Author Scott Fontaine

If you haven’t yet, read Nicholas Schmidle’s piece in the New Yorker about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. It’s a fine piece of reporting with a bunch of details you’re guaranteed to be reading for the first time. And since this is an Air Force blog, it’s worth mentioning the service receives a brief mention. Schmidle talks about the intental debate about how to take down bin Laden. Then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs vice chairman Gen. James Cartwright favored sending B-2s to bomb the compound, which would obviate the risk of having American troops operating on…

Adam Kinzinger is a captain in the Air National Guard who has managed to ding the chief of staff and get away with it. He once wrestled a knife-wielding man, disarmed him and was named “Hero of the Year.” He has flown missions over Iraq and Afghanistan. He won election to the U.S. House of Representatives on a tea party platform to cut spending. And he’s pretty easy on the eyes, according to The Hill newspaper. The tabloid named Kinzinger No. 5 on its annual 50 Most Beautiful People list. The article called him the “Tom Cruise of Congress” and…

Foreign Policy magazine has a cool slideshow of Afghanistan photos, taken with the Hipstamatic iPhone app. It’s a must-see for anyone who has spent sometime in the area. I’d link to a few of the photos, but there’s that whole issue of copyright. So, in the meantime, enjoy this photo of part of our newsroom:

Air Mobility Command is hosting their biennial Rodeo competition at Joint Base Lewis-McChord this week. (In case you didn’t know, check out this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this. And there’s even more here.) The event brings in folks from across the world, allows them to wear cowboy hats and compete for bragging rights. Your humble correspondent covered the past two Rodeos at his last gig, and I can attest they’re a mighty good time. Units will put up tents in a central area, grill out and sip a few chilly ones during…

Some pictures are worth a thousand words. Like this one of the Air Force’s chief of staff riding through the streets of Cheyenne, Wyo.: In case you’re wondering, Schwartz was the grand marshal of the 115th Cheyenne Frontier Days parade. He and his wife, Suzie, rode through downtown on horseback. He also attended the CFD Rodeo, where he “rode in the grand entry and received a behind-the-chutes tour,” according to an Air Force release.

The groundbreaking at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam of a 77,500-square-foot hangar and operations facility for the Hawaii Air National Guard’s F-22 squadron drew hundreds of people, including the state’s governor and adjutant general. It’s safe to say the 77,500-square-foot facility will probably be pretty dang nice. A drawing on the website of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser shows the new complex surrounded by well-manicured lawns and palm trees. The Raptor is the world’s most advanced air-to-air fighter. Some of the world’s top pilots sit in the F-22’s cockpits. But the Raptor pilots aren’t getting in the air anytime soon. The service grounded…

Spaceheads around the Air Force have to be asking themselves one question: Who the hell snagged their sleeve in the satellite? OK, maybe it’s not that simple. But a Government Accountability Office report found that a small piece of cloth stuck in a fuel line might have caused the problems the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite has suffered. The satellite will reach its intended altitude nearly a year late. Launch and operational delays have cost the government $250 million, according to the report. That’s some expensive cloth.

The Gaston Gazette of North Carolina has a touching story about the family of Capt. Mark McDowell, a pilot who was killed when his F-15E crashed in Afghanistan two years ago. “Some days, I feel like he could walk right in the front door, and it wouldn’t surprise me, and other days and nights, I know he’s not,” Karen McDowell told the newspaper. “Of course there are certain things that trigger the grief, but my husband and I have learned to share our grief with one another. We have really grown closer during this time than we had ever been…

Loring Air Force Base doesn’t see much action these days. The Maine airbase — named after Maj. Charles Loring, Medal of Honor winner — closed in 1994. But it was the site of a new world record Sunday, when a Floridan man rode his motorcycle faster than 311 mph. Other speed records were set Sunday, including one man who drove a 1995 Nissan pickup at 179 mph. So what’s it driving a motorcycle faster than the cruising speed of some jets? “In this situation it was very calm,” Bill Warner told the Bangor Daily News. “I progressed my speeds up…

Chances are if you’re reading this you’re: a) gainfully employed by the U.S. government or draw a pension from the U.S. government; and b) have a few extra bucks to throw around. (And on that latter part, there’s an easy litmus test: You have cable TV? Then you have disposable income.) It’s time to spread some of that dough around. The Air Force is taking part of the Feds Feed Families food-drive campaign, which runs through Aug. 31. The 2,500 folks at Air Force Personnel Center are aiming to raise more than five tons of food and hygiene products. Allow…

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