The U.S. Army and Coast Guard have launched a search for an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that reportedly went down in the evening of Aug. 15 near Kaena Point, Oahu, Hawaii, with five military personnel on board, the Coast Guard announced on Aug. 16.
Army personnel at Wheeler Army Airfield alerted watch officers at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Command Center in Honolulu to a loss of communication with the aircraft just after 10 pm local time on Aug. 15. Two Black Hawk helicopters were conducting training missions in the area at the time.
Joint Rescue Command Center immediately deployed a C-130 Hercules from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and an additional UH-60 Black Hawk aircrew from Wheeler Field in response, the Coast Guard said. The respective aircrews identified a debris field that appeared to correspond to the missing Black Hawk around 11:30 pm local time.
The cause of the crash remains unclear.
The Black Hawk crash is the second this month, albeit under different circumstances. On Aug. 1, a HH-60 made a hard landing during operations near Achin in the eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, injuring two U.S. military personnel. Although the Taliban initially attempted to claim responsibility for the crash, U.S. Central Command stated that the helo “suffered a mechanical issue.”
Both incidents came after a Department of Defense inspector general audit of HH-60 airframe and training evaluations found that Army Aviation and Missile Command officials “did not effectively manage airframe condition evaluations,” warning that due to a lack of airframe assessments and safety standards, many Army pilots are likely piloting aircraft “with unidentified structural defects.”
The Army and Coast Guard did not immediately respond to inquires from Task & Purpose.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."