Browsing: History

Reviewing history in the military, the Air Force and triumphs and misadventures in airpower. In October 1861, the Union Army Balloon Corps was activated as part of the Union Army during the American Civil War. The Balloon Corps was essentially an early form of reconnaissance conducted from a hot air balloon. How did this idea come about? Aeronaut Thaddeus Lowe was in the middle of experimenting a transatlantic crossing by hot air balloon. With the onset of the war, his attempts were interrupted. Instead, he was introduced to President Abraham Lincoln and offered his aviation expertise – he gave Lincoln…

Taking our “Here’s Why” from the paper to the blog. An explanation for why something is the way it is in the Air Force/military. Stiff upper lip: Not just an AC/DC album, but also a term meaning “to exercises great self-restraint in the expression of emotion.” The traditional term originally described the characteristics of military officers during the two world wars, according to Judy Parkinson, author of “Spilling the Beans on the Cat’s Pajamas.” She writes:  Officers’  “upper lips were frequently concealed with a mustache, which perhaps became fashionable because it could conceal any uncontrollable trembling reflexes at the wrong…

Get a first look at the strict Body Mass Index and body fat standards for airmen who fail the waist measurement part of the PT test but receive a composite score of 75 on the rest of the test The Air Force has not officially announced what the standards will be, but an internal document obtained by Air Force Times shows what is planned. Also this week, airmen struggle to pass the PT test months after giving birth. Read how one airman was so convinced she would fail the test that she had someone stab her in the stomach to…

Get a first look at the strict Body Mass Index and body fat standards for airmen who fail the waist measurement part of the PT test but receive a composite score of 75 on the rest of the test The Air Force has not officially announced what the standards will be, but an internal document obtained by Air Force Times shows what is planned. Also this week, airmen struggle to pass the PT test months after giving birth. Read how one airman was so convinced she would fail the test that she had someone stab her in the stomach to…

Two World War II airmen are finally headed home. The Defense Department’s POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that two U.S. service members missing in action in WWII have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors, according to a Defense Department release. Army Air Force 2nd Lt. Valorie L. Pollard of Monterey, Calif., and Sgt. Dominick J. Licari of Frankfort, N.Y., will be buried as a group in a single casket on Sept. 19 at Arlington National Cemetery. The individually-identified remains of Licari were buried on Aug. 6 in Frankfort, N.Y. Pollard and…

Reviewing history in the military, the Air Force and triumphs and misadventures in airpower. Yesterday marked the eighth anniversary of the day Hurricane Katrina hammered through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,800 people. Thousands of National Guard troops from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were on duty from that day forward. The Air Guard’s participation in the Katrina rescue effort resulted in 1,282 victims rescued on the ground by Air Guard pararescuemen and an additional 161 by Air Guard rescue helicopters, according to a report by David P. Anderson, National Guard Bureau. Air Guard combat controllers evacuated…

Reviewing history in the military, the Air Force and triumphs and misadventures in airpower. On Aug. 19, 1960, downed American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers was sentenced to 10 years — three years imprisonment, seven years of hard labor — in Vladimir Central Prison outside of Moscow, for espionage against the Soviet Union. While conducting his U-2 mission to systematically photograph military installations, Powers was shot down over Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg, Russia) a few months earlier by a newly developed SA-2 Surface to Air missile. According to his biography, Powers was captured, sentenced, and held prisoner until his exchange on…

A new petition to the White House is asking President Obama to give retired Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager his second star. Yeager is best known as the first human being to travel faster than the speed of sound as a test pilot in October 1947. He was featured prominently in the book and movie “The Right Stuff.” “General Yeager at no time in his career ever sought personnel gain in the military,” the petition says.”He stepped up time after time, and performed the mission as required.” Retired Master Sgt. Ronald Enriquez started the petition because he feels Yeager is due…

More than seven months after Congress required the U.S. government to take over the care and maintenance of Clark Veterans Cemetery in the Philippines, nothing has happened. A 1991 volcanic eruption left the roughly 8,600 tombstones in the cemetery under up to a foot of ash just as the U.S. military was leaving Clark Air Base. The local Veterans of Foreign Wars post has taken care of the cemetery since 1994, but it would take at least $2.5 million to repair all of the damage caused by the volcano. In January, President Obama signed a law requiring the American Battle…

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Taking our “Here’s Why” from the paper to the blog. An explanation for why something is the way it is in the Air Force/military. When you hear “foo fighter,” most may think of the rock band. But a “foo fighter” has its origins way back during World War II. Why? The term was used by Allied aircraft pilots who had seen unidentified flying objects as they traveled through German airspace, with some occurrences in the Pacific theater. According to Jo Chamberlin, author of “The Foo Fighter Mystery” they were “described as ‘balls of fire’ which followed them, [and] occasionally came…

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