Hundreds of missions helped establish a ‘pattern of life’ by JOSEPH TREVITHICK On Jan. 14, 2014, USS Elrod left her home port in Norfolk, Virginia for what, to outsiders, might have seemed like a routine six-month trip to the Mediterranean. Carrying a detachment of four MQ-8B Fire Scout drone helicopters,... Read more
Michael Seeley/Flickr photo Took just a few days by JOSHUA KOPSTEIN The second week of June 2016, the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office launched NROL-37, carrying its latest spy satellite into geosynchronous orbit via Delta IV-Heavy rocket. But it only took amateur space enthusiasts a few days to locate the mysterious new craft... Read more
A U.S. Air Force F-15E. U.S. Air Force photo Air supremacy isn’t what it used to be by WILLIAM ASTORE In the era of the long war on terror, June 2, 2016, was a tough day for the U.S. military. Two modern jet fighters, a Navy F/A-18 Hornet and an Air Force... Read more
An A-10 Warthog touches down on a highway in Estonia on June 20, 2016. U.S. Army photo The U.S. Air Force practices dispersing aircraft by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Thirty-two years ago, A-10 Warthogs landed on a German highway while practicing for war. It was an exercise born of the necessity of... Read more
The warplane boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Photo via Wikipedia F-35 delays mean desperate measures by DAVID AXE The U.S. Marine Corps has received the first two old F/A-18 Hornet fighters that Boeing is pulling out the U.S. military’s retired-warplane storage facility in Arizona and refurbishing for continued service.... Read more
T-50s. Alex Beltyukov photo via Wikimedia It’s the engines by DAVE MAJUMDAR United Aircraft Corporation is gearing up to start serial production of the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA fifth-generation stealth fighter, according to Russian media reports. The eighth prototype T-50 — which is nearly compliant with Moscow’s requirements for a next-generation fighter — is set to... Read more
The Boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. Digital Globe imagery A separate air power branch is inefficient and wasteful by MATTHEW GAULT The U.S. military has flown airplanes since the early 20th century. But the Air Force as an independent service branch is relatively recent — dating to 1947. During World War II,... Read more
An Apache helicopter in Afghanistan in May 2016. U.S. Army photo Coalition airpower gets closer to the action by RODRIGO UGARTE U.S. Army Apache helicopters unleashed their might on Islamic State positions in northern Iraq on June 12. The gunships assisted Iraqi troops working to isolate and retake the city of Mosul,... Read more
Peruvian air force A-37s. Photo via Wikipedia Aerial interdiction has cost innocent lives by RODRIGO UGARTE On April 20, 2001, Peruvian security forces, with CIA help, shot down a small floatplane over the Amazon near the Brazilian border. American missionary Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter died in the attack. Having filed... Read more
This week the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 in an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 85 to 13. This is the most significant piece of defense reform legislation passed by the Senate in 30 years, containing major reforms to Pentagon organization, the defense acquisition... Read more
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