Welcome to Waitte's Brief
BG-CT Edward J. Waitte (RET) shares stories from his years of service.
One summer as a cadet, future Air Force pilot Jay Waitte rode missions on a B-52 and KC-135. He decided to stick with fighters. When you graduate from the Air Force Academy, you are commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. But before you graduate, they used to call the senior (First-Class) cadets “3rd Lieutenants.” The Air Force used to send us 3rd Lieutenants to bases worldwide during one of the three-week sessions of our Senior Summer to gain further orientation and experience. In the early 1970s, this was a required activity; I’m not sure it is today. I spent my three weeks … Read More
U.S. Air Force Academy cadets participate in a structured summer session. Retired fighter pilot Jay Waitte (Class of 1972) remembers his Sophomore summer. Each summer at the Air Force Academy is a unique experience that prepares you for the challenges you’ll face during your career as an officer. Summer session is 9 weeks long, divided into three segments. You would take one segment off, i.e., you were on leave, unless you chose to do something optional, such as glider lessons or a special research project. Sometimes cadets were required to do an academic study to catch up (I never had to … Read More
Retired Air Force fighter pilot Jay Waitte remembers his training at U.S. Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia. The summer following your sophomore year at the Air Force Academy is referred to as the Junior Summer. During part of that summer, I took Basic Airborne Training (BAT, aka “jump school”) at U.S. Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia. Going to jump school was optional. I did it because it gave me the most time home that summer. Jump school didn’t take the full three weeks. So, I got to add extra time to my summer leave. That meant I could … Read More
Kate Retired Air Force pilot Jay Waitte talks about 48 years of marriage to his wonderful wife, Kate. But it was a close call at first. My wife, Kate. I’ve known her since the 7th grade. I admit she had to put up with a handful. At least in the beginning. Kate’s girlfriend Linda was the maid of honor at our wedding, and I still talk to her. Linda recently told me that they would go to these mixers at Wheaton College. The boys would all circle around Kate like bees to honey. But she didn’t go out with them. … Read More
The Fourth of July Overseas Retired Air Force pilot Jay Waitte talks about the Fourth of July, the English conspirator Guy Fawkes, and what they have in common. You might think that members of the American military in England would make a big thing about the Fourth of July and Independence Day. But not really. I mean, we celebrated it. They might have a parade, they might have some fireworks. It depended on each base. Each base was a little bit different. But they didn’t have the big hoopla like they do in this country on that day. Because it’s … Read More
Fathers, Sons, Airmen Retired Air Force fighter pilot Jay Waitte explains how Father’s Day in his family takes on a special and personal military significance. Military aviation runs in my family. During WWII, my father Edward was a B-24 bombardier, and my wife Kate’s father Fred flew P-51 Mustangs. My brother Mike flew F-111 Aardvarks. And of course, you know I flew F-4 Phantoms and A-10 Warthogs. But the chain extends further, to my son Ethan. He flew the F-16 Fighting Falcon and still flies the F-22 Raptor. That’s one heck of an airplane. Three generations of fathers, sons, airmen. … Read More
Retired Air Force fighter pilot Jay Waitte recalls his Survival Escape Resistance and Evasion (SERE) training experiences at the Air Force Academy. During the summer of 1969, after my freshman year at the Air Force Academy, I went to what they call Survival Escape Resistance and Evasion, or SERE. First, they took us up some 14,000 feet into the mountains of Colorado, where they simulated our getting shot down with these fireworks and stuff. We were transported in big deuce-and-a-half trucks to a compound that looked like a Hogan’s Heroes stockade. Our captors made us get out of the trucks … Read More
Panama Deployment This Memorial Day, retired Air Force fighter pilot Jay Waitte honors the local Union Army soldiers who died to preserve that Union. Next to Broadway Street in Norwich, Connecticut, there’s a small triangle of grass called Little Plains Park. It’s about one thousand feet north of my Waitte’s Insurance Agency office. There’s a 27-foot-tall obelisk in the park, partially obscured by trees. A dedication on the south face reads “To the memory of the 26th Regiment Conn. Volunteer Infantry.” One day about 20 years ago, Bill Stanley, who we used to insure, approached me. At the time, Bill … Read More
Panama Deployment Retired Air Force fighter pilot Jay Waitte recalls his experiences during the U.S. confrontation with Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. Two of Our Guys Are Missing I was deployed to Panama in 1989 as a member of the Connecticut Air National Guard. We were there preparing to support Operation Just Cause, the invasion that eventually led to the arrest of dictator Manuel Noriega on drug charges and other crimes. During the Summer of 1989, we flew training missions around the Panama area. We’d go to bombing ranges, do low-level flights, that sort of thing. One day, I was the … Read More
Happy Mother’s Day! Female soldier with daughter drawing with watercolor paint The draft ended in 1973, at which time only 2 percent of enlisted forces were women. Today women make up 16 percent of active-duty members, some of whom are mothers (Council on Foreign Relations). Recognizing that diversity and inclusion are keys to innovation, branches of the United States Military have taken steps over the years to increase opportunities for female service members (Department of Defense). In 2015, the ban restricting female soldiers in combat was lifted, and women’s participation in military services has slowly continued to grow. For women … Read More
Predator Drones and A Self-Destruct Mechanism A retired Air Force fighter pilot recalls an aerial “drone” that landed in Iran and explains why aircraft never have a “self-destruct” mechanism. One of my son’s good friends in the Air Force became the commander of the Predator squadron out in Creech Air Force Base – it is near Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The procedure with Predator drones is that Air Force personnel are stationed at different areas of operation. They control the takeoff. But when the drone gets to a certain altitude, the people at Creech AFB take control. They … Read More
Willa Beatrice Brown A retired Air Force fighter pilot celebrates aviation pioneer Willa Beatrice Brown. It all began in the early 1930s. Willa Beatrice Brown took her first flight as a new hobby when she was working as a public-school teacher in Chicago. At the time, Chicago was becoming the center of Black aviation, and Willa Brown soon took an active part. A very active part. Brown was inspired by Bessie “Queen Bess” Coleman, who was also from Chicago. In 1922 Coleman was the first Black American woman to earn her wings…only she had to learn to fly and earn … Read More
At Waitte’s Insurance, we are committed to the safety and security of our insurance clients as well as that of our country.
BG-CT Edward J. Waitte shares his experiences in our new blog.
At Waitte’s Insurance we are committed to the safety and security of our insurance clients as well as the that of our country.
Some areas of operation we have served in:
Jay Waitte — Brigadier General-CT; 1968-2010
Panama, (preparing to capture Noriega) Bosnia, Iraq
Mike Waitte — Major; 1977-1997
Ethan Waitte — Lieutenant Colonel; 1996-Present
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