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USNs first female F-14 pilot killed

NAVY Lieutenant Kara S Hultgreen died on October 25,1994. when her F-l4 Tomcat crashed on a landing approach to the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln operating off the southern Californian coast of the United States. Hultgreen’s back-seater, Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) Lt Matthew P Klemish, ejected and was rescued. Lt Hultgreen (29), was the first woman naval aviator to check out as a combat-ready Tomcat pilot, and the first of the USN’s and USAF’s growing cadre of women combat pilots to lose her life while flying a fighter.

Hultgreen joined the Navy in 1987, when women were barred by Congressional policy

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USMC Harrier II Plus funding

MCDONNELL DOUGLAS ANNOUNCED on May 16 that it had received a $102 million contract award for remanufacture of four existing AV-8B airframes to Harrier II Plus standard. The contract forms the first phase of the upgrade of 73 USMC AV-8Bs to the new radar-equipped, night-attack configuration in a $1.7 billion deal which will be completed in 2002. It had previously been planned that all 114 of the USMC’s earlier AV-8Bs would be upgraded but funding cutbacks have reduced this figure.

Upgrading takes around 12 months per airframe and includes fitting a new fuselage, which is considered a cheaper alternative to

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USAFE Base Closure

THE PLANNED RETURN to the Ministry of Defence, as expected, of RAF Upper Heyford, Oxon and the partial return of RAF Alconbury, Cambs by the United States Department of Defence was announced formally on May 7. In addition, the US Navy will withdraw from its facility at RAF Brawdy and control of High Wycombe air station will transfer from the USAF to the USN.

Withdrawal of the 20th FW F-l 1 IE aircraft from Upper Heyford to the USA and the base’s reversion to standby status by the end of 1993 had previously been announced in 1991. Now the USAF

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USAF Special Operations – Somalia

Philip D Chinnery reports on Spectre missions and Special Tactics Squadron heroics in Mogadishu.

ONE OF THE LAST foreign policy decisions mode by President George Bush, before his election defeat by Bill Clinton, was to send American troops to Somalia, under the auspices of the United Nations. Located in the horn of Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, Somalia is a country suffering from famine and disease. Ruled by despotic warlords, the country was in dire need of outside help. The United Nations decided to step in and Operation Provide Relief was launched.

The multi-national security and airlift operation began in

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US Ejected From Uzbekistan Base

THREE DAYS after the US was given approval to continue using Manas, Kyrgyzstan, for the movement of troops into Afghanistan, it was asked to remove its personnel and aircraft for its Afghan operations from another important hub. On July 29, a notice was received at the US Embassy in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, to say that all US military aircraft and personnel must leave Kharshi-Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan (commonly referred to as K2) within six months. No reason was given, although in recent months the Uzbek Government has been continually tightening restrictions at the base, including a ban on

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Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier

Hard on the heels of Pearl Harbor, US forces flooded into Britain to join the Allied nations, ready to turn the tables in Europe. A staggering number of airfields became USAAF bases. We take you on a journey across the length and breadth of the UK to chart his astounding heritage, base-by-base.

Hard on the heels of Pearl Harbor, US forces flooded into Britain to join the Allied nations, ready to turn the tables in Europe. A staggering number of airfields became USAAF bases. We take you on a journey across the length and breadth of the UK to chart

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Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier — part 2

BEAULIEU, Hampshire

Station: 408

Location: East of Brockenhurst, between the B3055 and B3054

Previously: RAF from Aug 1942

Major Units: Ninth Air Force, 365th Fighter Group — P-47s

Code letters: 38th Fighter Sqn ‘D5-‘, 387th FS ‘B4-‘, 388th FS ‘C4-‘

Afterwards: To RAF Sep 1944 and a base for the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment until 1950.

See also below. Returned to heath land 1959

ESTABLISHED ON Hatchet Moor in the New Forest, the P-47Ds of the 365th were followed for a month by the Martin B-26 Marauders of the 323rd BG before the airfield was returned to the RAF. In

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Unforgettable sight

IT WAS WITH great sadness that I read your Editorial, concerning the Ministry of Defence’s attitude towards the last flying Vulcan (XH558).

Over a period of years attending many airshows around the United Kingdom, one of the highlights of every show has been the arrival and display of the mighty Vulcan.

On numerous occasions I have seen various Vulcans (when we had more than one) hold spectators spellbound.

But it was at RAF Mildenhall on Sunday May 24,1992 when I saw the Vulcan bring about 120,000 people to a standstill.

It was a beautiful, sunny day with very little cloud,

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Under other flags

Despite its proven track record, ease of maintenance and its reliable Hercules engines, what could have been a vibrant export market for Beaufighters failed to materialise. Only three countries directly opted for the type, while a third acquired a handful through a clandestine route. Two of these nations used them in anger.

During the war, four Commonwealth air forces flew ‘Beaus’: Australia (five squadrons in the Pacific, two in the UK), Canada (four in the UK), New Zealand (two in the UK) and South Africa (two in the Middle East). As charted in the feature Whispering Death, Australia also built

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UNBEARABLE DEFICITS

Declining budgets challenge France as it seeks fiscal control, defense autonomy

The top priority of France’s newly elected president, Francois Hollande, is to slash government debt. Although this is no surprise, such a primary goal requires sacrifices as well as new priorities in an environment such as the current very challenging one: The economy is weak, growth is minimal, and the aerospace and defense industry’s production costs are too high to efficiently sustain competition.

Initial steps to kick off a difficult recovery effort are being devised and defense budgets are not expected to be significantly reduced. France benefits from a

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