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.


 
 

 
Lightening-within-five

Lightning over Luke …

The F-35 Lightning II isn’t the only lightning striking over Luke Air Force Base. This strike, about five miles west of the Luke flightline, was captured on camera at 1:12 a.m. Aug. 12 at the jet engine test cell.
 
 

Program smooths change from military to civilian life

It can be difficult to find work in today’s economy, even more so for families that are moving to a new area or families that are transitioning from military to civilian life. One program available to veterans is the Workforce Investment Act, which can help veterans have a smooth transition to civilian work. The 56th...
 
 

New form second chance to do EPRs right

Without fail, every time I am around a group of young NCOs, there is one subject guaranteed to come up — the enduring question of “How can I write a stronger EPR for my Airman?” My answer to this question is fairly standard and is one that a chief shared with me many years ago....
 

 

Plan for final out

How many of you are prepared for life outside of the military? Seriously, if you were told tomorrow was your final out, what would you do? We are currently in an environment where Defense Department rollbacks are a serious issue we must all contemplate. Fewer officers are being commissioned. Last year there was only one...
 
 

News Briefs August 22, 2014

Commander’s call Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, will hold a commander’s call Monday in the Luke Air Force Base theater at 7 a.m. for Airmen, 9 a.m. for NCOs, 11 a.m. for senior NCOs, 1 p.m. for civilians, 3 p.m. for officers and 5 p.m. for those not able to make another...
 
 
Airman 1st Class 
JAMES HENSLEY

Commandant challenges students to be best

Airman 1st ClassJAMES HENSLEY Master Sgt. Sheris Poisson, 56th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School commandant, briefs students Aug. 12 about the active-shooter exercise Aug. 15 at Luke Air Force Base. Poisson asked ...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin