JANUARY 1 The Air Force Space Command assumes control of the Global Positioning System (GPS).
JANUARY 21 An F-15 Eagle test launches the American antisatellite missile system for the first time against a dummy vehicle emulator.
JANUARY 28 At Hill Air Force Base, Utah, new F-16 Falcons replace aging F – 105 Thunderchiefs in the 419th Tactical Fighter; this is also the first Air Force Reserve unit so equipped.
JANUARY 31 The new AGM-81A Fire – bolt target vehicle breaks world records for speed and altitude by reaching Mach 1.4 at 104,000 feet.
FEBRUARY 3 At RAF Upper Heyford, England, the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing deploys with the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE), becoming the first EF-111A Raven unit in that theater.
FEBRUARY 23 The Tactical Air Command (TAC) officially replaces the aging F-4 Phantom II with the F-15C Eagle as its standard air superiority fighter.
FEBRUARY 24 The Air Force selects the McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle over the delta-wing General Dynamics F-16XL to serve as its next dual-role fighter-bomber.
At Cherry Point, North Carolina, two C-141 Starlifter missions land after withdrawing U. S. Marines from Lebanon and Larnaca, Cyprus.
MARCH 6 Over the Northern Test Range, Canada, a B-52G from the 319th Bombardment Wing test launches an air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) for the first time.
March 19-April 9 An E-3A Sentry aircraft is dispatched to the Middle East following threats against Egypt and Sudan by Libya. Seventeen C-141 Starlifter and twenty-eight C-5 Galaxy missions also convey military supplies to the Egyptians as a precaution.
April 6 The first of 80 Leaget C-21A aircraft are deployed with the 375th Aero – medical Airlift Wing, which phases out older Cessna CT-39 Sabreliner aircraft.
April 11 The 375th Aeromedical Airlift Wing receives its first Beech C-12F operational support aircraft.
April 19 Construction begins on the phased array, sea-launched ballistic missile warning system at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.
MAY 16 At Peshawar, Pakistan, Afghan refugees receive 22 tons of medical supplies from C-141 Starlifters dispatched by the Military Airlift Command (MAC).
May 25 In Washington, D. C., the Vietnam War’s Unknown Soldier returns home aboard a C-141 Starlifter for internment at Arlington National Cemetery. He is subsequently identified as Air Force Lieutenant Michael J. Blassie and is reburied at St. Louis, Missouri.
June At Golden, Colorado, a Schweizer TG-7A motor glider is delivered to the U. S. Air Force Academy for airmanship programs; it is relegated to the 94th Air Training Squadron.
June 15 At Kansas City, Missouri, a C-130 Hercules from the Military Airlift Command (MAC) arrives with 4.5 tons of pumping equipment to assist floodfighting efforts in that region of the state.
At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, an MX (Peacekeeper) missile is test launched with a Mark-21 test reentry vehicle for the first time.
June 16 At Fort Worth, Texas, the improved F-16C Falcon flies for the first time. This new version boasts improved heads-up display (HUD) instrumentation and more capable multimode radar.
June 20 The first KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft deploys with the 384th Air Refueling Wing, Strategic Air Command (SAC). This variant is equipped with new CFM – 56 fan-jet engines, possessing higher thrust and lower fuel consumption.
June 21 Over Antarctica, a Military Airlift Command (MAC) C-141 Starlifter carrying supplies for U. S. bases at McMurdo Sound refuels en route with a 22nd Air Refueling Wing KC-10 Extender flying out of Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand.
June 30 Hancock Field, New York, is closed by the Air Force after 32 years of constant operations.
July At Loring Air Force Base, Maine, the 69th Bombardment Squadron accepts the first deliveries of AGM-84 Harpoon antiship missiles. These are intended for B-52 bombers during interdiction missions at sea.
July 31 At Davis-Monthan Air Force
Base, Arizona, the 390th Strategic Missile Wing becomes the first Titan II unit to be decommissioned.
August 7-October 2 In the Red Sea, Operation intense look unfolds as the United States begins minesweeping efforts in the Red Sea at the request of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Air Force transports convey 1,300 tons of cargo and
1,0 military personnel to the region in support of this effort.
August 8 In Europe, the first C-23 Sherpa, a small cargo/liaison aircraft for flying between airfields and depot centers, begins operations.
AUGUST 19—20 On Johnson Island, 715 miles from Hawaii, two C-141 Star – lifters from the 22nd Air Force evacuate 382 American military and civilian personnel as Typhoon Kell approaches.
AUGUST 28 At Florennes Air Base, Belgium, a C-5 Galaxy touches down with the first supply of ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs). Consequently, the noisy and KGB-orchestrated antimissile movement in Europe, sensing the futility of further opposition, begins disbanding.
August 29 At Sembach Air Base, Germany, the last OV-10 Broncos conclude a decade of service with the United States Air Force Europe (USAFE) and depart for the United States.
SEPTEMBER 2—3 In South Korea, 148 stranded civilians in a recent flood are saved by helicopters of the 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS).
September 4 At Palmdale, California, the first production B-1B Lancer intercontinental strategic bomber rolls out of the factory to begin flight-testing.
September 14—18 Aeronaut Joe Kit – tinger, Jr., who is also a retired Air Force colonel, flies a balloon nonstop from Caribou, Maine, to Savona, Italy, in 84 hours. He also establishes a new balloon distance record.
October 11—14 During a visit by Pope John II to San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Military Airlift Command (MAC) transports convey Secret Service vehicles for his use.
October 18 At Palmdale, California, the first operational B-1B, christened Star of Abilene, flies for the first time ahead of schedule.
October 18—20 The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center directs search and rescue operations and saves 47 lives after Colorado and New Mexico are struck by heavy snowstorms.
October 23—24 In Baguio, Philippines, a fire breaks out at the Pines Hotel during a visit by General Douglas MacArthur’s veterans. The 31st Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS) dispatches an H-3 helicopter, which lifts nine people trapped on the roof to safety. A C-130 Hercules transport subsequently conveys 48 injured people to Clark Air Base for treatment.
October 25 Off the coast of Salto di Quirra, Sardinia, F-4Es of the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing participate in live missile exercises with U. S. Navy units.
November 2 At McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, a Titan II missile bursts into flames as it is being drained of liquid fuel. This incident threatens to delay deactivation of this elderly system.
November 19 At Bogota, Colombia, the Military Airlift Command dispatches two C-141 Starlifters to deliver vehicles, small arms, and ammunition to the U. S. Embassy, after drug lords threaten it.
November 20 In Washington, D. C., President Ronald W. Reagan authorizes creation of a unified United States Space Command.
December 1 At Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, the Air Force Reserve accepts its first C-5A Galaxy.
December 11-12 At Rhein-Main Air Base, West Germany, survivors and two wounded victims of a hijacked Kuwaiti airliner arrive onboard C-141 Starlifters before being flown to the United States.
December 20 A collapsed tunnel in Huntington, Utah, results in two C-130 Hercules aircraft arriving with 23.8 tons of emergency equipment to rescue 27 coal miners trapped there; unfortunately, all had died from smoke inhalation beforehand.
December 22-March 1985 Eight Military Airlift Command (MAC) C – 141 Starlifters are dispatched to Kassala, Sudan, with 200 tons of food and medical supplies to combat an ongoing famine there.