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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/us/military/air-force

Crashed F-16’s live ammunition safely detonated, officials say

Unexploded weaponry aboard an F-16 fighter jet that crashed into the roof of a commercial building in Riverside County, Calif., on Thursday was safely detonated near the crash site Friday, military officials said.

The jet was carrying a standard armament package, the vice commander of the Air Force Reserve’s 452nd Air Mobility Wing at March Air Reserve Base said at a news conference. The weaponry was removed from the jet, which remained at the crash site in the warehouse. The detonations were conducted by the base’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.

AUTHORITIES SAY CRASHED FIGHTER JET HAD STANDARD WEAPONS

Westlake Legal Group 27f0460c-F16-Crash-Roof Crashed F-16's live ammunition safely detonated, officials say fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc c12722be-d6dc-57ee-a964-99e9562f18bb Brie Stimson article

This photo taken from video provided by KABC-TV shows where an F-16 fighter jet crashed into a warehouse just outside March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif., on Thursday. (Associated Press)

The pilot was able to eject before the jet crashed Thursday afternoon.

Ten people, including some first responders, received medical treatment at an emergency room and released, while three other people were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“It was an event that we all planned for, and we all work toward and hope that never happens,” Leah Patterson, associate clinical nursing officer at Riverside University Health System in Moreno Valley, told the Times. “Thank God for the outcome.”

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The F-16 may have experienced “hydraulic failure” when it crashed, according to a report.

Westlake Legal Group 27f0460c-F16-Crash-Roof Crashed F-16's live ammunition safely detonated, officials say fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc c12722be-d6dc-57ee-a964-99e9562f18bb Brie Stimson article   Westlake Legal Group 27f0460c-F16-Crash-Roof Crashed F-16's live ammunition safely detonated, officials say fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc c12722be-d6dc-57ee-a964-99e9562f18bb Brie Stimson article

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Massachusetts veteran, 72, embarks on cross-country walk to support other vets

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6037654811001_6037659324001-vs Massachusetts veteran, 72, embarks on cross-country walk to support other vets Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/air-force fox news fnc/us fnc article 07cff378-b824-57b3-893e-8e696cb79bf9

A 72-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran is on a one-man mission to make sure ordinary Americans don’t forget about the needs that returning combat veterans require.

William Shuttleworth, of Newburyport, Mass., embarked on a six-month walking trek across the country with just one message: “Vets Don’t Forget Vets.” He left Wednesday from Haverhill, Mass. and will end more than 3,000 miles away in California.

“I will average about 25-30 [miles] per day, which is like walking a marathon a day,” he told Boston 25. “I will probably average 500 miles a pair of shoes so I’ll probably go through six or seven pairs.”

WORLD WAR II VET, 91, GETS HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA 8 DECADES AFTER DROPPING OUT TO SUPPORT HIS FAMILY

Shuttleworth said he plans on stopping and visiting other veterans across the country to learn about their stories and journeys.

“I’m particularly concerned about the number of homeless, veterans that have mental health issues and the number of veterans that every day struggle with opioid and alcohol issues,” he said. “I consider it a privilege and an honor, lucky enough to be healthy to do this.”

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The 72-year-old man plans to camp out throughout his journey. He plans to arrive at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, Calif. by Halloween.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6037654811001_6037659324001-vs Massachusetts veteran, 72, embarks on cross-country walk to support other vets Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/air-force fox news fnc/us fnc article 07cff378-b824-57b3-893e-8e696cb79bf9   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6037654811001_6037659324001-vs Massachusetts veteran, 72, embarks on cross-country walk to support other vets Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/air-force fox news fnc/us fnc article 07cff378-b824-57b3-893e-8e696cb79bf9

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High schools across US hosting ‘military signing days’

Westlake Legal Group high-schools-across-us-hosting-military-signing-days High schools across US hosting 'military signing days' Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc c9299ec3-7937-544b-b60d-431e0dd75159 article

High schools across the country are highlighting their soon-to-be graduating students’ intentions to join the military.

Similar to college or athletic “signing days” — in which high school students officially or ceremonially declare the place of higher education they’ve committed to — schools are increasingly hosting “military signing days.”

YOUNG MARINE HOPEFUL HELPED STOP COLORADO SCHOOL SHOOTING THAT LEFT 1 DEAD, 8 INJURED

At Robertsdale High School in Robertsdale, Ala., on Thursday, 28 students enlisted in the military, according to Fox affiliate WALA-TV. It was the school’s first such event, where the students signed paperwork to join various branches including the Alabama National Guard, the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force.

Four students at Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, N.J., did the same on Wednesday, also the school’s inaugural “military signing” day.

Westlake Legal Group signing-day-2 High schools across US hosting 'military signing days' Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc c9299ec3-7937-544b-b60d-431e0dd75159 article

Four students at Becton Regional High School in New Jersey signed their intent to join the armed forces at the school’s first “military signing day.” (Dario Sforza)

Dario Sforza, the school principal and acting superintendent, told Fox News on Thursday, “We hope this inspires leaders to have the courage to recognize and celebrate all students’ skills, abilities, talents and post-secondary selections — not only the academically and athletically gifted.”

WWII POW GETS SURPRISE DIPLOMA 75 YEARS AFTER LEAVING HIGH SCHOOL TO JOIN ARMY

The principal told NorthJersey.com that the four students — 4 percent of the 100-student class — make up the largest amount of graduating seniors he’s seen enlist in the military during his time at the school.

Another eight students in Clarkston, Mich., committed to the armed forces once they graduate from high school during a ceremony at Clarkston High School on Wednesday.

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Alex Hunt, a student who will join the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Alabama, told WDIV-TV he feels as though his enlistment will be “more of a betterment for me.”

“I’m growing as a person,” he told the news outlet. “I’m going to become a better human being by coming through this. It’s going to make me grow.”

Westlake Legal Group signing-day-2 High schools across US hosting 'military signing days' Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc c9299ec3-7937-544b-b60d-431e0dd75159 article   Westlake Legal Group signing-day-2 High schools across US hosting 'military signing days' Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc c9299ec3-7937-544b-b60d-431e0dd75159 article

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WATCH: First B-52 bombers depart for Middle East to deter Iran

Westlake Legal Group watch-first-b-52-bombers-depart-for-middle-east-to-deter-iran WATCH: First B-52 bombers depart for Middle East to deter Iran Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/disasters/nuclear fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/nuclear-proliferation fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/world fnc article 3caf3275-c13c-50c1-bde4-49b2a935cd40
Westlake Legal Group 5-13610 WATCH: First B-52 bombers depart for Middle East to deter Iran Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/disasters/nuclear fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/nuclear-proliferation fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/world fnc article 3caf3275-c13c-50c1-bde4-49b2a935cd40

The Pentagon released a new video Wednesday showing four nuclear-capable B-52 bombers taking off for the Middle East as part of the Trump administration’s effort to deter what officials call a “credible threat” from Iran.

Officials tell Fox News the Cold War-era bombers, part of the 2nd Bomb Wing, departed Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana Tuesday en route to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

The White House said it dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and the bombers to the Persian Gulf over what it described as a new threat from Iran.

On Wednesday, President Trump announced new sanctions targeting Iran’s steel, aluminum, copper and iron sectors and vowed to continue a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Tehran until it stops supporting terror groups, ends destabilizing activities in the region, gives up any nuclear weapons efforts and ends development of ballistic missiles.

“We call on the regime to abandon its nuclear ambitions, change its destructive behavior, respect the rights of its people, and return in good faith to the negotiating table,” Trump said.

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Earlier Wednesday, Iran threatened to enrich its uranium stockpile closer to weapons-grade levels in 60 days if world powers fail to negotiate new terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. Trump pulled out of the deal a year ago, but the other nations involved — China, France, Germany, Great Britain, and Russia — stayed in.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 5-13610 WATCH: First B-52 bombers depart for Middle East to deter Iran Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/disasters/nuclear fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/nuclear-proliferation fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/world fnc article 3caf3275-c13c-50c1-bde4-49b2a935cd40   Westlake Legal Group 5-13610 WATCH: First B-52 bombers depart for Middle East to deter Iran Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/disasters/nuclear fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/nuclear-proliferation fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/world fnc article 3caf3275-c13c-50c1-bde4-49b2a935cd40

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Satellite images show China is building its third and largest aircraft carrier: reports

Westlake Legal Group satellite-images-show-china-is-building-its-third-and-largest-aircraft-carrier-reports Satellite images show China is building its third and largest aircraft carrier: reports fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox news fnc/world fnc Danielle Wallace article 0161db03-573d-5089-b6b6-5e072577a946
Westlake Legal Group 24a00673-download Satellite images show China is building its third and largest aircraft carrier: reports fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox news fnc/world fnc Danielle Wallace article 0161db03-573d-5089-b6b6-5e072577a946

Images released by a Washington-based think-tank show construction on China’s third and largest aircraft carrier, activity analysts believe could eventually challenge U.S. strategic superiority in East Asia.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington released images from April that reveal construction on China’s third aircraft carrier in the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai over the past six months, Reuters reported.

US WARSHIPS SAIL NEAR DISPUTED ISLANDS CLAIMED BY CHINA, AS TENSIONS ESCALATE: REPORT

China has not confirmed it is building a third carrier. But the Pentagon said last week that work had begun on a vessel that would “probably be larger than the first two and fitted with a catapult launch system to accelerate aircraft during takeoff.”

The CSIS images support the Pentagon’s claims. The satellite photographs show China’s Type 002 aircraft carrier is slightly smaller than U.S. carriers but larger than France’s Charles de Gaulle, analysts said. It remains unclear whether the vessel would have nuclear capability.

Changing political relationships have motivated the Chinese government to accelerate the modernization of its armed forces over the past few years, the CSIS reports. Both Asian and Western militaries are seeking information regarding the purpose of China’s newest aircraft carrier.

Meanwhile, some analysts view its construction as a way for China to slowly undermine U.S. strategic superiority in the region, according to a series of Reuters Special Reports.

Singapore-based regional security analyst Ian Storey told Reuters that China’s Type 002 might put added stress on the relationship between the U.S. and China as other nations in the region become threatened by China’s growing military presence.

“Once completed, it will outclass any warship from any Asian country, including India and Japan,” said Storey, of the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute. “It is yet another indication that China has emerged as Asia’s paramount naval power.”

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China’s second, smaller aircraft carrier is not set to go into service until the year 2020. The U.S. operates 11 aircraft carriers in the region. State media has previously reported the Chinese military needs 6 aircraft carriers.

Westlake Legal Group 24a00673-download Satellite images show China is building its third and largest aircraft carrier: reports fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox news fnc/world fnc Danielle Wallace article 0161db03-573d-5089-b6b6-5e072577a946   Westlake Legal Group 24a00673-download Satellite images show China is building its third and largest aircraft carrier: reports fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox news fnc/world fnc Danielle Wallace article 0161db03-573d-5089-b6b6-5e072577a946

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Suspect who allegedly killed Mississippi police officer identified

Westlake Legal Group suspect-who-allegedly-killed-mississippi-police-officer-identified Suspect who allegedly killed Mississippi police officer identified Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/manhunt fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article af987725-147c-5df1-ba64-5efde5c886c0

The man who allegedly killed a Mississippi police officer and Air Force veteran was identified on Monday.

Darian Tawan Atkinson, 19, is accused of fatally shooting Officer Robert McKeithen, of the Biloxi Police Department, outside of the agency’s headquarters on Sunday night.

Westlake Legal Group 59743710_2699530036742055_2578913817257836544_n Suspect who allegedly killed Mississippi police officer identified Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/manhunt fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article af987725-147c-5df1-ba64-5efde5c886c0

Darian Tawan Atkinson, 19, is accused of killing a Mississippi police officer outside the department’s headquarters on Sunday night.  (Biloxi Police Department)

Atkinson has been charged with capital murder, and a warrant was issued for his arrest on Monday, Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania told reporters.

The suspect is considered “armed and dangerous,” and investigators said they “are actively pursuing him.”

MISSISSIPPI POLICE OFFICER SHOT AND KILLED BY MYSTERY GUNMAN IS IDENTIFIED AS AIR FORCE VETERAN

“We hope he decides to surrender and let us bring him to justice,” Papania said. “He will not rest and we will not rest until he is taken to custody.”

McKeithen, whom Atkinson allegedly killed, served with the police department for 24 years and was set to retire at the end of 2019.

Westlake Legal Group ae04dca5-biloxishooting Suspect who allegedly killed Mississippi police officer identified Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/manhunt fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article af987725-147c-5df1-ba64-5efde5c886c0

The suspect, later identified as Atkinson, appears to be between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-10. (Biloxi Police Department)

The 58-year-old was shot multiple times near his patrol car parking outside police headquarters and later died at a local hospital. The suspect ran off after firing several rounds, officials said.

Surveillance images released by investigators from that moment depict a man between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-10, wearing a red beanie cap, black shirt, and navy blue shorts.

“Any time you have this kind of deliberate and violent attack on a police officer, especially right in front of a police station, it should cause everyone great concern,” Papania previously said.

ALABAMA POLICE OFFICER FATALLY SHOT; WIFE CHARGED WITH MURDER, AUTHORITIES SAY

Biloxi Police Chief John Miller said McKeithen was among a group of officers awarded the Medal of Valor for saving four special needs children from a flooded home during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-bcb8ae7c8b75465798f6130c704c3323 Suspect who allegedly killed Mississippi police officer identified Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/manhunt fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article af987725-147c-5df1-ba64-5efde5c886c0

CORRECTS FIRST NAME TO ROBERT, NOT JOHN – This photo provided by the City of Biloxi, Miss., Public Affairs Department shows police officer Robert McKeithen who was killed Sunday night, May, 5, outside the department building in Biloxi. (City of Biloxi, Miss., Public Affairs via AP)

“That’s the kind of guy he was,” Miller said. “It was a horrible, horrible event he had to go through but he went through it anyway. And they say those children undoubtedly would have perished.”

“He was very gentle, likable, he treated people with respect and dignity and we are going to miss him sorely,” the police chief added. McKeithen leaves behind a wife, daughter, two stepsons, and a stepdaughter.

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The Gulfport Police Department and Harrison County Sheriff’s Office are working jointly on the investigation and are being assisted by their counterparts at the federal, state and local levels.

A $35,000 reward is being offered for information leading to Atkinson’s arrest.

Fox News’ Greg Norman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 59743710_2699530036742055_2578913817257836544_n Suspect who allegedly killed Mississippi police officer identified Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/manhunt fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article af987725-147c-5df1-ba64-5efde5c886c0   Westlake Legal Group 59743710_2699530036742055_2578913817257836544_n Suspect who allegedly killed Mississippi police officer identified Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/manhunt fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article af987725-147c-5df1-ba64-5efde5c886c0

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Air Force estimates $420M needed to rebuild Nebraska base

Westlake Legal Group air-force-estimates-420m-needed-to-rebuild-nebraska-base Air Force estimates $420M needed to rebuild Nebraska base OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/disasters/floods fnc/us fnc c60e4088-359e-5ff4-8f4b-9d11fb5e973b Associated Press article

The Air Force is raising its cost estimate to $420 million to repair and rebuild at Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base following severe flooding that forced officials to scramble to save munitions and move aircraft to higher ground.

More than 130 structures were damaged by the Missouri River flooding at the base that houses the U.S. military’s Strategic Command. Roughly 60 of those structures were damaged beyond repair and will need to be demolished, said John Henderson, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy.

“It wasn’t just the water, it was what was in the water,” Henderson told the Omaha World-Herald. The floodwaters ran as deep as 9 feet (2.7 meters) in some places and left behind a toxic sludge at the base.

The latest estimate is $70 million more than the initial estimate issued last month as part of the Air Force’s $4.9 billion federal funding request for disaster relief. The call for emergency funding would also cover damage from Hurricane Michael nearly leveling Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida last fall.

Henderson said $300 million would be designated to design and build new structures at the Offutt Air Force Base, while $120 million will go toward cleanup and the repair of structures that can be saved.

Most of the new facilities will be built on higher ground, if possible, Henderson said.

The two levees protecting Offutt that were overwhelmed by floodwaters this spring are slated to be raised through a $30 million project by the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District.

Henderson said it’s important for the two-year project to move forward. Construction was expected to begin this spring, but it’s been pushed back because of flood damage to the levees.

John Winkler, the district’s general manager, said they’re working with the Army Corps of Engineers to assess the damage. Winkler said crews will need dry weather and lowered river water levels to get started.

___

Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-5cf8b77783aa40f59fecb0218940d3ff Air Force estimates $420M needed to rebuild Nebraska base OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/disasters/floods fnc/us fnc c60e4088-359e-5ff4-8f4b-9d11fb5e973b Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-5cf8b77783aa40f59fecb0218940d3ff Air Force estimates $420M needed to rebuild Nebraska base OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/disasters/floods fnc/us fnc c60e4088-359e-5ff4-8f4b-9d11fb5e973b Associated Press article

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Robert Charles: Scrambled F-16s over our nation’s capital should give all Americans comfort

Westlake Legal Group robert-charles-scrambled-f-16s-over-our-nations-capital-should-give-all-americans-comfort Robert Charles: Scrambled F-16s over our nation's capital should give all Americans comfort Robert Charles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 241be282-2e58-5029-b282-f3f2b55bab3f

What you don’t know – might make you feel better. The Trump administration is on guard – not just at our borders, not just renegotiating trade and security accords abroad, imposing sanctions on Iran, Russian, and North Korea, but also in the skies above. Washington got a surprise Saturday night – and it is symbolic.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Saturday the moist air around Washington, from City Center out to suburban Maryland, shook with repeated booms. U.S. Air Force F-16s, scrambling in defense of our nation’s capital, lit afterburners, tipped sideways, and intercepted a single-engine, non-responsive, civilian aircraft.

Observers saw the two F-16s, dispatched by North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), screaming across the black sky, white lights pulsing, at what seemed breakneck speed. An F-16 can top 1,500 miles per hour. Whatever their speed that evening, they were swift, focused and noticeable.

AIR FORCE F-16 GETS F-35 SENSORS, WEAPONS AND RADAR

They circled half a dozen times, first east to west, then west to east, forcing the civilian plane down, pursuant to special rules enforced over Washington. As the Colorado-based NORAD spokesman laconically reported: “As part of NORAD’s homeland defense efforts, NORAD aircraft responded, but prior to intercept, the civilian pilot established positive communications and immediately landed at the nearest airport.”

The next time you hear that unfamiliar rumble of a fighter overhead, or maybe the familiar sound of perpendicular wings pushing air sideways at the speed of sound, be not worried but grateful.

Yes, and one can only imagine his blood pressure was elevated. But the nation’s capital was – as it should be and regularly is – dutifully protected. Having once been a passenger in a two-seat F-16, the familiar sound, speed, and profile are oddly comforting. Under 10,000 feet, they may awake sleepers and arouse curiosity, but they should also bring comfort.

Westlake Legal Group afghanistanaircraft1 Robert Charles: Scrambled F-16s over our nation's capital should give all Americans comfort Robert Charles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 241be282-2e58-5029-b282-f3f2b55bab3f

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft takes off for a nighttime mission at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (REUTERS/Josh Smith)

As members of Congress feud, seemingly without end, over which committee gets dibs on which people, documents and subpoenas; as Trump critics and detractors fault all that moves in this polarized City of Marble; and as most Americans shake their heads at a U.S. House intent on impeachment, not security, it is worth noting that we sleep well at night – because of those who work for, have faith in, and follow the national command authorities of this Commander in Chief.

Those F-16 pilots did not hesitate, did not ask why or whether they should fly, did not question their mission, the president’s authority or the Constitution  Like everyone else in military uniform, they stood up, did what they had to do when it had to be done, to protect us.

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So in a time of national confusion, division and disunion, regular political disruption and tiresome recrimination, it is nice to know that our American military is composed of such men and women as will instantly rise, on a few second’s notices, to tear down a runaway, engage the unknown and defend us – here in the Washington area, around the country, and indeed around the world.

The next time you hear that unfamiliar rumble of a fighter overhead, or maybe the familiar sound of perpendicular wings pushing air sideways at the speed of sound, be not worried but grateful. We are a nation of free men and women, protected by free men and women who regularly risk all for us, with the sort of resolve that should make us all proud. It did me, as I heard their afterburners fade into the night.

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Westlake Legal Group 7-70526 Robert Charles: Scrambled F-16s over our nation's capital should give all Americans comfort Robert Charles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 241be282-2e58-5029-b282-f3f2b55bab3f   Westlake Legal Group 7-70526 Robert Charles: Scrambled F-16s over our nation's capital should give all Americans comfort Robert Charles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 241be282-2e58-5029-b282-f3f2b55bab3f

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Air Force’s F-35A deploys to Middle East for first time

Westlake Legal Group air-forces-f-35a-deploys-to-middle-east-for-first-time Air Force's F-35A deploys to Middle East for first time Oriana Pawlyk Military.com fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/us/military/air-force fnc/world fnc e507a5bb-cc8f-5544-bce7-87612ce71973 article

The U.S. Air Force’s F-35A variant has officially deployed to the Middle East.

Air Forces Central Command announced Monday that F-35 fifth-generation fighters from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, have deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates to keep watch in the region.

It’s the first time Air Force F-35s have deployed to the Middle East.

“We are adding a cutting-edge weapons system to our arsenal that significantly enhances the capability of the coalition,” Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, commander of AFCENT, said in the release. “The sensor fusion and survivability this aircraft provides to the joint force will enhance security and stability across the theater and deter aggressors.”

“The F-35A provides our nation air dominance in any threat,” added Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. “When it comes to having a ‘quarterback’ for the coalition joint force, the interoperable F-35A is clearly the aircraft for the leadership role.”

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Westlake Legal Group F35A Air Force's F-35A deploys to Middle East for first time Oriana Pawlyk Military.com fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/us/military/air-force fnc/world fnc e507a5bb-cc8f-5544-bce7-87612ce71973 article   Westlake Legal Group F35A Air Force's F-35A deploys to Middle East for first time Oriana Pawlyk Military.com fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/us/military/air-force fnc/world fnc e507a5bb-cc8f-5544-bce7-87612ce71973 article

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Air Force’s F-35A deploys to Middle East for first time

The U.S. Air Force’s F-35A variant has officially deployed to the Middle East.

Air Forces Central Command announced Monday that F-35 fifth-generation fighters from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, have deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates to keep watch in the region.

It’s the first time Air Force F-35s have deployed to the Middle East.

“We are adding a cutting-edge weapons system to our arsenal that significantly enhances the capability of the coalition,” Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, commander of AFCENT, said in the release. “The sensor fusion and survivability this aircraft provides to the joint force will enhance security and stability across the theater and deter aggressors.”

“The F-35A provides our nation air dominance in any threat,” added Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. “When it comes to having a ‘quarterback’ for the coalition joint force, the interoperable F-35A is clearly the aircraft for the leadership role.”

Click for more from Military.com

Westlake Legal Group F35A Air Force's F-35A deploys to Middle East for first time Oriana Pawlyk Military.com fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/us/military/air-force fnc/world fnc e507a5bb-cc8f-5544-bce7-87612ce71973 article   Westlake Legal Group F35A Air Force's F-35A deploys to Middle East for first time Oriana Pawlyk Military.com fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/us/military/air-force fnc/world fnc e507a5bb-cc8f-5544-bce7-87612ce71973 article

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