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After almost 70 years, a Korean War POW's remains are coming home
On Saturday, the remains of a Korean War POW who was declared Missing in Action (MIA) in 1950, will be coming home to Massachusetts.
Army Sgt. George Schipani — a 19-year-old soldier with K Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division —took part in the Battle of Unsan in North Korea, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). His battalion was "struck by enemy units of the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces." Schipani was reported MIA on November 2, 1950.
The Army declared Schipani dead on March 31, 1951. American prisoners who returned at the end of the war said that he "had been captured and marched to Pyoktong, Prisoner of War Camp 5, and died."
In 1954, American remains were returned from North Korea in what was known as "Operation Glory," per DPAA. Unidentified remains — including one set of remains called Unknown X-13448 Op Glory — were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. Per DPAA, Unknown X-13448 Op Glory was disinterred in July 2018, and sent in to analysis.
Scientists used "dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis," along with other forms of evidence, to identify the remains as belonging to Schipani.
The Arlington, Massachusetts, city calendar says Schipani's next of kin, Robert, is still living in Arlington. Schipani's remains will return home on Saturday afternoon, where he will be met with an Honorable Transfer from the plane to the hearse, an escort from the airport, and another Honorable Transfer upon arrival to the funeral home.
"All Arlington residents are encouraged to attend his arrival ceremony at the funeral home," the Arlington city calendar says. "Please join us in properly acknowledging SGT George Schipani's service to our nation, and supporting his family in their time of grief."
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A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
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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.