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.


JANUARY 17 The Air Force accepts delivery of the first production model T – 1AJayhawk to upgrade its fleet of training aircraft.

JANUARY 20-25 Continuing medical shortages in Mongolia result in another

C-5 Galaxy from the 60th Airlift Wing delivering 56 tons of supplies to Mon­golia. They do so at the behest of the U. S. State Department to curry good relations with this former Soviet state.

JANUARY 30 The Air Force Satellite Control Network is handed off to the Air Force Space Command (AFSPACE – COM) to consolidate control of all Department of Defense satellites.

FEBRUARY 6 In Lithuania, four C-130 Hercules transports of the 435th Tactical Airlift Wing carry food and medical sup­plies to this former Soviet state.

February 10-29 provide hope I, a mass humanitarian mission to the new Commonwealth of Independent States, which replaced the now-defunct Soviet Union, unfolds as Air Force C-5 Galaxies and C-141 Starlifters fly in thousands of tons of food and medical supplies.

FEBRUARY 29 In Eastern Europe, Oper­ation provide hope II commences as Air Force transports continue providing food and medicine to former states of the defunct Soviet Union.

MARCH 4 In Russia, two B-52 bombers land on a friendship mission land on an air­field for the first time since World War II.

MARCH 15 In Turkey, C-5 Galaxy and

C-130 Hercules aircraft transport 165 tons of medicine, blankets, clothing, and other supplies to the victims of a severe earth­quake.

MARCH 19 Off the Alaskan coast, two Russian Tu-95 Bear aircraft are inter­cepted by F-15s for the first time since the demise of the Soviet Union.

MARCH 24 In Spain, the Air Force ends a 26-year tenure there once its final fighter aircraft return home.

April In Uzbekistan, five C-141 Starlifters deliver several tons of fire-fighting equip­ment after severe oil rig fires break out.

April 1 In Antarctica, a C-141 Starlifter from the 437th Airlift Wing delivers 155 barrels of aviation fuel by parachute to a joint U. S.-Russian ice station; the fuel is to be used by their helicopters.

April 17 C-141 Starlifters begin flying in

humanitarian aid to the former Yugosla­vian states of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia as their regional, centralized economies begin constricting.

April 24 Off the coast of Peru, a C- 130H Hercules of the 310th Airlift Squadron is attacked in international air­space by Peruvian Su-22s. The shooting injures six crewmen and kills one, who was sucked out of the cabin at 14,500 feet. The crew makes an emergency land­ing in the damaged plane, winning a Mackay Trophy.

May 1-10 In Los Angeles, California, transports of the Military Airlift Com­mand (MAC) convey troops and police to help quell an outbreak of racial vio­lence.

MAY 3-4 In Sierra Leone, a military coup prompts C-141 Starlifters and C-130 air­craft to evacuate 350 citizens and foreign nationals from that West African nation.

May 7—8 In Russia, the Air Force

Reserve Command Band marches in a Moscow military parade.

MAY 12 The Air Force accepts delivery of Lockheed’s 2,000th C-130 Hercules, making it one of the most successful transports aviation in history.

JUNE 1 With the Cold War successfully concluded, the Air Force embarks on a major organizational overhaul. The Stra­tegic Air Command (SAC), the Tactical Air Command (TAC), and the Military

Airlift Command (MAC) are immedi­ately discontinued and replaced by the new Air Combat Command (ACC), to operate SAC’s bomber and missiles and TAC’s fighters, and the Air Mobility Command (AMC), which inherits MAC’s transports and SAC’s tanker air­craft.

The new United States Strategic Com­mand (USSTRATCOM) is created by the Department of Defense to oversee U. S. nuclear forces and their long-range delivery systems; General George L. But­ler, the final SAC commander, assumes control.

June 30 Transports of the Air Mobility Command (AMC), in accordance with President George H. W. Bush’s Nuclear Forces Initiative, begin withdrawing remaning stocks of nuclear artillery shells, Lance missile warheads, and nuclear depth charges from depots throughout Western Europe.

July 1 The former Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) and Air Force Sys­tems Command (AFSC) are consolidated into a new entity, the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC).

July 1—March 15, 1996 In Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Operation provide promise unfolds as Air Mobility Com­mand (AMC) transports deliver thou­sands of tons of medicine and food to inhabitants of that region.

AUGUST 2—20 In Kuwait, Operation intrinsic action commences as transports of the Air Mobility Command (AMC) bring Army reinforcements in response to recent threats made by Iraq.

AUGUST 12 In Angola, Air Mobility Command (AMC) transports conduct

Operation PROVIDE TRANSITION, flying thousands of demobilized soldiers home to participate in that nation’s first democratic elections.

AUGUST 18 In Iraq, Operation southern WATCH is established to keep Iraqi aircraft from flying above the 32-degree north latitude line.

August 21-December 9 In Somalia, Operation provide relief commences as transports of the Air Mobility Command (AMC) begin flying food, medicine, and other relief supplies to a region wracked by civil wars, drought, and famine. By February 28, 1993, over 3,000 missions are flown and deliver 23,000 tons of cargo.

August 25-October 28 In southern Florida, Homestead Air Force Base is so severely damaged by Hurricane Andrew that it is abandoned. The Air Mobility Command (AMC) also dispatches 13,500 relief workers and 21,000 tons of equipment and supplies in 724 sorties.

AUGUST 26 Over Iraq, Operation southern watch begins to enforce a no­fly zone and prevent Iraqi aircraft flying below the 32nd parallel. This is necessary to prevent Saddam Hussein from attack­ing the Shia community residing in the southern marsh regions.

AUGUST 28 At Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, Air Force RF-4C Phantom II operations conclude when the 67th Reconnaissance Squadron is deactivated.

AUGUST 31 In Minsk, Byelorussia, an Air Mobility Command (AMC) C-141 Star – lifter transports 70 children stricken by cancer from the Chernobyl nuclear acci­dent to Brussels, Belgium, for treatment.

September 1-25 On Guam, transports of the Air Mobility Command (AMC)

Подпись: 1993 Подпись: 297

convey 750 relief workers and 2,000 tons of supplies after a hard pounding by Typhoon Omar.

September 12-October 18 In Kauai, Hawaii, Air Mobility Command (AMC) and Air National Guard (ANG) transports perform 600 sorties to deliver 9,200 tons of relief supplies and 8,600 passengers after Typhoon Iniki ravages the area.

September 13—29 Transports of the Air Mobility Command (AMC) commence Operation impressive lift by conveying UN peacekeeping forces from Pakistan to Somalia, including 974 soldiers and 1,168 tons of equipment.

September 23—25 In Liberia, two C-

130 Hercules aircraft evacuate 96 Ameri­cans from impending civil strife.

October 25 In Tajikistan, a spate of

civil unrest in the former soviet republic prompts the arrival of an Air Mobility Command (AMC) C-141 Starlifter to evacuate citizens and foreign nationals.

November 4—11 In Armenia, the Air Mobility Command (AMC) dispatches five C-5 Galaxies and one C-141 Star – lifter with 236 tons of flour to relieve food shortages there.

November 30 Over Montana, disaster strikes once two C-141 Starlifters of the 62nd Airlift Wing collide during a night­time air refueling mission.

December 4 Over Somalia, Operation restore hope unfolds as Air Mobility Command (AMC) transports commence the first of 1,000 airlift missions while Air Force Reserve crews perform an additional 190 sorties; all told, 50,000 pas­sengers and 40,000 short tons of cargo are conveyed to the region.

December 6—20 In Islamabad, Pakistan, the Air Mobility Command (AMC) dis­patches six C-5 Galaxies with 415 tons of engineering vehicles and supplies to combat severe flooding.

December 15 England Air Force Base, Eaker Air Force Base, and George Air Force Base are ordered closed as a cost­cutting measure.

December 16 The new McDonnell Douglas C-17 Globemaster III jet trans­port sets several world altitude records with payload.

A B-52 piloted by Captain Jeffrey R. Swegel, 668th Bomb Squadron, suddenly loses four engines on its left wing. By adroit flying two engines are restarted and the bomber makes a safe emergency landing; Swegel wins the Mackay Trophy for his efforts.

December 27 Over Iraq, an F-16C shoots down an Iraqi MiG-25 Foxbat violating the UN no-fly zone; this is also the first aircraft destroyed by the new AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile, or “Slammer.”


JANUARY 4 In California, the Pacific

Missile Range and Vandenberg Air Force Base becomes operational for missile test firings.

FEBRUARY At Travis Air Force Base, Cal­ifornia, the 5th Bombardment Wing deploys its first B-52Gs.

FEBRUARY 1 Control of the Distant Early

Warning (DEW) line passes from the United States Air Force to the Royal Canadian Air Force.

FEBRUARY 6 The Air Force successfully launches its first Titan I intercontinental ballistic missile; this is a two-stage, liquid-fueled projectile with an effective range of 5,500 miles.

FEBRUARY 12 The Strategic Air Com­mand (SAC) becomes an all-jet bomber force once the last remaining B-36 Peace­keeper is retired from active service.

FEBRUARY 17 At Cambridge, Massachu­setts, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, associate director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, advises the Air Force that they should assume scientific approach to recording all UFO sightings and keep the public informed of all existing policies towards them.

FEBRUARY 19 At Holloman Air Force Base, California, a two-stage rocket sled reaches 3,090 miles per hour, or Mach 4.

FEBRUARY 28 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, a Thor-Hustler rocket launch system successfully puts the Dis­coverer I satellite into Earth orbit. This is also the first satellite launched from the West Coast and the first placed in a polar orbit.

MARCH 10 At Edwards Air Force Base, California, the X-15 rocket research air­craft makes its first captive flight while strapped under the wing of an EB – 50 mothership. At this time it is piloted by A. Scott Crossfield.

April 9 This day NASA announces that the 7 Project mercury astronauts have been selected from 110 candidates. Three of them—Captains L. Gordon Cooper, Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, and Donald K. “Deke” Slayton—are Air Force pilots.

April 10 In California, the Northrop YT-38 prototype flies for the first time. It enters service as the T-38 Talon, one of the most successful and most popular jet trainers in aviation history.

April 23 Over the Atlantic Missile Range, a B-52 bomber test fires the first Hound Dog air-to-ground, nuclear – tipped guided missile.

April 28 The Douglas Aircraft Company contracts with the Air Force to construct a three-stage Thor-Vanguard rocket­launching system named the Delta.

MAY 6 At Cape Canaveral, a successful, 1,500-mile test launch of the Jupiter IRBM results in that rocket system being declared operational.

MAY 12 At Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, the 1298th Air Transport Squadron is the first unit to receive the first of three VC-137A (Boeing 707) executive transport aircraft.

A Thor missile launch carries a GE Mark 2 nose cone to an altitude of 300 miles and 1,500 miles downrange; an onboard camera in the nose photo­graphs the Earth from that vista.

May 15 The first reentry vehicle recov­ered from an intercontinental-range mis­sile test is put on public display by General Bernard Schriever, head of the Air Research and Development Center.

May 25 The first operational F-106 Delta Dart deploys with the Air Defense Command; this supersonic fighter is designed to replace the older, slower F – 102 Delta Dagger.

June 3 At Colorado Springs, Colorado, 207 members of the first U. S. Air Force Academy class graduate out of an original total of 306 cadets.

June 8 Over the Mojave Desert, Califor­nia, the X-15 rocket research aircraft piloted by A. Scott Crossfield makes a non-powered test glide after being dropped by a B-52 bomber at 38,000 feet.

June 23 At Tullahoma, Tennessee, the Arnold Engineering Development Center is instructed to prepare opera­tional and design requirements for a major space test facility for military space weapons.

July 1 At Jackass Flats, Nevada, the first experimental nuclear reactor, named Kiwi 1, is tested at full power as part of the nuclear space rocket program.

July 24 Near Antigua, Air Force author­ities recover capsule film of a recent nose cone separation sequence.

July 30 In California, the Northrop N – 156F exceeds Mach 1 on its maiden flight. This is the prototype of what becomes the F-5 Freedom Fighter.

AUGUST 7 A pair of F-100 Super Sabres become the first jet aircraft to fly directly over the North Pole.

AUGUST 24 The Air Force test launches an Atlas-C missile, which travels 5,000 miles downrange at an altitude of 700 miles. The nose cone, which contains movie footage of one-sixth the Earth’s surface, is subsequently recovered and analyzed.

AUGUST 29 The Lockheed Corporation contracts with the Air Force to con­struct a new, high-speed, high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft under Project OXCART for the Central Intelligence Agency. This is the origin of the SR-71 Blackbird.

September 1 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, all Atlas ICBM opera­tions are assumed by the Strategic Air Command (SAC).

September 9 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the first Atlas missile is launched under SAC auspices. The missile reaches 4,300 miles downrange at speed of

16,0 miles per hour, at which point SAC declares the system operational.

SEPTEMBER 17 Over California, the X – 15 rocket research aircraft is piloted by A. Scott Crossfield as it is dropped from a B-52 bomber and zooms to 53,000 feet at Mach 2.11.

OCTOBER 1 At Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, the Air Force Aerospace Aero – medical Center is created by consolidat­ing a number of medical facilities.

OCTOBER 2 In Washington, D. C., the Defense Department appoints Major General Donald N. Yates, commander of the Air Force Missile Test Center, as its representative for Project mercury support operations.

OCTOBER 6 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, an Atlas ICBM and a Thor IRBM

are both launched to their full flight ranges.

October 13 A B-47 launches a Bold Orion, an air-launched ballistic missile, which then soars to an altitude of 160 miles. At one point it passes to within four miles of the orbiting Explorer 6 satel­lite.

October 28-December 19 In Asia, the 4520th Aerial Demonstration Squad­ron—or Thunderbirds—completes a suc­cessful tour of several countries. They win a Mackay Trophy for their efforts.

October 31 A Series D Atlas ICBM goes on full alert status, becoming the first U. S. intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the Soviet Union with a nuclear warhead.

November 3 For the first time, a C-133 Cargomaster transport delivers an Atlas ICBM to an operational base. It is the first aircraft designed for this specific mission.

November 16 Captain Joseph W. Kit – tinger jumps from the balloon Excelsior I from a record altitude of 76,400 feet, breaking all previous records.

November 17 In Washington, D. C., the Defense Department assigns the Air Force to accept primary responsibility for the Discoverer, MIDAS, and SAMOS satellite projects after they are transferred from the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).

December 8 Major General Don R. Ostrander, formerly of ARPA, transfers as director of NASA’s Office of Launch Vehicle Programs. As such he is respon­sible for all subsequent development and operations.

December 9 A twin-rotored Kaman H-43B helicopter reaches a record alti­tude of 29,846 feet.

Over Akron, Ohio, an Air Force Goodyear unmanned balloon rises to

100,0 feet, whereupon it takes a radar “picture” of the Earth’s surface from a payload gondola.

December 11 Captain Joseph W. Kit – tinger jumps from the balloon Excelsior II at 74,500 feet, then drops 55,000 feet before opening his parachute. This is also a world’s freefall record.

Brigadier General J. H. Moore, flying an F-105B Thunderchief, sets a new world speed record of 1,126.5 miles per hour over a 100-kilometer course.

DECEMBER 14 Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, an F-105C Starfi – ghter flown by Captain Joseph B. Jordan reaches 103,389 feet, the highest alti­tude yet achieved by an air-breathing aircraft.

December 15 Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, an F-106A Delta Dart makes a new official speed re­cord of 1,525.95 miles per hour in level flight.

January 30 The Central Intelligence aircraft. This is an early version of the Agency orders 12 Lockheed A-12 high – SR-71 Blackbird. altitude, high-speed reconnaissance

FEBRUARY 9 At Bedford, Massachusetts, the Air Force initiates the National Space Surveillance Control Center (SPACE – TRACK).

FEBRUARY 24 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, a Titan ICBM is launched and reaches 5,000 miles downrange, its lon­gest flight profile to date.

April 1 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, an Air Force Thor-Able rocket booster launches TIROS 1, the first U. S. weather satellite. In time it completes 1,300 Earth orbits and relays back 22,952 pictures.

April 13 Transit 1B is launched into orbit, becoming the first U. S. navigation satellite.

May 1 Over Svedlorsk, Soviet Union, a U-2 spyplane flown by CIA pilot Francis G. Powers is struck by fragments of an SA-2 missile and brought down. He is put on trial and jailed for espionage, until being exchanged for a Soviet agent in 1961.

May 19 The X-15 hypersonic research plane piloted by Major Robert M. White reaches 107,000 feet, its highest altitude yet.

May 20 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, an Atlas missile is test fired and reaches an apogee of 1,000 miles in altitude as it reaches 9,000 miles downrange into the Indian Ocean. This is the longest flight of an Atlas to date.

May 23 In Chile, Operation amigos unfolds as Air Force transports begin massive amounts of humanitarian aid to assist victims of a major earthquake there. Over the next month, 10,000 tons of sup­plies will be flown in from 4,500 miles away.

May 24 MIDAS II, the first antimissile early warning satellite, is placed into Earth orbit.

June 25 The Aerospace Corporation, a

nonprofit civilian group tasked with managing the engineering, research, and development of missiles and space pro­grams, is created by the Air Force.

June 28 In Washington, D. C., a Langley Medal is posthumously awarded to American rocket pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard. This is also the Smithsonian Institution’s highest award.

July 1 Over the Barents Sea, an ERB- 47H of the 55th Reconnaissance Wing is shot down over international waters by MiG-17s. Only the pilot and copilot sur­vive, and they are held as spies until being released the following January.

July 8 At Jackass Flats, Nevada, a nuclear reactor named Kiwi-A Prime is tested at full power as part of the nuclear – powered rocket program Project rover.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Air Force transports begin a four-year effort to evacuate U. S. citizens and fly in UN peacekeeping troops during a period of civil war.

July 14 In Africa, Project safari begins as 100 C-130 and C-124 transports airlift

38.0 UN troops to various locales.

July 17 A series of three Air Force bal­loons carry three NASA experiments to

130.0 feet. The 12 mice on board are subject to cosmic rays for 12 hours then brought back for examination.

At Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, the 43rd Bombardment Group receives the first operational B-58 Hustler. This delta-winged giant flies at twice the speed of sound and can hit the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons after only one in­flight refueling.

AUGUST 10—11 High above Earth, the Air Force Discoverer XIII satellite ejects a 300-pound capsule, which becomes the first man-made object ever recovered from space.

AUGUST 12 Over California, the X-15 rocket research aircraft piloted by Major Robert M. White reaches a record alti­tude of 136,500 feet.

AUGUST 16 Captain Joseph W. Kittin – gerr rides the Excelsior III balloon to 102,800 feet then jumps, setting the highest-ever parachute record. He falls for 17 miles, approaching the speed of sound during his freefall period.

AUGUST 18 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the satellite Discoverer XIV is thrown into a polar orbit by the Air Force.

AUGUST 19 Over Honolulu, Hawaii, a C-119 flown by Captain Harold F. Mitchell snares the Discoverer XIV re­entry capsule at an altitude of 8,000 feet. Consequently, the 6593rd Test Squadron (Special) receives a Mackay Trophy.

AUGUST 26 At Arecibo, Puerto Rico, the Air Force helps direct construction of the world’s largest radar, capable of bouncing signals off the moon and nearby planets.

AUGUST 30 At Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, the 564th Strategic Missile Squadron, consisting of six Atlas ICBMs, is the first operational unit of its kind.

September 10 Across the United States, civil aeronautical operations cease for six hours while Operation skyshield unfolds. This is a defensive operation sponsored by NORAD and involves several hun­dred Air Force aircraft.

SEPTEMBER 15 At Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, Captain W. D. Habluetzel and Lieutenant J. S. Hargreaves remain in a mock space capsule for 30 days during a simulated journey to the moon and back.

September 21 At Nellis Air Force Base,

Nevada, the first Republic F-105 Thun – derchief, all-weather, nuclear attack air­craft is delivered to the Tactical Air Command (TAC).

OCTOBER 1 At Thule, Greenland, the initial Ballistic Missile Early Warning Sys­tem (BMEWS) is declared operational. This system is to alert the Strategic Air Command (SAC) of an impending mis­sile attack in enough time to allow a retaliatory response.

OCTOBER 12 Over El Centro, California, a C-130 makes a record parachute drop by delivering 541,470 pounds of cargo by air.

NOVEMBER 12 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the Discoverer XVII satel­lite is placed into orbit by a restartable rocket motor for the first time.

November 14 The second midair retrieval of an ejected satellite capsule occurs when a C-119 snares the payload for Discoverer XVII as it parachutes in from orbit. The cargo in this instance is the first letter carried into Earth orbit from Air Force Chief of Staff General Thomas D. White to the Secretary of Defense.

November 23 A Thor-Delta rocket car­ries the TIROS 2 weather satellite into orbit, becoming the 14th successful launching of the year.

December 1 In Pasadena, California, a scale map of the first lunar landing site selected by NASA is delivered to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

December 3 Disaster strikes at Vanden – berg Air Force Base, California, as a nighttime refueling of a Titan I ICBM results in an explosion and fire.

December 10 AC-119 piloted by Cap­

tain Gene Jones retrieves the reentry cap­sule from the Discoverer XVIII satellite; this particular payload carried samples of human tissue to test the effects of solar radiation.

December 14 A B-52G from the 5th Strategic Bombardment Wing, Travis

Air Force Base, California, sets a new world jet distance record by flying 10,079 miles in 19 hours and 44 minutes.

December 16 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the Strategic Air Com­mand launches an Atlas-D with a Mark II nose cone; the projectile flies 4,384 miles downrange to Eniwetok Atoll.

December 19 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, NASA launches a Redstone rocket booster to lift an unmanned Mer­cury space capsule into low Earth orbit. The device is carried 135 miles up into the atmosphere at a speed of 4,200 miles per hour, and parachutes down into the ocean 235 miles downrange.


JANUARY 9 At Langley Air Force Base, virginia, the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing accepts delivery of the first operational F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter.

JANUARY 31 In Thailand, the Air Force returns control of udorn Air Base back to the Royal Thai Air Force; the Ameri­cans subsequently withdraw from Korat a month later.

February 5-March 3 In Guatemala, Operation earthquake unfolds as Air Force transports deliver 1,000 tons of relief supplies and 700 personnel to assist victims of a recent disaster there.

MARCH 1 At Taipei Air Station, Taiwan, the Air Force concludes operations fol­lowing two decades of active service there.

MARCH 15 The Air Force communica­

tion satellites Les-8 and Les-9 are placed in orbit by an Atlas IIIC launch vehicle.

MARCH 21-June 9 In the Philippines, a series of violent typhoons results in Air Force transports delivering help and medical supplies from bases on Guam. Air Rescue and Recovery helicopters are instrumental in saving 700 flood victims.

MARCH 22 At Davis-Monthan Air Base, Arizona, operational and evaluation test­ing of the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II commences.

In Thailand, the last Strategic Air Command (SAC) B-52 leaves U-Tapao Airfield after operating there for several years.

MARCH 26 At Edwards Air Force Base, California, the NASA Flight Research Center is renamed in honor of Hugh L. Dryden, a former deputy administrator.

APRIL 2 At Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, the last Douglas C-118 Liftmaster flies to its final resting place in the “bone yard.”

May 6 —June 5 At Aviano Air Base, Italy, local Air Force personnel assist vic­tims of a recent earthquake in the northeastern portion of the country.

June 28 At Colorado Springs, Colorado, the U. S. Air Force Academy admits the first women, eligible to graduate in the Class of 1980.

July 1 In Washington, D. C., the National Air and Space Museum, Smith­sonian Institution, is opened to the pub­lic; it draws 20 million visitors in only two years and remains the most visited museum in the world.

July 15 At Mather Air Force Base, Cali­fornia, all military navigation begins training at one facility once Navy and Marine Corps navigators arrive for instruction.

July 27-28 Three flight records are established by three SR-71 Blackbirds: the first sets an absolute world speed record of 2,092 miles per hour with a 2,200 payload; the second does the same over a 15/25 kilometer course at 2,193 miles per hour; and the third reaches a record 85,069 feet for sustained high-altitude flight.

AUGUST 1-2 Over Big Thompson Can­

yon, Colorado, two UH-1 Huey helicop­ters rescue 81 tourists stranded by a flood.

September 9 At the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, the first fully guided test launch of an air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) is conducted; the missile in ques­tion carefully follows a flight path estab­lished by preset coordinates.

September 29 At Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, 10 female students enter undergraduate flight training, being the first women admitted since World War II.

November 29-December At Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, C-130s and C-141s of the Military Airlift Command (MAC) arrive with relief supplies to assist victims of recent earthquakes.

December 10 In the Atlantic, a U. S. bal­loonist crashes at sea and floats until he is discovered by Air Force search and rescue teams, which direct a nearby West German tanker to his locale.


January 1 At Falcon Air Force Base, Colorado, the 7th Space Operations Squadron is the first Reserve space unit activated.

January 3 President George H. W. Bush and President Boris Yeltsin of Rus­sia conclude the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II), which

eliminates all multiple, independently tar­geted reentry vehicles (MIRV), and reduces the number of nuclear weapons bombers can carry.

JANUARY 13 Over Iraq, Air Mobility

Command (AMC) transports con­vey forces to support SOUTHERN WATCH II, the no-fly zone near Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Air Force Major Susan J. Helms becomes the first U. S. military female in space when she enters orbit in the space shuttle Endeavor.

JANUARY 17 Over Iraq, an F-16 detects a MiG-23 and destroys it with an AIM-120 “Slammer” missile as it covers an F-4G Wild Weasel mission against Iraqi antiair­craft sites.

JANUARY 18 Over Iraq, F-4G Wild Weasels shoot back at an Iraqi missile site that fired upon them; F-16s also bomb an airfield whose antiaircraft gun had opened upon them.

In Zagreb, Croatia, a joint air opera­tions cell arises to coordinate airlifting supplies by aircraft of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Canada.

FEBRUARY 2 Air Force transports deliver medical and humanitarian aid to Zagreb, Croatia, as ethnic fighting in the former region of Yugoslavia intensifies. Opera­tion provide promise will expand this effort with direct airdrops to Muslims fleeing a Serbian advance.

February 13-March 9 Operation

provide refuge commences as Air Mobility Command (AMC) trans­ports fly supplies from Hawaii to Kwaja- lein Atoll to assist 535 Chinese sailors who defected after their vessel broke down.

FEBRUARY 19 The 64th Flying Train ing Wing introduces the new T-1A Jayhawk trainer to prospective student pilots.

FEBRUARY 28 Over eastern Bosnia, Operation provide promise continues as transports of the 435th Airlift Wing air­drop supplies to Muslim refugees fleeing Serb forces.

March 13-14 In Florida, the 301st Rescue Squadron dispatches helicopters to save 93 victims of heavy flooding brought about by a blizzard blanketing the Gulf Coast region.

March 31 Operation deny flight, a

no-fly zone over Bosnia, is established by the United Nations. It becomes effec­tive on April 5 and is aimed at limiting Serbian use of airplanes in the Bosnian civil war.

April 19-24 In Siberia, aircraft of the

Russian and U. S. air forces conduct joint rescue operations for the first time.

May 17-29 Over Cambodia, Air Mobil­ity Command (AMC) C-5s and C-151s fly 24 missions conveying UN troops to supervise the first free elections held since 1970.

JUNE 11 Over Somalia, AC-130 Spectre gunships participate in Operation CON­TINUE HOpE by attacking Somali warlords who had shelled UN ground forces on June 5.

JUNE 14 At Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, the first C-17A Globe – master IIIs are accepted by the 437th Air­lift Wing. This is the first Air Force transport capable of hauling oversized cargo loads to relatively short, unprepared runways.

June 17 At Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Lieutenant Colonel Patricia Fornes assumes control of the 740th Missile Squadron, becoming the first woman to command a combat missile unit.

June 29 At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, the prototype OC-135B air­craft flies for the first time, being designed to function over nations participating in the Open Skies Treaty.

July 1 The new Air Education and Training Command (AETC) absorbs the Air Training Command (ATC) and the Air University (AU).

The Twentieth Air Force, which con­trols and monitors daily operations of the intercontinental ballistic missile force, falls under the purview of the Air Force Space Command (AFSPACECOM).

At Vandenberg Air Force Base, Cali­fornia, the Fourteenth Air Force is assigned missile warning and space sur­veillance missions under the aegis of the Air Force Space Command (AFSPACE – COM).

July 5—12 In Macedonia, transports of the Air Mobility Command (AMC) deliver Army troops and their equipment from Germany to bolster UN peace­keeping efforts there.

July 11-AUGUST 1 In the Midwest a huge flood inundates eight states along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Air Force C-5 and C-141 transports deliver 800 tons of relief equipment, including 1 million empty sandbags, to assist the res­idents.

AUGUST 6 In Washington, D. C., Dr.

Sheila E. Widnall gains appointment as the secretary of the Air Force; she is the first woman to hold the position.

AUGUST 11—15 In Nepal, the 436th Air­lift Wing dispatches three C-5 Galaxies to Nepal after floodwaters wash out several bridges; they convey 190 tons of bridge components made in England.

AUGUST 18 At White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, Air Force Space and Missile Center (SMC) personnel observe the first launch ofthe Delta Clip­per Experimental (DC-X) vertical takeoff and landing rocket.

OCTOBER 1 At Barksdale, Louisiana, the 93rd Bomber Squadron becomes the first Air Force Reserve unit to employ B-52 bombers.

OCTOBER 2—4 In Bombay, India, the Air Mobility Command dispatches two C-5 Galaxies carrying 1,000 rolls of plastic sheeting, 950 tents, and nearly 19,000 five-gallon water containers for survivors of recent earthquakes.

OCTOBER 3—4 In Mogadishu, Somalia, Air Force pararescueman Technical Ser­geant Tim Wilkerson rescues and treats five wounded U. S. Army Rangers; he receives the Air Force Cross.

OCTOBER 5—13 Over Mogadishu,

Somalia, Operation restore hope ii com­mences once Air Mobility Command (AMC) C-5s and C-141s deliver 18 Abrams tanks, 44 Bradley fighting vehicles, and 1,300 troops to bolster the American peacekeeping force.

OCTOBER 8 Over Bosnia, Operation

provide hope is the Air Force’s longest, most continuous airlift operation; it is surpassed only by the Berlin Airlift, 1948-1949.

NOVEMBER Lieutenant Colonel Betty Mul- lis takes control of the 336th Air Refueling

Squadron, becoming the first woman to command an Air Force Reserve unit.

December 2—13 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the space shuttle Endeavor goes aloft under the command of Air Force Colonel Richard O. Covey. Its mission is to repair the $2 billion Hubble space telescope which is in need of a “contact lens” to correct its malformed main lens.

December 8 In accordance with the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the Air Force begins destroying the first of 450 Minuteman II missile silos.

December 17 At Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, the first B-2A Spirit bomber, The Spirit of Missouri, deploys with the 393rd Bomb Squadron.