Nearly two years after the Numbered Air Force Commander overturned the court-martial conviction of a fighter pilot for sexual assault, the Chief Prosecutor for the Air Force has retired and joined the advocacy group devoted to changing the way the military prosecutes these crimes. His decision to retire was based, in part, on continuing clashes with senior Air Force judge advocates regarding his positions on how the military treats survivors of sexual assault and a downgraded performance review (denied by the Air Force) as a result of his conversations with members of Congress about how the military prosecutes these kinds of crimes. In the meantime, the Commander who overturned the court-martial conviction has retired (minus one of his stars) and the Inspector General who went on social media to express his "bitterness" with the situation and whose own handling of sexual assault cases has come under fire is still in his position overseeing military discipline.
An airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada has allegedly been denied the ability to re-enlist after he refused to use the words "so help me God" in his oath. On September 2, the Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter (pdf) on his behalf. Up until last fall, Air Force Instruction 36-2606, which spells out the active duty oath, had a provision where an airman could omit the words, but that was dropped last October.
You may have heard how sounds travel farther during a temperature inversion, when air near the ground is cooler than the air above. But do you know how this phenomenon is related to the 1947 UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico? [more inside]
Honor and deception: A secretive Air Force program recruits academy students to inform on fellow cadets and disavows them afterward.
The permanent collection of the (US) National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago contains more than 2,500 pieces of art by 250 artists, all of which can be seen at NVAM Collection Online. The site includes biographical material on the artists who created the work. Featured Artwork. A small selection. (Via. Images at links in this post may be nsfw, and/or disturbing to some viewers.)
NPR show us and tells the story of five men who agreed to stand directly below and observe a nuclear explosion.
On July 19, 1957, five Air Force officers and one photographer stood together on a patch of ground about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. They'd marked the spot 'Ground Zero. Population 5' on a hand-lettered sign hammered into the soft ground right next to them.
Noel Perrin, "The Best American Novel about World War II": Guard of Honor is a classic (I think), but it is a hard one to put in an American literature course. Why? Because [James Gould] Cozzens was not a romantic. ... Its rightful place is as one of the greatest social novels ever written in America. [more inside]
There are an increasing number of homeless military vets living in Los Angeles. The VA in Los Angeles has a 400 acre parcel of land meant to house vets. Slight problem: the VA has decided to lease the property to various area businesses instead of using the land for its intended purpose.
Final Salute. Between 2004 and 2005, "Rocky Mountain News reporter Jim Sheeler and photographer Todd Heisler spent a year with the Marines stationed at Aurora's Buckley Air Force Base who have found themselves called upon to notify families of the deaths of their sons in Iraq. In each case in this story, the families agreed to let Sheeler and Heisler chronicle their loss and grief. They wanted people to know their sons, the men and women who brought them home, and the bond of traditions more than 200 years old that unite them. Though readers are led through the story by the white-gloved hand of Maj. Steve Beck, he remains a reluctant hero. He is, he insists, only a small part of the massive mosaic that is the Marine Corps." The full story ran on Veteran's Day, 2005 and won two Pulitzer Prizes: one for Feature Photography, another for feature writing in 2006. A nice single-page version of one section: Katherine Cathey and 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey (via.) The Rocky Mountain News closed in 2009. [more inside]
"Tanks Are Mighty Fine Things!" And Other Tales Of Truthiness... At the end of World War II, Chrysler sent small hardbound books to shareholders chronicling ways the company had contributed to the war effort. Two have now been placed online at the Chrysler Imperial Club's website: "Tanks are Mighty Fine Things" and "A War Job 'Thought Impossible' (The story of the Chrysler-Sperry Gyro-Compass)" (Via) [more inside]
With Air Force's Gorgon Drone 'we can see everything.' "In ancient times, Gorgon was a mythical Greek creature whose unblinking eyes turned to stone those who beheld them. In modern times, Gorgon may be one of the military's most valuable new tools. This winter, the Air Force is set to deploy to Afghanistan what it says is a revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town."
“In all honesty, we don’t know when it’s coming back for sure” - The US Air Force's first launch of the X-37b reusable space vehicle has provoked much speculation, with some even wondering if the Pentagon is reviving Nazi space-bomber plans. But was the launch of spaceplane an attempt to mask the launch of another secret weapon?
Certainly you've read of the Space Shuttle's imminent retirement, but are you prepared for the secret robot "mini" shuttle, the X-37B? After a decade of checkered development under NASA, DARPA (with assistance from Scaled Composites' White Knight) and finally the U.S. Air Force, the first X-37B spaceplane, the Orbital Test Vehicle, is ready for an April 19th launch.
Declassified secrets about the top-secret U.S. military base Area 51 revealed: Great food, cash-stuffed briefcases, no UFOs.
Colonel Russell Williams is an elite pilot. He has flown the aircraft carrying the Prime Minister and the Governor General of Canada on both domestic and overseas flights. He commands CFB Trenton, Canada's largest air force base and home of much of the nation's aviation might. Colonel Williams has been "a shining bright star" of Canada's military. He has hobnobbed with top brass, both political and military.
He is also accused of being a serial rapist, home invader, and murderer..
He is also accused of being a serial rapist, home invader, and murderer..
Pictures of military subjects, many of them annotated, from all over such as Russia, Malaysia, Japan (Special Police), Ireland, Cyprus, Sri Lanka and Canada. [more inside]
A Presidential Boeing 747 along with two fighter planes continuously circled jarringly close to the tops of buildings in Lower Manhattan and Jersey City this morning. From the ground it looked as though a plane had been hijacked again, and the Air Force was attempting to force it down. Panic ensued. Another terrorist attack? No, just a top secret photo op. [more inside]
How to blog, or counter-blog, for the US Air force, in handy flow chart form.
I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me is a new book by author and interesting person Trevor Paglen. He collects patches designed by military personnel to commemorate secret "black-ops" projects.
The Air Force finally went and got themselves a proper memorial. Although he’s now deceased, the man who designed it also designed some other buildings around town. It’s a unique structure, with time-tested big lead balls to compensate for the wind. On opening day, a ‘sky-parade’ of old and new aircraft paid tribute, flying overhead in sequence. Some like it, some don’t.
USAF playing cat and mouse game over Iran and yes: there is no hard evidence that this is taking place. But we do recall what Bush had earlier said about the axis of evil and his warnings to Iran about nuke capability. "The U.S. Air Force is playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Iran's ayatollahs, flying American combat aircraft into Iranian airspace in an attempt to lure Tehran into turning on air defense radars, thus allowing U.S. pilots to grid the system for use in future targeting data, administration officials said. "We have to know which targets to attack and how to attack them," said one, speaking on condition of anonymity.
B1 Bomber goes down at sea Looks like the crew may have survived.