Air Force

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US Downs Chinese Balloon Off South Carolina Coast

Air Force fighter jets were deployed after Biden gave the order earlier in the week

(Newser) - This story has been updated with President Biden's remarks, a witness account, and other new information. A US Air Force fighter jet on Saturday shot down a balloon launched by China that was suspected of spying as it floated over several states and inflamed tension between the nations. The...

Air Force General Convicted of Sex Assault on Sister-in-Law

William Cooley's conviction in court martial is a historic one

(Newser) - For the first time, an Air Force general has been convicted of sexual assault. Two-star Gen. William Cooley was found guilty in a court-martial of forcibly kissing a woman in a verdict described as "historic" by outlets including NPR and the Washington Post , and in a news release from...

Judge Rules Air Force Must Pay $230M to Massacre Victims

Judge had previously ruled military branch was 60% responsible for Sutherland Springs church shooting

(Newser) - Update: The gunman who shot up a Texas church in 2017, killing 26 and injuring 22, is no longer alive to pay any kind of restitution to his victims or their loved ones. But on Monday, Judge Xavier Rodriguez of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas...

Religious Exemption Requests on Vaccine Go Nowhere

Pentagon didn't expect 12K applications

(Newser) - When the Pentagon announced in August that all service members would have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, it said they can seek religious exemptions. More than 12,000 military service members have done that, the AP reports, but so far, not one exemption on religious grounds has been granted....

Air Force Discharges 27 Who Refused Vaccinations

Personnel faced a Nov. 2 deadline

(Newser) - The Defense Department has removed some of its first service members for refusing to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The Air Force announced Monday that it has discharged 27 unvaccinated people, Politico reports. Air Force personnel had a Nov. 2 deadline. The branch's most recent figures show that more than...

1 Pilot Killed, 2 Injured in Training Jet Crash in Texas

It's the second deadly T-38 incident this year

(Newser) - Two military planes crashed on a runway about 10am Friday. One pilot was killed and two others were injured when the accident occurred at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas. One pilot was treated and released at a hospital in Del Rio, near the base, and the other was flown...

Pilot Dies in Nellis AFB Plane Crash
Pilot Dies in
Nellis AFB Plane Crash

Pilot Dies in Nellis AFB Plane Crash

Plane owned by military contractor crashes in residential area near Vegas

(Newser) - A pilot has died after an aircraft operated by a military contractor out of Nellis Air Force Base crashed in a nearby residential area, authorities in Las Vegas said Monday. A statement attributed to base spokesman Lt. Col. Bryon McGarry confirmed the crash occurred about 2:30pm, the AP reports....

Watchdog: No One Held Accountable for $550M Pentagon Mess

New SIGAR report focuses on 20 G222 cargo planes that ended up as scrap metal

(Newser) - Back in 2014, a "lessons learned" memo from a government watchdog emerged over hundreds of millions of dollars wasted by the US Air Force on a fleet of faulty Italian-made military planes that ended up getting scrapped . Now, more than six years later, that same watchdog says no one...

Air Force Training Jet's 375-Mile Hop Ends in Tragedy

2 pilots dead after T-38 aircraft flying from Mississippi to Florida goes down in Alabama

(Newser) - An Air Force training jet flying from Mississippi to Florida never made it to its destination. Per a statement from the 14th Flying Training Wing, a T-38 trainer aircraft that took off from Columbus Air Force Base on Friday with two people on board, headed for Tallahassee, crashed into the...

Mourners Honor Chuck Yeager, 'Who Pushed the Boundaries'

Pence leads tributes in West Virginia to famed test pilot

(Newser) - Mourners including the vice president told stories Friday about one of the nation's most celebrated aviators, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager, an ace fighter pilot who went on to break the sound barrier as a test pilot. Yeager died last month at 97. "The best pilots...

Trump Made 'Misguided' Space Command Call: Governor

Colorado's Jared Polis says HQ is being moved as a Trump reward to Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville

(Newser) - Tommy Tuberville, Alabama's newest GOP senator, may have just seen a big nod from President Trump, at least according to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. The Democratic governor and other leaders from both parties in his state are slamming a decision to relocate Space Command headquarters from its temporary digs...

China Blasts US for 'Naked Act of Provocation'

Nation protests Air Force U-2 spy plane that allegedly infiltrated no-fly zone during military drills

(Newser) - Amid a low point in US and China relations, there's now a new point of contention: The latter's Ministry of National Defense is accusing a US Air Force U-2 reconnaissance plane of infiltrating a no-fly zone during live-fire military drills. "This was a naked act of provocation,...

USAF Pilot Injured by Ground Fire From Virginia

Helicopter was hit by bullet near Manassas

(Newser) - A US Air Force helicopter had to make an emergency landing after it was hit by ground fire—over northern Virginia. The Air Force says the aircraft, which was on a training mission, was hit while flying at an altitude of 1,000 near Middleburg, around 10 miles northwest of...

A Female Air Force Pilot Makes History

Capt. Emily Thompson flew an F-35 into combat

(Newser) - "It's a pretty big honor." So said Capt. Emily Thompson after becoming the first woman to fly a stealth fighter jet into combat, Fox News reports. The Air Force says Thompson, call sign "Banzai," flew the F-35A Lightning II in a combat sortie and was...

Senate Unanimously Confirms First Black Service Chief

Gen. Charles Brown is new Air Force chief of staff

(Newser) - The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed Gen. Charles Brown Jr. as chief of staff of the US Air Force, making him the first black officer to lead one of the nation's military services. Vice President Mike Pence took the unusual step of presiding over the vote, something he usually...

Shooting at Air Base Leaves 2 Service Members Dead

Investigation underway at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota

(Newser) - A shooting early Monday has left two airmen dead at the Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. The shooting occurred at 4:30am, according to a military statement, per the AP . The incident remains under investigation, but officials said there's no risk to other personnel. Additional details...

Air Force Officially Drops Height Requirement
Air Force Scraps
Pilot Height Rule

Air Force Scraps Pilot Height Rule

It's a 'huge win' for women, official says

(Newser) - Would-be aviators no longer need to worry about being too short or too tall for the Air Force. Officials say the Air Force height requirement has been scrapped and applicants will now go through an "anthropometric screening process" to determine what aircraft they can safely fly, CBS reports. Under...

A Lethal Problem Afflicts the Air Force

Suicides spike after 5 years of relative stability

(Newser) - Suicides in the active-duty Air Force surged last year to the highest total in at least three decades, even as the other military services saw their numbers stabilize or decline, according to officials and unpublished preliminary data, the AP reports. The reasons for the Air Force increase are not fully...

Pilot Passed Out, Woke Up, but Damage Was Done

Air Force fighter jet landed safely but plane needed major repairs, reports Popular Science

(Newser) - It's unusual for a plane to land safely and yet still sustain millions of dollars in damages, but that's precisely what happened during an Air Force training mission last year. Popular Science has the details, which illustrate the dangers that powerful G-forces present to military pilots. In March,...

Air Force Jets Crash on Training Runs; 2 Dead

Four were aboard T-38s near base in Oklahoma

(Newser) - Two T-38 jets crashed during routine training flights Thursday in Oklahoma, killing two airmen. The accident took place near Vance Air Base, and the Air Force said a total of four personnel were on the two-seater jets. The Air Force did not immediately provide information about the condition of the...

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