Just days after its first carrier launch, the Navy’s X-47B, the Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D), successfully did a touch and go on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) last week.
Don Blottenberger, UCAS-D Deputy Program manager, commented, “This landing, rubber hitting deck, is extremely fulfilling for the team and is the culmination of years of relative navigation development. Now, we are set to demonstrate the final pieces of the demonstration.”
But does it wear dogtags when it plays volleyball on the beach?
(That’s a Top Gun reference, for those UPT students who weren’t even born when that movie came out…)
The Air Force has identified the three Airmen killed in Friday’s crash of a KC-135 in Kyrgyzstan.
Capt. Mark T. Voss, 27, of Colorado Springs, Colo.,
Capt. Victoria A. Pinckney, 27, of Palmdale, Calif., and
Tech Sgt. Herman Mackey III, 30, of Bakersfield, Calif.
They were apparently a Fairchild AFB-based crew.
Also at AF.mil.
Categories: Fighter Pilot Afghanistan, air force, Aircraft, crash, fairchild, Fighter Pilot, herman mackey, kc-135, kyrgyzstan, manas, mark voss, mcconnell afb, Military, victoria pinckney
Initial reports indicate (and Air Force sources reportedly confirm) a US Air Force KC-135 has crashed after takeoff from Manas, Kyrgyzstan, which is a transit hub for US forces in Afghanistan.
Five people were on board, said Elmira Shyrypova, at the Kyrgyz Emergencies Ministry press office. The U.S. military didn’t give the number of those on the plane and said “the status of the crew is unknown.”
Purported photos of the crash site show KC-135 wing parts and a McConnell AFB tail flash.
KC-135s can carry cargo and are also refuelers for the many fighter aircraft supporting combat operations in Afghanistan.
Also at FoxNews.
An MC-12 Liberty crashed in Afghanistan on Saturday. The four crew members killed were
Capt. Brandon L. Cyr, 28, of…the 906th Air Refueling Squadron, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
Capt. Reid K. Nishizuka, 30, of…the 427th Reconnaissance Read more…
At times, the military has struggled with how to deal with social media, banning access to it from government computers at one point, then specifically allowing access to Facebook at another. In the same vein, some servicemembers have had adverse action over their activities on the internet, including a Marine discharged over comments about President Obama and a Twitter ‘oops’ by another Marine — while the military simultaneously encourages its troops to “engage” in social media for family, health, morale, and even public relations reasons.
A recent statement by the Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Office attempted to lend more thought to the sometimes confusing area, noting that servicemembers are free to express themselves, within some fairly liberal limits: Read more…
After much controversy, the “Distinguished Warfare Medal,” which was purportedly designed to recognize those who contribute to the battlefront without being there, has been eliminated by the Secretary of Defense:
Just two months after its creation, Hagel said the Pentagon will replace the DWM with a device that can be attached to other previously existing medals.
The pejoratively-nicknamed “drone medal” was the subject of Read more…
LtGen Craig Franklin is the 3rd Air Force Commander and the convening authority for the court martial of LtCol James Wilkerson, the Aviano F-16 pilot who was convicted of sexual assault at court-martial.
LtGen Franklin vacated the ruling and dismissed the case, a move that has been strongly criticized.
A few have missed the fact that Gen Franklin had to make either an affirmative or negative decision on the recommendation of the court-martial — there was no neutral position. He chose not to approve the ruling, as was his authority, and he explained Read more…
Heavy contract training pilots — that’s heavy as in how much they weigh, not what they’re flying — for a US Army helicopter course have filed a lawsuit as a result of the Army’s attempt to limit their weight to 250 pounds:
Aside from the union, the suit was filed by six flight instructors whose weight ranges from 252 to 272 pounds, including their Read more…
The US Navy reported an F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed while operating off the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the North Arabian Sea:
Search and Rescue (SAR) swimmers from an SH-60F of HS-5 “Night Dippers” recovered the two aircrew and safely delivered them back to the carrier.
Unlike Air Force reports, which withhold details until a month-long investigation is completed, the initial Navy release speculated as to the cause of the crash:
The two aircrew, from VFA-103 “Jolly Rogers” based in Virginia Beach, Va., safely ejected from their jet when it incurred an engine failure at 12:20 p.m. local time.
In case you were wondering, the F/A-18 has two engines.
The US Air Force identified the F-16 pilot killed in Afghanistan last week as Capt James Steel, a 2006 US Air Force Academy graduate and Shaw Air Force Base pilot.
The F-16 reportedly crashed while on a night final approach to Bagram Air Base after his fragged sortie. News reports do not indicate a family, other than his father, retired MajGen Robert Steel.
An American F-16 has reportedly crashed in Afghanistan, killing the pilot. The ISAF release noted only that a plane had crashed, though other news sources identified the nationality as US:
A U.S. military pilot was killed when his F-16 fighter jet crashed while on a night flight over mountainous terrain in Afghanistan, officials said Thursday.
The articles seem to indicate it was not likely a result of hostile fire.
His identity has been withheld pending notification of next of kin.
The Christian Post quoted President Obama making a remark about wanting to don a fake mustache to tour Israel incognito.
In an interview taped at the White House earlier this week, the president said, “Sometimes I have this fantasy that I can put on a disguise, wear a fake mustache and I can wander through Tel Aviv and go to a bar and have a conversation.”
Admittedly, it has nothing to do with the fighter pilot tradition of Mustache March (which is virtually officially recognized by the Air Force), but the timing is right.
The US Navy announced three crewmembers were killed in an E/A-6B Prowler crash near Spokane, Washington.
A source familiar with the crash confirmed that there were three people onboard the aircraft…[from] a fleet replacement squadron that trains pilots, naval flight officers and maintainers…
FRSs are responsible for training freshly winged pilots and NFOs straight from flight school, as well as ones that have been out of the cockpit for an extended period of time, or ones that are learning to fly an entirely new type of aircraft.
Also via the Associated Press.
John Mollison is an artist with a unique calling. To quote his website, he
interview[s] old guys and draw[s] their airplanes.
And he does a fine job of it. His website contains much of his work, including his current project.
His site also contains some unique historical artifacts. Notably, he has Read more…
Warning: This official US Navy photo may be considered offensive in some US Air Force units…
U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate
An official DoD article notes the continuing tradition of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders taking part in USO tours:
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have partnered with the USO for the last 34 years…
Two cheerleaders…[are] currently on a USO overseas Read more…