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

Airman leaves AF to pursue college B-ball career

Courtesy Photo Senior Airman Patrick Paul, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron, shoots a jump shot during a game against the 56th Security Forces Squadron at the Bryant Fitness Center. Paul is finishing out his Air Force commitme...
 
 
140307-F-CB366-007

Airmen shave heads for pilot’s son battling cancer

Senior Airman David Owsianka Airmen from the 62nd Fighter Squadron recently shaved their heads to support a deceased officer’s son who is battling with cancer. Second Lt. Dave Mitchell, former 62nd FS pilot, lost his life dur...
 
 

Three steps to avoid ‘toxic leadership’

Toxic leadership. Sadly, this term has recently become vogue in the lexicon of the Defense Department to describe leaders possessing unfavorable leadership characteristics and whose actions eventually rot an organization from the inside out. Examples of these leaders drape across the weekly headlines and sound bites of newspapers, radio and television. “Leaders” who become drunk...
 

 

Personal improvement, goal setting all part of leadership

In preparation for the changes in regard to officer and enlisted performance reports, and force management issues, it is important to reflect on personal improvement and goal setting. This topic is close to my heart and revolves around leadership. As officers, leaders and mentors, we can all benefit from refreshing our vigilance and attention to...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Instructor pilot selected as Olmsted scholar

Courtesy photo Capt. Daniel Wynn, 56th Operations Support Squadron operations flight commander, prepares to refuel in an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a combat mission over Afghanistan in August 2011. For many U.S. military membe...
 
 

News Briefs April 11, 2013

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will conduct a natural disaster exercise today, which will include military, local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. Those traveling on base should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruptions of customer service operations. Expect to see simulated explosions, smoke, role players depicting individuals with...
 




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