September 30, 1991 |
Behind a barbed-wire fence, maintenance workers were busy Sunday removing nuclear bombs from B-52s. For the first time in 40 years, the planes would sit with their bellies empty. The "alert" facility here, home base for the men and women who were poised for war on a moment's notice, was a ghost town Sunday. Nearly everyone had gone home. "It's kinda like winning the war," said Capt. Bruce Adams, a B-52 bomber commander who has served eight years at Fairchild, intermittently on alert.
April 1, 1991 |
The undetected flight of a Soviet-built MIG from Cuba to Key West, Fla., exposed gaps in the nation's southern air defense that military officials say may be all but impossible to plug. The March 20 incident has prompted an internal investigation by NORAD, the U.S.-Canadian command charged with protecting North American airspace, spokesman Maj. John Niemann said.
February 14, 1990 |
The United States is preparing to withdraw 10% to 12% of its military forces from South Korea, Japan and the Philippines over the next three years, according to a classified Pacific strategy plan being prepared by the Pentagon. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney will present the plan to South Korean defense officials today as he begins 10 days of high-level meetings with leaders of the East Asian allies.
June 2, 1992 |
The Air Force, bidding farewell to an era, on Monday dismantled one of its most colorful and controversial Cold War commands and christened a successor designed for a world of Persian Gulf-style conflicts. Under rainy skies, the Strategic Air Command laid down its organizational shield in a cavernous hangar thundering with the sound of martial music.
January 22, 1988 |
A U.S. Titan 2 nuclear missile crew was performing a routine launch drill in Kansas in 1980 when a real launch sequence suddenly began, threatening to fire the weapon, a report on nuclear accidents revealed Thursday. Scrambling, the crew managed to prevent the launch by hastily disconnecting the main power supply. Meanwhile, nuclear-armed B-52 bombers were being readied to respond to the false computer alarm of a "nuclear attack."
March 21, 1998 |
President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave authority in 1957 to senior U.S. military commanders to retaliate with nuclear weapons if the president could not be reached or was otherwise unable to respond to a nuclear attack against the United States, according to declassified documents released this week.
January 11, 1988 |
The Air Force is developing a new high-speed, high-altitude spy plane designed to elude enemy radar, defense industry sources said Sunday. The new stealth-type aircraft, a successor to the 25-year-old SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance plane, will be built by Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Group in Burbank, which also built the SR-71 and the F-19 stealth fighter, the sources said. Lockheed and Defense Department officials would not comment on the secret program.
December 7, 1997 |
President Clinton has ordered adoption of a revised U.S. policy statement on nuclear weapons that explicitly scraps the Cold War's central emphasis on the threat from the former Soviet Union while laying new stress on the danger posed by rogue states such as Iraq. After more than a half-year's study, Clinton has signed a new version of the "presidential decision directive" that instructs the secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on how to target the military's nuclear weapons.
November 30, 1995 |
"Arm the phasers" is a battle command that Pentagon officials believe will soon move out of the realm of science fiction. Under an ambitious $5-billion program that is supposed to revolutionize warfare much as gunpowder once did, some of the nation's top scientists are working on a high-energy chemical laser that would shoot lethal beams a few hundred miles to knock out enemy missiles.
February 1, 2001 |
A blue-ribbon commission on Wednesday called for creation of a Cabinet-level agency to assume responsibility for defending the nation against the increasing likelihood of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. The bipartisan panel, led by former U.S. Sens. Warren B. Rudman (R-N.H.) and Gary Hart (D-Colo.