Author Stephen Losey

The Air Force Band on Tuesday delivered a surprise for hundreds of spectators at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center: An outstanding flash mob performance of “Greensleeves/What Child is This” and “Carol of the Bells.” As you can see in the video below, the performance began with a single oboist playing “Greensleeves” beneath the Space Shuttle Discovery, in the James S. McDonnell Space Hanger. She was soon joined by a cellist, another oboist, a harpist, and before long, the performance swelled to dozens of musicians throughout the hanger. The performance moved over to the main section of the hanger…

If you’ve been anywhere near the Internet this weekend, you’ve probably seen the first trailer for the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. Fans applauded the return of the legendary Millennium Falcon and the debut of an updated X-wing starfighter, and how their appearance hews closer to the utilitarian, beat-to-hell look of the original movies and not the shiny, spiffy look of the much-derided prequels. Jalopnik’s military-focused blog, Foxtrot Alpha, took things one step further this weekend by outlining how the advancement — or lack thereof — of weapons platforms in the Star Wars universe mirrors our own. Said Foxtrot Alpha: Like…

Former Air Force Academy cadet and linebacker Jamil Cooks — who was convicted of abusive sexual contact in a court martial and kicked out of the military in April 2013 — has resurfaced on a civilian university’s football team, according to an ABC News report. Cooks is now enrolled at Alcorn State University in Mississippi, and plays on the school’s Division I football team, ABC reported Tuesday. ABC said Cooks is appealing his conviction, which requires him to register as a sex offender. The court-martial panel acquitted Cooks of forcible sodomy and aggravated sexual assault. Cooks’ continued presence on a…

Thousands of airmen have so far been cut voluntarily and involuntarily through the Air Force’s massive force management program — but the Air Force’s mission continues. We’d like to hear from the airmen who remain what effect the cuts have had on them. Are you being asked to do more with less now that your fellow airmen are gone? What has that meant for you? Write me at slosey@airforcetimes.com to let me know. Please include your career field. If you’d like to talk anonymously, that’s fine.

If you’re near the Pentagon or Arlington National Cemetery today, you might want to watch the skies around lunchtime. About 30 T-6 Texan aircraft — a two-seater used for advanced pilot training during World War II — are going to take off from Culpeper Regional Airport in Virginia around noon, and fly over Northern Virginia in formation. The Potomac Flight is scheduled to swing by Andrews Air Force Base, before flying over Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon in formation around 12:30. The T-6s will then return to Culpeper. The ceremonial flight is part of this weekend’s Culpeper Air Fest,…

This morning’s lunar eclipse — which produced a coppery-red effect known as a “blood moon” — brought out skygazers of all kinds. Among them was pilot, former Air Force contractor, and amateur photographer Joseph Gruber, who snapped this outstanding photo of the blood moon hovering over the Air Force Memorial. Gruber, who is also a first lieutenant with the Civil Air Patrol, said he was trying to find some high ground to snap a good shot of the eclipse in the Crystal City, Va., area where he lives. He realized Long Bridge Park, on the Potomac River, would provide a…

Showtime’s controversial CIA drama “Homeland” returned with a two-part episode Sunday night. And in the premiere, the Air Force plays a central role in a fatal airstrike that will clearly drive this season’s plot. Major spoilers for the premiere follow, in case you haven’t seen it yet. The episode begins with brilliant-but-unstable CIA analyst Carrie Matheson (Claire Danes) — now the station chief in Kabul — ordering a strike on a terrorist leader named Haqqani in the Pakistani tribal region. However, the CIA’s intel didn’t include the fact that Haqqani was at a wedding, and multiple women and children are killed…

Showtime’s controversial CIA drama “Homeland” returned with a two-part episode Sunday night. And in the premiere, the Air Force plays a central role in a fatal airstrike that will clearly drive this season’s plot. Major spoilers for the premiere follow, in case you haven’t seen it yet. The episode begins with brilliant-but-unstable CIA analyst Carrie Matheson (Claire Danes) — now the station chief in Kabul — ordering a strike on a terrorist leader named Haqqani in the Pakistani tribal region. However, the CIA’s intel didn’t include the fact that Haqqani was at a wedding, and multiple women and children are killed…

Air Force Sec. Deborah Lee James last night threw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals’ doubleheader against the New York Mets. The Nationals hosted James, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, and several airmen as part of their Air Force Appreciation Night. Judging by this photo of the catch, James seemed pretty on-target — perhaps a bit low and outside, but she served up a much better pitch than 50 Cent’s infamously bad throw earlier this year. James also posted this photo of her warming up beforehand. And Gen. Welsh’s wife Betty tweeted some photos of the Welshes at…

The cover story from our Sept. 8 issue, “Crushing demands of job lead some Air Force recruiters to falsify reports,” is proving quite controversial. The command chief master sergeant of the Air Force Recruiting Service, Chief Master Sgt. Charles Lamer, fired back in this week’s issue with an op-ed calling the story “a gross misrepresentation” of the recruiting service. Air Force Times would like to hear from more recruiters out there. Is cheating widespread, condoned and — in some cases — encouraged by supervisors? Or do you think the anecdotes and opinions reported in our story are outliers, and that…

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