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Airplane,dis freak
12-12-2005, 06:35 PM
Supersonic Raptor drops first guided bomb



by Christopher Ball
95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

12/12/2005 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFPN) -- An F/A-22 Raptor flying at supersonic speed dropped its first 1,000-pound guided joint direct attack munition over the range here.

Since July, Raptor program have flown seven JDAM supersonic separation test missions under a variety of conditions. The aim is to prove the JDAM can safely separate from the aircraft.

But none of the previous tests used a JDAM guidance system.

"This was the first Raptor supersonic guided JDAM. The first one to guide to a target," said Maj. John Teichert, the 411th Flight Test Squadron's test pilot for the mission.

This release marks a dramatic increase in the stealth jet’s air-to-ground capability by clearing the first phase of the JDAM supersonic envelope, he said.

"The supersonic envelope allows the Raptor to release precision air-to-ground weapons at long stand-off ranges while performing its global strike mission," Major Teichert said.

The supersonic JDAM capability allows the Raptor to deliver the weapon from a much greater distance than any other aircraft.

But dropping JDAMs wasn't part of the plan for the Raptor until fairly recently, Major Teichert said.

"Once the subsonic air-to-ground capability became available late last year, the (Air Force) immediately recognized the need for an expanded envelope to increase tactical options," Major Teichert said. "The test planning and data analysis to make the supersonic test work in a compressed amount of time was an outstanding feat."

Testers here plan to expand the supersonic JDAM envelope even more by dropping it from increasingly higher altitudes and greater speeds. They also plan to begin small-diameter bomb testing in 2006.

The Raptor has been under developmental test and evaluation at Edwards since 1998. It is scheduled to become fully operational at the end of December.

The 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va., is home to the first three operational Raptor squadrons.


(Source: http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123013471)

Airplane,dis freak
12-12-2005, 06:40 PM
Weather flight spins up ‘Santa's Mailbag’ program



12/12/2005 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (AFPN) -- Air Force volunteers are once again hosting Santa’s Mailbag, a free holiday program that lets children from around the world request and receive a letter from Santa Claus postmarked from North Pole, Alaska.

Members of the 58th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron started the program more than 50 years ago to help Airmen at Eielson get into the Christmas spirit, said Capt. Jason Wild, commander of the 354th Operations Support Squadron combat weather flight.

“Members of the combat weather flight now carry on that legacy,” he said.

Each year, the unit receives thousands of “Dear Santa Claus” letters and Christmas wish lists.

Flight volunteers read the letters, select appropriate replies and mail them from Santa Claus with an official North Pole postmark. Last year, the program received more than 4,000 letters.

“It is an important local tradition which has been carried on by weather Airmen for more than half a century,” Captain Wild said. “We get to bring happiness to children around the globe when they receive their very own letter from Santa postmarked with a North Pole stamp.”

The volunteers started processing letters in late November and will continue through Christmas. The flight must receive letters to Santa by mid-December to ensure a reply before Christmas. Children whose letters arrive too late will get a special “after Christmas” letter from Santa.

Letters from Santa are still available. Write to Santa at: Santa’s Mailbag, 354th OSS/OSW, 2827 Flightline Ave. Suite 100B, Eielson AFB AK 99702-1520.

There is no cost for letters, but self-addressed stamped envelopes or donations made out to “Santa’s Mailbag” help to defray the cost of postage and supplies.


source:http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123013467