Air Force

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Air Force Academy Reveals Source of Racial Slurs in Dorm

Student wrote the slurs outside his own room, others

(Newser) - Racial slurs posted outside the dorm rooms of five black students at the Air Force Academy were written by one of those students, the school said Tuesday. The announcement was a jarring turn in an episode that prompted the academy's superintendent to warn students that racists were not welcome... More »

Air Force Mistake Allowed Devin Kelley to Buy Guns

His domestic violence conviction was never reported to the Pentagon

(Newser) - The man who killed 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Sunday should not have been able to buy the rifle he used, the Washington Post reports. On Monday, Air Force officials admitted that Devin Kelley's 2014 court-martial conviction for domestic violence should have precluded him from... More »

Report: US May Put B-52s on 24-Hour Nuclear Alert

Jets armed with nukes would be ready to go at a moment's notice, if order goes through

(Newser) - The security site Defense One reports that the Air Force is considering putting nuclear-armed bomber planes back on 24-hour notice, something that hasn't been in effect since the Cold War. The site emphasizes that no such order has yet been given, but it quotes Air Force chief of staff... More »

Trump Order Lifts Limits on Military 'Unretirements'

Move addresses serious Air Force pilot shortage

(Newser) - A lot of retired Air Force pilots are likely to find themselves called back to service under an executive order signed by President Trump Friday. The order lifts limits on calling retired military officers back to service under the terms of the state of national emergency that has been in... More »

'Missing' Airman Found Living Double Life—40 Years Later

Jeffrey Michels, 64, picked up in Florida, will be charged with desertion for ditching Air Force

(Newser) - Jeffrey Michels disappeared from an Air Force base in northern North Dakota on a summer day in 1977—and was found last week in Florida living a double life, Fox News reports. Michels, 64, was arrested Oct. 12 on desertion charges filed against him after he went missing from Minot... More »

US Bombers Buzz North Korea in Show of Force

Move was unprecedented in 21st century

(Newser) - In a move unprecedented in recent years, US Air Force bombers and fighter jets flew into international airspace east of North Korea on Saturday, Reuters reports. The Pentagon says it was the farthest north of the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea the US has flown in the 21st... More »

SpaceX Sends Mysterious Air Force Minishuttle Into Orbit

It's the 5th minishuttle flight, but their missions remain a secret

(Newser) - SpaceX launched the Air Force's super-secret space shuttle on Thursday, a technology tester capable of spending years in orbit, the AP reports. The unmanned Falcon rocket blasted off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center, as schools and businesses boarded up for Hurricane Irma. It's the fifth flight for... More »

Russian Jet Comes so Close to US Jet Pilot Can Be Seen

US releases photos of 'unsafe" Russian jet intercept

(Newser) - The US European Command has released dramatic photos of a Russian jet coming within a few feet of a US Air Force reconnaissance jet over the Baltic Sea in a maneuver that has been criticized as unsafe. The AP reports the photographs released Friday show the Russian SU-27 coming so... More »

Security Incident Has Air Force Base on Lockdown

Witness says there's a shooter at shopping center on the California base

(Newser) - Travis Air Force Base northeast of San Francisco is locked down due to what the base calls a security incident, the AP reports. The base issued a security alert shortly after 3:30pm Wednesday asking people to shelter in place and to lock doors and windows. Marie Lowe, a civilian... More »

Base Grounds F-35s After Pilots Starved of Oxygen

Luke Air Force Base in Arizona is investigating

(Newser) - The Air Force has temporarily stopped flying F-35 fighter jets at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona in response to a series of incidents in which pilots reported symptoms of hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation, reports the AP . Air Force spokesman Capt. Mark Graff said the grounding of 55 of the... More »

Plane Ends 2 Secretive Years in Space

Air Force's X-37B space plane touched down Sunday in Florida

(Newser) - The Air Force owns two X-37B space planes, and one of them is finally back on the ground after a nearly 2-year-long secret mission. While the what is unknown, the how long is clear: 718 days in orbit, reports Space.com , with the unmanned plane landing Sunday morning at NASA'... More »

Decorated Vietnam Airman, McCain's Cellmate Dies at 85

Col. Leo Thorsness was awarded the Medal of Honor for his deeds

(Newser) - Col. Leo Thorsness survived six years of captivity and torture at the "Hanoi Hilton," cellmates with John McCain. He died Thursday in Florida at the age of 85 from leukemia, the New York Times reports. With two Silver Stars, five Distinguished Flying Crosses, and the Medal of Honor,... More »

Air Force Launches Missile That Could Carry Nuke Across World

It's the second such launch in 7 days

(Newser) - An unarmed missile capable of sending a nuclear bomb across the world was launched Wednesday from a California military base amid rising tensions between the US and North Korea. The unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile blasted off from a silo at 12:02am from Vandenberg Air Force Base and... More »

Russian Bombers 'Show Their Teeth' in Alaska Fly-By

US Air Force intercepted them with F-22 fighter jets Monday evening

(Newser) - "Nothing to see here," was US military officials' reaction to an incident this week involving Russia off the coast of Alaska—even though the Air Force sent two F-22 fighter jets and an early-warning plane to address the situation. A spokeswoman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command... More »

Air Force General Loses 2 Stars Over Sex Misconduct

Former Gen. Arthur Lichte's retirement pay cut to about $13K a month

(Newser) - The Air Force has stripped a retired general of two stars for having a sexual relationship with a lower-ranking female officer before he left the service. Air Force Gen. Arthur Lichte retired in January 2010. But following an investigation into a complaint filed by a former subordinate, the Air Force... More »

150K Gallons of Toxic Water Leak From Air Force Base

Colorado base isn't sure how it got out

(Newser) - Some 150,000 gallons of water contaminated by toxic firefighting chemicals were discharged from a Colorado Air Force Base into a city sewer system, and authorities can't explain why. Peterson Air Force Base has confirmed that water containing perfluorinated chemicals—PFCs—flowed through Colorado Springs Utilities wastewater treatment plant... More »

Body of Pilot Killed in Iraq Returns Home After 10 Years

Major Troy Gilbert was killed while fighting insurgents in 2006

(Newser) - "I do know one prayer I'm not going to pray tonight," Kaye Gilbert tells KVUE . "I'm not going to pray for my son to come home because he is home." The body of Major Troy Gilbert returned to the US last week nearly 10... More »

Air Force Colonel Accused of Rape Kills Self

Eugene Caughey's court-martial was scheduled for Oct. 17

(Newser) - A high-ranking Air Force Space Command officer who was charged with rape and other crimes was found dead in his Colorado home after civilian police received a report of a suicide, officials said Monday. The body of Col. Eugene Caughey, 46, was found Sunday at his off-base home in Colorado... More »

1 Air Force Pilot Killed, 1 Hurt in Spy Plane Crash in Calif.

U-2 spy plane crashed in Sutter Buttes mountain range

(Newser) - The US Air Force says one pilot was killed and another injured when they ejected from a U-2 spy plane shortly before it crashed in Northern California, the AP reports. Military officials say the aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Beale Air Force Base on a training mission around... More »

Government Sues United Airlines on Behalf of Air Force Reservist

It says he should have accrued time off while on military leave

(Newser) - When United Airlines pilot and Air Force reservist Lt. Col. Daniel Fandrei was called to active duty in 2012, he could have rightfully expected to continue to accrue sick leave while away from United. After all, United allows employees accrue time off while they're on vacation or home sick,... More »

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