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An Air Force Pilot Describes What It's Like To Fly The Legendary SR-71 Blackbird At Mach 3
"At that altitude, you don't have any sensation of speed," Ret. Air Force Col. Joe Kinego told the News Journal. "The only sensation of speed is looking at your gauges and seeing the miles clicking by as fast as they are."
Kinego, who commanded the Air Force's only Blackbird squadron out of Beale Air Force Base, told the News Journal he didn't "hear or smell anything" when he flew the Blackbird because of his pressure suit and helmet.
An SR-71 Blackbird in flightFlickr/mashleymorgan
Kinego also commented on what he saw while flying through the stratosphere.
"It was not uncommon at night to fly in a westerly direction and have the sun come up,'' Kinego told the News Journal, adding that "it doesn't come up like it does here, with the slow, rising ball of light and all the rays. ... It just kind of came up and then you flew some more and it just went down."
"There were a lot of stars, a lot of movement up there; stars and the lights moving by in the sky," Kinego said.
The SR-71 was developed in the early 1960s in response to two U-2 spy planes getting shot down — one over the Soviet Union and one over Cuba. In addition to its supersonic speed to evade missiles, the SR-71 could fly as high as 16 miles above the earth.
The Air Force officially retired the SR-71 in 1990, but NASA would use two of them for research until 1997.
Lockheed Martin is currently developing a successor to the SR-71 Blackbird, the SR-72, which may be tested in 2020.
Read the full story from the Pensacola News Journal here.
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Though the Army has yet to actually set an official recruiting goal for this year, leaders are confident they're going to bring in more soldiers than last year.
Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, head of Army Recruiting Command, told reporters on Wednesday that the Army was currently 2,226 contracts ahead of where it was in 2019.
"I will just tell you that this time last year we were in the red, and now we're in the green which is — the momentum's there and we see it continuing throughout the end of the year," Muth said, adding that the service hit recruiting numbers in February that haven't been hit during that month since 2014.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
We are women veterans who have served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Our service – as aviators, ship drivers, intelligence analysts, engineers, professors, and diplomats — spans decades. We have served in times of peace and war, separated from our families and loved ones. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly as many were earned while immersed in a military culture that often ignores and demeans women's contributions. We are veterans.
Yet we recognize that as we grew as leaders over time, we often failed to challenge or even question this culture. It took decades for us to recognize that our individual successes came despite this culture and the damage it caused us and the women who follow in our footsteps. The easier course has always been to tolerate insulting, discriminatory, and harmful behavior toward women veterans and service members and to cling to the idea that 'a few bad apples' do not reflect the attitudes of the whole.
Recent allegations that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie allegedly sought to intentionally discredit a female veteran who reported a sexual assault at a VA medical center allow no such pretense.
KABUL/WASHINGTON/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban will sign an agreement on Feb. 29 at the end of a week long period of violence reduction in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban said on Friday.
Active-duty service members, Reservists and National Guard members often serve side-by-side performing highly skilled and dangerous jobs, such as parachuting, explosives demolition and flight deck operations.
Reservists and Guard members are required to undergo the same training as specialized active-duty troops, and they face the same risks. Yet the extra incentive pay they receive for their work — called hazardous duty incentive pay — is merely a fraction of what their active-duty counterparts receive for performing the same job.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, D-3 of Moorestown, are partnering on legislation to correct the inequity. Known as the Guard and Reserve Hazard Duty Pay Equity Act, the bill seeks to standardize payment of hazardous duty incentive pay for all members of the armed services, including Reserve and National Guard components.
Another Marine was hit with jail time and a bad-conduct discharge in connection with a slew of arrests made last summer over suspicions that members of a California-based infantry battalion were transporting people who'd crossed into the U.S. illegally.