If there happens to be anyone reading LGF who opposes nuclear disarmament for any reason, you probably need to know that our doomsday arsenal is less secure than a revolving door in a prison. I’m just saying that we’re lucky to die of climate change instead of Dr. Strangelove levels of radiation released by sheer incompetence.
Some interesting technical detective work, and a good example of how seemingly trivial design factors (in this case, the choice of material for a rivet) can have very big effects in aviation.
BILOXI, Miss. (Tribune News Service) — For years, a strange problem with the U.S. Air Force’s C-130 aircraft had pilots and crews reporting sickness, discomfort and, in some cases, excruciating pain after routine flight missions. The phenomenon remained a mystery until February, when a handful of reservists at Keesler Air Force Base took the initiative to solve the mystery. They made a tiny discovery that’s affecting airplanes worldwide.
The problem was with the pressurization system on the C-130 Hercules — the longest-produced and perhaps most-popular aircraft in military history. The versatile airplane serves as an attack gunship, a troop transport, a surveillance plane and many other roles.
Keesler’s famed Hurricane Hunters fly the C-130J for weather reconnaissance.
In February, maintenance technicians from the 403rd Wing began a hunt for a solution to the problem. At times, the C-130s’ pressurization systems could not be controlled manually or automatically. Cabins would over-pressurize at certain altitudes, causing the physiological problems.
This article explains why the emergence of mercenaries as a common thing in today’s conflicts endangers international relations and increases the risk of war.
The biggest problem of course is that one day mercenaries discover two things. First they discover their employers have no weapons, are not willing to fight and do have money. Second they discover that they have weapons, are willing to fight and do not have money.
The actions those discoveries cause are pretty much inevitable after that.
One might use the Thirty Years War as a fine example of the problems mercenaries cause and why they became pretty much illegal for centuries.
It’s been a while since we checked in with the F-35, the new strike-fighter also known as the Flying Swiss Army Knife, and a gigantic lemon from which no lemonade ever can be made. The money pit that is the F-35 program has now grown so deep that it is very possible that some of the money tossed into it is now turning up in Shanghai. The latest glitch finds us in a situation in which the plane won’t be able to carry its state-of-the-art ordnance for another seven years, at least.
The other day we were speculating about B-52s being used against ISIS, the context being RWNJ demands that the heavy bombers be so employed. It turns out that the B-52’s heavy partner, the B-1 (aka “Bone) is being used against the terrorist movement, with over 100 sorties so far. The B-1 can potentially carry a heavier bombload than the ‘52 but normally operates with a smaller load of guided weapons, especially the JDAM..
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar — Carrying the largest payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1B Lancer is the backbone of America’s long-range bomber force and is a key resource for strike operations throughout the Central Command Area of Responsibility.
As a unit, the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., replaced the 9th EBS just shy of a month ago and in that time they have flown just under 100 sorties.
“We continue to employ combat air power in support of the Combined Forces Air Component Commander’s objectives,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Kramer, 34th EBS commander. “We’ve dropped approximately 250 munitions on both deliberate targets, which are targets assigned prior to take off, and dynamic targets, which are targets passed to our Airmen while they are airborne.”
B-1s based here are capable of supporting operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, or anywhere else they are needed. In recent months, the bombers have played a major role in helping Iraqi and Kurdish forces hold or retake key territory in Iraq and Syria, as well as destroying facilities and assets used by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The bomber’s range and payload let it conduct multiple strikes with a large number of precision-guided munitions, which would require multiple combat sorties from other aircraft.
“We have accomplished a lot here so far, and we’re definitely up for the challenge that supporting these missions require,” said Hobbs. “We are supporting multiple mission sets across two operations and those mission sets include close air support, armed overwatch and several deliberate targeting missions that are assigned via the air tasking order.”
Operations in Iraq and Syria have provided new mission challenges for veteran B-1 aircrews in the theater. For some, this is their first experience in a combat zone.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has apologized for making false claims about having served in the the U.S. military’s elite specials operations forces, the latest scandal to hit the besieged department.
The incident, first reported Monday by The Huffington Post, took place last month as the new secretary participated in an overnight count of homeless veterans in the Los Angeles area. The event is an annual survey of the homeless population, with volunteers engaging with individuals living on the streets to learn about their backgrounds and challenges.
“While I was in Los Angeles, engaging a homeless individual to determine his Veteran status, I asked the man where he had served in the military,” McDonald said in a statement released to Military Times late Monday night. “He responded that he had served in special forces. I incorrectly stated that I had been in special forces. That was inaccurate and I apologize to anyone that was offended by my misstatement.
The Defense Department released its proposed budget for fiscal 2016 on Monday, asking Congress for $585 billion as part of President Obama’s $4 trillion budget request. The Pentagon’s slice of the pie would amount to a $25 billion increase over this year.
Defense officials are casting that number in a different light, though. As shown in the chart above — included in budget documents released by the Pentagon — the new funding levels proposed by the administration are in line with spending levels in the 1980s, after President Reagan built up the military following steep cuts after the Vietnam War. The message: While the Defense Department doesn’t need to spend as much as it did during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it still needs the cash to prepare for a variety of crises.
“We have little margin left for error or strategic surprise,” Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters on Monday.
WILMINGTON: Female Veteran Shamed for Parking in Reserved Spot - WNCN: News, Weather, Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville
An Air Force veteran who served in Kuwait found a note on her car Friday criticizing her for parking in a veterans-only parking spot in Wilmington.
Mary Claire Caine told WECT-TV that she returned to her car from shopping at Harris Teeter to find a note plastered to her front window from a person identifying themselves as a “Wounded Vet.”
It read, “Maybe [you] can’t read the sign you parked in front of … This space is reserved for those who fought for America … not you. Thanks, Wounded Vet.”
Federal prosecutors recommended that David Petraeus face charges for providing classified documents to his biographer, raising the prospect of criminal proceedings against the retired four-star general and former CIA director.
The recommendation follows a federal probe into how the biographer, Paula Broadwell, apparently obtained classified records several years ago while working on a book about Petraeus. Broadwell also was his mistress, and the documents were discovered by investigators during the scandal that forced Petraeus’s resignation as CIA director in 2012.
Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. must decide whether to pursue charges against Petraeus, the former top U.S. commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
A U.S. Navy commander pleaded guilty Tuesday in a massive bribery scheme involving a longtime military contractor in Asia who allegedly offered luxury travel, prostitutes and other bribes to Navy officers in exchange for confidential information.
Jose Luis Sanchez, 42, is the highest-ranking official to plead the guilty in the case, which rocked the Navy when the first charges were filed in 2013. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced March 27.
Sanchez, who lives in San Diego and remains on active duty, was asked to silently read four passages of a 24-page plea agreement and say if the wrongdoing described was accurate.