AirForces Monthly - November 2013

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F1 over the Baltic
Mirage F1CRs of the French Air Force recently deployed to Lithuania and Russia. Jan Kraak caught up with some of the pilots on their return.

Dying Hornets
Mathias Grägel reports as the German Army’s retirement plan for its MBB Bo105 helicopters gathers pace.

Flying Finns in Wales
Derek Bower reports on the Finnish Air Force’s recent visit to RAF Valley in Anglesey.

COVER STORY: Ready for War!
As tensions rise in the Mediterranean, the US Marine Corps’ 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit is preparing to embark on a seven-month cruise – AFM’s Jerry Gunner visited North Carolina before the task force left.

21st Century Gunship
Ben Montgomery investigates the special qualities of the US Air Force’s latest AC-130 gunship variants.

End of the Empire
It was an emotional day at RAF Brize Norton when the RAF finally retired its last Vickers VC10s. AFM’s Gary Parsons was there to say goodbye to the ‘Queen of the Skies’.

Tip of the Spear
The French Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle has just completed a series of complex training exercises in the Mediterranean. Now, it is ready, if needed, to support a call to action – Henri-Pierre Grolleau reports.

Polished Spark
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the TS-11 Iskra in Polish Air Force service. Paul Gross and Hans Looijmans appraise this remarkable aircraft.

CHILE SPECIAL: Chile’s Choppers
Grupo 9 is the Chilean Air Force’s main helicopter unit, specialising in combat search and rescue, training, transport and helping the community, as Santiago Rivas explains.

CHILE SPECIAL: Pilatus pilots
Neil Dunridge and Kevin Jackson highlight VT-1, the Chilean Navy’s fixed-wing training squadron.



Deployments & Contracts


Chilean Army Aviation Álvaro Romero outlines this changing force.

Chilean Navy Chile’s navy has had an air arm independent of the air force for nearly a century. Neil Dunridge tells the story of this small, but modern, South American force.

Exercise Report: Red Flag Alaska 13-3
Re-Flying the Flag – Curt Jans reports from Red Flag Alaska, one of the few American exercises to escape sequestration this year.

Exercise Report: Saudi-British Green Flag 2013
Key Publishing was privileged to interview the commander of the Royal Saudi Air Force detachment to RAF Coningsby in late August, in what was one of the most eagerly anticipated aviation events of the year for UK enthusiasts and photographers.

Postcard from... Malaysia
Babak Taghvaee reports on the 65th anniversary of Malaysian independence parade.

Postcard from... Scotland
RAF Leuchars in Fife hosted its last-ever airshow in September and it was one to savour, being the best for many a year.

Ops Board
All the events and airshows of the coming months.

And Finally…
Seventy-one years after the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, a B-25 flew again with the Raiders in a unique formation.