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.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

Airmen reach terminal velocity

Courtesy photo Second Lt. Tanya Wren, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Community Relations chief, takes in the expansive view after the chute was pulled at 3,000 feet. Luke Air Force Base Airmen were chosen to tandem jump with ...
 
 
Senior Airman Marcy Copeland

Military children celebrated for courage, resilience

Senior Airman Marcy Copeland Col. Jeremy Sloane, 56th Fighter Wing vice commander, signs the Month of the Military Child proclamation April 1 at the Luke Air Force Base Child Development Center. The Month of the Military Child ...
 
 

People First – April 17, 2015

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, click on the link in the title. CSAF describes future Air Force In the...
 

 

Air Force News – April 17, 2015

Greenland Thule Air Base and the 12th Space Warning Squadron’s location offers a unique and strategic vantage point in the execution of its missile warning and defense, and space surveillance missions in support of U.S. Strategic Command. The 12th SWS operates the Upgraded Early Warning Radar 24/7. Afghanistan After months of planning and construction, the...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

AIM: New resource for Airmen

Courtesy Photo Luke Airmen mingle during an Airmen in Mentoring session March 25 at Luke Air Force Base. AIM is a new program just getting started on base to help support new Airmen by providing mentors who have volunteered to ...
 
 
square

Help comes in shape of uniform

Senior AirmanMARCY COPELAND Second Lt. Tanya Wren, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs chief of community relations, and Tech. Sgt. Priscilla Noll, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron furnishing management office NCO in charge, provided ...
 




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