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Someone At The Air Force Really, Really Loves Their Craft Beer
The U.S. House passed a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill on March 22 designed to avert a shutdown of the federal government… news which would be super boring, if not for a single morsel buried in the massive piece of legislation: a buttload of cash for a “Pale Ale” program.
No, it’s clearly not beer: Once called “Prospector,” the title refers to a program that operates and maintains Bombardier Dash-8 reconnaissance aircraft for “drug interdiction and counter-drug activities” overseen by U.S. Southern Command, according to the Air Force’s 2019 budget request. The branch hasn’t requested new funding for the program since fiscal 2016, but the current omnibus —which the Senate is expected to vote on by week’s end — includes a nice fat earmark for $28.5 million.
Blah blah blah contract stuff... why do I give a shit? Because SOUTHCOM, like any command that oversees a massive area of responsibility, relies heavily on private contractors for support operations — and Pale Ale is contracted out to the aerospace giant Sierra Nevada Corporation.
Sierra Nevada… Pale Ale… do I have to fucking spell this out for you?
This is an amazing coincidence — assuming that’s what it actually is. After all, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co did, at the beginning of March, announce a refocus on the Pale Ale beer it first produced back in 1980. “We have a nice assortment of [of beers],” Sierra Nevada chief commercial officer Joe Whitney said on March 6, “but we really want to focus on Pale Ale and making sure that’s available where it should be.”
Does this mean Big Pale Ale has its tenterhooks in Big Defense? Does the beer lobby even have the best interests of the American taxpayer at heart?!
When reached for comment by Task & Purpose, spokespeople for both the Air Force and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. laughed and said they would have to discuss the matter with their fellow public affairs officials.
One thing is certain, though: The folks at Coors are probably pissed as all hell right about now.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Verizon committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Verizon is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
Verizon values leadership, motivation, self-discipline, and hard work — all characteristics that veterans bring to the table. Sometimes, however, veterans struggle with the transition back into the civilian workplace. They may need guidance on interview skills and resume writing, for example.
By participating in the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program and developing internal programs to help veterans find their place, Verizon continues its support of the military community and produces exceptional leaders.
CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamic State's media network on Monday issued an audio message purporting to come from its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi saying operations were taking place daily and urging freedom for women jailed in Iraq and Syria over their alleged links to the group.
"Daily operations are underway on different fronts," he said in the 30-minute tape published by the Al Furqan network, in what would be his first message since April. He cited several regions such as Mali and the Levant but gave no dates.