31 January 2009

DoD: This Week at the Pentagon

CAP: Reminder on ELT 121.5

For All CTWG Officers

Reminder of changes that will occur with ELT missions starting on Sunday, 1 Feb. Since the only reports of 121.5 ELT signals will be from overflying aircraft or ground stations, all of our aircrews should make it a habit of monitoring 121.5 on at least one secondary radio and/or the DF unit in the cockpit. If a 121.5 ELT signal is heard, they should report it to Air Traffic Control. Our aircrews should report the time, altitude and location of when they first detect the ELT, when it is the loudest and when it drops off their radio.

Listening and reporting could help save a life. Thank you.

Director of Missions, HQ CAP

Cadet: PJOC 2008

The Air force PJs have popped up a lot on Always Vigilant in January. In keeping with that theme, we'll close the month out with just one more.

The above PJOC 2008(Pararescue Orientation Course) video was produced by the Cadets of the 399th Composite Squadron, Danbury CT. Thanks to C/1Lt Ryan Chapman and C/2Lt Peter Foschi.

Public Service: Service comes in many forms

Since 2005, following her own personal sense of duty, Lorraine Melgosa tracks down the families of fallen service men and women and offers the use of her special funeral cart and horses.

"Whatever gift you can give to these soldiers and their families, you should give," Melgosa said. "It's the least you can do to try to honor them."

She offers free funerals for children and law enforcement officers, as well as for members of the military. She pays her bills by running a local Verizon shop and selling antiques online.
More here...

SAFETY: Small plane Crash in West VA.

KENOVA, W.Va. — A small plane apparently low on fuel hit a power line and crashed into a wooded area near a West Virginia airport, killing all six people aboard, authorities said.

Shortly before the crash Friday, the pilot radioed the nearby airport, warning that the plane was running out of fuel. Witnesses said the aircraft was flying low, then the electricity went out.

"The pilot issued a mayday," said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters. "The mayday was based on low fuel."

Officials initially said three people had died in the crash, but later revised the death toll to six. The Piper PA-34 crashed less than two miles from the Tri-State Airport near the Ohio and Kentucky state lines.
More here...

30 January 2009

Public Service: Soldiers Angels - A call heard

We need 50,000 or more morale and encouragement cards and letters for our soldier's serving overseas, especially in Afghanistan!

Guidelines for Cards

Cards can be any size, either purchased or handmade. Envelopes are optional.
Please leave envelopes unsealed, as we screen every card. Per Department of Defense rules.

Homemade cards are great. Be creative. Even little scribbles from young children are wonderful.

Contact your local schools, churches, businesses, TV and radio stations, we need cards for the troops.

Soldier's might write back if you include your name, address or email on your cards.

Please keep your messages positive.

There is no deadline we need morale and encouragement letters all YEAR LONG!!!

Cards can be shipped to:

Soldiers' Angels
112 Greenhill Road
Ramseur, NC 27316
Soldiers' Angels
914 Tourmaline Drive
Newbury Park, CA 91320

CTWG: Congrats 399th and 143rd!

To All CTWG Officers

Commanders and CAC Reps - Please Also Share With Your Cadets

Tuesday, January 27 was a blockbuster night for the 399th and the 143rd.

In Danbury, no less than five cadets received their Mitchell awards. As for the two Connecticut state legislators who attended the ceremonies... they've decided to join CAP.

In Waterbury, the 143rd received the Region's Squadron of Distinction, AND a Unit Citation. Pretty darned good for a two year old unit!

Semper Vigilans... Semper Volans

Pete Jensen, Col, CAP
Connecticut Wing

PS; A post with photos is coming ASAP.

CTWG: Equal Opportunity Training

To All CTWG Officers

Commanders and CAC Reps - Please Also Share with your Cadets

National Headquarters has put Equal Opportunity Training online at the CAP website. A message from CAP's Acting EEO Officer follows.

Col J


After much delay due to technical challenges, the Equal Opportunity Training presentation is available on the CAP website. It can be accessed under CAP University on the Links to Professional Development page, or by going to: https://tests.cap.af.mil/EO_Training/Index.cfm. Please help us by making a maximum effort to communicate this information to all members.

Thanks for your patience and help.

Equal Opportunity Officer (Interim)

CAP: Heroes behind the scenes


McCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. - New Year’s Day 2009 started on a good note for Paul Christensen, a 23-year old pilot of a Taylor Craft-21 bound for Idaho, but New Year’s Eve was another story.

Late on Dec. 31, John Henderson, a radar expert with the Western Air Defense Sector here received an urgent call from the Sector’s Mission Crew Commander. A pilot leaving from Moscow-Pullman, Wash., never reached his destination in Slate Creek, Idaho. His family was worried, especially since it was dark and very cold along the missing pilot’s route.

“Once I got the call, I worked closely with the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall AFB, Fla., to relay any information as I got it,” said Mr. Henderson.

Mr. Henderson is a major in the Civil Air Patrol, and has unique skills dealing with radar data making him perfect for his job.
More here...

CAP: CAP Trains for Tsunami diaster

Hawaii: Workers in the Civil Defense command post included representatives from nine county departments including police and fire as well as The American Red Cross, the Civil Air Patrol, an organization of ham radio operators, the Hawaii National Guard and a number of state agencies.
More here...

CAP: CAP opens Celtics Game!

PLYMOUTH - The Color Guard of the Pilgrim Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, based at Plymouth Airport, presented the colors during the National Anthem prior to the Jan. 15 Celtics game, in front of more than 18,600 basketball fans.

The Pilgrim color guard members include Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Josh Burchman and Cadet Master Sgt. Lauren Hunt, (rifles); Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Stephen Lentini (American flag bearer and color guard captain), Cadet Tech. Sgt. Cameron Myette (CAP flag), and Cadet Staff Sgt. Tim Milch (MIA flag). Cadet Capt. David Balch handled the arrangements with the Celtics. Several parents attended the game and Lentini’s father, Joe, provided transportation and supervision. The Celtics also showed off their stuff, beating the New Jersey Nets handily, 118-86.
More here...

CAP: The First CAP K9 Team

(From left) Second Lieutenants Roger Parker and Erik Strohm from the Clarion Civil Air Patrol Squadron, and First Lieutenant Scott Brown and Cadet Brown from the Franklin Squadron return from a successful search with bloodhound, Billie, and golden retriever, Savannah. The Clarion Composite Squadron 504 K9 search and rescue unit is the first of its kind in the nation organized under the Civil Air Patrol.

CLARION, PA- Clarion is home to the nation’s first K-9 search and rescue unit under the direction of the Civil Air Patrol, the auxiliary to the Air Force.

Major Ralph Timblin Sr. of Clarion is the group’s squadron commander, and works with one of the dogs, Timblin’s own Newfoundland , Sea Cur (pronounced seeker).

Some members of the former Allegheny Valley Search and Rescue group wanted to continue with their activities after that group closed, and Timblin told them to join up with him under the CAP.
More here...

29 January 2009

CAP: CAP Missing Man Flyby

January 28: Two plane flying over Brookings last Friday –one playing recorded versions of "Taps" and "Amazing Grace" – were doing so as part of a private memorial tribute at the airport.

The planes caught the attention of many residents and spurred phone calls to local authorities and the Curry Coastal Pilot.

"It was for a friend of mine, a member of the Blackwater group, who died in Baghdad in 2007," said Scott Bakker, president of the Guardians From Above and a commander of the Brookings Civil Air Patrol.

Bakker piloted the Guardian's Skymaster aircraft as it conducted a "missing man" flyby, accompanied by a Civil Air Patrol plane.

Local aviators joined Bakker at the airport at noon Friday for a memorial tribute on the second anniversary of Art Laguna's death in Iraq. Bakker had been friends with and worked with Laguna for 30 years. Bakker said Laguna's wife, Marybeth, asked him to coordinate the tribute and do the flyover, which he was more than happy to do.

"Art is one of the unsung heroes," Bakker said. "He's one of the many former military people volunteering to protect our dignitaries in hostile places."

Laguna was the father of four and grandfather of six, a veteran of 30 years with the U.S. Army and National Guard who served in Bosnia and three times in Iraq, Bakker said.

Laguna, a helicopter pilot, was last working for the Blackwater group, which hires former military and law enforcement people as armed guards for government officials and contractors overseas.

In January 2007, Laguna and his crew were killed while flying a mercy mission to save the life of an American diplomat pinned down by enemy fire in Iraq, Bakker said. The Department of Defense posthumously awarded him the Legion of Merit earlier this year – a decoration for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements."

On Jan. 23, as people gathered at the Brookings Airport for Laguna's tribute, Bakker flew a Skymaster plane about 2,000 feet above town, followed by the Civil Air Patrol plane which broadcast recorded music over a loudspeaker. It was also a training opportunity for the Civil Air Patrol crew, which practiced taking aerial photographs of the coast.
Credit here...

According to the Guardians From Above web site: Guardians From Above

is the brainchild of Scott Bakker and Tom Moore of the

Civil Air Patrol 105 South Coast Composite Squadron.

After others failed to rescue James Kim before he

succumbed to exposure in December, 2006, GFA was

formed by linking the resources of Civil Air Patrol

with those of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

SAFETY: Plane Crashes at Santa Monica Airport

Santa Monica police Lt. Ken Semko says the plane slammed into the ground at the west end of the airfield at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Semko says witnesses say the plane took off but encountered problems and tried to return to the airport.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the plane was a Marchetti F260. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

DoD: Army Orders Recall of More Than 16,000 Sets of Body Armor

Audit concludes bullet-blocking plates in the vests failed testing and may not provide soldiers with adequate protection

WASHINGTON - Army Secretary Pete Geren has ordered the recall of more than 16,000 sets of body armor following an audit that concluded the bullet-blocking plates in the vests failed testing and may not provide soldiers with adequate protection.
More here...

OSINT: China and Russia Slam "American" Financial System

Premiers Wen Jiabao of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia

The premiers of Russia and China slammed the U.S. economic system in speeches Wednesday, holding it responsible for the global economic crisis.

Both focused on the role of the U.S. dollar, with China's Premier Wen Jiabao calling for better regulation of major reserve currencies and Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin calling over-reliance on the dollar "dangerous."

Speaking on the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, they both urged more international cooperation to escape the downturn. They also talked up the abilities of their own economies to ride out the recession. Mr. Wen said he was "confident" China would hit its 8% growth target for this year even though that was "a tall order." (See the full text.)

The Russian and Chinese leaders also called for cooperation with U.S. President Barack Obama, but it was a chilly reception for the new administration that reflected growing anger in economies that are now getting hit hard by a financial crisis that began with subprime mortgages sold in the U.S.
More here...

OSINT: Revealed: the letter Obama team hope will heal Iran rift

Officials of Barack Obama's administration have drafted a letter to Iran from the president aimed at unfreezing US-Iranian relations and opening the way for face-to-face talks, the Guardian has learned.

The US state department has been working on drafts of the letter since Obama was elected on 4 November last year. It is in reply to a lengthy letter of congratulations sent by the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on 6 November.

Obama's letter would be a symbolic gesture to mark a change in tone from the hostile one adopted by the Bush administration, which portrayed Iran as part of an "axis of evil".

It would be intended to allay the ­suspicions of Iran's leaders and pave the way for Obama to engage them directly, a break with past policy.
More here...

Current Affairs (OSINT): Divided House Passes Recovery Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - In a swift victory for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House approved a historically huge $819 billion stimulus bill Wednesday night, filled with new spending and tax cuts at the core of the young adminstration's revival plan for the desperately ailing economy. The vote was 244-188.

Senate debate and a vote is next and then a meeting of the bills before it can be signed by the president. The target is mid February for signing.
More here...

28 January 2009

CTWG: Oxford Training Exercise

Oxford Training Exercise - men at work...!

27 January 2009

AEROSPACE?: Expert: RAF Pilots Ordered to Shoot Down UFOs

RAF pilots have tried to BLAST UFOs out of the sky under a top secret Government directive, it was claimed last night.
Nick Pope — who worked on the Ministry of Defence’s UFO desk for three years — revealed the rules of engagement for the first time.

He claimed RAF pilots had fired at UFOs on several occasions — but failed to bring them down.

He added: “We know of cases where the order has been given to shoot down — with little effect to the UFO.”

Mr Pope said the rules of engagement were drawn up after dozens of close encounters with suspect craft in British airspace.
More here…

SAFETY: FedEx Plane Crashes, Catches Fire on Texas Runway

LUBBOCK, Texas — Officials say a FedEx cargo plane landing at a Lubbock, Texas, airport veered off the runway, crashed and caught fire, but that both crew members walked away from the plane.

Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport director James Loomis says the ATR-42 twin-turboprop aircraft landed just after 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. He says crews extinguished the fire quickly.

More here…

25 January 2009

Aerospace: Surveilance Sikorsky SA-38B

The Sikorsky twin-engine, turbine-powered SA-38B aircraft is optimally designed to perform surveillance at both low and high altitudes up to 20,000 ft. Designed specifically for the surveillance role with integrated sensor payloads, it achieves better mission performance at significantly lower costs than other aircraft. Sensors on the SA-38B model are fully integrated to maximize day/night monitoring capabilities. Multi-mission capabilities include border surveillance, maritime and coastal patrol, signals intercept, radar detection, drug surveillance, search and rescue, data relay, environmental surveillance, and pollution detection control. The SA-38B aircraft combines multi-sensor payloads, covert mission performance, twin-engine reliability, and low cost of operation to achieve unique mission effectiveness.

At 4000 ft it cannot be heard by the human ear.

More here...


Not much football today, so go to the PJ Party instead. USAF Combat Search and Rescue - CSAR


World Headlines in no particular order...

IRAN: Iranian arms ship intercepted by US warship has sealed secret holds

US: Two ex-Guantanamo inmates appear in Al-Qaeda video
Study finds troubling pattern of Southern California quakes

SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Kingdom posts Q4 profit

CHINA: China reports 4th bird flu death in 2009

MID EAST: Obama Envoy to Make First Direct Move Into Mideast Peace Efforts

MEXICO: Top Mexico Cops Charged With Favoring Drug Cartel

COLUMBIA: Colombia Says Top Narco Offering Bounties for Cops

VENEZUELA: Thousands Demonstrate Ahead of Venezuela Vote

AFGHANISTAN: Russia Ready to Cooperate With US on Afghanistan



SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka says troops enter final rebel stronghold

RWANDA: Rwanda-Congo force kills 9 militiamen, UN says

BOLIVIA: Polls open in Bolivia's constitutional referendum

FRANCE: France and Spain pick up pieces after deadly storm

GERMANY: Germany, EU Receive Gas After Gazprom Turns on Taps

SERBIA: Serbia protests Kosovo Security Force

BRAZIL: Brazil expands investment in offshore drilling projects

24 January 2009

USAF: It's all about the perceptions

OK, so maybe the Air Force is not the Marines, but its kickin something in the "Where would you want to work, if you could choose" category!
More here...

Aerospace: Missile History and Future

A quick history lesson. A quarter of a century ago, the US (and NATO) were engaged in an unprecedented nuclear arms build-up in Europe that was initiated with the deployment of the SS-20 Sabre (NATO)/RT-21M Pioneer (Russia) IRBM in 1976. Unlike the much older SS-4 and SS-5 IRBMs, employed in 1959 and 1961, the SS-20 was a modern, road-mobile, MIRV’d missile with a CEP of 150m. In a word - it was a game changer when all 405 were ddeployed by 1986. The most significant and troublesome aspect of the SS-20 was that it was clearly a first strike weapon, meant for a swift strike against NATO leadership and theater nuclear forces, or TNF which mostly consisted of short- and medium range aircraft and Pershing I missiles.
More history here...

Aerospace: Really COOL Aircraft Carriers

2 Million Ton Pykrete Aircraft Carrier In WW2 - video powered by Metacafe

Hat Tip to EagleSpeak.It’s World War II and Great Britain is again under attack by the Germans. Dependent on supplies from North America, the British are trying to find ways to defeat the submarine menace that is interdicting ships carrying food and material from the United States and Canada. There are insufficient numbers of escort ships for convoys and none of the current aircraft have the range to provide air coverage on the entire length of the convoy routes. The British, as discussed in an earlier Sunday Ship History post, developed merchant ship “carriers” in which certain types of ships were fitted with flight deck or catapults and carried planes to defend the merchant convoys.
More here...

OSINT: Connectivity is everything!

Hat Tip to Dr. Tom Barnett.

The world is shrinking. Cheap flights, large scale commercial shipping and expanding road networks redefine Wilderness. Only 10% of the land area is remote – more than 48 hours from a large city mean that we are better connected to everywhere else than ever before. But global travel and international trade and just two of the forces that have reshaped our world. A new map of Travel Time to Major Cities - developed by the European Commission and the World Bank - captures this connectivity and the concentration of economic activity and also highlights that there is little wilderness left. The map shows how accessible some parts of the world have become whilst other regions have remained isolated. Accessibility - whether it is to markets, schools, hospitals or water - is a precondition for the satisfaction of almost any economic need. Furthermore, accessibility is relevant at all levels, from local development to global trade and this map fills an important gap in our understanding of the spatial patterns of economic, physical and social connectivity.

More here and here....

USAF: AF Reaches Out to Retired Flight-rated Officers

Stars and Stripes January 22, 2009
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Faced with a shortfall of about 1,600 flight-rated officers, the Air Force is reaching out to pilots, air battle managers and navigators who have left active duty, service officials said Wednesday.

Under a program authorized for this calendar year, retirees and reservists -- most from the Inactive Ready Reserve -- can come back to active duty for up to four years, officials said. The program is also open to current or former members of all services.

"We are not soliciting O-6s; we are primarily expecting majors and lieutenant colonels to come back," said Lt. Col. Dewey Duhadway, chief of rated force policy.

The Air Force has received interest from about 1,000 retirees and reservists about the program, Duhadway said on Wednesday.

Those interested in returning to active duty would have go before an aeronautical review board to determine their ratings qualifications, and returnees from the IRR will have to undergo a physical examination, he said.

The Air Force is looking for staff officers, which requires a minimum two-year commitment, and operational aviators, such as pilots for unmanned aerial drones, requiring a minimum three-year commitment plus time for training, said Col. Chuck Armentrout.

The program does not offer a bonus, but those who return to active duty are eligible for flight pay and hazardous duty pay, and their time on active duty counts toward their retirement, said Armentrout, chief, military force policy.

Retirees will come back at their last pay grade and will be exempt from one-year deployments, he said. Eligible aviators must be under 60 years old; older pilots will likely be used in staff positions.

One caveat: Air Force personnel who took voluntary separation pays to leave the Air Force early would have to repay any monies to come back to active duty, he said.

The Air Force's early efforts to trim personnel to pay for more aircraft is not the major reason the service is facing a shortfall of flight-rated officers, but rather, the requirement for such officers has exploded, especially in the field of surveillance aircraft, Armentrout said.

USAF: AF Academy researcher develops satellite imaging technology

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AFNS) -- A research associate at the U.S. Air Force Academy's Laser and Optics Research Center here is developing a new capability that will allow satellites to be seen and see clearer.

Dr. Geoff Andersen developed the process, called holographic adaptic optics, that uses sensors and lenses that can correct for disturbances in the atmosphere.
More here...

USAF: On Board Air Force One

Journey inside the most secure aircraft in the world, Air Force One, as it carries the President through the confusion and terror of 9/11, a secret mission into Baghdad and a whirlwind diplomatic mission through the Middle East. With unprecedented access, National Geographic introduces you to the presidential pilot and the crew charged with operating this global command center in the sky.

USAF: AF to Spend 1$ Billion on Surveillance Aircraft

WASHINGTON -- The Air Force soon will fly commercial planes outfitted with surveillance technologies that can help troops in Iraq or Afghanistan detect mines, explosives and other enemy efforts, a senior service official said Friday.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Blair Hansen detailed previously classified plans to reconfigure used and new Hawker Beechcraft Corp. aircraft under a nearly $1 billion contract to support surveillance and reconnaissance operations in both U.S.-led wars and beyond. The first two King Air planes are slated to begin flights by April.
More here...

23 January 2009

Public Service: May No Soldier Ever Go Unloved!

The following is a public service announcement for Soldiers Angels. They represent all services. Judy Lee is the leader of the CT Soldiers Angels Organization. From sending stuff overseas like cards and letters to providing Valour IT voice activated Lap Tops to setting up holiday visits to VA hospitals (the 169th went last year)- she and SA are the best!

Editors note: I have made and lost.., some very special family and life long friends through SA. If your interested in knowing more about them go here...

Here is a chance to send your favorite hero a little love from home for Valentine's Day?

This package includes:

A note from you or a thank you for your service letter
Heart Votive Candle
Donated Coffee
Fleece Blanket
Knit Cap
Bear Fruit Bar - Apple Cherry
Kars PB&J Mix
Kars Sweet N Salty Mix
Sun Maid® Raisins
Wrigleys Big Red® Chewing Gum
Tazo® Awake Black Tea
Crystal Light® On the Go Natural Cherry Pomegranate
Motts® Hot Spiced Cider Caramel
Nature Valley® Cinnamon Granola Bar
Sparrer Smoked Beef Stick
Justins Organic Cinnamon Peanut Butter
Wheat Wafers - red box
Bonne Maman® Cherry Preserves
Hero Strawberry Jam
Lifesavers® Gummies - 5 Flavors
Crème Savers® Hard Candy - Strawberry & Crème
For the Guys:
AXE Boost Shower Gel
Old Spice® Red Zone® antiperspirant / deodorant
For the Gals:
Caress® Moisterizing Body Wash - Tahitian renewal
Soft & Dri® Clear Glide Anti-Perspirant Deodorant

Plus, you can add one of the following items to the Pack if you would like:

Sand Scarf + $6.00

Cool Scarf + $6.00

AT&T International 100 Minute Calling Card + $7.95

COMBO: Sand Scarf and AT&T Calling Card + $12.00 Save $2

COMBO: Cool Scarf and AT&T Calling Card + $12.00 Save $2

BEST VALUE!!! Add Sand Scarf, Cool Scarf and AT&T Calling Card for an additional $15 - Save $4.95 !

Click here to order a package now!

Or, you can send them some luck for St. Patrick's Day!

This package includes:

Dial® Deodorant Soap
General Mills® Lucky Charms Cereal (box)
Generic Travel Toothbrush
Gift Pack - Donated by Simple Green
Green Sandscarf
Kars® Salted Peanuts
Kars® Yogurt, Apple, Nut Mix
LA Fresh Dental Finger Mitt
Land O Lakes Cocoa Classics® Irish Creme & Chocolate
Leprechaun Candle
Lifesavers® Wint O Green
Nature Valley® Oats N Honey Granola Bar
One Fresh Cup Mocha Java
Oraline Dental Floss-mint
OraLine® Ice Mint Breath Strips (24 Strips)
Plastic Green Hats - 4
Quaker Oatmeal Variety Pack
Safetec Hand Sanitizer - 3
Scope® Cool Peppermint Mouthwash
Snaplight® Safety Lightstick - Green
Stash Premium Green Tea
Tabasco® Brand Green Pepper Sauce (bottle)
Tang Sport Fitness Drink Mix - Lemon Lime
Tea Tech® XtraGreen Tea to Go Lemon Flavor Beverage Mix
Triple Lanolin® Aloe Vera Hand and Body Lotion
Wet-Nap® Moist Towelette - 3
Wrigleys Doublemint®

Click here to order package now!

Thank you for all your support of troops.

Judy Lee, CT Soldiers Angels

Someone To Remember: James Swett

Hat Tip to Blackfive.net.

On April 7, 1943, 22 year old Marine Lieutenant James Swett took off as a rookie division leader of four F4F Wiuldcats of VMF-221 on his maiden combat mission over the Solomon Islands.

His small band was part of a group of Marine and Navy aviators who were intercepting a wave of 150 Japanese aircraft.

A few minutes after take off Lt. Swett and his four aircraft command ran into 15 Japanese bombers. Swett ignored the odds and ordered an immediate attack from above. Personally leading the tight formation of Wildcats, Swett opened the engagement.

Less than 20 minutes later, Swett had scored seven confirmed kills!

He became the first and only USMC flying Ace in his first day of combat. Swett disengaged with a severely damaged engine and a shattered windshield that left lacerations across his face.

Oh yeah, and he was out of fuel. He skillfully brought his battered aircraft down into the sea off Tulagi where he was later picked up by patrol craft.

This was a great day for America and for James Swett.

Yesterday was his last.

Colonel James Swett Sr. passed away at the age of 88 in Redding, California.

To the entire Swett family I say "On behalf of a grateful nation".

There are now only 98 living recipiants of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

HS: Home-land Security Robot

Japan: Tmsuk Co developed its T-34 robot in conjunction with security firm Alacom Co and aims to develop squads of robots that will be able to keep an artificial eye on office buildings and industrial complexes.

In the future, versions may also be developed to be used in homes, according to company spokeswoman Mariko Ishikawa.

"We have basically designed the robot for corporate use and we expect private security companies to buy them instead of using human guards, but there will also be those tailored for use in homes," she said.

More here...

22 January 2009

Aerospace: WANTED: New UAV manufacturing process

A lot of advances in manufacturing were funded by the Pentagon under its ManTech manufacturing technology initiative. Now, in a sure sign of the changing times, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's ManTech division is seeking proposals for ways to improve the production of unmanned air vehicles, so they can be built cheaper and quicker and will break less and last longer in service. It's evidence the industry is moving away from its hobby-shop roots. It may also be an indication that aircraft manufacturing is not the right model for UAVs

More here from Aviation Week ...

CAP: Missing men found dead in submerged car

Copiah County, MS (WLBT) - Three missing Lawrence County men have been found dead. This after an extensive search by law enforcement, Civil Air Patrol pilots and family members. The Nissan Altima was found just after 10:00 a.m. Tuesday off Highway 27 south of Rockport in Copiah County.

More here…

Aerospace: Unmanned Vehicles Mimic Insects

From single insect like vehicles with single sensor arrays to entire swarms of insects decending on a target, surveilance comes of age. Another byproduct of this kind of research is the use of minimal amounts of power to produce significant amounts of movement.

More here...

21 January 2009

20 January 2009

USAF: Inauguration brings Tuskegee Airmen to Bolling AFB

BOLLING AIR FORCE BASE, D.C. (AFPN) -- One-hundred and eighty-eight Tuskegee Airmen arrived at the Bolling Club here Jan. 20 for breakfast, music and conversation before attending the Presidential Inauguration.

"The event here was very humbling," said Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley. "It presented us a tremendous opportunity to remind everyone why we wear this uniform and defend the constitution."

More here...

OSINT: Presidential Slideshow

Special NewsMax prsidential Slideshow here...

CAP: CAP assisting in search for missing Big Island glider

HONOLULU-The U.S. Coast Guard, Hawaii County Fire Department, Civil Air Patrol and Good Samaritans are searching with air assets today for a missing man who was last seen Friday piloting a glider plane near the peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island.

According to friends and witnesses, Dave Bigelo was piloting his glider plane near Mauna Kea in an effort to set a high altitude record and was scheduled to land at Waimea-Kohala Airport after the flight yesterday afternoon.

The glider was airborne mid-morning, but Bigelo has not been heard from since approximately 2 p.m. Friday. The glider was reported missing to the Coast Guard several hours later.

More here…

SAFETY: How Birds Can Down a Jet Plane

Early reports suggest that a bird strike caused a jet plane to crash-land in the Hudson River off Manhattan Thursday, leaving questions about how a little flying animal could down a big airliner.

More than 200 people have been killed worldwide as a result of wildlife strikes with aircraft since 1988, according to Bird Strike Committee USA, and more than 5,000 bird strikes were reported by the U.S. Air Force in 2007.

Bird strikes, or the collision of an aircraft with an airborne bird, tend to happen when aircraft are close to the ground, which means just before landing or after take-off, when jet engines are turning at top speeds.

The incidents are serious particularly when the birds, usually gulls, raptors or geese, are sucked into a jet engine and strike an engine fan blade. That impact displaces the blade such that it strikes another blade and a cascade can occur, resulting in engine failure.

A 12-pound Canada goose striking an aircraft going 150 mph at lift-off generates the force of a 1,000-pound weight dropped from a height of 10 feet, according to Bird Strike Committee USA.

The greater the difference in the speed of the plane and the bird, the greater the force of the impact on the aircraft. The weight of the bird is also a factor, but the speed difference is a much bigger factor.

More here...

OSINT: Afghanistan, plague strikes down Terrorists

At least 40 al-Qaeda fanatics died horribly after being struck down with the disease that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages

More here…

OSINT: Terrorist Innovations: Iranian experts devise special containers for clandestine delivery of arms to Gaza

To bypass security patrols, containers are dropped from freighters out at sea, plummet to a calculated depth and carried by the undercurrent to a point close to the Gaza shore. A built-in mechanism then shoots them up to the surface, where Gazan fishermen pick up the bobbing containers. A marine expert on deck of these Iranian freighters guides the captain to the exact location for dropping the container.

More here…

CTWG: 399th Mitchell Awards

The 399th Composite Squadron of Danbury, CT is holding an awards ceremony on Tuesday, January 27th at 7:30PM.

At least 4 cadets will receive the Mitchell Award.

Additionally, a change of Cadet Command will occur.

Invited dignitaries include: Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, State Senator Mike McLachlan, State Representatives Jan Giegler and MaryAnn Carson.

If anyone has any information on the most CT cadets to ever receive the Mitchell in one night, please leave a comment below.

CTWG Public Affairs

18 January 2009


HOLLAND: Canal ice helps Dutch rediscover national identity

MIDDLE EAST: Arabs lost 2.5 trillion dollars from credit crunch

RUSSIA: Putin warns of 'big expectations' of Obama

VENEZUELA: Venezuela's Chavez says Obama has "stench" of Bush
Venezuela's Chavez urges tear gas against protests

AFRICA: Can Africa Trade Its Way to Peace?

CHINA: Global slump casts a pall over Chinese New Year
Tempers Rise Over Trade With China

KOREAS: S. Korean Military On Alert After N. Korea Pledges 'Confrontational Posture'

ZIMBABWE: Mugabe admits cholera outbrake

SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka army seizes camp, says rebels boxed in

GABON: Two French Soldiers Killed in Rescue Training

NIGERIA: Nigeria militants report botched British hostage rescue

ISRAEL: Israel to cease fire in Gaza, no deal for Hamas
Hamas Agrees to Cease-Fire, Gives Israel One Week to Remove Troops

IRAN: Iranian Cleric Calls for Shooting Israeli FM

AFGHANISTAN: Counterinsurgency Field Manual: Afghanistan Edition

Aerospace: Minuteman II


Commanders Station

Deputy Commanders Station

Photos by Martin Miller; Minuteman II ICBM Control Bunker, circa 1965

Aerospace: For F22 Fans

USAF & Public Service: Soldiers Angels, the end of the stolen goods story

AFN's TSgt Colleen Armstrong interviews Gold Star mom Linda Ferrara and patient SPC Stephen Stout during a Soldiers' Angels-sponsored visit to Landstuhl hospital in Germany.

After the death of her son, CPT Matthew Ferrara of the 173rd ABCT in 2007, Linda began making blankets and collecting other donations for the patients at Landstuhl. When the donations were stolen, Linda received an outpooring of support from around the country.

Morale: On Sheepdogs and SAR Dogs

The above slide show (Blackfive.net) and poem is based on the book, 'On Combat' written by Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman, U.S. Army (Ret.). He is also the author of 'On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society'.

His "On Sheepdogs, Sheep and Wolves" comparison resonates across all types of national and civil service and especially with all the people who hear that very personal call - service to others.

WARNING: Some of the photos are of graphic disaster and there may be the need for a tissue or two by the end...

17 January 2009

Aerospace: Strategic Photo Show

For those of us who have an interest in the more Strategic side of things, a well done, quite artistic group of historical photos is coming up soon...

SAFETY: Fast Exit

Above is some updated security cam video of the Hudson River Airbus crash. Based on the clock, notice how fast the crew gets the passingers onto the wing.

OSINT: The Art of Blogging

With regard to Blogging:

"There are some concerns by some people, based on the nature of our hierarchical organization, who feel this is inappropriate -- going around the chain of command," Major General Michael Oates, the commander of the Army's Task Force Mountain, tells Danger Room. "It is not in fact going around the chain of command; it allows us to connect to the chain of command in ways we have not been able to experience before."

This is very much the point of view we here at CTWG PA have. Greater professional connectivity is to everyones benefit - accross the board.

More here...

Aerospace: Capturing pirates from the air

Hat tip to Eaglespeak.us

The above is a non-lethal weapon currently in the USCG aresenal that could stop some pirates and terrorists (those without water jet propulsion, at any rate).

The program, referred to as Boat Trap, involves dropping an entangling net from a helicopter into the path of a boat. The net entangles in the boat’s propeller, forcing the vessel to a safe stop.

OSINT: Introducing Mike Yon, winner of 2008's Best MilBlog

Congratulations to Mike Yon on receiving the most votes in the Best Military Blog category of the 2008 Weblog Awards.

Mike is an award winning writer and photographer. Retired from Army Special Forces, he writes from the actual front line anywhere in the world, with a point of view based on experience.

His website here..

USAF: Air Force flights to Darfur under way

Hat tip to BLACKFIVE.net; U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Sean Arnold guides Rwandan defense force trucks on board a C-17 Globemaster III at Kigali International Airport in Rwanda, Jan. 13, 2009. This is the first load of five airlifts to the United Nations-African Union mission in Darfur. Arnold is assigned to Travis Air Force Base, Calif. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Bendet.

More here...

CAP: CAP Pilot Reviews Hudson Crash

Retired Airbus 320 Pilot, Civil Air Patrol Captain Tedd Sheyda comments on the Hudson accident in a recent interviw with Savannah, Gerorgia's WSAV News.

"One of the features of the design of the Airbus is it has a ditching switch which enables the pilot, when they realize they’re going to have to put the airplane down on the water, it closes all the valves on the outside of the airplane, the outdoor valves and some of the valves that are open during flight,” Sheyda said. “It electronically closes those valves so it enables the aircraft to become more or less water-tight. Of course water’s eventually going to get into the airplane, but that’s a feature that helped that airplane stay afloat,” he added.

"Since the event made the news, Sheyda has kept a close eye on the coverage. His take is that the pilot did a marvelous job getting the plane down, considering the circumstances, and luckily some of those circumstances were ultimately in their favor."

“They were very fortunate that was right near the ferry route that goes from New Jersey to New York so there were quite a few boats that were there very, very quickly,” Sheyda said. “It’s a very safe airplane and very easy to fly airplane, too.“

Video here...

CTWG: November 2009 SAR EVAL Update

Maj Jack Shapiro has been appointed as the CTWG Point of Contact for our graded SAR Evaluation. This will take place November 2-8 2009.

Pete Jensen, Col, CAP
Connecticut Wing


Just a reminder that as of 2/1/2009, the SARSAT system will no longer
Process ELT's on 121.5 MHz

Lt. Col. Matthew J. Valleau
Vice Commander - Project Management
Director of Engineering
Connecticut Wing Civil Air Patrol

16 January 2009

MORALE: The Side Benefits of Volunteerism

Ahhh, the side benefits’…..

Volunteering can boost mental health; it’s a great way to stay connected socially; and those social connections help buffer stress and get a person through hard times. Women tend to be more adept at maintaining social ties, and volunteer activities can further strengthen a woman’s social network. Also, volunteering can provide a sense of purpose and vitality, key elements in helping stave off the depression that sometimes accompanies aging and isolation.
To realize the health benefits of volunteering, a commitment of 40 to 100 hours a year is needed, studies have shown. That equates to a couple of hours a week.

More here....

15 January 2009

SAFETY: Incredible Controlled Landing - Hudson River Miracle

NEW YORK (AP) - A US Airways plane crashed into the frigid Hudson River on Thursday afternoon after striking a bird that disabled two engines, sending 150 on board scrambling onto rescue boats, authorities say. No deaths or serious injuries were immediately reported.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown says the US Airways Flight 1549 had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport enroute to Charlotte, N.C., when the crash occurred in the river near 48th Street in midtown Manhattan.

Brown says the plane, an Airbus 320, appears to have hit one or more birds.

A law enforcement official said that authorities are not aware of any deaths and that the passengers do not appear to be seriously injured. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the rescue was still under way.

The plane was submerged in the icy waters up to the windows. Rescue crews had opened the door and were pulling passengers in yellow life vests from the plane. Several boats surrounded the plane, which appeared to be slowly sinking.

More here...

14 January 2009

OSINT: Joint Forces report warns Mexico could destabilize

EL PASO - Mexico is one of two countries that "bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse," according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats.

The command's "Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008)" report, which contains projections of global threats and potential next wars, puts Pakistan on the same level as Mexico. "In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico.

"The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone."

The Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., is a Defense Department combat command that includes different military service branches, active and reserves. One of its roles is to transform the military's capabilities.

In the report's foreword, Marine Gen. J.N. Mattis, the Joint Forces commander, said "Predictions about the future are always risky. ...

More here...

OSINT: Incoming Vet Affairs Chief has a tough job

Retired four-star Gen. Eric K. Shinseki is facing a daunting task as the probable next head of the Veterans Affairs Department -- getting soldiers returning from the field into the workforce in a very weak employment environment.

Nearly 900,000 troops have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they could have a hard time finding or keeping a job. Many have been in and out of the workforce because of multiple deployments, and others face the prospect of being deployed overseas again.

"The unemployment rate among veterans is high and dramatically increasing," said Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq war veteran and head of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, which President-elect Barack Obama's transition team has consulted informally. "We need to hear about job creation, and how we are going to get veterans out and to work."

More here...

13 January 2009

USAF: The Year in Photos

The USAF has created a photo slide show covering 2008. It's well worth the look. HERE...

USAF: The Soft Side of Air Power

USAF Major John Bellflower, writes of the soft war side of the future Air Force over at Small Wars Journal - The Soft Side of Air Power. Here is the link to the full PDF article.

To enlarge the photo, just left click on it. To view an associated article at the new Air Force Live blog go here...

"As we begin to contemplate this next phase in the war on terror, which will likely call for heavy involvement in Africa, we should heed the words of Lieutenant General Stephen Lorenz, who counsels airmen to “challenge accepted paradigms to propose new ways of fighting from air, space, and cyberspace.” To that end, we should be mindful of the fact that kinetic effects are not always the most desired effects when intervening in F3 states. Indeed, if the Air Force seeks to play a more meaningful role in any post-Iraq engagement, it must look for novel ways of contributing to the global counterinsurgency fight. It must, as former Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne indicated, “offer the nation a flexible mix of capabilities that allow it to act in a world of growing strategic uncertainty.”

12 January 2009

CAP: CAP may provide assistance to Maine Forestry Service

While, no one likes budget cuts; CAP may be able to help out the Maine Forestry Industry. If you have to cut back, you could do a whole lot worse than engaging CAP as a force multiplier...

AUGUSTA, Maine — Representatives of Maine’s forestry and wood products industries urged state lawmakers on Wednesday to protect funding for programs that they claim are critical to ensuring the state’s forests are managed sustainably.

Speakers also expressed concerns about DOC proposals to rely more heavily on the Civil Air Patrol, private pilots and other volunteers to spot and report forest fires as well as proposed cutbacks at the Land Use Regulation Commission.

More here...

CAP: Scientist and past CAP Cadet to interview for Astronaut job

When Sian Proctor was a teenager, she found that her eyesight and the loss of her beloved father thwarted the 20/20 vision she had for life: to become an astronaut.

So, who could have guessed that two decades later, this geology faculty member of South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, would be invited to interview for an astronaut position with NASA?

"I am humbled by the opportunity to make it come true," she said.

NASA will interview her for three days this month at the Johnson Space Center. Only 10 to 15 of the 120 final candidates will be selected for the two-year training period to become an astronaut.

Proctor, 38, was born on Guam where her father worked at the NASA tracking station during the Gemini and Apollo missions. After Apollo 13, the family moved back to the United States.

At age 16, Proctor's then-poor vision required her to get glasses. Her father died a few years later, deepening Proctor's belief that she would never be able to fulfill her dream.

"My life was all laid out, or so I thought," she said. "I wanted so much to follow in my father's footsteps. Growing up, I was good at math and science, I was in the Civil Air Patrol, and I wanted to go to the Air Force Academy. My ultimate goal was to fly F-16s and end my career as an astronaut exploring space. NASA had always been a part of my life."

Then Proctor got glasses and her father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Flying for the military was no longer an option. Neither was NASA. Both required 20/20 vision.

More here...

SAR: New USAF GSAR Vehicle

Staff Sgt. John Cooke tests the maneuverability of an all-terrain vehicle equipped with a rubber track conversion system Jan. 6 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. The rubber tracks should improve snow rescue capabilities. He is with the 28th Security Forces Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Marc I. Lane)

11 January 2009

SAFETY: F15C Mishap

Some annimation of the November 2007 F15C incident when a F-15C aircraft broke in two during a training flight over Missouri.

The pilot, Maj. Stephen Stilwell, barely had time to eject from the front half of the F-15. His left shoulder was dislocated and his left arm shattered as the cockpit blew apart.

An investigation concluded that a defective aluminum beam in the frame cracked, causing the $42 million jet to disintegrate in the air. There was no pilot error.

Now, about buying some more new air frames...

More here...

USAF: New Class A Uniform?

These are the two final Class A entries. The open gouge is; there might be a decision by August. Then again maybe not... Ouside comments have included; "likely having to shave twice per day", "that ole' Salvation Army look" and the "Star Trek like US on the collar"... still it wouldnt be a "Bus Driver" suit...

Aerospace: X-2 Technology

According to Doug Shidler, VP for Sikorsky's Army Programs office, it was only recently -- and with the help of new technology flight tested on the Army's Rascal (rotorcraft aircrew systems concept airborne laboratory) UH-60 tech demonstrator -- was the company able to incorporate mature systems that didn't make the X2 so unstable it couldn't fly for very long.

"There's a lot of technology that we're applying that we learned on the Comanche program and that we're learning on the [Blackhawk] upgrade program that we're applying right now," Shidler said. "It will demonstrate a lot of different things that we had difficulties with in the '70s and '80s. ... What we've done is apply a lot of the technologies that we've learned developing and embodied in our platforms today and to go ahead and develop this new platform."

More here...


This weeks world wide SITREP, in no particular order…

ISRAEL: Israeli troops, militants battle in Gaza suburb

SYRIA: Syria deals with Gaza, eyeing own peace

EGYPT: Israel says Egypt should have Gaza border role

SAUDI ARABIA: Dun and Bradstreet, in association with National Commercial Bank, launches Saudi Arabia's first Business Optimism Index

CHINA: China's Middle East special envoy to visit Egypt, Palestine, Israel

RUSSIA: Ukraine, Russia and EU sign deal to get gas flowing

EUROPE: Thousands in Europe protest Gaza violence

FRANCE: France and Indonesia disappointed by rebuffal of UN resolution in Gaza

POLAND: Dell moves production from Ireland to Poland

GREAT BRITAIN: UFO-destroyed wind turbine' sent to Germany for forensic analysis (Editors note: This was just too good not to include in the SITREP)

SPAIN: Ruling Socialists Hold Small Lead in Spain

US: Obama Calls for 'Grand Bargain' on Economy: 'Everybody's Going to Have to Give'

CANADA: Obama's first foreign trip as president: Canada

MEXICO: Kidnapping Expert Kidnapped In Mexico

BRAZIL: Brazil bank buys 50 pct stake in Votorantim unit

VENEZUELA: Chavez Threatens to Expel U.S. Embassy Personnel in Caracas

CUBA: Is Obama factor behind flurry of Cuba trips?

SOMALIA: Five Somali pirates drown as they squabble over their $3million ransom

Aerospace: Worlds first flying car ready for test flight

If it survives its first test flight, the Terrafugia Transition, which can transform itself from a two-seater road car to a plane in 15 seconds, is expected to land in showrooms in about 18 months’ time.

Its manufacturer says it is easy to keep and run since it uses normal unleaded fuel and will fit into a garage.

Carl Dietrich, who runs the Massachusetts-based Terrafugia, said: “This is the first really integrated design where the wings fold up automatically and all the parts are in one vehicle.”

The Transition, developed by former Nasa engineers, is powered by the same 100bhp engine on the ground and in the air.

Terrafugia claims it will be able to fly up to 500 miles on a single tank of petrol at a cruising speed of 115mph. Up to now, however, it has been tested only on roads at up to 90mph.

Dietrich said he had already received 40 orders, despite an expected retail price of $200,000 (£132,000).

More here...

10 January 2009

Public Affairs: One more for the Cadets - Hawk Mountain

Public Affairs: One for the Cadets

Public Affairs: CAP INFO

For our new viewers/readers here at Always Viglant; Here is an introductory video that is posted along with many, many more on YouTube. Our three mandated missions include Emergency Services and Search and Rescue, Public Aerospace Education and Cadet Programs and Education. For more specific information about CAP go to GoCivilAirPatrol.com

CAP: Civil Air Patrol assists in Neshoba, Arkansas missing plane search

7 January, 2009 UPDATE: Body found. Details here...

Authorities in Neshoba County think they have located a missing plane belonging to an Arkansas pilot.

Winston County Sheriff Randy Thomas said his deputies discovered the wrecked, yellow-and-blue crop-duster about 5:30 p.m. Monday near the Winston, Kemper and Neshoba county lines in Neshoba County.

"Once we found it, we notified Neshoba County and (Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol)," Thomas said. "We're not sure if the pilot was ever located."

Ashley Smith of Vicksburg said she believes the pilot is Monty Hudson, her father.

Smith said Hudson was flying from Greenville, Ala., to Cleveland and from Cleveland to Jonesboro, Ark., when his plane disappeared on Friday.

She said Monday night she'd been told her father's plane had been found. She wouldn't comment further.

Civil Air Patrol Maj. Patricia Mitcham of Huntsville, Ala., said Monday that air and ground teams had focused their three-day search efforts near central portions of east Mississippi and west Alabama.

Mitcham said the Civil Air Patrol in both states began a search Saturday morning. But the search of parts of east Mississippi and west Alabama was suspended Sunday because of bad weather.

She said she believes bad weather played a role in the disappearance.

More here...

CAP: Civil Air Patrol assists at Indiana County Airport Crash

5 January, 2009
A single-engine plane crashed through some trees and landed on its roof on a wooded hillside north of the fog-enshrouded airport in White Township, authorities said.

Paramedics worked on the injured men as they rode in pickup trucks to Airport Road, then took them to Indiana Regional Medical Center for initial treatment. Citizens' Ambulance Service then transported them to the Johnstown hospital because the weather prevented medical helicopters from flying, an emergency responder said.

Emergency Management's Team 900, a wilderness search and rescue unit, set up floodlights at the crash site and members of the Civil Air Patrol kept watch over the scene until representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration could begin their investigation.

More here...

CAP: Civil Air Patrol assists in Roswell, NM missing person search

7 January, 2009
A search last week for a lost Roswell, NM quail hunter brought home how important carrying the proper equipment can be to a happy outcome.

Tony Davis and Joyce Westerbur of White Mountain Search and Rescue, a group that operates out of Lincoln County, said anyone setting out to enjoy the New Mexico outdoors, whether hunting or for other activities, should carry a compass or Global Positioning Satellite device and a topographical map and know how to use them.

"Just having a cell phone is not sufficient," Davis said. "Cell phones did not work well in this area, for example."

WMSAR members were called to assist Chaves County SAR in the search Dec. 31 and Jan.1. The WMSAR "vanbulance" do-nated by Lincoln County was used in the search as a winter base camp, Davis said.

Cooperation among search and rescue groups from different counties is common. Chaves County SAR, Eddy County SAR, New Mexico State Police, state Game and Fish, a Civil Air Patrol aircraft and local ranchers on horseback all participated in the latest search.

More here...

USAF: Air Force develops a positive strategy to deal with negative bloggers

Hat tip to the Air Force Pundit, here...

"Good idea.. By Noah Shachtman Wired Magazine January 06, 2009 | Bloggers: If you suddenly find Air Force officers leaving barbed comments after one of your posts, don't be surprised. They're just following the service's new "counter-blogging" flow chart. In a twelve-point plan, put together by the emerging technology division of the Air Force's public affairs arm, airmen are given guidance on how to handle "trolls," "ragers" -- and even well-informed online writers, too. It's all part of an Air Force push to "counter the people out there in the blogosphere who have negative opinions about the U.S. government and the Air Force," Captain David Faggard says. Over the last couple of years, the armed forces have tried, in fits and starts, to connect more with bloggers. The Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense now hold regular "bloggers' roundatbles" with generals, colonels, and key civilian leaders."

The origional article here...

09 January 2009

CTWG PA: The USAF adds Always Vigilant to it's blogroll

The official USAF blog, Air Force Live has addded Always Vigilant to their blog roll. We reciprocated of course!


SAR: Pilots Slow To Buy New Emergency Beacons (ELT)

The helicopter's twisted wreckage lay in a Louisiana bayou, its crew severely injured and unable to call for help. But a small radio beacon was automatically notifying rescuers.

Within minutes after the crash Sunday, a satellite deep in space alerted rescuers to a possible crash, identified the helicopter's owner and helped pinpoint its location, according to the Air Force.

A Coast Guard helicopter arrived at the remote site within two hours, in time to airlift the lone survivor to a hospital.

New digital distress beacons like the one on the PHI helicopter are revolutionizing rescues of boaters, hikers and pilots across the globe.

But the chopper that crashed on the way to an offshore oil rig was one of only a small minority of U.S.-registered aircraft with the new beacons.

More than 85% of private planes do not carry the improved beacons even as the government prepares to stop listening Feb. 1 for distress calls from the older, outdated beacons installed on most aircraft. The newer beacons cost roughly $2,000 to $4,000, although prices are dropping.

"It's pretty scary," says Lt. Col. Clifton Hicks, who directs Air Force rescue operations in the continental United States.

In recent interviews, ranking officials at the Air Force, Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which monitors the distress beacons from its satellites in space, urged private pilots to install new Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) as soon as possible.

More here…

08 January 2009

Aerospace: Discovery

Space shuttle Discovery rolled out of Orbiter Processing Facility 3 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on its way to the Vehicle Assembly Building (in the background). In the VAB, Discovery will be attached to its external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters. After additional preparations are made, the shuttle will be rolled out to Launch Pad 39A for a targeted launch to the International Space Station on Feb. 12, 2009.