Feature Comments Updated
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Brig. Gen. Andrew Armacost, the dean of the faculty, speaks from the stage of Polaris Hall Jan. 26, 2017, at the 21st Annual Air Force Academy Research Awards ceremony.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Gutierrez) Awards ceremony recognizes revolutionary research of cadets, faculty
Analyzing Nigerian refugee camps to create long-term sustainable solutions, and timely famine response while working in Silicon Valley, was one of three projects earning Cadet 1st Class Saylor Gilbert the top cadet summer research program award, Jan. 26. Gilbert’s work was among cadet and faculty research projects recognized Jan. 26 at the 21st
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Cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy submitted their research Jan. 24 for the Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage -- or RASC-AL -- a National Institute of Aerospace competition supporting NASA’s goal of expanding humanity’s reach into space. (Courtesy graphic) Update: Cadets selected to compete in round 2 of NASA space-habitat design competition
National Institute of Aerospace officials invited cadets to compete in the next round of the RASC-AL Space Habitat Competition's in March. If the team makes it through the next cut, they'll compete in the competition's final round, May 31-June 2 in Florida. The cadets are designing a habitat module to use in low-Earth orbit after the International
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Airman 1st Class Giovanni Fiorella of the 10th Security Forces Squadron stands between brothers Dionisio Fiorella (right), a California Highway Patrol officer, and Micheal Fiorella (left), a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officer. Giovanni, 22, is assigned to the 10th SFS's Elite Sentry Program at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He hopes his security force experience will help him become a civil police officer. (Courtesy photo) 10th SFS Airman gets $Million view, life experience at USAFA
How does an airman first class get an office bigger than the superintendent’s?  Earn a spot as an Elite Sentry with the 10th Security Forces Squadron, like Giovanni Fiorella.  Fiorella considers the 18,500-acre base, with its sweeping view of the Front Range Mountains, to be his office. “I get a $Million-dollar view every day,” he said. “There are
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Cadet 2nd Class Tori Gilster and retired Lt. Col. Richard Trail, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, pose for a photo last fall in the 94th Flying Training Squadron offices. Trail was the first cadet to make a successful solo flight in a glider. He and retired Lt. Col. James Leland visited the Academy to meet cadets and staff and discuss the advances made in the wake of the Air Force's only Soaring Program. Leland helped design the Soaring Program in the 1960s.'(Courtesy photo)  Soaring Program pioneers stage fall visit to Academy
 Two soaring program pioneers took a stroll through history with cadets and staff this fall at the 94th Flying Training Squadron, home to the Air Force’s only Soaring Program.Retired Lt. Col James Leland helped create the soaring program and retired Lt. Col. Richard Trail, a 1959 Academy graduate, was the first cadet to take a solo flight in a
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Retired Navy Lt. Jim Downing shares his story of military service and surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor with U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School cadet candidates, Jan. 6, 2016, at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Downing, 103, is the second oldest known survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Gutierrez) Service and survival: Pearl Harbor vet visits Prep School Jan 6
Retired Navy Lt. Jim Downing is many things: World War II and Korean War veteran and, at 103, the second oldest known survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Colorado Springs resident shared his story of military service with scores of Air Force Academy Preparatory School students here Jan. 6. “The first Japanese plane I saw was flying straight
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An MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle and F-16 Fighting Falcon return from an Operation Iraqi Freedom combat mission. Both aircraft provide intelligence, search and reconnaissance gathering features, as well as munitions capability to support ground troops and base defense. (U.S. Air Force photo/Shannon Collins) The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: MQ-1B Predator
Manufacturer: General AtomicsFunction: Armed Reconnaissance, Airborne Surveillance and Target AcquisitionService Date: 1996Speed: Up to 135 mphCrew (GCS): TwoProduction: 186 Inventory: 126Commentary: An operational Predator system includes four air vehicles, a ground control station (GCS), satellite link, and 55 personnel for 24-hour operations.
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An Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady flies a training mission.(U.S. Air Force photo/Rose Reynolds) The Contrails: Aircraft Weapons Systems: U-2S/TR-1 Dragon Lady
Manufacturer: Lockheed MartinFunction: High-AltitudeReconnaissance Service Date: 1955Speed: 410+ mphCrew: 1Production: 35 Inventory: 33Commentary: Although the U-2 was designed initially in the 1950s, current aircraft were produced primarily in the 1980s, when the production line was reopened to produce the TR-1, a significantly larger and more
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An HH-60 Pavehawk helicopter lands during a medivac mission in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brian Ferguson)

The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: HH-60G Pave Hawk
Manufacturer: SikorskyFunction:Special Operations/Personnel Recovery Service Date: 1982  Speed: 184 mphCrew: FourProduction: 105 Inventory: 99Commentary: The HH-60 is a specially modified version of the H-60 Blackhawk used primarily for combat search and rescue, also aeromedical evacuation, casualty evacuation, civil SAR, and other support
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The CV-22 Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft that combines the vertical takeoff, hover and vertical landing qualities of a helicopter with the long-range, fuel efficiency and speed characteristics of a turboprop aircraft. Its mission is to conduct long-range infiltration, ex-filtration and resupply missions for special operations forces. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: CV-22A Osprey
Manufacturer: Bell Helicopter and BoeingFunction: Special Operations Long RangeSpeed: 277 mph (cruising speed)Crew: FourProduction: 50 (planned)Inventory: 17 Commentary: The USAF received its first aircraft in January 2007. IOT&E was completed by summer 2008. The first operational deployment, to Africa, took place in November 2008, and the first
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Air Force One is flown over Mount Rushmore in Keystone, South Dakota. (U.S. Air Force photo) The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: VC-25 Air Force One
Manufacturer: BoeingFunction: Presidential Air TransportService Date: 1990Speed: 630 mphCrew: 26Production: 2 Inventory: 2Commentary: The VC-25 is most famous for its role as Air Force One, the call sign of any US Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. The two aircraft currently in US service are highly modified versions of
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