January 1 A milestone is passed as the 1000th Boeing B-47 Stratojet is accepted into service by the Strategic Air Com­mand (SAC). It continues on as the main­stay of American nuclear deterrence until the larger and more capable B-52s are available in greater numbers.

January 17 In Washington, D. C., the Department of Defense declares that an automated, electronic air defense system called SAGE (semi-automatic ground environment) has been developed and deployed. This is a complex phone sys­tem tied to computer centers for a rapid transfer of real-time information.

February 17 The first production Lockheed F-104 Starfighter makes its ini­tial flight.

MARCH 9 The new Boeing B-52C Stra – tofortress, equipped with large under­wing tanks for greater range, performs its maiden flight.

MARCH 24 Airman D. F. Smith is sealed in the Air Force space cabin simulator for 24 hours without ill effects.

APRIL 23 The Douglas C-133A Cargo – master flies for the first time. The Air Force acquires 50 ofthese giant transports to haul ICBMs and other missile systems around the country.

Подпись: A SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) terminal used during cold war to analyze radar data in real time to target Soviet bombers. The light pen, which was shaped similar to a handheld power drill or gun, is resting on the console. Notice the built-in cigarette lighter and the ashtray just left of the light pen. (U.S. Air Force)

May 7 Off the coast of Cape Cod, the first Air Force “Texas Tower” early warning radar is constructed 100 miles at sea on the Georges Bank.

May 21 Over Bikini Atoll, a B-52 piloted by Major David Crichlow drops a thermonuclear bomb from 50,000 feet. This is the first airborne delivery for such a weapon and the test is considered a suc­cess.

May 31 At Turner Air Force Base, George, the 4080th Strategic Reconnais­sance Wing deploys the first RB-57D Canberra jet.

June 4 Over Wichita, Kansas, the first B – 52D Stratofortess flies for the first time; this version is especially equipped for long-range bombing missions.

June 22 In the Caribbean, Operation six­teen ton unfolds as Air Force Reserve transports begin their first sustained cargo airlift into that region.

July 4 At Wiesbaden, West Germany, the top secret Lockheed U-2 spyplane makes its first clandestine overflight of the Soviet Union by photographing air­fields in the Baltics, Minsk, and Leningrad before returning home.

July 15 At Torrejon, Spain, the Six­teenth Air Force is created as part of NATO.

July 18 At Renton, Washington, the last Boeing KC-97G propellor-driven tanker aircraft is rolled out of the factory.

July 23 Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, the Bell X-2 rocket-powered research aircraft is flown by Lieutenant Colonel Frank K. Everest to a record speed of 1,900 miles per hour at an alti­tude of 75,000 feet.

AUGUST 27 At Edwards Air Force Base, California, the Thor rocket engine undergoes its first static test firing by the Air Force Flight Test Center.

AUGUST 31 At Renton, Washington, the first Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker is rolled off the assembly line.

SEPTEMBER 7 Over California, the Bell X-2 rocket research airplane is flown by Captain Iven C. Kincheloe to an altitude of 126,200 feet—the first time a human being has exceeded 100,000 feet. Kinche – loe receives a Mackay Trophy for his endeavor.

September 15 At Hahn Air Base, West Germany, the 701st Tactical Missile Wing deploys as part of the Twelfth Air Force. This is the first unit of its kind and operates Matador missiles.

September 20 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the three-stage Jupiter C missile is launched for the first time. It ventures 3,300 miles downrange after reaching an altitude of 680 miles.

September 27 Over California, disaster strikes as the Bell X-2 rocket plane flown by Captain Milburn G. Ap loses control after reaching 2,094 miles per hour at an altitude of 65,000 feet. He manages to eject but dies after his capsule hits the des­ert floor.

OCTOBER 26 At Fort Worth, Texas, the Bell XH-40 helicopter prototype takes to the air. It enters production as the UH-1 Iroquois, or Huey, and sees widespread service in the Vietnam War.

NOVEMBER 6 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the first Navajo ramjet ICBM is launched and breaks up after 30 seconds of flight.

November 11 At Fort Worth, Texas, the Convair XB-58 prototype completes its maiden flight. This sleek, delta­winged bomber enters production as the B-58 Hustler and is the first aircraft of its class to incorporate “area rule” in its design.

November 16 In California, parts of Camp Cooke are transferred to the Air Force by the Defense Department. This is the future site ofVandenberg Air Force Base and also the first active ICBM base.

November 26 In Washington, D. C., Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson del­egates operational jurisdiction over long – range missiles to the Air Force.

November 30 After a final successful test, the Martin TM-61 Matador is certi­fied as operational. This is the Air Force’s first tactical missile and it can reach 35,000 feet at a speed of 650 miles per hour.

December 9 The 463rd Troop Carrier Wing accepts delivery of the first Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport. This versatile craft can carry 92 fully armed troops or 92 tons of cargo for 2,500 miles and operate from unprepared runways as short as 4,000 feet.

December 10 In West Germany, Oper­ation safe haven begins as the Military Air Transport Service begins lifting 100,000 Hungarian refugees fleeing a Soviet invasion of their country. The operation lasts seven months.

December 21 At Dayton, Ohio, Major Arnold I. Beck reaches a simulated alti­tude of 198,770 feet in an Air Research and Development Command chamber.

December 26 At Edwards Air Force Base, California, the Convair YF-106 prototype makes its initial flight. It enters service as the F-106 Delta Dart and serves with distinction as a bomber interceptor.


JANUARY 8 Over North Vietnam, an F-4 flown by Captain Paul D. Howman and Lieutenant Lawrence W. Kullman shoots down the final MiG of the war with an AIM-7 Sparrow missile.

January 15 All Air force offensive oper­ations against North Vietnam cease once the Communists agree to return to the Paris peace talks.

JANUARY 18 In Washington, D. C., the Defense Department contracts with Fair­child Republic to produce the A-10 close support aircraft, better known to its flight crews as the “Warthog.”

JANUARY 28 Over South Vietnam, a B – 52 bomber performs the final arc light mission against suspected Communist positions. As of this date the war in Viet­nam officially ends, although aerial cam­paigns are conducted in neighboring countries.

February 12 At Hanoi, North Viet­nam, Operation homecoming unfolds as Air Force C-141s arrive to transport the first of 591 prisoners of war to Clark Air Base, the Philippines, then home. Air­crews from the Military Airlift Command (MAC) involved in this humanitarian mission receive the Mackay Trophy.

FEBRUARY 21 Over Laos, a cease-fire

between the government and Commu­nist insurgents results in an end to B-52 air strikes. However, violations of the agreement result in a resumption of attacks through April.

MARCH 28 As the last remaining Air Force aircraft depart South Vietnam, the Seventh Air Force relocates its operations to Nakhon Phanom Air Base in Thailand.

April 10 The Boeing T-43A prototype, a modified 737-200 airliner, performs its maiden flight.

April 17 Over Laos, B-52 bombers from Guam launch air strikes on Communist positions in response to cease-fire viola­tions.

May 15 Over Africa, Operation authen­tic assistance unfolds as C-130s perform 541 missions to deliver tons of relief sup­plies to drought-stricken regions of Chad, Mali, and Mauritania. The 19 aircraft involved deliver 9,200 tons by October.

June 13 The Air Force deploys the first of its Boeing E-4A advanced airborne command posts.

August 15 Over Cambodia, B-52 bombers perform their final missions against Communist Khmer Rouge tar­gets; this concludes an eight-year-long aerial campaign, most of it clandestine.

In Thailand, an Air Force A-7D Cor­sair II performs the final bombing raid of the Southeast Asian War while an EC – 121 from Korat, Thailand, is credited with flying the last U. S. mission of this conflict. All told, the Air Force flew 5.25 million sorties since 1962 and lost 1,700 aircraft in combat.

August 20 In Pakistan, transports of the Military Airlift Command (MAC), the Tactical Air Command (TAC), and the Air Force Reserve (USAFR) convey

2,400 tons of supplies and relief equip­ment to assist victims of recent flooding.

OCTOBER 1 In Washington, D. C., Thomas N. Barnes gains appointment as the new chief master sergeant of the Air Force.

October 12-April 6 In the Middle

East, Operation GIANT REACH unfolds as nine SR-71 Blackbirds perform recon­naissance missions launched from the United States as the violent Yom Kippur War between Israel, Egypt, and Syria rages.

October 14-November 14 In Israel,

Operation NICKEL GRASS begins transport­ing war materiel to make up for losses sus­tained in the Yom Kippur War. C-5A Galaxies and C-141 Starlifters bring in

22,400 tons of supplies to offset a similar effort by the Soviet Union to Egypt and Syria. This endeavor enables the beleag­uered Jewish state to survive a well – coordinated Arab attack.

OCTOBER 6-24 In the Middle East, Operation NIGHT REACH commences as Air Force transports bring in UN peace­keeping forces to monitor the truce between Egypt and Israel.

December 13 At Fort Worth, Texas, General Dynamics rolls out its prototype YF-16 lightweight air superiority fighter; it enters production as the F-16 Fighting Falcon.


JANUARY 7—20 At Monrovia, Liberia, MEDFLY 89, a joint-service humanitarian effort, unfolds as two C-130 Hercules from the 167th Tactical Airlift Group deliver needed medical supplies and personnel.

JANUARY 10 The AGM-136 Tacit Rain­bow missile is tested by a B-52 bomber for the first time. This advanced weapon flies to specific coordinates then loiters until radar energy is detected and identi­fied, whereupon it homes in and destroys the target.

FEBRUARY At Dakar, Senegal, the 63rd Military Airlift Wing dispatches two C – 141 Starlifters carrying 20 tons of insecti­cide to control swarming locusts.

FEBRUARY 16 In California, the T-38 Talon production line is finally closed by

Northrop after the 3,806th supersonic jet trainer is manufactured.

MARCH 27 In Alaska, Military Airlift Command (MAC) transports convey over 1,000 tons of cleanup equipment after 10 million gallons of oil are spilled by the tanker Exxon Valdez.

APRIL In Africa, the 436th Military Airlift Wing delivers 32 pallets of relief supplies to malnourished inhabitants of Gambia, Equatorial Guinea, and Chad.

April 17 At Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, a Boeing E-3A Sentry aircraft christened Elf One returns after serving eight years on station over Saudi Arabia.

The U. S. Air Force accepts the 50th and final Lockheed C-5B Galaxy transport.

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May 13—18 In Panama, Operation nim­rod dancer unfolds as the Air Force transports fly in 2,600 marines, along with 3,000 tons of equipment, in response to threats to U. S. military personnel.

May 16—June 29 Continuing political unrest in Panama results in Operation blade jewel, whereby Air Force transports evacuate 6,000 nonessential personnel.

June 9—11 In response to a terrible train wreck near Ufa on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, resulting in 850 casualties, the Military Airlift Command (MAC) sends several transports to the Soviet Union with humanitarian supplies for the victims.

June 10 At Edwards Air Force Base, Cal­ifornia, Captain Jacquelyn S. Parker becomes the first female graduate of the Air Force Test Pilot School.

June 14 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the new Titan IV heavy-lift rocket booster is launched for the first time and carries a Department of Defense sat­ellite aloft.

July 6 In Washington, D. C., President H. W. Bush awards noted aviator James H. Doolittle the Presidential Medal of Freedom; he remains the only American to receive this and a Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s two highest awards.

July 17 At Edwards Air Force Base, California, the new Northrop-Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber flies for the first time.

AUGUST 16 The first Pacific Air Chiefs Conference is hosted by the Pacific Air Forces, and is attended by ranking airmen from Australia, Japan, the Philippines,

Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. It seeks to promote regional cooperation and security through air power.

September 19-21 The Military Airlift Command (MAC) conveys 4,300 tons of humanitarian supplies after Hurricane Hugo ravages the coast of South Carolina. Meanwhile, RF-4C Phantom II reconnaissance aircraft from nearby Shaw Air Force Base provide photo cov­erage to National Guard troops con­ducting rescue operations.

OCTOBER 1 General Hansford T. John­

son becomes the first U. S. Air Force Academy graduate promoted to full (four-star) rank.

OCTOBER 3 The last production U-2R spyplane is delivered to the Air Force by Lockheed; the clandestine fleet now consists of 9 U-2Rs, 26 TR-1As, and 2 TR-1Bs.

OCTOBER 4 A B-1B Lancer piloted by Captain Jeffrey K. Beene, 96th Bombardment Wing, makes a nose – wheel-up landing without seriously dam­aging the aircraft. Beene wins the Mackay Trophy.

Over Antarctica, a C-5 Galaxy from the 60th Military Airlift Wing lands for the first time at McMurdo Station with­out skids, and delivers two UH-1N Huey helicopters, 84 tons of supplies, and 72 passengers.

OCTOBER 17 After San Francisco, California, is heavily damaged by an enormous earthquake, transports from the Military Airlift Command (MAC) deliver 250 tons of supplies.

December 14 Women serve as combat crew members on C-130 and C-141 air­drop missions for the first time.

December 20—24 Over Panama, six F – 117s of the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing and special operations AC-130H aircraft from Air Force Special Operations Com­mand participate in Operation just cause. Military Airlift Command (MAC) trans­ports also airdrop 9,500 troops from Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, in the biggest nighttime combat operation since the World War II. Furthermore, Air Force Reserve aircraft deliver in 6,000 passengers and 3,700 tons of supplies as hostilities unfold.

The 16th Special Operations Squad­ron, flying an AC-130H named Air

Papa 06, distinguishes itself in combat during Operation just cause by destroy­ing numerous barracks and antiaircraft gun emplacements at La Comandancia (Panamanian Defense Force head­quarters) without inflicting collateral damage to civilian buildings nearby. They win a Mackay Trophy for their mission.

December 29—31 In Bucharest, Roma­nia, two C-130 Hercules from the Mili­tary Airlift Command (MAC) deliver 30 tons of medical supplies to treat the victims in the wake of a bloody anti­Communist uprising.


JANUARY 7 Over Somalia, an Air Force AC-130H Spectre gunship destroys a sus­pected al-Qaeda training camp.

January 24 AC-130H Spectre gunships

conduct a second round of strikes against suspected al-Qaeda terrorist training camps in Somalia.

MARCH 29 In Washington, D. C., the Tuskegee Airmen are awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for their service in World War II, and for helping to frame the civil rights issue in the postwar period.

AUGUST 1 Ceremonies are held marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the U. S. Army Signal Corps, the lineal antecedent of the U. S. Air Force.

AUGUST 31 In Washington, D. C., Defense Secretary Robert Gates is noti­fied as to the mistaken transport of six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles from Minot

Air Force Base, North Dakota, to Barks­dale Air Force Base, Louisiana, onboard a B-52 bomber.

OCTOBER 19 In Washington, D. C., the Air Force publicly acknowledges that six

nuclear-tipped cruises missiles were mis­takenly transported on a B-52 bomber; such incidents are referred to as a Bent Spear.


January 16—18 Three B-52s from the 93rd Bombardment Wing, including Lucky Lady III under mission commander Major General Archie J. Old, Jr., make the world’s first nonstop, around-the – world jet flight from Castle Air Force Base, California. The voyage covers 24,325 miles, requires five in-flight refu­elings, and takes 45 hours and 19 minutes to execute. This dramatic display by the Strategic Air Command (SAC) to hit any region on the globe results in a Mackay Trophy for the unit and a Distinguished Flying Cross for each crew member.

January 25 The Air Force unsuccess­fully test launches the new Thor intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) for the first time; the prototype had been under construction for 13 months prior to this setback.

MARCH 27 The McDonnell F-101B voodoo makes its initial flight; this is a two-seat version of the original interceptor and now carries a radar operator.

APRIL 1 The Strategic Air Command (SAC) begins transferring all of its fighter wings over to the Tactical Air Command (TAC) in order to concen­trate on manned bombers and guided missiles.

Подпись: Archie J. Old Jr. sticks his head out of the window of the B-52 after around the world flight, Janurary 18, 1957. (Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

April 11 The Ryan X-13 Vertijet proto­type becomes the first jet aircraft to take off vertically, transition to a conventional flight profile, then land vertically. How­ever, functional vertical takeoff and land­ing aircraft (VTOL) are still two decades away.

April 19 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Douglas XSM-75 Thor missile is success­fully launched, but the safety officer destroys it during the flight

May 6 The title ofDepartment ofDefense Special Assistant for Guided Missiles is conferred upon William M. Holaday.

June 2 Over Minnesota, the balloon Man High I piloted by Captain Joseph W. Kit – tinger, Jr., reaches 96,000 feet during a flight of 6 hours and 34 minutes. This constitutes a new record for balloon endurance/altitudes, and is also the first time a solo balloon has reached the strato­sphere.

At Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, the first production model U-2 spyplane deploys with the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing.

June 11 At Laughlin Air Force Base, the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing accepts its first U-2 as operational. In contrast with CIA-operated U-2s, which are painted black, Air Force vehicles retain their silver aluminum finish.

June 28 At Castle Air Force Base, Cali­fornia, the first operational Boeing KC – 135 Stratotanker deploys with the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron.

July 1 In Washington, D. C., General Thomas D. White gains appointment as Air Force chief of staff.

At Cooke Air Force Base, California, the first Air Force intercontinental ballis­tic missile base (ICMB) becomes opera­tional. The 704th Strategic Missile Wing

Подпись: Twining, Nathan F. (1897-1982) Air Force general. Nathan Farragut Twining was born in Monroe, Wisconsin, and, in 1923, he received his wings at Brooks Field, Texas. Twining held down a succession of staff and command positions in the Army Air Corps, and rose to colonel at the Pentagon. During World War II, he became a brigadier general assigned to Southwest Pacific, coordinating an air strategy that destroyed Japanese air power over Bougainville and Rabaul. In November 1943, he transferred to Italy as head of the Fifteenth Air Force and, in May 1945, Twining returned to the Pacific to replace General Curtis E. LeMay as head of the Twentieth Air Force. Here he supervised fire bombings of major Japanese cities, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the war as a temporary lieutenant general. During the Cold War, Twining filled several major administration positions, and in 1948 he gained appointment as vice chief of staff in the newly independent U.S. Air Force. In 1953 he succeeded General Hoyt S. Vandenberg as Air Force chief of staff, and Twining facilitated Eisenhower’s “New Look” strategy by acquiring numerous jet bombers, and laying the groundwork for the first intercontinental ballistic missiles. In 1956, he also became the first American general to tour Soviet aviation facilities since World War II. Eisenhower next appointed him chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1957, and he pushed for new Atlas and Jupiter missiles, the XB-70 jet bomber, and the Navy’s Polaris submarine. Twining died at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, on March 29, 1982, a highly respected and influential military leader of the Cold War period.

(SMW) located there operates the North­rop Snark, an early form of cruise missile.

The Far East Air Forces (FEAF) is redesignated the Pacific Air Command (PAC) with new headquarters at Hickam Field, Hawaii.

July 10 This day the Air Force reveals the existence of the B-58 Hustler to the American public.

July 13 In Washington, D. C., President Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the first chief executive to fly in a helicopter when he boards an Air Force Bell UH – 13J for a meeting at an undisclosed loca­tion.

July 19 A Douglas MB-1 Genie antiair­craft missile is fired by an F-89J Scorpion for the first time. This is the first weapon ofits kind to be armed with a nuclear war­head and is intended to break up enemy bomber formations in a single blast.

July 24 The Distant Early Warning (DEW) line, which stretches across the

northernmost reaches of Canada, is declared operational.

AUGUST 15 In Washington, D. C., Gen­eral Nathan F. Twining becomes the first Air Force officer to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

AUGUST 19—20 Over Crosby, Minne­sota, the balloon Man High II piloted by Major David G. Simmons sets a new alti­tude record for this type ofcraft by reach­ing 101,516 feet. He remains aloft for 32 hours before finally touching down at Elm Lake, South Dakota.

September 3 The NACA report “Study of the Feasibility of a Hypersonic Research Plane” is delivered to the Air Force for its consideration. The outcome of this project is the X-15 rocket plane.

September 4 The Lockheed CL-328 Jetstar transport makes its maiden flight; it enters service as the C-140 as a test bed for navigation and communications equipment.

September 20 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, a Thor IRBM missile is success­fully launched for the first time.

OCTOBER 1 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, an Air Force crew test launches a North – rop Snark intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.

OCTOBER 4 The Space Age commences following the successful Soviet launch of Sputnik I, the world’s first artificial satel­lite. This event serves as a catalyst for U. S. missile programs to prevent falling further behind the Russians.

OCTOBER 20 The Air Force’s Project far side unfolds as a three-stage rocket is launched from a balloon flying 19 miles above the Earth’s surface. This flight is an attempt by the Office of Scientific Research to gather information about cos­mic rays from an altitude of 4,000 miles.

OCTOBER 24 A call is made for a hyper­sonic glide rocket weapon system by the Air Force Research and Development Command (ARDC). The WS464L project eventually becomes the Dyna – Soar system.

NOVEMBER 7 In Washington, D. C., President Dwight D. Eisenhower appoints James R. Killian, president of the Massa­chusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to serve as the first special assistant to the president for science and technology.

NOVEMBER 13 At Buenos Aires, Argen­tina, a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker flown by Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Curtis E. LeMay arrives after traveling 6,350 miles in a new nonstop distance record. His return trip proves equally laudable, reducing his flying time to a record 11 hours and 5 minutes; LeMay wins a Distinguished Flying Cross.

NOVEMBER 21 The Air Force selects

Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, as the site for its first dedicated ICBM base.

Retired general James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle heads up a new committee exploring the challenges of space travel for the NACA.

November 27 RF-101C Voodoos of

the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing complete Operation sun run, whereby three existing transcontinental speed records are broken by refueling with KC-135 Stratotankers at high altitude.

In Washington, D. C., the Defense Department authorizes production of the Thor and Jupiter intermediate range bal­listic missiles (IRBMs), which will be deployed with the Air Force.

November 29 In Washington, D. C.,

Air Force Chief of Staff Thomas D. White assigns intercontinental and inter­mediate range ballistic missiles to the Stra­tegic Air Command (SAC).

DECEMBER 12 Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, a McDonnell F-101A Voodoo flown by Major Adrian Drew sets a new speed record of 1,207.6 miles per hour.

December 15 At Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, the 556th Strategic Missile Squadron becomes the first operational unit equipped with Northrop SM-62 Snark missiles.

December 17 The first Atlas interconti­nental ballistic missile (ICBM) is success­fully launched and delivers its nose cone capsule 500 miles downrange as pre­dicted. This is a major step in perfecting these strategic weapons.

December 19 A Thor IRBM makes a successful fourth test flight, this time being fully guided by an all-inertial guid­ance system.

December 23 The Air Force contracts with North American Aircraft to design

and construction a prototype Mach 3 strategic bomber, which becomes the XB-70 Valkyrie.


February 2 At Edwards Air Force Base, California, the YF-16 prototype performs its maiden flight.

April 10 In the Middle East, Operation nimbus star unfolds as Air Force C-130 communication aircraft begin mine­sweeping efforts along the Suez Canal.

July 1 In Washington, D. C., General David C. Jones gains appointment as the new Air Force chief of staff.

July 25 On Cyprus, USAFE C-130s arrive with 10,000 blankets, 7,500 cots, 600 tents, and other items to assist refu­gees from the recent Turkish invasion of that island.

AUGUST 17 Operation compass cope continues as the first test of Teledyne remote pilotless vehicles is conducted by the Air Force.

SEPTEMBER 1 In London, England, an SR-71 Blackbird piloted by Majors James V. Sullivan and Noel Widdifield touches down after a record-breaking flight of 1 hour, 54 minutes, and 56 seconds from New York. Their average speed was 1,800 miles per hour.

SEPTEMBER 3 At Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, the last remaining Minuteman I intercontinental ballistic missiles are re­moved and replaced by new Minuteman III missiles.

SEPTEMBER 13 At Los Angeles, Califor­nia, an SR-71 piloted by Captains Buck Adams and William Machorek arrives from London after setting a new world record of3 hours, 47 minutes, and 39 sec­onds. Their average speed was 1,436 miles per hour.

OCTOBER 24 Over the Pacific, a C-5A Galaxy transport releases a Minuteman I ICBM from 19,500 feet, which is then successfully launched.

December 2 In Washington, D. C., the Department of Defense approves the Joint Air Force-Navy NAVSTAR global positioning satellite system. This new technology promises to revolutionize global navigation and weapons accuracy.

DECEMBER 23 In California, the Rock­well B-1A variable-geometry bomber performs its maiden flight.


JANUARY 3 In Panama, captured dictator

Manuel Noriega is packed onto an Air Force C-130 and extradited back to the United States to face drug trafficking charges in Miami, Florida.

JANUARY 31 Operation coronet cove, a decade-old maneuver that rotated Air National Guard units into the Panama Canal Zone, terminates after 13,000 sorties.

FEBRUARY In Monrovia, Liberia, aircraft from the 436th Military Airlift Wing and the 463rd Tactical Airlift Wing arrive with 30 tons of relief supplies for refugees fleeing a civil war.

February—MARCH In Western and American Samoa, transports of the 60th and 63rd Military Airlift Wing deliver 410 tons of relief supplies in the wake of Typhoon Ofa.

FEBRUARY 23 In Senegal, aircraft of the 435th Tactical Airlift Wing convey 11 tons of food, medical supplies, and 60 medics to combat an epidemic.

FEBRUARY 26 The Air Force retires the legendary Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird from active service owing to extreme operating costs, and improvements in sat­ellite photography.

MARCH 6 In Washington, D. C., a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird touches down after setting four transcontinental airspeed records, including 2,124 miles per hour on a transcontinental crossing. Once parked, it is handed over to the National Air and Space Museum, Smith­sonian Institution for permanent display.

April 11 In Europe, the first Pershing II missiles destined to be destroyed under provisions of the recent INF Treaty between the united States and Soviet union are loaded onto a C-5 Galaxy.

April 21 At Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk

Подпись: 1990 Подпись: 285

is publicly displayed for the first time; it is beheld by an estimated 100,000 visitors.

May 4 The AIM-120A advanced medium- range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) is approved by the Air Force for use on fighter craft.

May 22 The Twenty-Third Air Force gives rise to the Special Operations Com­mand (SOC).

July 1 In Washington, D. C., General Michael J. Dugan becomes chief of staff, U. S. Air Force.

July 12 The final production F-117 Nighthawk is delivered by Lockheed to the Air Force; 59 are acquired in all.

July 17 Baguio, Philippines, is destroyed by a severe earthquake and the Air Force flies in 600 tons of relief equipment to


Two-ship formation of Lockheed F-117A Night – hawk Stealth fighter aircraft. This was the world’s first military aircraft to boast afunctional “invisibil­ity” to enemy radar. (U. S. Department of Defense)

look for survivors; 2,475 passengers are also flown to medical facilities for treat­ment.

July 24 The EC-135 Looking Glass air­craft, intended to control and coordinate nuclear command posts in the event of a nuclear war, finally stands down. It flew continuously during three decades of ser­vice and hundreds of thousands of flying hours, yet never experienced a single accident.

August-September The Air Force Space Command (AFSPACECOM) initiates the first space system infrastruc­ture capable of directly supporting a mili­tary conflict. It is capable of relaying communications, navigation and meteorological information, along with detecting short-range ballistic missile launches.

August 7 At Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, the 71st Tactical Fighter Squad­ron (TFS), 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, dis­patches 24 F-15C Eagles on the 8,000- mile flight to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The flight concludes 15 hours later with the help of 12 in-flight refuelings.

August 8 At Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, an Air Force Reserve C-141 Starlifter lands, becoming the first American aircraft deployed in this theater. They are soon joined by F-15Cs from the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing. Additional AWACS air­craft also arrive to assist Saudi AWACS already orbiting the kingdom.

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Lieuten­ant General Mike Loh orders the Air Staff planning group (Checkmate) under Colonel John Warden to initiate plans for conducting a strategic air war against Iraqi forces. This comes in response to a request from General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the coalition commander.

AUGUST 9 The old Alaskan Air Com­mand is designated the Eleventh Air Force, and it is assigned to the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).

AUGUST 10 At Central Command (CENTCOM), MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Colonel John Warren proffers a preliminary draft for air operations in the Persian Gulf to General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. General Charles Horner also draws up contingency plans in the event that Iraqi forces attack Saudi Arabia before the Americans deploy in force.

Detachments of F-16s and C-130s from Pope Air Force Base, North Caro­lina, begin filtering into Saudi Arabia.

AUGUST 12 At Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the first 32 KC-135 tanker aircraft deploy, being the first of over 300 KC – 135s and KC-10s scheduled there. These are joined by MH-53J Pave Low helicop­ters of the 1st Special Operations Wing.

AUGUST 14 In Washington, D. C., the presence of E-3 AWACS, KC-10s, KC – 135s, and RC-135s in the Persian Gulf theater is announced by the Department ofDefense.

AUGUST 15 At Tonopah, Nevada, top secret F-117 stealth aircraft of the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) deploy to Saudi Arabia; they are soon joined by F – 4G Wild Weasels flying in from George Air Force Base, California.

AUGUST 16 At Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, South Carolina, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs depart en masse for deployment to Saudi Arabia.

AUGUST 17 In Washington, D. C., the Civil Reserve Air Fleet is mobilized by President George H. W. Bush for the first time since 1952. Their aircraft are impressed as troop carriers to accelerate the Persian Gulf buildup.

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf approves the air campaign strategy, so Colonel John Warden is dispatched to Saudi Arabia to brief General Charles Horner as to its details.

The Air Force Space Command estab­lishes the Defense Satellite Communica­tions Systems (DSCS) to facilitate command links to Operation desert


AUGUST 19 At Mushait Air Base, Saudi Arabia, 18 F-117 Nighthawks from the 415th Tactical Fighter Squadron arrive for service during Operation desert shield.

AUGUST 20 In Saudi Arabia, General Charles Horner declares that Saudi Arabia can now be defended against any Iraqi attack with the air power presently in the Gulf region. He is also briefed by Colonel John Warden as to the forth­coming campaign for waging a strategic air war.

AUGUST 21 In the Persian Gulf, the Air Force has deployed A-10s, C-130s, E-3 AWACS, F-4Gs, F-15s, F-15Es, F-16s, F-117s, KC-135, KC-10s, and RC – 135s, being the largest concentration of military aircraft outside the United States since Vietnam.

The Air Force requests 6,000 reservists to join up and no less than 15,000 volun­teer for service in Operation desert


AUGUST 22 Air Force Reserve personnel have flown 8,000 soldiers and 7 million tons of military cargo to Saudi Arabia for service in Operation desert storm; 20,000 reservists and 12,000 Air National Guardsmen are also slated for service in the Persian Gulf.

Подпись: Horner, Charles A. (1936-) Air Force general. Charles A. Horner was born in Davenport, Iowa, on October 19, 1936, and he was commissioned a second lieutenant through AFROTC at the University of Iowa. Horner earned his wings as an F-100 pilot in 1960 and flew three years with the 492nd Tactical Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, England. In 1965 he performed 41 combat missions over North Vietnam then, between 1966 and 1967, he rotated back to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, to serve as an F-105 instructor. Horner next arrived in Thailand in May 1967, to fly an additional 70 combat missions as a Wild Weasel pilot. Horner handled his affairs capably and in July 1985 he rose to major general and deputy chief of staff for Plans, Headquarters Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. In March 1987 he served as commander, 9th U.S. Air Force and U.S. Central Command Air Forces based at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. Horner's greatest challenge came in August 1991 after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait with a massive army, and he was appointed Commander in Chief Forward, U.S. Central Command. Once Operation DESERT STORM commenced the following January, Horner deployed 2,700 modern, sophisticated warplanes from 14 nations. Their accurate bombing gutted Iraqi air defenses, and allowed the ground attack to conclude after only 100 hours of fighting. Horner consequently advanced to general on July 1, 1992 and was appointed to head the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Space Command. He retired from active service on September 30, 1994. During Horner's tenure in the Persian Gulf War, military air power was never more effective or decisive in terms of results.

AUGUST 23 At Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, the 89th Military Airlift Wing deploys the first of two VC-25As (highly modified Boeing 747s). Whenever a president is on board, the aircraft receives the call sign Air Force One.

In Washington, D. C., Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney authorizes the Air Force reserve components to mobilize for service in the Persian Gulf; 20,000 are called to the colors.

AUGUST 24 At Birmingham, Alabama, six of its RF-4C Phantom IIs from the 117th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing are dispatched to the Persian Gulf region. They are soon joined by similar aircraft sent by the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas.

AUGUST 28 At Torrejon, Spain, F-16 fighters fly off on a new deployment to airfields in Qatar.

AUGUST 29 At Ramstein Air Base, West Germany, a C-5 Galaxy crashes on
takeoff, killing 13 people. Staff Sergeant Lorenzo Galvin, Jr., wins the Airman’s Medal for heroically assisting crash victims.

September 5 In Saudi Arabia, five C-130 units from the Air National Guard (ANG) deploy for active duty.

September 6 The U. S. Post Office issues a 40-cent stamp with a portrait of Lieu­tenant General Claire L. Chennault, who commanded the famous “Flying Tigers” of World War II.

SEPTEMBER 8 Colonel Marcelite Jordan Harris is the first African American woman promoted to brigadier general in the U. S. Air Force. She also gains appointment as director ofAir Training Command’s technical training.

In Saudi Arabia, the first wave ofAC – 130H gunships from the 16th Special Oper­ations Squadron deploys for active duty.

SEPTEMBER 13 In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Air Force Brigadier General Buster

Glosson, deputy commander, Joint Task Force Middle East, briefs Generals H. Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell on the final operational air war plan sub­sequent to Operation DESERT SHIELD.

SEPTEMBER 17 In Washington, D. C., Air Force Chief of Staff Michael J. Dugan is relieved by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney for unauthorized comments made to the media about Operation DES­ERT SHIELD.

September 18—28 In Jordan, transports of the 436th and 438th Miliary Airlift Wings deliver tons ofblankets, tents, cots, and other impedimenta for the 100,000 foreign workers fleeing from Kuwait.

September 29 The new Lockheed/ General Dynamics YF-22A Raptor air superiority/stealth fighter prototype is ferried to Edwards Air Force Base, Cali­fornia, for testing.

OCTOBER 1 Control of Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, passes from the Air Force Systems Command to the Air Force Space Command.

OCTOBER 10 Throughout the Persian Gulf, Air Force fighter and fighter – bomber units begin exercises to familiarize them with desert warfare while F-15Cs begin performing combat air patrols (CAP).

OCTOBER 30 In Washington, D. C., Gen­eral Merrill A. McPeak is appointed the new Air Force chiefofstaff.

Operation DESERT EXPRESS commences as Air Force transports expedite shipment ofcertain critical items to the Persian Gulf.

NOVEMBER 3 Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, the prototype YF-22A Advanced Technology Fighter (ATF) becomes the first jet aircraft to achieve supersonic speed through a process known as “supercruise.” This does not require the use of afterburners.

NOVEMBER 17 Above the Indian Ocean a DSCS II satellite is placed by the Air Force Space Command to enhance DES­ERT SHIELD communications.

NOVEMBER 21 From Davis-Monthan

Air Force Base, Arizona, additional A-10 Thunderbolt IIs deploy directly to Saudi Arabia.

December 1—2 Off the Korean coast, 22 shipwrecked sailors from a grounded Panamanian vessel are rescued by two MH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters of the 38th Air Rescue Squadron.

December 5 In Saudi Arabia, RF-4C Phantom IIs of the 152nd Tactical Reconnaissance Group begin arriving in theater.

December 29 In the Persian Gulf, the 169th Tactical Fighter Group becomes the first Air National Guard (ANG) unit deployed for active duty in Operation


JANUARY 2 In Saudi Arabia, the 4th Tac­tical Fighter Wing (Provisional) is cobbled together from Air National

Guard F-16s of the 174th Tactical Fighter Wing and the 169th Tactical Fighter Group.





JANUARY 11 At Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,

the two pre-production E-8AJSTARS aircraft deploy for use against Iraq; this highly advanced reconnaissance platform is capable of providing real-time surveil­lance over battlefields.

JANUARY 15 Command of Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, passes from the Strategic Air Command (SAC) to the Air Force Space Command.

JANUARY 16 Operation desert storm commences as seven B-52Gs of the 2nd Bomb Wing launch from Barks­dale Air Force Base, Louisiana, armed with new AGM-86C conventional air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs). This is also history’s longest bombing mission and requires 35 hours of flight time.

JANUARY 17 Over Kuwait, American

and coalition aircraft begin attacking Iraqi military targets, missile sites, and commu­nications facilities deemed useful to Saddam Hussein’s occupying forces. They mount 750 attack sorties while car­rier aircraft contribute a further 228. The aerial campaign continues without inter­ruption for 38 days.

Among the first wave of aircraft to go in are AH-64A Apache helicopter gun – ships, guided by Air Force MH-53 Spe­cial Operations helicopters.

Seven B-52Gs from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, arrive over the Persian Gulf and unleash 35 super­accurate cruise missiles against communi­cations and radar targets in Iraq.

Over Baghdad, Iraq, stealthy F-117 Nighthawks steal past Iraqi radar defenses and bomb strategic targets throughout the city as intense antiaircraft fire contin­uously lights up the darkness; they account for 31 percent of all targets struck on the first day.

Over Kuwait, Air Force C-130 transports deliver 14,000 troops and 9,000 tons of cargo belonging to the Army’s XVIII Air­borne Corps. This forward deployment sud­denly places them on the Iraqi right flank.

An F-16C piloted by Captain Jon K. Kelk, 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) downs the first Iraqi MiG-29 jet fighter.

January 17-February 28 C-130

transports of the 1650th Tactical Airlift Wing complete 3,200 combat sorties, while A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 706th Tactical Fighter Squadron fly

I, 000 sorties against enemy targets. No Air Force Reserve aircraft are lost in combat despite this operational intensity.

JANUARY 18 Over Iraq, U. S. and coali­tion aircraft down eight Iraqi MiG-29 and Mirage F-1 fighters.

From Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Air Force jets strike at military targets in northern Iraq to prevent them from con­centrating against forces moving up from Saudi Arabia.

JANUARY 19 Over Iraq, two F-16Cs of the 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron are downed by missiles and the pilots are cap­tured and paraded before television, along with six other coalition airmen.

JANUARY 21 Over Iraq, Captain Paul T.

Johnson, piloting an A-10 Thunderbolt

II, braves antiaircraft fire to destroy Iraqi vehicles threatening a downed Navy F – 14 pilot; Johnson wins the Air Force Cross. Concurrently, an MH-53J Pave Low helicopter under Captain Thomas J. Trask, 20th Special Operations Squadron, successfully extracts the pilot; Trask wins the Mackay Trophy.

JANUARY 22 Over Iraq, an F-15E piloted by Colonel David W. Eberly and Lieu­tenant Colonel Tom Griffith is downed

Подпись: The skies over Baghdad erupt with anti-aircraft fire as U.S. warplanes strike targets in the Iraqi capital early on January 18, 1991. (AP/Wide World Photos)

in combat; the two evade capture over the next three days, but are captured near the Syrian border.

January 22—27 At Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, MiG aircraft in hardened aircraft shelters are destroyed by F-111Fs using laser-guided “smart” bombs.

January 23 In Washington, D. C., General Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declares that air superiority has been achieved over Iraq, as enemy positions are bombed with vir­tual impunity.

January 24 Over the Persian Gulf, a Saudi F-15C shoots downs two Iraqi Mirage F-1 fighters carrying Exocet anti­ship missiles. Also, this day coalition air forces mount 2,570 sorties; the total number over the past eight days is 14,750.

JANUARY 25 Over Iraq, Air Force fighter-bombers employ new I-2000
bombs against hardened aircraft shelters, destroying several MiG-29s sequestered inside.

January 26 Coalition forces begin con­centrating their attacks on enemy ground forces in Kuwait as the Iraqi Air Force is effectively neutralized.

January 27 Over Kuwait, F-111s strike oil-pumping manifolds at the main termi­nal at Al Ahmadi with guided GBU-15 bombs to halt the flow of crude oil into the Persian Gulf. This is also the worst deliberate oil spill ever.

January 29 Over Al Khafji, Saudi Ara­bia, an AC-130H gunship is downed by a missile and all 14 crew members are killed.

FEBRUARY 2 Over the Indian Ocean, a B-52 bomber returning to its base on Diego Garcia experiences electrical prob­lems while returning from a mission over

Iraq and crashes; three crew men are res­cued, but three are killed.

FEBRUARY 6 Over Iraq, Captain Robert R. Swain, Jr., flying an A-10 Thunder­bolt II, shoots down an Gazelle helicopter with his 30mm cannon; this is the only aerial victory attributed to a “Warthog.”

February 9 Over Kuwait, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs begin the process of destroying individual targets with precision-guided munitions. To date, 600 enemy tanks and armored vehicles have been destroyed, roughly 15 percent of Saddam Hussein’s military strength.

February 11 Today coalition air forces mount 2,900 strike sorties for a grand total of 61,862 over a 26-day period.

FEBRUARY 12 Over Baghdad, Iraq, Air Force fighter-bombers employ “smart bombs” against the Martyr’s Bridge, the Republic Bridge, and the July 14 Bridge, destroying all three.

February 13 Acting upon a tip from military intelligence, F-117s bomb the Al Firdos bunker in downtown Baghdad, Iraq, suspected of housing Saddam Hussein. The building, a civilian commu­nications center, is flattened with the loss of several hundred dead, but the elusive dictator was not there. Thereafter, coalition air authorities more closely supervise combat strikes in the capital city.

FEBRUARY 14 Over Saudi Arabia, an EF-111A “Spark Vark” crashes after a bombing mission over Iraq; the two – man crew ejects in their cockpit capsule, but apparently dies upon landing.

FEBRUARY 17 Coalition aircraft have since accounted for 1,300 of Saddam

Hussein’s 4,240 tanks and 1,100 of his 3,110 artillery pieces.

February 19 A combination of F-4Gs and F-16s launched from Turkish airspace attacks Baghdad, Iraq. Coalition forces also mount a record 3,000 sorties this day, for a grand total of 83,000.

FEBRUARY 21 At Freetown, Sierra Leone, a C-141 Starlifter of the 438th Military Airlift Wing arrives with 55 tons of food and medicine for victims of hardship.

FEBRUARY 23 Over Iraq, Air Force B – 52Gs pound Iraqi Republican Guard positions as retreating Iraqi troops set Kuwaiti oil wells on fire.

FEBRUARY 24 Coalition aircraft perform

3,0 combat sorties, including recon­naissance, close air support, and interdic­tion, over the next three days.

FEBRUARY 25 Air Force F-16Cs bomb Iraqi forces preparing to attack a Army Spe­cial Force team, while a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter swoops in to rescue them.

FEBRUARY 27 Over Iraq, the Air Force unloads two 4,700-pound GPU-28 bombs that demolish the so-called “impregnable” command bunker at Al Taji. Total air sorties mounted this day also top 3,500—a new record.

FEBRUARY 28 Operation desert storm ceases at 8 A. M., and the Air Force has performed 59 percent of all coalition sor­ties. Moreover, its 2,000 aircraft represent 75 percent of all machines involved. The elusive F-117s, however, account for 40 percent of all Iraqi strategic targets knocked out in 1,270 combat sorties that delivered 2,041 tons of bombs.

desert storm is also the first “space war” judging from the extensive use ofsatellite

technology involved. The Air Force Space Command (AFSPACECOM) satellite sys­tems were extremely active relaying meteorological information to combat headquarters, along with alerts of short – range ballistic missile launches.

MARCH 1 At Bucharest, Romania, C-5 Galaxies from the Military Airlift Com­mand (MAC) arrive with 150 tons of relief supplies at a time of violent street confrontations and food shortages.

MARCH 8 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the Martin Marietta two-stage Titan IV heavy-lift booster successfully launches for the first time.

March 8-December In the Persian Gulf region, the Military Airlift Com­mand (MAC) demonstrates its strategic flexibility by flying an influx of supplies, personnel, and environmental cleanup equipment. Forty-two C-5 Galaxies and three C-141 Starlifters of the 60th and 436th Military Airlift Wings also trans­port over 1,000 tons of firefighting equipment and crews necessary to extin­guish 517 oil wells set alight by retreating Iraqi forces. This done, they next provide

7,0 tons of supplies to Kurdish refugees in southeastern Turkey.

MARCH 20 Over Iraq, an F-16C downs an Iraqi Su-22 caught violating the cease-fire agreement.

April In Lima, Peru, two C-5 Galaxies of the 436th Military Airlift Wing convey 200 tons of medical supplies to stave off a cholera epidemic threatening 150,000 people.

APRIL 7 In northern Iraq, Operation pro­vide comfort commences as Air Force warplanes assist the Kurds by enforcing a no-fly zone above the 36th parallel.

April 12 Off the Alaskan coast, a Soviet AN-74 Coaler transport aircraft is inter­cepted by forward-deployed F-15 Eagles stationed at Galena Airport for the first time.

April 18 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, a Martin Marietta/Boeing MGM-134A intercontinental ballistic missile is launched for the first time. It travels 4,000 miles downrange to the Kwajalein Missile Range.

May 10-June 13 Transports of the Military Airlift Command (MAC) begin Operation sea angel by carrying

3.0 tons of relief supplies to the city of Dacca, Bangladesh, after a tropical cyclone batters the coast with 150-mile – per-hour winds.

May 31 At RAF Greenham Common, England, the 501st Tactical Missile Wing is inactivated, being the final unit entirely armed with cruise missiles; this was also the first GLCM unit deployed in Europe.

JUNE-SEPTEMBER The Military Airlift Command (MAC) transports fly 19 huma­nitarian missions to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to mitigate severe drought conditions.

June 8—July 2 In the Philippines, once Clark Air Base is nearly destroyed by the eruption of nearby Mount Pinatubo, Operation fiery vigil unfolds to evacuate

15.0 people from the disaster zone, while bringing in 2,000 tons of relief supplies. This is also the largest emergency evacu­ation since the fall of South Vietnam, 1975.

June 25 In Nairobi, Kenya, transports of

the 60th Military Airlift Wing fly in 60 tons of food and other supplies to help alleviate drought conditions.

July 7 In N’Djamena, Chad, drought conditions, exacerbated by civil war, result
in 70 tons of food delivered by transports of the 436th Military Airlift Wing.

July 10 At Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York, the final FB-111A nuclear strike aircraft is flown to its final desert storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.

July 22 At Ulan Bator, Mongolia, trans­ports of the 730th Military Airlift Squad­ron and 445th Military Airlift Wing carry 20 tons of medical supplies to help alleviate acute shortages.

July 31 In Washington, D. C., an ame­

ndment allowing women to fly combat missions in Air Force, Navy, and Marine warplanes is passed by Congress.

AUGUST 6—9 In Shanghai, China, trans­ports of the Military Airlift Command carry 75 tons ofblankets and medical sup­plies after severe flooding throughout the interior region.

AUGUST 22 The Air Force initiates the Gulf War Air Power Survey (GWAPS) to correctly evaluate the overall impact of air power during recent hostilities.

SEPTEMBER 15 At Long Beach, Califor­nia, the new Boeing C-17A Globemaster III flies for the first time by relocating to Edwards Air Force Base. This aircraft will replace C-141s and C-5s in use. It can transport oversized cargo loads of C-5 Galaxies to remote and primitive landing zones used by C-130 Hercules.

At Edwards Air Force Base, California, the prototype Beech T-1AJayhawk flies for the first time; it becomes a standard­ized trainer for tanker and transport pilots.

Подпись: A KC-10A Extender takes off in the rain as it deploys to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. In addition to fuel, this versatile aircraft could also carry large numbers of troops and their equipment. (U.S. Department of Defense for Defense Visual Information Center)

September 27 In Washington, D. C., President George H. W. Bush orders the long-standing Strategic Air Command (SAC) alert discontinued. This has been a standard American military fixture since October 1957.

OCTOBER-NOVEMBER Air Force trans­ports deliver food and medical supplies to the needy in Russia, Armenia, and Byelorussia, as the former Soviet Union begins unraveling.

Angola, having concluded a bloody, 16-year civil war, accepts aid from the United States as transports from the 436th Military Airlift Wing accordingly convey 275 tons of supplies to the capital of Luanda.

OCTOBER 2 At Ulan Bator, Mongolia, transports of the 834th Airlift Division fly in 15 additional pallets of medical sup­plies, along with 8 ambulances, to thwart endemic shortages caused by the Soviet Union’s collapse.

October 23 In Kiev, Ukraine, Air Force transports deliver 146 tons of medi­cal and relief supplies after its economy collapses with the Soviet Union’s fall.

NOVEMBER In Pakistan, transports of the Military Airlift Command (MAC) per­form their 100th humanitarian flight by assisting Afghan refugees. Since March 1986, they have also delivered over 1,000 tons of aid to the region.

NOVEMBER 1 At Thule, Greenland, a C – 5 Galaxy from the Twenty-Second Air Force flies with a 36-member search and rescue team and two MH-60G Pave

Hawks to rescue 13 crew members of a Canadian C-130 Hercules that crashed near the North Pole.

NOVEMBER 14 In Freetown, Sierra Leone, the 436th Military Airlift Wing dispatches a C-5 Galaxy with 50 tons of medical and relief supplies to mitigate food shortages.

NOVEMBER 26 In the Philippines, the Air Force closes Clark Air Base, ending a 90-year American military presence there; this was also the largest overseas Air Force base.

DECEMBER 6 The 834th Airlift Division dispatches six C-130s to Kwajalein Atoll with relief supplies after Typhoon Zelda batters its facilities.

December 17-22 In Russia, transports of the 436th, 438th, and 439th Airlift Wings deliver 238 tons of food and relief supplies to Moscow and Saint Petersburg; along with Minsk, Byelorussia; and Yere­van, Armenia. Severe economic hard­ships continue in the months following the Soviet Union’s collapse.

DECEMBER 21 The prototype Rockwell AC-130U gunship flies for the first time. This new variant possesses updated sen­sors, increased firepower, and enhanced ability to locate ground targets.


JANUARY 29 In northwestern Pakistan, a missile strike launched by an unmanned Predator drone kills wanted terrorist leader Abu Laith al-Libi.

FEBRUARY 20 In Washington, D. C., the Defense Department declares that a U. S. missile has successfully destroyed a falling spy satellite to prevent its fuel tank from contaminating parts of the Earth as its orbit decays.

FEBRUARY 23 On Guam, a B-2A Spirit stealth bomber crashes shortly after take­off, although both crew members survive. This is the first accident involving a B-2, of which only 21 were built, and it sets the taxpayers back $1 billion.

MARCH 24 In Washington, D. C., Air Force and Defense Department officials admit that in 2006 a shipment of ICBM – related parts had been mistakenly shipped to the Republic of China (Taiwan) instead of helicopter batteries. The government at Taipei reported the inci­dent at the time, but it took nearly a year for military officials to rectify the mistake.

June 5 In Washington, D. C., Secretary of Defense Robert Gates dismisses Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff T. Michael Moseley for an August 2007 incident whereby a B-52 bomber had unintentionally flown with six nuclear – tipped cruise missiles from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

June 21 In Washington, D. C., President George W. Bush nominates Michael B. Donley to serve as acting secretary of the Air Force.

JULY 6 In Nangarhar Province, Afghani­

stan, an American air strike kills several Taliban militants, but Afghan govern­ment officials complain that 47 civilians at wedding party also died.

July 22 Off Guam, a B-52 bomber from the 36th Bomb Wing crashes, killing all six crew members.

AUGUST 12 In Washington, D. C., Gen­eral Norton A. Schwartz gains appoint­ment as the 19th Air Force chief of staff.

OCTOBER 2 In Washington, D. C., the U. S. Senate confirms Lieutenant General Craig R. McKinley, present director of the Air National Guard, to full (four – star) general and head of the National Guard Bureau. He is also the first Air Force officer to hold that post since 2002.

OCTOBER 17 In Washington, D. C., Michael B. Donley gains appointment as the 22nd secretary of the Air Force.


January 1 At an undisclosed location, two senior al-Qaeda leaders, Usama al – Kini and Sheikh Salim Swedan, are killed by a missile launched from a U. S. Preda­tor drone.

January 23 In North and South Waziristan, Pakistan, five missiles fired in two U. S. Predator drone attacks kill 14 Taliban militants. These are the first attacks since President Barack Obama took office and signal that these tactics will continue.

February 14 Near the town of Makeen, South Waziristan, Pakistan, two missiles by a U. S. Predator drone kill an estimated 30 Taliban militants.

FEBRUARY 16 In the Kurram Valley, Pakistan, missiles fired by U. S. Predator drones kill an estimated 30 Taliban mili­tants.

MARCH 1 In Sararogha village, South

Waziristan, Pakistan, missiles fired from U. S. Predator drones kill seven Taliban militants.

MARCH 12 Over Afghanistan, missiles fired from a U. S. Predator drone kill an estimated 24 Taliban militants.

MARCH 15 InJani Khel, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, missiles fired from U. S. Predator drones kill four Tali­ban operatives.

MARCH 25 Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, the first ultramodern F-22A Raptor jet fighter crashes; the pilot is killed.

Near Makeen, South Waziristan, Pakistan, missiles fired from a U. S.

Predator drone kill seven Taliban mili­tants riding in two vehicles.

MARCH 26 Over Essokhel, North Waziristan, Pakistan, a missile fired from a U. S. Predator drone kills four Taliban militants.

APRIL 1 In the Orakzai tribal area, Pakistan, a missile strike by a U. S. Preda­tor drone kills 14 Taliban militants.

APRIL 4 In North Waziristan, Pakistan, a missile launched from a U. S. Predator drone kills 13 suspected Taliban.

APRIL 8 In Gangi Khel, South Waziri – stan, Pakistan, a missile launched from a U. S. Predator drone kills four Taliban militants in a vehicle.

APRIL 19 In South Waziristan, Pakistan, a missile launched from a U. S. Predator drone kills three suspected Taliban militants.

APRIL 29 In Kanni Garam village, South Waziristan, Pakistan, a missile launched from a U. S. Predator drone kills six Taliban militants.

May 2 In Canberra, Australia, Prime Min­ister Kevin Rudd announces the purchase of 100 Lockheed F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters as part ofan overall military buildup and modernization program.

May 9 In Sararogha, South Waziristan,

Pakistan, a missile launched by a U. S. Predator drone kills six Taliban militants.

May 12 In Sra Khawra village, South Waziristan, Pakistan, a missile launched from a U. S. Predator drone kills eight Taliban militants.

Подпись: 3292009

Подпись: A U.S. Air Force B-2A Spirit aircraft in flight. This is presently the world’s most advanced intercontinental strategic bomber and employs advanced stealth technology that render it virtually invisible to enemy radar. (U.S. Department of Defense Visual Information Center)

May 16 Over Sarkai Naki, North Waziristan, Pakistan, missiles fired from a U. S. Predator drone kill 25 Taliban mili­tants.

May 22 At Edwards Air Force Base, Cal­ifornia, a T-38 Talon jet trainer crashes, killing the pilot.

JUNE 4 In Washington, D. C., the Air Force reveals the existence of its Counter-Electronics High-Powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project. This new weapon is a cruise missile capable of emitting focused bursts of high-power microwaves (HPM) that fry enemy electronics without harming their operators. A $40 million prototype is expected to be operational within five years or less.

JUNE 6 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Air Force unveils the top secret X-37B
unmanned space plane in anticipation of aJanuary 2010 launch. This five-ton craft is only 27 feet long and 15 feet across, yet is capable of performing a variety of clas­sified missions.

JUNE 14 In South Waziristan, Pakistan, missiles fired from a U. S. Predator drone kill five Taliban militants in a vehicle.

June 18 In northwest Pakistan, a sus­

pected U. S. missile strike kills eight peo­ple at the villages of Gharlamai and Nandaran; most were apparently Taliban guerillas, but two dozen villagers may also have been injured.

JUNE 22 The Air Force announces that it has developed a new bomb rack for the B-2 stealth bomber, enabling it to carry the advanced MOP (Massive Ordnance Penetrator), weighing 30,000 pounds.

June 23 In Makeen, South Waziristan,

Pakistan, a U. S. Predator drone missile strike at a funeral for fallen Taliban leader Niaz Wali kills 45 guerillas in attendance. A concurrent missile strike in Neej Narai also kills eight suspected Taliban militants.

June 24 In Washington, D. C., a com­muter train crash kills nine people, including Major General David F. Wher – ley, Jr., formerly commander of the 113th Fighter Wing at Andrews Air Force Base. On September 11, 2001, he scrambled jets over the capital to thwart potential terrorist attacks.

June 29 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the 576th Flight Test Squadron launches a Minuteman III ICBM for test and reliability purposes, and it flies 4,300 miles downrange to tar­gets near Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands.

June 30 In Khost Province, along the

Afghan-Pakistani border, U. S. airstrikes
reportedly kill 12 Taliban militants hiding in a bunker complex.

July 3 Over Pakistan, a U. S. Predator

drone launches missiles at Taliban train­ing facilities, killing 17 people and wounding 27 others. The facility was operated by Baitullah Mehsud, wanted for the assassination offormer prime min­ister Benazir Bhutto.

July 4 The Air Force announces that all F-22 Raptor fighters will be upgraded for ground attack missions. This is pos­sible due to modifications to the onboard AN/APG-77 radar, which allow it to see realistic photo images on the ground.

July 7 In the Makeen area of South Waziristan, Pakistan, a U. S. Predator drone strike against Taliban targets kills 12 militants associated with the band of Baitullah Mehsud.

Подпись: B-2 Spirit Air Force stealth bomber. With the perfection of practical stealth technology in the late 1970s, the Air Force contracted with the Northrop Corporation to design and construct a bomber that would be invisible to Soviet-style radar defenses. The prototype XB-2 rolled out in 1988 as a flying wing incorporating stealth design features such as trailing wing edges in a double-W configuration. The aircraft was also fully automated and operated by a crew of two. The XB-2 first flew on July 17,1989, but, by the time the first production models became available, the Soviet Union had collapsed and the Cold War was over. Given the great expense of the B-2, with a price tag of nearly $1 billion apiece, Congress capped acquisition at 21 aircraft. Nonetheless, it still reigns as the world's most advanced bomber, capable of penetrating all present radar systems without detection. It can deliver nuclear weapons, and can also be fitted with eighty 500-pound or sixteen 2,400-pound conventional bombs. Thus augmented, the B-2 can strike up to 60 targets in a single pass and, possessing a 6,000-mile range, can reach across the world with relative ease. The Spirit made its combat debut over Kosovo in 1999, and accounted for 33 percent of all Serbian targets destroyed in an eight-week period. It has since been active in Operations ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan and IRAQI FREEDOM in Iraq, performing bombing missions up to 60 hours in duration from the United States. These ultrasophisticated, ultraexpensive weapons are expected to remain operational well into the twenty-first century.

July 8 In South Waziristan, Pakistan, a U. S. Predator drone launches missiles at a

Taliban target, critically wounding Mau – lana Fazlullah and killing 45 associates.

JULY 10 In Ghazni Province, Afghani­stan, a U. S air strike results in the deaths of 22 Taliban insurgents.

JULY 17 In Garhiwam Bahadur Khel, North Waziristan, Pakistan, a missile launched by a U. S. Predator drone strikes the home ofmilitant Abdul Majid, killing five Taliban militants.

In Washington, D. C., Senators Carl Levin and John McCain argue for striking additional funding for the F-22 jet fighter; President Barack Obama has threatened to veto any defense appropria­tion bill containing more money than for the 187 aircraft requested.

July 18 In eastern Afghanistan, an F-15E Strike Eagle inexplicably crashes, killing two crew members. The cause of the loss remains speculative but enemy action is ruled out.

July 23 At an undisclosed location in Pakistan, a missile launched from a U. S. Predator drone reputedly kills the son of Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden.

JULY 30 In a major policy shift, the U. S. government announces that Pre­dator drone strikes in Pakistan will – refocus from neutralizing al-Qaeda tar­gets to local Taliban efforts. The change will help shore up the Pakistani regime in the face of a protracted radical insur­gency.

AUGUST 4 According to a national survey released by the Quinnipiac poll organiza­tion, 61 percent of Americans support the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945; only 23 percent objected, while 16 percent were undecided.

AUGUST 5 In South Waziristan, Pakistan, a missile launched by a U. S. Predator drone strikes the home ofwanted Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, killing one of his two wives.

AUGUST 7 In South Waziristan, Pakistan, a missile launched from a U. S. Predator drone kills Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud as he lies on a rooftop. Mehsud, who suffered from diabetes, was observed having his legs massaged—a clear indica­tion of who it was. This activity was clearly observed by television cameras onboard the Predator, and the attack followed.

AUGUST 8 In Ottawa, Canada, the gove­rnment announces that it has possibly found the wreckage of a U. S. Army OA-10A Catalina amphibious air­craft that crashed in the St. Lawrence River on November 2, 1942. The United States and Canada will work to recover the wreckage and any human remains there.

AUGUST 10 The Strategic Air Command (SAC), which was disbanded in 1992 fol­lowing the collapse of the Soviet Union, is revived in the form of the new Global Strike Command. The spit-and-polish attitude of SAC, along with instant dis­missal of officers who do not measure up, becomes incorporated into the unit fol­lowing a rash of nuclear-related mishaps.

In Afghanistan, U. S. and coalition offi­cials point to declining numbers of Afghan civilians killed due to new restric­tions and rules of engagement for drop­ping bombs. Taliban militants routinely use civilians as “human shields” to evade bombing attacks, but the tradeoffin terms of better public relations is viewed as worth such restraint.

AUGUST 11 In Kaniguram, South Waziri- stan, Pakistan, a missile launched from a

U. S. Predator drone strikes a house used by Taliban militants, killing 14 people.

AUGUST 21 In Dande Darpa Khel, North Waziristan, Pakistan, a missile launched from a U. S. Predator drone strikes a sus­pected Taliban hideout, killing 11 insur­gents.

AUGUST 23 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the Air Force launches another Minuteman III ICBM for testing purposes, which splashes down at a target range in the Kwajalein Atoll, 4,200 miles distant.

AUGUST 27 In Tapar Ghar, South Waziristan, Pakistan, a missile launched by a U. S. Predator drone strikes a Taliban hideout operated by Waliur Rehman, killing six militants.

September 13 In the Bala Baluk district of Farah Province, Afghanistan, air strikes by U. S. and coalition warplanes kill several dozen Taliban militants.

September 14 In the town of Mir Ali, North Waziristan, Pakistan, a missile launched from a U. S. Predator drone strikes a car, killing four Taliban militants.

SEPTEMBER 17 Over Pakistan, a missile fired by a U. S. Predator drone kills two dangerous al-Qaeda leaders, including Najmiddin Kamolitdinovich Jalolov from Uzbekistan.

September 24 In the village of Dande Darpa Khel, North Waziristan, Pakistan, a missile fired from a U. S. Predator drone kills 12 Taliban militants.

September 28 Off the Southern Califor­nia coast, an amateur historian con­ducting a sonar search discovers the wreckage of a Lockheed T-33 jet trainer that had been missing since October 15, 1955.

September 29 In North and South Waziristan, Pakistan, missiles launched from a U. S. Predator drone strike two buildings operated by Taliban militants, killing 13 people including commander Irfan Mehsud.

September 30 In Washington, D. C., the Senate votes 64-34 to continue produc­tion of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III at a price of $2.5 billion; another 10 air­craft will be procured to keep the assembly lines open. Senator John McCain accuses President Barack Obama of caving in to special interests and not fighting the Chicago-based aerospace firm.

OCTOBER 13 In Washington, D. C., Pentagon officials announce that they are accelerating delivery of the 15-ton Mas­sive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), or “bunker buster.” The move is viewed as a warning to Iran, which is digging underground nuclear facilities near the holy city of Qom. This weapon, which carries 5,300 pounds of explosives, is 10 times more destructive than the weap­ons it is designed to replace.

October 16 Off the coast of South Carolina, two F-16Cs collide during train­ing exercises; one aircraft makes it back to base safely, but the other and its pilot, Captain Nicholas Giglio, are missing.

December 21 In Afghanistan, it is announced that the first MC-12W spy- planes, which are highly advanced and clas­sified, will deploy under the aegis of the U. S. Air Force. This twin-engined aircraft is equipped with videocameras and other sensors, and is capable of beaming real­time intelligence to troops on the ground.


JANUARY 1—15 At Cooke Air Force Base, California, the 672nd Strategic Mis­sile Squadron becomes the first Air Force unit to train and deploy the Bomarc interceptor missile. The 864th Strategic Missile Squadron, equipped with Jupiter IRBMs, also becomes operational.

JANUARY 29 In Washington, D. C., the Department of Defense declares it inten­tion to create the National Pacific Missile Range at the Naval Air Missile Test Range, Point Mugu, California. Future long-range weapons will be tested here.


The United States had been surprised by the Soviet Union’s Sputnik satellite, and now embraced the new “space race” with a vengeance. (Courtesy NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

JANUARY 31 At Cape Canaveral, a Jupiter C rocket carries Explorer I, the first American satellite, into Earth orbit. An onboard experiment designed by James A. Van Allen reveals the existence of a radiation belt around the planet.

FEBRUARY 1 At Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, the 706th Strategic Missile Wing, the first to deploy Atlas missiles, is activated by the Strategic Air Command (SAC).

FEBRUARY 7 In Washington, D. C., the Department of Defense creates the Advanced Research Projects Agency (APRA) to assume control of the nation’s space exploration program.

FEBRUARY 18 At Tullahoma, Tennessee, the Arnold Research Development Center creates a wind tunnel capable of creating an airflow speed of 32,400 miles per hour for one-tenth of a second.

MARCH 17 At Cape Canaveral, Vanguard I, the nation’s second artificial satellite, blasts off into orbit. This small device car­ries solar-powered batteries with an anticipated 1,000-year life expectancy, while other data reveals that the Earth possesses a slight pear shape to it.

MARCH 21 At Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, a two-stage rocket pushes an unmanned sled to speeds of2,700 miles per hour.

MARCH 26 An Astrodyne rocket motor strapped to an F-100D Super Sabre launches the aircraft from a rail system for the first time. Such a system negates the need for a lengthy runway, although it is never adopted.

MARCH 27 The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) tasks the Air Force Ballistic Missile System with launching three lunar probes through its existing Thor-Vanguard missile system.

April 2 In Washington, D. C., President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposes a new National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) that would absorb the NACA as well as conduct civilian space programs and military technical initiatives.

April 5 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, an Atlas ICBM is successfully launched by the Air Force, and it travels 600 miles downrange to a designated impact area.

April 8 At Lajes Field, Azores, a KC-135 Stratotanker makes a nonstop, unrefue led jet flight record after covering 10,288 miles from Tokyo, Japan.

May 7 Over California, an F-104 Star – fighter piloted by Major Howard J. John­son sets a new altitude record of 91,243 feet, very impressive for an air-breathing jet.

May 12 At Colorado Springs, Colorado, the joint U. S.-Canadian North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) becomes operational. It is tasked with defending the continent against enemy aerial attacks.

May 16 An F-104A Starfighter piloted by Captain Walter W. Irwin sets an abso­lute speed record of 1,404.2 miles per hour.

May 24 The open-cockpit Bell X-14 research plane, cobbled together from parts of a Beech T-34 and a civilian Bonanza, makes its transition flight from vertical to horizontal. It remained an Air Force test bed until 1960, when it was transferred to NASA.

At Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, a rocket sled exposes passenger Captain E. L. Breeding to 83 g’s for a fraction of a second.

May 27 At Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, the first operational F-105B Thunder – chiefs are deployed with the 335th Tacti­cal Fighter Squadron.

The McDonnell Douglas YF4H-1 prototype flies for the first time. It enters service as the legendary F-4 Phantom II.

June 3 NACA and Air Force officials

reveal details of an inertial guidance system for the new X-15 rocket research aircraft. This device will assure correct pitch attitude for reentering the atmos­phere during high-altitude flights in near space.

June 4 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, a Thor missile is launched from a tactical – type launcher by Air Force crews.

June 16 The Air Force contracts with the Martin Company and the Boeing Com­pany to design and build the Phase I Dyna-Soar boost-glide orbital spacecraft.

June 27 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the 556th Strategic Missile Squadron makes the first military launch of a Northrop Snark intercontinental missile.

June 30 In Washington, D. C., NACA declares that nearly half of all research it conducts is skewed towards missiles and problems associated with space flight.

July 14—15 In Lebanon, Operation blue bat unfolds as Composite Air Strike Force Bravo transfers 2,000 fully equipped combat troops from camps in West Germany to the Middle East during a period of unrest.

July 26 At Edwards Air Force Base, Cal­ifornia, an F-104 Starfighter crash takes the life of Captain Iven C. Kincheloe.

AUGUST 1 Over Johnson Island in the Pacific, a nuclear-tipped ICBM intercep­tor missile is detonated to assess whether such weapons are practical in neutralizing incoming enemy missiles.

AUGUST 2 An Atlas missile is launched for the first time with a full-power flight profile utilizing both sustainer and boost engines.

AUGUST 6 The Rocketdyne Division, North American Aviation, contracts with the Air Force to design and build a rocket motor capable of producing 1 million pounds of thrust.

In Washington, D. C., Dr. T. Keith Glennan and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden are sworn in as administrator and deputy administrator, respectively, of the new National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

AUGUST 21 Former general James H.

“Jimmy” Doolittle convenes the final meeting of the National Advisory Com­mittee for Aeronautics (NACA) once NASA is enacted.

AUGUST 23 In Washington, D. C. the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is created by Congress to oversee military and civil aviation matters and help locate new airports and missile bases.

September 2 Along the Soviet border with Turkey, Russian MiG aircraft attack and shoot down a C-130 Hercules per­forming ELINT (electronic intelligence) work.

SEPTEMBER 3—9 In the Pacific, Opera­tion x-ray tango unfolds as F-100 Super Sabres, B-47 Canberras, and C-130 Her­cules aircraft are rushed to the Pacific in response to Communist China’s threats to Taiwan. This effective deployment over so wide an area gains a Mackay Trophy.

September 9 A Boeing EB-50 test air­craft launches a Lockheed X-7 ramjet test platform, which accelerates to Mach 4.

SEPTEMBER 16 The North American NA-246 prototype flies for the first time. This six-seat passenger jet enters service as the T-39 Sabreliner.

September 19 The Kaman H-43A heli­copter flies for the first time. It enters Air Force service as the Husky, although its twin-rotor design leads to the nick­name of “eggbeater.” The H-43A is widely employed by the Tactical Air Command (TAC) as a firefighting and crash recovery helicopter.

September 24 At Cape Canaveral, a Bomarc interceptor missile is launched from commands issued at a control sta­tion in Kingston, New York, and destroys an incoming target drone flying a 1,000 miles per hour at an altitude of

48,0 feet.

OCTOBER 26 The Boeing B-52G per­forms its maiden flight; this version is designed to carry two AGM-28 Hound Dog missiles under its wings.

Подпись: The mighty B-52 Stratofortress was a mainstay of American nuclear deterrance from the mid-1950s up through the end of the Cold War in 1991. (U.S. Department of Defense for Defense Visual Information Center)

November 1 The turbine-powered Kaman H-43B performs its maiden flight; it is eventually redesignated the HH-43B.

November 8 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the third Air Force attempt to launch a lunar probe fails when the third stage of a rocket fails to ignite and the Pio­neer 2 falls back to Earth. This is the last lunar shot attempted by the Air Force.

November 28 An Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile undergoes its first opera­tional test launch; the vehicle flies 6,300 miles and lands in a designated area.

December 3 At Pasadena, California, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is transferred from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to NASA at the order of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

December 16 At Point Mugu, California, a Thor IRBM is launched by the Pacific Missile Test Range for the first time. Another Thor goes up at Cape Canaveral on the same day.

A Military Air Transport Service (MATS) C-133 Cargomaster sets a world payload record by lifting 117,900 pounds to an altitude of 10,000 feet.

December 18—19 Project score unfolds as the Air Force launches its first commu­nications satellite into orbit on an Atlas rocket. A day later it broadcasts a taped message by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who has the first human voice beamed in from outer space.

December 23 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Air Force successfully test launches the first Atlas-C missile.


January 13 In Washington, D. C., Air Force Secretary John L. McLucas author­izes production of the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.

January 16-February 1 The F-15 preproduction aircraft christened Streak Eagle sets eight time-to-climb world records while piloted by Air Force majors Roger J. Smith, David W. Peterson, and Willard R. MacFarlane, including 98,425 feet in 3 minutes, 27.8 seconds. The three men receive the Mackay Trophy.

February 7 The DIGITAC fly-by-wire computerized control system is first tested in a LTV A-7 Corsair II. This system is designed to allow inherently unstable air­craft such as the F-117 to be safely flown.

MARCH 25 As Communist forces begin surging through Southeast Asia, the Mili­tary Airlift Command (MAC) begins organizing a major evacuation effort to assist refugees.

April 4 In Saigon, South Vietnam, a C-5A Galaxy transport loaded with orphans crashes, killing most of the pas­sengers. The aircraft is participating in Operation BABY LIFT.

In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Air Force C-130 transports rush in to rescue 900 Cambodians who had been surrounded in the city by the Khmer Rouge.

April 12 In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Operation eagle pull unfolds as Air Force and Marine Corps helicopters remove 280 refugees before the city falls to Com­munist forces.

April 29—30 Over Saigon, South Viet­nam, Operation frequent wind com­mences as Air Force helicopters operating off the deck of the carrier Mid­way help evacuate 6,000 people before Communist forces capture the city. Meanwhile, Operation new lift contin­ues apace as C-141s and C-130s of the Military Airlift Command (MAC) remove a further 45,000 people, includ­ing 5,600 U. S. citizens, to a safe haven.

April 29-September 16 Throughout the Pacific, Air Force transports partici­pating in Operation new arrivals relo­cate 120,000 Indochinese refugees to processing centers prior to their resettle­ment in the United States.

May 14 At Koh Tang, Cambodia, eight Air Force HH-53 helicopters from the 3rd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group land 230 marines in an attempt to free the crew of the vessel SS Mayaguez, which had been seized two days earlier by Communist Khmer Rouge forces. They are backed by A-7s, F-4s, OV-10s, and AC-130s; three helicopters are shot down in heavy fighting. Major Robert W. Undorf is awarded the Mackay Tro­phy in this, the final U. S. military action in Southeast Asia.

July 15-July 24 Over the Earth, three American astronauts, including Air Force Brigadier General Thomas P. Stafford and Deke Slayton, link up with two Soviet cosmonauts in their Soyuz spacecraft.

Подпись: The E-3 Sentry Air Warning and Control System (AWACS) can detect, identify, and track enemy aircraft from great distances and direct fighter-interceptor aircraft to the enemy targets. AWACS has been a critical tool for allied forces during the U.S. wars in the Middle East. (U.S. Department of Defense)

July 31 The Air National Guard retires its last remaining Lockheed F-104 Star – fighter after nearly two decades ofservice.

AUGUST 8—15 In California, C-130s of the Air Force and National Guard drop

1,400 tons of fire retardant over a large forest fire.

SEPTEMBER 1 The Air Force’s Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr., becomes the first African American four-star (full) general in American military history.

OCTOBER 31 Boeing’s E-3A Sentry (AWACS) airborne command center performs its maiden flight.

NOVEMBER The Air Force reveals the existence of the have blue program to develop a “stealth” aircraft that is nearly invisible to radar.

NOVEMBER 29 Over Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, the first “Red Flag” exer­cises are held to sharpen fighter pilot reflexes by flying realistic combat exer­cises. This is an outgrowth of the vietnam War experience.

December 6 The McDonnell Douglas F-4G Wild Weasel prototype performs its maiden flight; 116 F-4E aircraft will be so modified for the dangerous work of anti-air defense suppression.