Air Force

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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 »

25-Year-Old Airman Found Dead in Her Room in UAE

Anais Tobar was deployed to help fight ISIS; cause of death hasn't been released

(Newser) - An Air Force lieutenant who was sent to the United Arab Emirates to help take on the Islamic State has died at the age of 25, the Miami Herald reports. The Air Force Times IDs her as 1st Lt. Anais A. Tobar, per a Department of Defense press release , which... More »

US Air Force Searches for Airman Who's Missing in Italy

Staff Sgt. Halex Hale disappeared after leaving a friend's cookout

(Newser) - The US Air Force is searching for an airman from Indiana who vanished last week in Italy, the AP reports. The Air Force issued an all-points bulletin Friday for Staff Sgt. Halex Hale. The 24-year-old from Middletown is assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, about 50... More »

Delta Flight Lands at Air Force Base by Mistake

Passengers were stuck at Ellsworth for hours

(Newser) - Oops: Some 130 Delta passengers were stuck on the tarmac for hours Thursday night after they were mistakenly taken to a military airport instead of a civilian one. The airline says Flight 2845 landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota instead of Rapid City Regional Airport, which is... More »

Air Force Jet Crashes After Commencement Flyover

President Obama had spoken at the ceremony beforehand

(Newser) - The pilot of a US Air Force Thunderbird that crashed following a flyover met with President Barack Obama shortly after ejecting safely into a Colorado field, the AP reports. News of the crash broke while Obama's motorcade was returning to Peterson Air Force Base on Thursday for his flight... More »

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 »

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