USO set to close Rome Center, its first after WWII
Scott Wyland Stars and Stripes In the street outside the USO center near St. Peter’s Square, crowds celebrated Italian Liberation Day, but the mood inside was somber among staffers who recently learned the facility will close after more than 70 years of operation. The jubilant holiday fests in late... Read more
Blue Angel’s “Fat Albert” takes final flight
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are saying “so long” to their beloved C-130T aircraft, affectionately known as “Fat Albert.” The announcement came on Wednesday, and the Blue Angels team noted that the plane -which falls under the US Marine Corps- had served for 17 years and had flown for... Read more
Air Force bringing back two prop planes for low-intensity conflicts
Two propeller-driven aircraft have been selected by the United States Air Force to fill a wide variety of combat roles. The Light Attack Aircraft Program has produced two winners for the USAF- the Sierra Nevada-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano and the Textron AT-6, two prop-driven aircraft that are ready, willing... Read more
Special Forces parachute over Normandy in test run for upcoming D-Day ceremony
Stars and Stripes About 135 Special Forces soldiers jumped from three Air Force aircraft above the ancient Mont Saint-Michel abbey in Normandy, as part of the commemoration for the upcoming 75th anniversary of D-Day. The 352nd Special Operations Wing and the 86th Airlift Wing delivered the 10th Special Forces... Read more
Royal Thai King’s Guard sport gold plated bullpup rifles during coronation ceremony
Thailand is known for all things exotic (and a little strange), and their armaments seem to be no exception. Soldiers of the Royal Thai King’s Guard are carrying golden-plated and painted Israeli Tavor bullpup rifles, complete with Mepro 21 optics, which unfortunately appear to have been painted in such... Read more
Israeli Ace: How Ran Ronen became the pride of Israel’s Air Force
While fighter pilots are a special breed of people in their own right, the very best among them stand out even more vividly. Somewhere at the top of that list of “aces,” there is Ran Ronen. Born in 1936, Ran Ronen-Pekker was born in a Jewish settlement of what... Read more
Smuggled weaponry: How the Rhodesian FAL became a favorite for anti-communists
Throughout history, there have been a series of “last stands” that have given rise to myth-like status in regards to the weapons and equipment used at the time- the Spartan helmet, the Filipino Bolo, the Scottish Claymore and the venerable trench shotguns of World War I. In the battle... Read more
Final flight: How a Russian stole a MIG and defected to the U.S. during the Cold War
How far would you go for freedom? Would you betray your own countrymen? Risk life and limb? Bake a cake? Although it’s going to be hard to believe, a Soviet fighter pilot checked “all of the above” on his list of things to do before defecting to the United... Read more
Forgotten fighter in the sky: Remembering some historic moments of the F-82 Twin Mustang
To many fans of World War II aviation, there is nothing greater than the North American P-51 Mustang, the silvery, iconic warbird that dominated the air in every theatre it flew in. But what could be better than a P-51 Mustang? Well, at least according to one North American... Read more
Before there was Top Gun a RAF pilot once buzzed Parliament, flew through Tower Bridge
As the oldest air force in existence, the British Royal Air Force (RAF) has a reputation for being some, of the best and brightest the world has to offer. From innovation in aerial combat techniques to steadfast courage against all odds in Britain’s “finest hour.” The RAF is also... Read more
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