2021 Top Ten: Air Force
The emergency evacuation from Kabul, unprecedented in scope and speed, was the operational highlight of the year.
Here are some of the top Air Force stories from 2021:
Inside Reach 871, A US C-17 Packed With 640 Afghans Trying to Escape the Taliban // Tara Copp,Marcus Weisgerber: The Air Force evacuation flight from Kabul to Qatar came near the record for most people ever flown in the Boeing airlifter.
The Kabul Airlift in 5 Charts // Elizabeth Howe: The largest emergency airlift ever handled by the U.S. military started slowly and built to a torrent.
Inside the Final Hours at Kabul Airport // Tara Copp: Alone on the airfield after hundreds of other U.S. troops had left, five handpicked joint tactical exfiltration crews blew up the last remaining defenses and took off in the dark.
Air Force Secretary Warns of China’s Burgeoning Nuclear Arsenal, Reveals B-21 Detail // Marcus Weisgerber: Frank Kendall also criticized Congress for not allowing the Air Force to retire old, unneeded warplanes and questioned the need for hypersonic weapons.
The Air Force Is Planning For a Future Without the F-22 // Tara Copp, Marcus Weisgerber: Just four fighters will make up the future fleet: F-35, F-16, F-15EX, and NGAD, chief says.
US Air Force’s First Software Chief Steps Down // Brandi Vincent: Nicolas Chaillan, who led a Pentagon-wide DevSecOps effort, said he was leaving in part because of a lack of support from senior leaders.
Cancers Strike US Fighter Pilots, Crews at Higher Rates, Air Force Finds // Tara Copp: Nearly 30% higher likelihood of testicular cancer and roughly 25% for skin and prostate cancer, according to the military’s most comprehensive study yet.
Racial Division, Troops’ Role in Protests Has Hurt Minority Recruiting, Air Force Says // Tara Copp: Black interest in military service plummeted after the George Floyd protests. Can the Pentagon undo the damage?
Air Force Breakthrough Brings Space-Based Solar Power One Step Closer // Patrick Tucker: Tomorrow’s remote military bases could be powered by a light-to-microwave tile that just passed a key test.
This Air Force Targeting AI Thought It Had a 90% Success Rate. It Was More Like 25% // Patrick Tucker: Too little of the right kind of data can throw off target algorithms. But try telling the algorithm that.
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