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The Air Force is investigating how white phosphorus rockets ended up all over a Tucson road
The Air Force is currently investigating an August incident that saw rockets outfitted with white phosphorus warheads spill out of a military vehicle onto a Tucson roadway, Task & Purpose has learned.
A photograph of the incident taken on Aug. 16 by a passing airman and first published on the popular Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page shows more than a dozen Hydra 70 2.75-inch air-to-ground rockets covering a road that appears adjacent to the aircraft boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona.
The rockets appear to be outfitted with the sea-foam green M156 and M259 white phosphorus warheads, the same type that an Air Force A-010 Thunderbolt II assigned to the 354th Fighter Squadron accidentally fired off during a training exercise on Sept. 5.
According to the photographer, an airman stationed at Davis-Monthan, the rocket spill is the second such mishap at the base so far this year.
A spokesman for the 355th Wing based at Davis-Monthan confirmed to Task & Purpose that the August rocket spill captured in the photo was under investigation, but declined to confirm additional details regarding the personnel involved or if was an isolated incident.
"A lot of the information regarding the incident will not be released due to concerns regarding our operational security," the spokesman said. "We cannot speak to the photo, as it was not released through this office, nor are we able to release photos from the incident, due to the investigation."
The Hydra 70 Rocket System family of rocket motors and warheads(U.S. Army)
As air-to-surface munitions, Hydra 70 rockets are usually deployed from the Army's OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and AH-64D Apache Longbow and the Marine Corps' AH-1 Cobra, although the Mk 66 Mod 2 rocket motor variant was designed for use by both the Air Force and Navy.
In recent years, the Air Force has explored the rapid fielding of the laser-guided Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II to turn the unguided Hydra into a precision-guided munition compatible with the A-10, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and F/A-18 Hornet fixed-wing aircraft.
White phosphorus warheads are frequently deployed by the Air Force during training to produce smoke for concealing troop movement and to identify targets, according to Air Combat Command. When exposed to air, the substance burns at around 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
There's nothing quite like finding out that the nifty little trinket you blew a paycheck on when you were a junior enlisted service member is actually worth three-quarters of a million dollars. (Take that every SNCO who ever gave a counseling statement on personal finances.)
Special Operations Command review finds deployment and leadership issues but no 'systemic ethics problem'
The long-awaited Special Operations Command's ethics review has finally been released, which argues that there is no "systemic ethics problem" in the special operations community while acknowledging a range of underlying problems stemming from a high operations tempo and insufficient leadership.
John Kelly, the retired Marine general who worked as President Trump's chief of staff for more than 16 months, told a crowd in Sarasota, Florida on Monday that he trusted John Bolton and thinks he should testify in the Senate impeachment trial.
"If John Bolton says that in the book I believe John Bolton," Kelly said during a town hall lecture series, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, mentioning claims in a forthcoming memoir by Trump's former national security advisor that the president told him a freeze on military aid to Ukraine was conditioned on the country opening an investigation into the Bidens.
While the Army pours resources into Fort Wainwright after suicides, leaders stress one reminder: Look out for your teammates
While the Army is making strides at Fort Wainwright with hopes of improving the quality of life at the base and stopping suicide, Army leaders are also reminding soldiers of one simple thing that could make a difference: Get to know your teammates, and look out for one another.