The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor recently rolled out a freshly repainted F-16A with the name of retired Air Force Gen Gary “Nordo” North on the cockpit. Gen North — then a LtCol and squadron commander of the 33FS — was flying an F-16 when he shot down a MiG-25 violating the Southern No Fly Zone over Iraq in 1992.
The kill marked the first-ever air-to-air kill by an F-16, and also the first-ever air-to-air kill with an AIM-120 AMRAAM — much to the chagrin of the F-15 Eagles whose sole role was air combat, and who carried the AMRAAM as their exclusive active radar guided missile.
There’s one issue, however. We can forgive Read more
…and other ways he wishes he was a fighter pilot.
McConnell AFB Public Affairs recently published an interesting story irreverently entitled “Renegades: Forging the philosophy of ‘What the hell’“. The article was about LtCol Joseph Markusfeld, who served as an instructor pilot for the Iraqi Air Force ten years ago:
It was 2007 at Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq. The base had just gotten a new ramp, and one of the C-208 Caravan aircraft there had a series of tire blow-outs on the runway. The foreign military commander believed it was because the ramp and aircraft had not been sanctified.
The next thing the major sees out his office window is the foreign squadron commander equivalent leading a goat on a rope out to the ramp.
“As an American, you can do one of two things: Sit there and have a cultural Read more
An Iraqi pilot conducting flight training out of Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ, was killed in a crash on Tuesday.
Maj. Noor Faleh Rassan Al-Khazali was killed when he crashed an F-16 he was piloting Tuesday afternoon in Arizona, the Iraqi military said in a statement.
The aircraft was reportedly owned by Read more
As the Trump Department of Defense reconsiders the decision by the Obama Administration to allow “transgender” individuals to serve in the US military, indications of growing opposition even within the Armed Services are undercutting claims that transgenders in the military would be a “non-event.”
US Rep Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 that would have prohibited the military from accepting those who describe themselves as transgender. Representative Hunter agreed with her:
“This (policy) doesn’t make (troops) more effective or efficient or deadly. What it does is distract everybody,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who served with the Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I couldn’t imagine having to share showers with somebody that was a girl and didn’t have a surgery to become a man but kept the girl stuff and now she’s with a bunch of guys.”
Hunter’s comments were criticized by his political opponents: Read more
Clayton Lassiter was a US Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now he’s a pastor in Florida, and he’s aiming to help veterans with some of the same struggles he had:
Since January, three of Clayton Lassiter’s buddies from his military command have killed themselves.
Having served with the Marine Corps during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Lassiter has dealt with his own struggles. He’s had nightmares, flashbacks and used to have trouble being in unfamiliar environments.
Notably, the article only mentions the VA once — to highlight that it is “overwhelmed.” Lassiter isn’t out to point people toward the VA; he’s trying to start a group of veterans helping veterans, potentially focusing on the area that helped him: Read more
The Air National Guard’s 177th Fighter Wing in New Jersey recently published an article announcing it had commissioned 1Lt Anita Morris as its new chaplain. Interestingly, the relatively short piece on the new unit’s religious representative managed to say nothing about religion; in fact, discounting the word “chaplain,” the only word remotely related to the chaplain’s field was one occurrence of “spiritual.” Otherwise:
History was made [when] Morris became the first African-American female to serve as chaplain in the history of the 177th Fighter Wing.
“It was met with great humility and gratitude to know I am the first,” Morris said.
The article was happy to communicate Lt Morris’ race and gender, but Read more
Caleb Drown was a sergeant in the US Marine Corps when he deployed to Iraq in 2006, believing he could “save the world with an M-16.” Instead, the saw the needs of the people there.
He’s now traded his former military role for one at Samaritan’s Purse, which is providing humanitarian assistance along with other groups at near Mosul, Iraq.
Giving up his uniform, though, didn’t mean giving up his Read more
Military religious freedom in action (2003). Read more