In ’Nam, the U.S. Army Turned Truck Drivers Into Maritime Cops
The 458th Transportation Company wasn’t supposed to be the U.S. Army’s river police force. The soldiers were truck drivers America, and didn’t know much about patrolling hostile waterways. But the Army thought better  —  and in a maddening and unusual story from the Vietnam War, transformed the truckers into... Read more
Mud Wars: How the U.S. Air Force Tried to Muck Up Vietnam
This story originally appeared on Jan. 19, 2014. It’s a safe bet to say most people outgrew their fascination with playing in mud sometime in elementary school. Perhaps even fewer would consider it a likely weapon of war. But in the 1960s, the United States began to look seriously... Read more
U.S. Worried North Korea Is a Biological Time Bomb
This story originally appeared on April 25, 2014. It appears Pyongyang is preparing for yet another nuclear weapons test. But North Korea may pose as much of a biological threat as an atomic one. While the reclusive communist regime is thought to have—or at least have researched—biological weapons, these... Read more
The U.S. Army’s Gun-Toting Space Soldiers
This story originally appeared on Nov. 9, 2015. In space, no one can hear you scream. But in the early days of the space age, the Pentagon had a bigger problem — namely, earthly notions of ballistics and gun-design didn’t apply in vacuum. As the United States had started... Read more
That One Time Lockheed Hated on the Taiwanese Air Force
This story originally appeared on May 7, 2015. Five years ago, Lockheed Martin told U.S. Air Force officials that Taiwan’s air force was on the verge of collapse and no other defense contractor in the world could help. Eager to sell F-16s, the company went on a P.R. blitz.... Read more
The Giant Cannon Is the Bigfoot of Modern Tank Design
This article was first published on Sept. 28, 2014. For decades, Western analysts have predicted that Russia would introduce a giant new gun for its tanks—one that could blast right through the armor on U.S. and allied fighting vehicles. To this day, the terrifying cannon has never appeared. But rumors... Read more
U.S. Troops Hunted for Mock Satellite in Arctic War Game
When U.S. Army paratroopers jumped from their plane near Dead Horse, Alaska on Feb. 22, 2017, the sub-zero weather was reason enough for the practice session. Parachute jumps are complicated and dangerous in the best weather. But the exercise planners had already added another unique element to the war game.... Read more
An MQM-57 drone. U.S. Air Force photo For many pilotless planes, things haven’t changed much since by JOSEPH TREVITHICK A popular image of American drone bases abroad is of small, dusty airstrips and clam-shell hangars, often attached to foreign airports. In early stages of the Cold War, the U.S. Army’s first... Read more
The Turkish Army Has Had These Howitzers For Over 50 Years
In February 2017, Turkish troops brought out tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled artillery and more for an annual winter war game called Kış Tatbikatı. Among the various weapons on display on the snowy training grounds were mobile howitzers that Turkey has had in service for over 50 years. Between 1963... Read more
Exchange program highlights allies fighting the Islamic State by JOSEPH TREVITHICK On Jan. 11, 2017, an A-10 Warthog pilot prepared to take off from an air base somewhere in the Middle East for a mission over Iraq. Except the American officer wasn’t flying one of the blunt-nosed attackers. Air Force... Read more
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