Flightlines

Just in time for Halloween: A ‘Haunted’ jet at Bolling

This spooky image of a Halloween ghost transposed on the fighter jet on display at the entrance of  Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. originally appeared in the base newspaper in 1997.

This spooky image of a Halloween ghost transposed on the fighter jet on display inside the Arnold gate at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C. originally appeared in the base newspaper in 1997. Legend has it the jet is haunted, with the last supernatural encounter occurring 34 years ago today.

Thirty-four years ago on this night, a group of children came upon an empty patrol car, siren light spinning, a the gate of what was then Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C.

The car’s driver was reportedly found screaming inside the locked cockpit of an F-105 on display nearby. Base engineers spent four hours cutting him out.

Or so the story — recently re-posted on the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System — goes.

“To this date,” according the news article first published in 1997 in the base newspaper, “no one has been able to explain how he got up here.”

The story provides a fantastical account of what the young airman supposedly experienced before passing out and finding himself in the cockpit on Halloween night in 1980.

You can check out the whole account of that “eerie moon-veiled night” here.

Happy haunting.

AFA Parachute team video: West Point needs to “shake it off” after tomorrow’s loss

The Air Force is reminding the Army Black Knights that even if they lose, it’s okay. Just “Shake it Off.”

The Air Force Parachute Team, known as  the Wings of Blue, put their agility to the test as they dance — and plunge — to Taylor Swift’s album hit “Shake it Off” for the Air Force vs. Army football spirit video. The teams go head-to-head Nov. 1 at West Point.

Winning the last 17 of 20 games against Army, the odds could be in the Falcon’s favor.

Check out the video below:

 

 

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Carlisle to take over ACC on Nov. 4

Gen. Hawk Carlisle, Pacific Air Forces commander, greets a Republic of Korea air force member upon his arrival to Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 21, 2014. (Senior Airman Siuta B. Ika/Air Force

The next head of Air Combat Command, Gen. Hawk Carlisle, will officially take over on Nov. 4, the Air Force announced this week.

Carlisle, who previously was the head of Pacific Air Forces, will take over for retiring ACC commander Gen. Mike Hostage.

Carlisle is a command pilot with 3,600 flying hours in several aircraft. Prior to PACAF, he served as the deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements at Headquarters Air Force in Washington.

Hostage will retire after more than 37 years of service, including more than 4,000 flying hours in fighter aircraft, including more than 600 combat hours in operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn. Prior to ACC, Hostage was commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command and vice commander of Pacific Air Forces.

The new commander of Pacific Air Forces, newly promoted Gen. Lori Robinson, took over in a ceremony on Oct. 16. She previously served as vice commander of ACC. ​

Suspect in bank robbery using Air Force PT uniform as disguise

via Fox4KC

via Fox4KC

Police and the FBI are hunting for a bank robber disguised as an airman who can’t pass the tape test.

Kansas City authorities say what appears to be “a heavy-set woman” wearing an Air Force PT jacket and pants combo is the suspect behind a bank robbery and an attempted bank robbery on Monday in Missouri, Fox4KC reports. The suspect was also seen wearing a winter-style Skull cap, dark sunglasses, black gloves and carried a laptop-style black bag.

The suspect reportedly walked up to a teller at a Capitol Federal Savings inside of a Price Chopper supermarket in the Northland area at approximately 11:41 a.m. and presented a note demanding money, Fox4KC said. The suspect escaped with an unknown amount of cash into what police believe is a blue, four-door Nissan Altima.

About 30 minutes later, a person matching suspect’s description targeted a Community America Bank inside another supermarket, Hy-Vee, approximately five miles away. The suspect walked up to the teller station, presented a note, but fled without any cash.

No one was injured in both instances. Authorities believe the suspect is acting alone.

It is unclear if the suspect’s uniform makes a “swish-swish” sound.

Watch the surveillance video below:

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ABC: Expelled Academy football player lands on NCAA team

Former Air Force Academy cadet and linebacker Jamil Cooks — who was convicted of abusive sexual contact in a court martial and kicked out of the military in April 2013 — has resurfaced on a civilian university’s football team, according to an ABC News report.

Cooks is now enrolled at Alcorn State University in Mississippi, and plays on the school’s Division I football team, ABC reported Tuesday. ABC said Cooks is appealing his conviction, which requires him to register as a sex offender.

The court-martial panel acquitted Cooks of forcible sodomy and aggravated sexual assault.

Cooks’ continued presence on a college football team, after his conviction, is proving controversial. ABC quotes critics such as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and current Air Force Academy Superintendent Michelle Johnson, who called the fact that he is still playing football “disappointing.”

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Airman sings ‘God Bless America’ at the World Series

Airman 1st Class Michelle Doolittle sang “God Bless America” last night during the fifth game of the World Series last night in San Francisco.

Doolittle is a member of the Air Force Band Golden West at Travis Air Force Base, California, according to a Tweet from the service. 

Doing more with less: How have force cuts hit you?

Thousands of airmen have so far been cut voluntarily and involuntarily through the Air Force’s massive force management program — but the Air Force’s mission continues. We’d like to hear from the airmen who remain what effect the cuts have had on them. Are you being asked to do more with less now that your fellow airmen are gone? What has that meant for you?

Write me at slosey@airforcetimes.com to let me know. Please include your career field. If you’d like to talk anonymously, that’s fine.

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Ground mishaps drop across the Air Force

Motorcyclists and motorcycle enthusiasts socialize and look at the different motorcycles on display at the annual Motorcycle Awareness and Safety Day at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., April 7, 2014. Airman 1st Class Joel Pfiester/AIr Force)

The Air Force in fiscal 2014 posted its safest year for ground safety in 10 years, the Air Force Safety Center announced Oct. 22.

There were three on-duty and 42 off-duty ground fatalities in 2014, down from seven on-duty and 47 off-duty fatalities in 2013, according to the Safety Center. Over the past 10 years, the average is 5.9 deaths on duty and 50.6 off duty.

The drop comes after a spike in summer deaths in 2013, which was the highest since 2009.

The service’s Critical Days of Summer campaign, focused on risk management, coincided with a drop in fatalities in summer from 20 in 2012 to 17 in 2014.

Other campaigns include efforts by the Safety Center and major commands to focus on injuries from falls and vehicles backing up.

“When every airman stays focused and uses the risk management tools available, lives are saved as evidenced by the significant decrease in fatalities, the lowest in 10 years,” said Bill Parsons, Air Force chief of ground safety, in the safety center announcement.

Motor vehicle accidents are the biggest cause of off-duty deaths among airmen, with an average of 39 airmen killed each year from crashes over the past 10 years.

Those numbers dropped from 34 in fiscal 2013 to 28 in fiscal 2018, according to the safety center. Thirteen of those were motorcycle deaths.

The service has a motorcycle safety training program, which has graduated more than 3,300 through 458 classes, according to the safety center.

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Officer Training School graduates first total force class

First Joint BOT and AMS Class graduates

Air Force Officer Training School held its first simultaneous graduation of active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard officer trainees Oct. 10, 2014. The graduation moved OTS closer to complete total force integration. The guidon bearer on the left represents OTS graduates and the one to the right represents the Guard’s AMS graduates. (U.S. Air Force Photo by/Melanie Rodgers-Cox).

The first class to graduate from the new-and-improved Officer Training School marked a second celebration: they are the first class to graduate active duty, Reserve and Guard officer trainees at the same time.

The first class of FY 2015 graduated 193 new 2nd lieutenants on Oct. 10, consisting of 73 active duty and 12 Reserve members completing Basic Officer Training and 108 ANG officers completing the Academy of Military Science, according to an Air Force release.

This is the first time both active duty and reserve component officers simultaneously ran through the new eight week curriculum. The OTS curriculum was shortened from 9.5 to eight weeks in August for active duty and extended from six weeks for Guard members, said 42nd Air Base Wing spokesman Phil Berube.

The most recent class had some combined lecture sessions and parade and drill training, but the Air Force is pushing to educate all members collectively within the OTS program.

“The vision is to merge the classes, meaning have active duty, Reserve and Guard students sit in the same classes together,” Berube said.

While active duty and Reserve members already train together, the Guard moved the Academy of Military Science, its commissioning school, in 2009 from McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base near Knoxville, Tennessee, to Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The move came three years after then-Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley expressed his vision of a “shared common experience” at a single location for active duty, Reserve and Guard officer trainees, the release said.

For airmen entering OTS, the ability to train and learn together will set “the stage for working and cooperating as a total force from the inception of an officer’s career,” OTS commandant Col. Scott Lockwood said in the release.

OTS commissioned 748 2nd lieutenants and trained more than 1,300 officers in fiscal 2014 through its Commissioned Officer Training and Reserve COT programs. AMS commissioned 511 Guard officers during that same time period.

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