It may be one of the most important Air Force installations in the continental United States, but Offutt Air Force Base has proven no match for the full fury of the Missouri River.
As record flooding
swept through towns across the Midwest, floodwaters had swallowed at least thirty buildings at Offutt as of Sunday and damaged another 30, the 55th Wing announced, including the headquarters of the 55th Wing, 55th Security Forces Squadron, 97th Intelligence Squadron, and 343rd Reconnaissance Squadron
And while the 55th Wing said that Air Force personnel worked round-the-clock to shore up facilities with 235,000 sandbags and 460 flood barriers "to minimize damage as much as possible," floodwaters were so intense that they eventually abandoned a frantic sandbagging effort.
"It was a lost cause" 55th Wing spokeswoman Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake
told the Omaha World-Herald. "We gave up."
The full extent of the damage is currently unknown, but it's worth noting that Offutt is home of U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees the Pentagon's nuclear strategic deterrence and global strike capabilities — and opened a brand-new $1.3 billion command and control facility at the air base in January.
Below, dramatic photos capture the flooding at Offutt:
(U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Alexandria Crawford)
A new survey of thousands of military families released on Wednesday paints a negative picture of privatized military housing, to say the least.
The Military Family Advisory Network surveyed 15,901 adults at 160 locations around the country who are either currently living in privatized military housing, or had lived in privatized housing within the last three years. One of the report's primary takeaways can be summarized in two lines: "Most responses, 93 percent, came from residents living in housing managed by six companies. None of them had average satisfaction rates at or above neutral."
Those six companies are Lincoln Military Housing, Balfour Beatty, Hunt, Lendlease/Winn, Corvias, and Michaels.
What's behind these responses? MFAN points to the "culture of resilience" found in the military community for why military families may be downplaying the severity of their situations, or putting up with subpar conditions.
"[Military] families will try to manage grim living conditions without complaint," MFAN says in its report. "The norm of managing through challenges, no matter their severity, is deeply established in military family life."
ABOARD THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT -- Loose lips sink ships, but do they reveal too much about the hugely anticipated "Top Gun" sequel, "Top Gun: Maverick," filmed onboard in February?
Not on this carrier, they don't. Although sailors here dropped a few hints about spotting movie stars around the ship as it was docked in San Diego for the film shoot, no cats — or Tomcats — were let out of the bag.
"I can't talk about that," said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, who commands the Roosevelt.
Robots in the air, on the ocean surface and on the ground guarded British Royal Marines as they stormed a beach during an important April 2019 war game.
The ground robot, in particular, is a new capability for the Royal Marines. The gun- and rocket-armed, tank-like unmanned ground vehicle could boost the naval branch's firepower while helping to keep human beings out of harm's way.
Alpha Company of the Royal Marines' 40 Commando and their robot guardians stormed a beach in Cornwall in southwest England as part of Exercise Commando Warrior. The Royal Marines' 1 Assault Group supported the naval infantry.