Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
KC-135 carrying middle school girls makes emergency landing at Macdill Air Force Base
TAMPA — A fuel tanker jet serving as a flying classroom made an emergency landing at MacDill Air Force Base Thursday.
The 21 passengers on board the so-called STEAM flight were local middle school students on a flight to promote women in aviation, said Lt. Brandon Hanner, spokesman with the 6th Air Refueling Wing. All of the girls exited the plane safely.
The students were members of coding and robotics clubs at Coleman Middle School and McLane Middle School. As is typical in emergency landings, they were evaluated by a military doctor before leaving the base. Fire and security units also were standing by as the plane landed.
The decision was made to land minutes after the plane took off when the crew noticed "a potential issue" in the boom pod area, according to a post on the MacDill Facebook page at about 12:45 p.m. The boom pod is used for in-flight refueling of other aircraft, the mission of the KC-135s.
The plane had been scheduled to conduct a refueling with the girls on board, Hanner said.
MacDill conducts STEAM Day once a year for students from Hillsborough County Public Schools to fuel interest in science, technology, engineering, arts and math. This year's event is scheduled for April 22. Last year, some 2,300 students attended.
In addition, MacDill offers STEAM flights throughout the year. One STEAM flight featured on the MacDill website in March 2018 carried Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from Miami University in Ohio.
The KC-135 that made the emergency landing is currently being inspected and more details will be available once complete. No future STEAM flights are currently scheduled.
MacDill will reschedule the flight if the students' parents and schools want to, Hanner said.
©2020 the Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Some Fort Bragg paratroopers who left for the Middle East on a no-notice deployment last month came home Thursday.
About 3,500 soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team were sent to Kuwait beginning Jan. 1 as tensions were rising in the region. The first soldiers were in the air within 18 hours of being told to go.
KABUL/WASHINGTON/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban will sign an agreement on Feb. 29 at the end of a week long period of violence reduction in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban said on Friday.
Large cargo ships, small fishing boats and other watercraft sail safely past Naval Station Norfolk every day, but there's always a possibility that terrorists could use any one of them to attack the world's largest naval base.
While Navy security keeps a close eye on every vessel that passes, there's an inherent risk for the sailors aboard small patrol boats who are tasked with helping keep aircraft carriers, submarines and destroyers on base safe from waterborne attacks.
So the Navy experimented Wednesday to test whether an unmanned vessel could stop a small boat threatening the base from the Elizabeth River.
Nancy Turner's modern version of keeping a candle in the window while her soldier son is away is a string of electric lights on the front porch that burn red, white and blue.
But where Turner sees patriotism and support for the troops, her Garner homeowners association sees a covenant violation and a potential $50-per-day fine.
Turner was surprised to receive a threatening email last week after an employee from Sentry Management, which manages the Sheldon Place HOA, spotted the illegal illumination during a neighborhood patrol.
"I honestly had no idea it would be a problem," Turner said.
The HOA did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent as a message through its Facebook page.
In the wee hours of Jan. 8, Tehran retaliated over the U.S. killing of Iran's most powerful general by bombarding the al-Asad air base in Iraq.
Among the 2,000 troops stationed there was U.S. Army Specialist Kimo Keltz, who recalls hearing a missile whistling through the sky as he lay on the deck of a guard tower. The explosion lifted his body - in full armor - an inch or two off the floor.
Keltz says he thought he had escaped with little more than a mild headache. Initial assessments around the base found no serious injuries or deaths from the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "All is well!"
The next day was different.
"My head kinda felt like I got hit with a truck," Keltz told Reuters in an interview from al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar desert. "My stomach was grinding."