Air Force

October 18, 2013

This Week in History

Towed aerial target retrieval.

Oct. 14, 2003: Towed aerial target era ends

Before 1956, aircraft on the Barry M. Goldwater Range used tow targets for air-to-air training. Another aircraft towed the targets behind them for the trailing aircraft’s pilot to hone his or her gunnery skills.

The towed aerial targets took on the acronym DART and weighed 170 pounds. They were made with a metal and wood frame covered with a foil skin to provide a reflective surface. The reflected signal made the DARTs much easier to pick up. Additionally, the DART shape was more aerodynamic than the older targets and looked more like an aircraft.

After the air-to-air portion of the training mission was complete, the tow aircraft released the DART in the drop area. They were collected, repaired and used again. Unfortunately, not all the DARTs made it back to the impact area.

Aircrews used DARTs on the range until 1994 when an acoustically scored aerial targeting system went into operation.

Three years later, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lodged a complaint that more than 1,000 DARTs remained within the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge on the range. Luke Airmen began the cleanup, but because the location was a wildlife refuge, Airmen could only use established roads. For those DARTs lying close to existing roads, the teams drove up as close to the DART as possible, hiked in, picked it up and hauled it out.

But there were far too many DARTs the Airmen could not get to by road. The only way to retrieve the remaining DARTs was by helicopter. Since Luke Air Force Base no longer had helicopters, the rest of the cleanup required excessive funding to pay to get the job done. To get the funding would take Air Force leadership time. Then, 10 years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the DART tow targets in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge as part of the habitat. That negated the 56th Fighter Wing’s requirement to retrieve those targets thus ending the DART tow target era for Luke.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
NEW_1

Luke F-35s visit Columbus AFB

Airman 1st Class Daniel Lile A T-6 Texan II roars overhead as the pilots of two Luke Air Force Base F-35 Lightning IIs prepare to exit their aircraft July 23 at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. The pilots are Capt. Nichola...
 
 

Gillespie Loop: Honors Airman who made ultimate sacrifice

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — The men and women of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing came together for a road dedication ceremony to honor Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie, a fallen Airman who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie was a career fuels specialist who died July 9, 2007, from wounds sustained during small...
 
 

Who’s afraid of a little blood?

I have been in the Air Force for 22 years and have been a medical laboratory technician since the beginning of my career. The medical or clinical laboratory is where specimens are tested to provide information to medical providers who directly assist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in patients. After graduating basic...
 

 

Pursue education for career’s sake

Everyone knows education can be a good bullet on an enlisted performance report, but few know the true value of an education in regard to a military career. The pursuit of an education can be just as valuable as the degree acquired at the end. The knowledge acquired in the pursuit of an education can...
 
 
Pg-3--photo-illustration

Candid money talk improves relationship

There are many reasons why people divorce but at the top of the list are lack of communication and finances. That’s why it’s important to combine these two topics to make for a successful long-lasting relationship. “I bel...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

Total body conditioning class A new total body conditioning class is 6:30 and 9 a.m. Monday and Wednesday. The 6:30 a.m. class is broken into two half hour segments to accommodate squadron or individual physical training. The 9 a.m. class is one hour. The class consists of body weight movements and the use of equipment...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>