• The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: C-21A

    Manufacturer: Learjet Inc.Function: Passenger AirliftService Date: 1984Speed: 530 mphCrew: TwoProduction: 738 Inventory: 55Commentary: In January 2007, Program Budget Decision number 720 reduced C-21 operations to 40 aircraft. AMCdissolved C-21 operations at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. US Air Forces in Europe was reduced from 13 to 10, Pacific Air
  • The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: C-20 Gulfstream III

    Manufacturer: Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.Function: Special Air & Operational Support AirliftService Date: 1992Speed: 576 mphCrew: FiveProduction: 10Inventory: C-20B; 5 C-20H; 2Primarily used to fill the airlift mission for high-ranking government and DOD officials. Worldwide secure and non-secure passenger communication capability exists on both
  • ‘Tip of the iceberg’: 1,168 start Basic Cadet Training

    More than 1,100 young adults said goodbye to their parents and families June 30 and took their first military steps toward becoming commissioned officers.  In all, 1,168 appointees to the Air Force Academy were scheduled to begin Basic Cadet Training, a rigorous six-week mental and physical training program designed to introduce them to military
  • The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: C-17A Globemaster III

    Manufacturer: BoeingFunction: Cargo and Troop TransportService Date: 1993Speed: 518 mphCrew: ThreeProduction: 223 (planned) Inventory: 213Commentary: The first C-17 operational strategic brigade airdrop occurred in March 2003, when a formation of 15 aircraft delivered a US Army brigade, complete with equipment, directly into northern Iraq. 
  • The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: C-5A/B/C/M Galaxy

    Manufacturer: LockheedFunction: Outsize cargo transportService Date: 1970Crew: SevenSpeed: 518 mphProduction: 131Inventory: 94Commentary: The C-5 is the USAF’s largest transport aircraft. The C-5 is capable of carrying two M1 Abrams battle tanks, six Apache helicopters, or a quarter million pounds of relief supplies. The USAF is upgrading the fleet
  • The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: B-52H Stratofortress

    Manufacturer: BoeingFunction: Heavy BomberService Date: 1955Speed: 650 mphCrew: FiveProduction: 744 Inventory: 94Commentary: The B-52 is the largest aircraft credited with air-to-air kills (2 in Vietnam). Specially modified NB-52s support NASA and USAF test programs, acting as the launch platform for the X-15, lifting body aircraft, and other test
  • The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: B-2A Spirit

    Manufacturer: Northrup GrummanFunction: Multi-Role Heavy BomberService Date: 1993Speed: Mach 0.85-0.95Crew: Two PilotsProduction: 21 Inventory: 20Commentary: Based on flying wing concept pioneered on Northrup test bombers YB-35 and YB-49 in the 1940s. The first use of B-2s in combat took place in 1999 in Operation ALLIED FORCE.
  • The Contrails: Aircraft, weapons systems: B1-B Lancer

    Manufacturer: Boeing Function: Long-Range, Multi-Role, Heavy BomberService Date: 1985Speed: 900+ mphCrew: FourProduction: 104 Inventory: 66Commentary: The B-1 was planned as a replacement for the B-52 but was cancelled in 1977. The USAF revived the program in 1981. The B-1B was first used in combat against Iraq during Operation DESERT FOX in 1998.
  • The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: A-10A/C Thunderbolt II

    Manufacturer: Fairchild RepublicFunction: Close Air Support, Airborne Forward Air ControlService Date: 1977Speed: 517 mphCrew: OneProduction: 713 Inventory: 355Commentary: The cockpit is protected with a titanium armor “bathtub”, capable of absorbing up to 23 mm rounds. A-10s were first used in combat during Desert Storm in 1991. The A-10 is
  • ‘Little things in life’: Cadet Emily Martin celebrates family, friends, future

    Scooby is a 200-pound English Mastiff living in Gilbert, Arizona. He snores when he sleeps, smells funny and makes a mess when he drinks water, but he’s loved by his owner, Cadet 2nd Class Emily June Martin.   “I miss Scooby,” Emily said. “He’s the best ‘snuggler’ ever. Mastiffs are so easy. He can’t go more than a block without sitting down. When