When an Air Force major called J.J. completed a solo flight in the U-2 in late August 2016 — 60 years after the high-flying aircraft was introduced — he became the 1,000th pilot to do so.

J.J., whose name was withheld by the U.S. Air Force for security reasons, earned his solo patch a few days after pilots No. 998 and No. 999. Those three pilots are in distinguished company, two fellow pilots said this month.

"We have a pretty small, elite team of folks. We're between about 60 and 70 active-duty pilots at any given time," Maj. Matt "Top" Nauman said during an Air Force event at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in New York City.

"We're about 1,050 [pilots] right now. So to put that in context, there are more people with Super Bowl rings than there are people with U-2 patches," Nauman added. "It's a pretty small group of people that we've hired over the last 60 to 65 years."

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A Spanish National Police car is seen outside the North Korea's embassy in Madrid, Spain February 28, 2019. (Reuters/Sergio Perez)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. authorities have arrested a former U.S. Marine who is a member of a group that allegedly raided the North Korean embassy in Madrid in February and stole electronics, two sources familiar with the arrest said on Friday.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency officer pleaded guilty to attempted espionage for China, the Justice Department said on Friday.

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A former Air Force intelligence officer, Monica Witt, has been charged with espionage after U.S. authorities say she defected to Iran and shared highly classified information with the Iranian government.

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Paul Whelan, the U.S. citizen and former Marine detained in Russia on espionage charges, was reportedly convicted of attempting to steal roughly ten grand from Uncle Sam while deployed to Iraq in 2006, according to the Washington Post.

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Paul Whelan, the U.S. citizen currently detained in Russia on espionage charges, is a former U.S. Marine who had traveled to Moscow for a fellow Marine's wedding, the man's family said Tuesday, alleging that he is being wrongly held.

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