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A-10 Pilot Awarded Silver Star For Unleashing Hell On Iraqi Army in 2003
In case we needed reminding of just how crucial a role the A-10 Thunderbolt II has played on the post-9/11 battlefield, a ‘Warthog’ pilot will soon receive the Silver Star for braving enemy ground fire to help beleaguered American forces carve a path to Baghdad during the opening phase of the Iraq War, Air Force Times reports.
Gregory Thornton, now a retired lieutenant colonel, was a captain on April 6, 2003, the day soldiers with the 3rd Infantry Division’s 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment encountered a phalanx of Iraqi army troops dug in on the eastern side of a bridge spanning the Tigris River. On the other side of the bridge Baghdad was still mostly under Iraqi military control.
As Iraqi tanks and armored infantry fighting vehicles began hammering the regiment’s lead element, Thornton swooped in. A sandstorm rendered visibility dangerous low, but for the next 33 minutes, Thornton and his leader managed to evade what his Silver Star citation describes as an “ever-increasing hailstorm of anti-aircraft fire. According to Air Force Times, Thornton destroyed or dismantled three T-72 tanks, six armored personnel carriers, and several utility vehicles that were within striking distance of the American troops.
“Captain Thornton repeatedly maneuvered his aircraft to within 3,000 feet of enemy forces to bring his 30-millimeter Gatling gun to bear,” a synopsis of the Silver Star citation reads. “This courageous and aggressive attack, while under withering fire and in poor weather, along with Captain Thornton’s superior flying skills and true attack pilot grit, allowed the Task Force and Armor Battalion to successfully accomplish their objective linking up with coalition forces completing the 360-degree encirclement of Baghdad.”
Thornton, who initially received a Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor for his role in the 2003 campaign, was one of eight airmen whose valor awards were upgraded earlier this year following a Department of Defense review of medals bestowed for actions in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Silver Star is the nation’s third highest award for valor.
Gen. Mike Holmes, the head of Air Combat Command, will present Thornton with the medal in a ceremony on the evening of June 30 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
The ceremony comes on the heels of the House Armed Services Committee’s 60-1 vote to authorize $696.5 billion in defense spending for 2018, a package that includes $103 million to preserve three A-10 Warthog squadrons, assuaging concerns that the iconic jet will soon be fully phased out of the U.S. military’s arsenal.
The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.
The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.
The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.
Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.
Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.
Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.
These CIA officers were the first US boots on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 — and one was 'Marine Todd'
Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
"Shoots like a carbine, holsters like a pistol." That's the pitch behind the new Flux Defense system designed to transform the Army's brand new sidearm into a personal defense weapon.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."