August 21, 2018

The Downing of Spirit ’03; Did the Moon Play a Role?

1991 was a busy year for Air Force Special Operations. Fresh off of the success of Panama, AC-130H gunships based out of Hurlbert Field were dispatched to the Arabian peninsula in late 1990 as part of Operation Desert Shield, later to become the shooting war of Desert Storm. Nowadays remembered as Gulf War I, one of the least known chapters was the Battle for Khafji and the role AC-130Hs played. When the battle was over, hundreds of Iraqi tanks and one gunship would be destroyed, taking its brave crew with it.

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The Coolest Thing I Ever Saw: The 1998 Leonid Meteor Shower

Late 1998 was a busy time for me. As a Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force, I was old enough to have some responsibility in the form of supervising my own load crew but still low enough down the totem pole that virtually all of supervision sat squarely above me. I was stationed at Eielson Air Force base in Alaska with the 18th Fighter Squadron as a Aircraft Armament Systems specialist, a fancy way of saying that I loaded bombs. When I wasn’t destroying things, Astronomy was my main passion. Astronomy in Alaska was really a seasonal sport; winter was blistering cold, down to -60 degrees Fahrenheit and summer was constant daylight. This limited dark sky observing to about two month windows around either equinoxes. [Read more...]