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Navy Pilot Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross For First US Air-To-Air Kill In 18 Years
Navy pilot Lt. Cmdr. Mike Tremel was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on Saturday for shooting down a Syrian Su-22 Fitter attack jet in June 2017, the first air-to-air kill since 1999, Military.com reports.
- Tremel — who was piloting his Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet with his wingman, Lt. Cmdr. Jeff “Jo Jo” Krueger, on June 18, 2017 — was awarded the medal during the annual Tailhook Association conference on September 10, the same venue where he first disclosed details of the dogfight with the Syrian jet last year.
- Tremel and Krueger, launched from the USS George Bush to provide close air support for U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces as part of the anti-ISIS campaign, were alerted by a Joint Terminal Attack Coordinator (JTAC) that forces loyal to the regime of Bashar Al-Assad were firing on partner forces near the then-de facto ISIS capital of Raqqa.
- According to to the Navy, a Boeing E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control aircraft identified an inbound aircraft as a Soviet-era Su-22 belonging to the Syrian regime. Repeated radio calls to the Su-22 went unheeded; according to The War Zone, the Syrian aircraft released ordnance on SDF fighters even after Tremel “thumped” the aircraft three times with flares.
- “The whole mission out there that day was to go defeat ISIS and annihilate ISIS,” Tremel said at least year's Tailhook conference. “At any point in time, if this had de-escalated, that would have been great. We would have gotten mission success and [gone] back to continue to drop bombs on ISIS."
- Cleared under the rules of engagement, Tremel locked onto the Su-22 with an AIM-9X Sidewinder and fired, only for his infrared-guided missile to end up drawn away by flares. Tremmel switched to a radar-guided AIM-120 AMRAAM missile and fired, striking the Su-22 and sending the aircraft plummeting to the ground as the pilot ejected.
The engagement lasted all of eight minutes, according to the Navy. And while Tremmel may enjoy the recognition now, he told the Tailhook Symposium last year that, with combat operations against ISIS still underway, "the show must go on."
The U.S. government failed to effectively account for nearly $715.8 million in weapons and equipment allocated to Syrian partners as part of the multinational counter-ISIS fight, according to a new report from the Defense Department inspector general.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), has long been seen as an apologist for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whom she met during a secret trip to Damascus in January 2017.
Most recently, a video was posted on Twitter shows Gabbard evading a question about whether Assad is a war criminal.
Since Gabbard is the only actively serving member of the military who is running for president — she is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard — Task & Purpose sought to clarify whether she believes Assad has used chlorine gas and chemical weapons to kill his own people.
The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.
Air Force gunsmiths recently completed delivery of a new M4-style carbine designed to break down small enough to fit under most pilot ejection seats.
NEWPORT -- The Office of Naval Inspector General has cleared former Naval War College president Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley of most of the allegations of misconduct claimed to have occurred after he took command of the 136-year-old school in July 2016, The Providence Journal has learned.
Harley, in one of a series of interviews with the The Journal, called the findings "deeply gratifying." He said many of the most sensational allegations -- "offers of 'free hugs' and games of Twister in his office" -- reflected a misunderstanding of his sense of humor, which he describes as "quirky," but which he says was intended to ease tensions in what can be a stressful environment.
The allegations, reported last year by the Associated Press, prompted a national controversy that led to Harley leaving the college presidency after almost three years in office.