Combat Aircraft - August 2017

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SPECIAL ISSUE

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AT 70
In this issue we mark the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force with a series of features showcasing some of the many elements of the world’s greatest air arm.

IN THE NEWS

HEADLINE NEWS
Saab flies Gripen E, Lockheed Martin eyes F-35 block buy and Qatar signs for F-15QA

US NEWS
F-35s grounded at Luke AFB, Block III Super Hornet approved, plus all the latest unit and deployment news

WORLD NEWS
News from Europe and around the globe, including the first test flight of the Advanced Hawk, plus all the latest military losses

FEATURES

‘LOBOS’
The F-16s of the 114th Fighter Wing, South Dakota Air National Guard, are among the most instantly recognizable of any unit. They reflect a wing with a proud heritage and keen sense of its current role, as Jamie Hunter describes

FIRST NIGHT
Mark A. Werkema tells the true story of a memorable night for a fighter pilot in the skies over Baghdad, as seen through his eyes in the cockpit of an F-117 ‘stealth fighter’ — January 17, 1991, the first night of the Gulf War

‘BONE’ SCHOOLHOUSE
The B-1B Lancer is one of the US Air Force’s most impressive aircraft. The responsibility for training new aircrews on type falls to one squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Ashley Wallace visits the B-1 training school

PROJECTING POWER IN THE PACIFIC
The US Air Force maintains a continuous bomber presence on the Pacific island of Guam, which is now manned by B-1 squadrons on rotation from the continental US. Jamie Hunter talks exclusively to the commander of this important detachment

ALASKA’S CUTTING EDGE
Held biennially, ‘Northern Edge’ is Alaska’s premier joint-force exercise, bigger even than the well-known ‘Red Flag Alaska’ series of exercises, as Ivan Voukadinov discovers

F-35 TURNS AND BURNS IN PARIS
At the Paris Air Show in June it wasn’t just the temperature that was off the scale — so was the hype for the F-35A’s first public flying demonstration. Jamie Hunter asks whether it was worth the effort to show the Lightning II turning and burning

STRIKING HARD
Stephan de Bruijn and Frank Crébas join the annual ‘Northern Lightning’ joint training exercise at Volk Field, Wisconsin, the aim of which was to replicate today’s battlespace with the aid of current and future weapons platforms

LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Tactical Leadership Program (TLP) 17-02 ran from April 24 until May 19 at Albacete, Spain. Stephan de Bruijn and Marco Dijkshoorn reveal how the NATO exercise included the rare involvement of a Continental US-based squadron

‘THUDS’ IN VIETNAM
The Republic F-105 was conceived as a replacement for the F-84F Thunderstreak, combining Mach 2 performance with a prodigious weapons-carrying capability. Warren E. Thompson recalls how it is best remembered for its turbulent combat career in South-east Asia

CUTTING EDGE
Combat Aircraft’s monthly column reporting from the front line of aerospace technology, by David Axe