Air Force

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Cause of Air Force Crash: Forgotten Plastic Case

Case used for holding night vision goggles was left where it shouldn't have been

(Newser) - The Taliban was quick to claim responsibility for downing an Air Force transport plane in Afghanistan in October, killing 11 aboard the C-130J and three Afghans manning a guard tower, per the Washington Post . But the Air Force has finally announced the real reason for the crash: a hard plastic... More »

Texas Air Force Base Shooter Was Airman, FBI Veteran

It appears he killed a commanding officer in a murder-suicide

(Newser) - The man responsible for Friday's fatal shooting at an Air Force base in Texas was not only an enlisted airman but an FBI veteran, the Washington Post reports. Officials have identified the shooter as 41-year-old Tech. Sgt. Steven Bellino, who joined the Air Force last June and was training... More »

Airmen at Nuclear Base Investigated for Drug Use

It's the latest Air Force embarrassment

(Newser) - The Air Force is investigating about a dozen airmen at a nuclear missile base for alleged use of illegal drugs, in some cases possibly including cocaine, anonymous defense officials tell the AP . The drug investigation at FE Warren Air Force Base, home of the 90th Missile Wing, was to be... More »

US Disciplines at Least 12 for Airstrike on Hospital

Strike on Doctors Without Borders hospital a 'tragic but avoidable accident'

(Newser) - More than a dozen US military personnel have been disciplined, but face no criminal charges, for errors that led to the aerial attack on a civilian hospital that killed 42 people in northern Afghanistan last year, say US defense officials speaking anonymously. Per the AP , the officials say the disciplinary... More »

Refueling Crew Saves US Pilot Over ISIS Territory

F-16's fuel system had a glitch that would've been bad news if he'd had to eject

(Newser) - An F-16 fighter pilot's aircraft suffered a fuel system malfunction at perhaps the worst possible time—flying over ISIS-held territory—but the crew of a military refueling tanker stuck with him, likely saving his life, the Air Force Times reports. "Knowing the risks to their own safety, they... More »

Airmen Damage Nuclear Missile During 'Mishap'

The Air Force is refusing to release the report from the 2014 incident

(Newser) - Errors by three airmen troubleshooting a nuclear missile in its launch silo in 2014 triggered a "mishap" that damaged the missile, prompting the Air Force to strip the airmen of their nuclear certification and quietly launch an accident investigation, officials revealed Friday. In a statement released to the AP,... More »

F-16 Crashes in Arizona

Pilot's condition unknown

(Newser) - An F-16 fighter jet from Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix crashed Thursday in a remote area of northwestern Arizona. There was no immediate word on pilot's condition and a search and rescue operation was underway, officials said. The crash occurred at about 8:45am in rugged terrain near... More »

US Releases 'Grim' List of Nuclear Targets

US would have targeted population centers in war with Soviet Union

(Newser) - "Grim and frankly appalling." That's how one expert describes a recently declassified list of potential US targets in a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, the New York Times reports. The list titled “Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959" was written by the Air Force in... More »

US Fleet Relies on Your Grandfather's Bomber

The B-52 was supposed to be scrapped in the '70s, will likely serve into the '40s

(Newser) - In 1966, The New York Times reported that nation’s fleet of long-range B-52 Stratofortress bombers—first introduced in the 1950s—would "be too old" and need to be grounded within nine years. Nearly a half-century later, the New York Times says the B-52 will likely continue to serve... More »

US Airman and French Train Hero Gets Promoted

It's now Sgt. Spencer Stone to you

(Newser) - One of the three Americans who foiled a terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train in August got himself a promotion Friday, NBC News reports. US airman Spencer Stone, 23, was promoted from airman first class to staff sergeant for his part in subduing the gunman. According to the Air Force ... More »

$80B Stealth Bomber Project Takes Flight

The LRS-B will become 'backbone' of Air Force: Carter

(Newser) - One of the most expensive projects in the Pentagon's history has been awarded to Northrop Grumman. The company won the bid to build the Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B) at a cost that could top $80 billion, reports the Los Angeles Times . Northrop will get more than $20 billion to... More »

F-35's Fancy New Helmets Come With Wild Price Tag

And also some serious problems

(Newser) - How cool does a helmet have to be before you can justify spending $400,000 on one? That's the question before the Pentagon, which is expected to spend around $1 billion on helmets for its new fleet of state-of-the-art F-35s, the Air Force Times reports. In fairness to the... More »

Rockhound Finds WWII Bomb in Utah Desert

He was disappointed when the Air Force blew it up

(Newser) - Ex-Marine Craig Alvord calls it a "once-in-a-lifetime" find after more than 50 years of rockhounding: a 500-pound unexploded WWII-era bomb. According to the Desert News , Alvord found the 6-foot-long bomb while hunting rocks in Utah's West Desert Monday. He tells KSL he was nervous finding the bomb, so... More »

27 Airmen Nearly Died Because of a Loose Nut

It caused a fire that did $62.4 million in damage

(Newser) - Twenty-seven airmen had a brush with death when the 51-year-old Air Force plane they were aboard caught fire just before takeoff, thanks to one nut connecting the plane's oxygen tubing that wasn't tightened properly, CNN reports. The damage to the surveillance plane is being estimated at more than... More »

Air Force Updates Old Advice for New Age

It used to be 'loose lips,' now it's 'loose tweets'

(Newser) - Just as soldiers were warned "loose lips sink ships" during World War II, modern airmen are being warned "loose tweets destroy fleets" in the social-media age. ABC News reports US Air Forces Central Command sent out a security notice last week warning personnel of the "fine line"... More »

Airman Killed in Jump Was About to Tie the Knot Again

Marty Bettelyoun had recently proposed to his wife of 8 years

(Newser) - Married for eight years, Jennifer Bettelyoun was about to have the dream wedding she and hubby Marty Bettelyoun missed the first time around. After a quick romance, the couple were married by a justice of the peace just before Marty, a special operations airman, was posted to a base in... More »

Freefall Accident Takes Airmen's Lives

Details will be a long time coming

(Newser) - A military freefall training exercise ended in tragedy on Monday. The Air Force Times reports Tech Sgt. Timothy A. Officer Jr. and Tech Sgt. Marty B. Bettelyoun died from the injuries they suffered during parachute training at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The details of the accident itself won'... More »

Burnout Rate Forces Cut in Drone Flights

Military is losing more pilots than it trains

(Newser) - Doing a job where you kill strangers on the other side of the world and then go home to your family every night is the kind of thing that can grind people down, the military admits. Drone operators have a high burnout rate , and the Air Force says it expects... More »

These Troops Go Behind Enemy Lines to Check the Weather

Air Force's combat weathermen can make or break a critical mission

(Newser) - Before US special operations forces raided the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was hiding out in 2011, there was likely at least one other type of specialist with boots on the ground: a weatherman. The Air Force's SOWTs—special operations weather technicians—are some of the military's... More »

Now Online: Air Force UFO Files

John Greenewald's efforts pay off with website culled via Freedom of Info Act

(Newser) - In the latest "one-stop shopping for conspiracy theorists" news, a "UFO enthusiast" has launched a site he says is the first complete, searchable database of the Air Force's declassified UFO files, the Air Force Times reports. John Greenewald has spent almost 20 years reaping the benefits of... More »

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