Air Force

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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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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