The Air Force’s ‘Screaming Meemie’ Was Supposed to Annoy the Hell Out of the Enemy—Then Blow Up
In 1967, the U.S. Air Force’s Special Operations Center at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida tested a “psychoacoustic weapon” that could be dropped from an airplane. Dubbed “Screeming Meemie,” the new weapon was a combination of loudspeaker and landmine—and was meant to perform “minute-by-minute harassment” of the enemy.... Read more
The Air Force’s New Gunship Is Easier to Shoot Up
In trying to reduce the cost of its specialized AC-130 gunships, the U.S. Air Force may have made them more vulnerable to enemy gunfire. This is the disturbing conclusion reached by the Pentagon’s top weapons testers in their latest annual report on the AC-130J. According to the report, the... Read more
The U.S. State Department Has Its Own (Surprisingly Big) Air Force
The U.S. State Department possesses just under 100 helicopters and more than 30 fixed-wing aircraft and deploys them all over the world, mostly as part of the America’s international drug war. The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs’ Office of Aviation—a.k.a., the INL Air Wing—employs contractors and... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Even Spies on America’s Friends and Allies
The U.S. Air Force keeps at least one of its high-tech manned spy planes near China pretty much 365 days a year. And don’t get us started on the incredibly sophisticated American aerial surveillance cordon that surrounds Iran. It seems obvious that the Air Force would spy on Iran,... Read more
Just How Much Does the U.S. Air Force Spy on China?
China spies on America—or harasses it, at least—to the best of Beijing’s limited ability. And America definitely spies on China. But just how much? Most U.S. intelligence activities are deeply classified, but thanks to some redacted official documents, we have at least a basic sense of the American aerial... Read more
In 2010, the U.S. Surrounded Iran With Stealth Drones
Starting at least four years ago, the U.S. Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency secretly and systematically surrounded Iran with America’s most high-tech, radar-evading spy drones. In December 2011, one of the 60-foot-wingspan RQ-170 Sentinel drones, probably flying from Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, crashed on the Iran-Pakistan border... Read more
Why Is There a Mosque in U.S. Army North’s Insignia?
The U.S. Army portion of the insignia of U.S. Northern Command, created after the 9/11 attacks “to defend and secure the United States,” includes a silhouette of a mosque. This might seem odd. But it really isn’t. The official description of ARNORTH’s insignias at The Institute of Heraldry, the... Read more
These Fast-Acting Response Forces Could Prevent Another Benghazi
Events in war-torn South Sudan in recent weeks have presented a dazzling—and sometimes confusing—display of U.S. military capabilities. Emergency operations have been conducted in the unstable new country by troops assigned to three totally different American task forces dispersed across Africa. The new task forces have their roots in... Read more