Weapons

Parting Gift?

Having flown on the C-17 many times, Battleland knows it’s a good airplane. Production of the cargo aircraft for the U.S. Air Force is all but done; the Pentagon stopped listing it in its regular cost reports back in 2009. That …

Texas Is Sinking!

No, not the state – the battleship: the USS Texas (BB-35), a 32,000-ton vessel that fired 255 14-inch shells toward Nazi positions during D-Day’s opening 34 minutes in 1944. The 100-year old vessel has been on display in the …

Mongers

Sequestration continues to loom. That’s the law Congress passed last year, duly signed by the President, that requires $1.2 trillion in automatic deficit-reduction cuts over the coming decade. They’d come from discretionary spending if lawmakers and the President can’t come up with a better idea by Jan. 2.

Half of those cuts …

Designation Resignation

Battleland was at a party this weekend where someone got the X-37B confused with the X-47B. You’d think the Air Force and the Navy would have a Joint Operating Coordination Committee on Aircraft Designation and Nomenclature to avoid fielding two new aircraft with such similar designations (but you’d be wrong: back in the early 1980s …

Air Force Capt. Tony McPeak, Over Vietnam

Merrill “Tony” McPeak served as the U.S. Air Force’s 14th chief of staff – its top officer – from 1990 to 1994. A fighter pilot — who flew over Vietnam, in war, and as a member of the Air Force’s Thunderbirds aerial acrobatic team, in peace – McPeak ran the service during 1991’s Gulf War. He has always been an outspoken …

The War Machines

Ready or not, robot wars are coming.

That was made clear in the skies over Pakistan a week ago, when an unmanned drone killed al-Qaeda’s No. 2 leader with a missile strike. And it’s happening on the ground in Afghanistan, …

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