critical analysis of the manned/unmanned aircraft debate.

I'm disappointed to hear WNYC present such a biased and uninformed viewpoint, not just on the demeaning views of our President, but also of the pertinent military, aviation, and political issues. Not a well done program, and I don't think I'll be buying the book.

WNYC -- you can do better.

May. 24 2013 12:44 PM

@KT - No one is denying his right to have an opinion about the President. I'm also a veteran (spent 9 years in the Navy) but his statement about who's "qualified" to be President sounds like another page out of the right wing Obama hatred book. He should have just stuck with the topic at hand. Comments like that demean the prestige of people who calls themselves Lieutenant Colonel.

May. 24 2013 12:33 PM
KT Norman

So, what now? First this Government plots and accomplishes to silence Freedom of Speech through thug tactics of IRS and now you are all in agreement that a highly decorated Lt. Col. who put his life on the line for you all, can not speak his opinion on this Commander in Chief?

So, only your prized opinions are protected. Is that it? Get off you high horses and agree that he has more guts than all of you put together ... but I forgot, this is WNYC, which I recall, is a "non-profit" getting tax-payer money, with a very left-leaning agenda. So, not to worry, IRS will protect it.

May. 24 2013 12:08 PM

Even a FOX -friendly retired fighter jock should be aware that Obama is qualified per Constitutional criteria. His, I assume birther remark, does no honor & harms the AF.

May. 24 2013 12:02 PM

Dan Hampton is not on active duty. Active duty military personnel are NOT permitted to speak with the media without authorization. Also, they would be strictly forbidden to speak about the Commander in Chief as he did. If he was active duty and spoke about the President that way he did during this interview, the Air Force would throw him out of the service in a NY minute.

May. 24 2013 11:35 AM
Kenehan from Rockland Co., NY

Is Mr. Hampton retired from the USAF? If so, proper protocol requires that, if his rank/affiliation is referenced, his status as a retiree be disclosed. In text, that would look like this: Dan Hampton, Lt.Col., USAF (Ret.). In addressing/referring to him in conversation, use "former (or retired) Lt.Col. Dan Hampton." If he is retired, WNYC should issue a correction and avoid this error in the future.

If he remains affiliated with the USAF (active duty, reservist, or the ever-popular "consultant"), that affiliation should be terminated immediately. This is NOT an infringement on his First Amendment rights. Military service is a privilege, not a right. To take advantage of that privilege one must be bound by - and comply with - the Uniform Code of Military Justice. At his (hopefully former) rank, he knows that and his breach must have consequences for the good of the service.

May. 24 2013 11:35 AM
Soldier's Father from Westchester, NY

@ Robert from Queens: I generally agree with your comments, but a couple of factual corrections:
1. The guest apparently retired from the Air Force in 2006, which is how he is able to write this book and act so disrespectfully to the Commander in Chief -- though I am amazed that the USAF doesn't understand the basic military concept of respecting the rank even if you don't respect the individual. (Then again, the USAF doesn't seem to understand the basic human concept of respecting women).
2. The guest host is Jamie Floyd, who deserves the blame for this poor interview (unfortunately not her first poor performance as a guest host). Janet Babin was only on the first segment (shore damage update); she is a regular WNYC reporter who did a good job on that segment..

May. 24 2013 11:32 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Agree with Amy; dude's presence on the show is not the problem, it's the lack of critical exchange with him. In fairness to Jamie Floyd, time was running out (not to mention she was probably as caught off gaurd as we were)...

May. 24 2013 11:30 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Tom Artin, I wouldn't assume anyone at WNYC knew the guest would make such remarks about his (yes, "his") commander-in-chief when they booked him. But I agree that once he did, Ms. Babbin should have had something to say about it.

May. 24 2013 11:26 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Typical fighter pilot ego.

May. 24 2013 11:20 AM
Robert from Queens

Brian would never have allowed this guest -- who I assume is on active duty? -- diss his commander in chief without sharply questioning such a comment -- and Janet Babin should have (and is probably entirely too compliant to be guest-hosting the show). I'm hardly authoritarian in such matters -- and I actually thought he spoke pretty soundly re Iraq and Afghanistan -- but you don't speak of the commander in chief in anything remotely like such a fashion. And how exactly is your full-of-himself guest qualified to make such judgments (including about Obama as community organizer!) at all?

May. 24 2013 11:15 AM

Google his name and Fox news: they're like coffee and milk: https://www.google.com/#safe=off&sclient=psy-ab&q=lt+col+dan+hampton+fox+news&oq=lt+col+dan+hampton+fox+news&gs_l=serp.3...20238.21816.0.21957.9.9.0.0.0.0.188.1158.2j7.9.0...0.0...1c.1.14.psy-ab.JwcVSWZYLDM&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=90c1937ca3049a12&biw=1280&bih=599

The guy is a right wing tool and WNYC let itself get played. Nice job!

May. 24 2013 11:15 AM
Tom Artin from Rockland County

Shame on WNYC for giving this classic Obama hater a platform for his nastiness. It's one thing to take issue with the President's positions. It's quite another to refer to him with utterly gratuitous disrespect.

May. 24 2013 11:11 AM
Pablo Alto from NYC

His comments calling the sitting Commander-in-Chief "unqualified" to make any military decisions, and that he does not surround himself with "the right people" to make decisions are well within his rights.

They are also uncalled for, disrespectful, and totally in keeping with the atrocious level of public discourse associated with people who adhere to the "values" of the (not so) loyal opposition in this country. While I respect his skills as a pilot, and perhaps even with his assessment of pilots vs. UMAVs, I am deeply disappointed that he would use this platform in this fashion.

Sour grapes must taste really bitter to make him act in this fashion.

May. 24 2013 11:04 AM
john from office

Not buying this book, should show more respect to the president, sorry. No one speaks of this president that way other than a tea party nut.

F U Mr. Author

May. 24 2013 11:03 AM
Stephen from Manhattan

I hope Hampton is retired. His massive ego and lack of respect for our Commander-in-Chief are appalling.

May. 24 2013 11:03 AM
Trish S from NY RIverdale

Wow, I don't care for many of our recent presidents, but if I was in the armed forces I would not allow anyone to speak so disrespectfully about his Commander In Chief. Shame on him!

May. 24 2013 11:02 AM

Nice job there letting him promote his book and trash the president. What is this, Fox News?

May. 24 2013 11:02 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To fuva

Like it or not, we are GOING to "intervene" like it or not. Jefferson intervened to make war on the Barbary Pirates in 1801. The north "intervened" in the South to end slavery. We intervened in WWI to stop Germany from defeating Britain and France. The idea that America will go back to isolationism is simply not going to happen. Why not? Because we have allies and interests, and because we don't want 100 other countries to go nuclear! If we don't help them, they will produce nuclear bombs to protect themselves, and that proliferation threatens us here at home eventually. We "intervened" to stop Castro from getting missiles and nukes from Russia. We will always have strategic interests abroad that will require occasional interventions. Otherwise, we wouldn't need an army or navy at all.

May. 24 2013 11:00 AM
Dan from Manhattan

Wow, way to speak about the President. What a jerk.

May. 24 2013 11:00 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Wow, bad note to go out on. Of course having lighter ammo is the reason drones strikes cause fewer civilian casualties--that's the point.

May. 24 2013 11:00 AM
fuva from harlemworld

The president is "not even qualified to be a community organizer"...? Dude is out of control.

May. 24 2013 11:00 AM
antonio from baySide

A drone criticizing drones...

May. 24 2013 11:00 AM
Guy from NYC

This guy is biased in predictable ways for sure, but how about some balance Jamie? His ignorant attacks on drone pilots and the president don't illuminate anything other than the narrowness of his purview. The more he talks, the more he shows his small mindedness, and the fewer books he's selling.

May. 24 2013 11:00 AM
David Rakowski from Allentown, PA

Nice job allowing that right-wing nut job on the air.

Assuming he's still active duty, what he just said is treason. If he's not he can take his worthless opinions to Fox where they pay people to lie for a living.

May. 24 2013 10:59 AM
hb from Brooklyn

Are you serious? I feel like I'm listening to late night public access paid programming. When did WNYC start airing this type of garbage? Is this supposed to be news? I hate to say it, but for the first time I am deciding to turn WNYC off.

May. 24 2013 10:59 AM

wow

May. 24 2013 10:57 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

What else is a pilot going to say? Of course anyone will defend his profession he's devoted his life, and his livelihood. But the fact is, the human is purely a backup to the automated system. Pilotless planes, driverless cars, and all the rest are INEVITABLE because the computing and software power is there to do it! And so it will be done!

May. 24 2013 10:56 AM
fuva from harlemworld

The honorable guest speaks against intervention in Syria and Afghanistan. What about Iraq?

May. 24 2013 10:52 AM

thank him for his service again

May. 24 2013 10:50 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Autonomous UCAV's are inevitable. In the final analysis, the human is the weakest link in the chain as robots get "smarter and smarter." By the middle of this century, manned aircraft will be the anomaly and their use marginal. Manned aircraft will go the way of the battleship. They will just be sitting ducks, or I should say flying ducks easily picked off. Flying a fighter jet into combat will become as anachronistic as riding a horse into combat, as "glamorous" as that once might have seemed. War will become more by remote control, which is not to say human forces will no longer be necessary, but not in the numbers as was once the case. War will be mostly robotic, as the sci-fi novels, movies and videogames have predicted.

May. 24 2013 10:46 AM

Bad headline!

The Top Gun film was about the Navy Fleet Air Arm & their Air Combat School. This book is about the USAF.

They're all on the same side & they are more unified in combat zones now but you do error to both services,

May. 24 2013 09:56 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.