Tag: US Air Force

Lifting the Lid on Britain’s Most Famous Alien Encounter

Article by Nick Pope                                         December 25, 2020                                          (thescottishsun.co.uk)

• Forty years ago, in the early hours of December 26, 1980, that three men from the US Air Force security police based at RAF Woodbridge, Suffolk, England saw the strange flashing lights deep in the adjacent Rendlesham Forest. They figured that an aircraft might have crashed, so they drove out to investigate and help. As the track of road narrowed, they were forced to continue on foot. Two of the men, John Burroughs and Jim Penniston, advanced into a small clearing, brightly lit by the strange lights. As they got closer, they realized it was not a crashed aircraft but a landed UFO.

• The object was triangular, ten feet wide at the base, resting on three legs. It looked like a cross between a small stealth fighter and a lunar landing module. And the only way into the clearing was from above. Penniston was trained in aircraft recognition and this was like nothing he had ever seen. Symbols on the side looked like Egyptian hieroglyphs. The photos that Penniston took “did not come out”. But his drawings of the craft and his accompanying notes have survived (see below). The craft took off vertically and he noted: “Speed — impossible.”

• Two nights later on December 28, 1980, the UFO returned. The witnesses on this night included the deputy base commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt who led a team into the forest to investigate. Halt recorded his observations on a cassette tape. On tape, Halt is heard remarking about the UFO ahead: “It’s definitely coming this way . . . pieces of it are shooting off . . . this is weird.” The UFO appeared overhead and fired a thin beam of light in front of them. Halt later asked himself: “Was this a weapon, was this a warning, was this communication?” Burroughs and Penniston later reported health issues, which they attributed to the UFO sighting.

• Later it was claimed that the UFO was seen firing light beams into a storage area where nuclear weapons were kept. In 2015, Colonel Halt acquired statements from two military radar operators, Ike Barker and Jim Carey. They confirmed that the UFO was tracked on radar, traveling at thousands of miles an hour then stopping over the base. “It wasn’t like any radar target I have seen,” Barker said. (see previous ExoArticle on the radar operator’s story) Radioactivity at the site was also said to be “significantly higher than the average background”. Halt concluded that the craft was clearly under intelligent control.

• British and American defense chiefs conspired to keep the incident secret. But in 1983, Lord Hill-Norton, formerly Britain’s most senior military officer, asked a series of questions about the Rendlesham Forest incident in Parliament. Hill-Norton stated that either the deputy commander of an operational, nuclear-armed NATO base was hallucinating – or there had been an actual UFO landing.

• In 1997, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was at a charity function with the socialite Georgina Bruni. When Bruni asked Thatcher about UFOs and the Rendlesham Forest incident, Thatcher replied: “You must have the facts, (but) you can’t tell the people.” Bruni believed that Thatcher had been spooked by secret intelligence regarding UFOs.

• In 2006, the MoD declassified a top-secret assessment of the overall UFO phenomenon, code-named ‘Project Condign’. In the final report, it stated that “several observers were probably exposed to UAP radiation for longer than normal UAP-sighting periods”. This information was passed along to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and a confidential claim settlement was reached with at least one of the US Air Force personnel at Rendlesham.

 

       John Burroughs and Jim Penniston

It was in the early hours of December 26, 1980, that three men from the US Air Force security police

                Charles Halt

based at RAF Woodbridge, Suffolk, saw the strange flashing lights.

Coming from beyond the perimeter fence, in Rendlesham Forest, they figured an aircraft might have crashed. They drove out to investigate and help.
As the track narrowed, they continued on foot.

They were walking into history.

John Burroughs and Jim Penniston advanced into a small clearing, brightly lit by the strange lights. As they got closer, they realised it was not a crashed aircraft — it was a landed UFO.

               sculpture of UFO craft

The object was triangular, ten feet wide at the base, looked like a cross between a small stealth fighter and a lunar landing module, and was resting on three legs.

The only way into the clearing for a vehicle was from above.

Penniston was trained in aircraft recognition and this was like nothing he had ever seen. Symbols on the side looked like Egyptian hieroglyphs.

     Jim Penniston’s drawing of the craft

He took photos but was later told they did not come out. But he sketched the craft too, and his drawing has survived. He also took notes. The craft took off vertically and he wrote: “Speed — impossible.”

Two nights later the UFO returned and the witnesses then included the deputy base commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt. A sceptic, he led a team into the forest when he was told the UFO had come back.

            Lord Hill-Norton

NUCLEAR WEAPONS

He recorded his observations on a cassette. It makes eerie listening as Halt catches sight of the UFO and says: “It’s definitely coming this way . . . pieces of it are shooting off . . . this is weird.”

Then the UFO appeared overhead and fired a thin beam of light in front of them.

                   Margaret Thatcher

Shocked Halt later asked himself: “Was this a weapon, was this a warning, was this communication?”

Later the UFO was seen firing light beams into a storage area, where many claim — though this was never confirmed — that nuclear weapons were kept.

In 2015, Colonel Halt, who has pursued the case, acquired statements from two military radar operators, Ike Barker and Jim Carey.

They confirmed the UFO was tracked, travelling at thousands of miles an hour then stopping over the base.

Georgina Bruni

“It wasn’t like any radar target I have seen,” Barker said.

Halt concluded that the craft, “was clearly under intelligent control”.

Radioactivity at the site was said to be, “significantly higher than the average background”.

  article’s writer, Nick Pope

Defence chiefs conspired to keep the incident secret.

But in 1983 the News of The World printed details.

Then Lord Hill-Norton, formerly Britain’s most senior military officer, asked a series of questions about the incident in Parliament.

He stated that either the deputy commander of an operational, nuclear-armed Nato base was hallucinating — or there had been a UFO landing.

The second establishment figure to break ranks was former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She was at a charity function in 1997 with the socialite Georgina Bruni, who had a long-standing interest in UFOs.

Bruni asked Baroness Thatcher about UFOs and Rendlesham and she replied: “You must have the facts and you can’t tell the people.” Bruni believed Thatcher had been spooked by a secret about UFOs.

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Building a 21st-Century Space Force

Article by John W. Raymond                                      December 20, 2020                                          (theatlantic.com)

• Just after World War II, the US military determined a need for a new independent Air Force military branch to compete with the Soviet Union in developing intercontinental ballistic missiles and reconnaissance satellites, and opening the door for space exploration. Employing a lean, focused team, the US Air Force’s unique culture, identity, and focus allowed its leadership to envision and develop crucial technologies, including stealth, smart weapons and precise global navigation.

• In the past five years, the number of active satellites in orbit has grown from 1,250 to 3,400. By 2023, there will be about 5,000 active satellites orbiting the Earth. The Satellite Industry Association estimated the 2019 global space economy at $366 billion, and Morgan Stanley projects that revenues could top $1 trillion by 2040.

• During this period of explosive growth, Russia and China have made obvious their intention to challenge American preeminence in commercial and military space, raising the prospect of war beginning in, or extending into, space. Early in 2020, Russia positioned one of its satellites dangerously close to an American satellite and then instructed it to execute a series of provocative and unsafe maneuvers. By the summer, that Russian satellite backed away, released a target, and then fired a projectile at that target as a raw display of space combat power. We are still dealing with the fallout from China’s own 2007 anti-satellite test, which left a cloud of space debris that still must be carefully tracked to avoid collision with a wide array of spacecraft, including the International Space Station.

• To deal with these challenges, the United States created a 21st-century military branch, the Space Force. Only by staying lean, agile, and tightly focused can Space Force succeed. Speed is a hallmark of our deliberately lean new service to rapidly design, test, and employ new technologies and innovations. Space Force headquarters at the Pentagon will have about 600 military and civilian members in a building that houses more than 20,000 Defense Department employees. We’ve removed several layers of command structure and bureaucracy, and moved leaders closer to the front lines to shorten communication pathways. This is especially important for a service so heavily reliant on technology.

• Space Force’s creation came one year after the Pentagon crafted a new National Defense Strategy designed to pivot toward ‘great-power competition’, and away from the counterterrorism focus of the past two decades. Space Force’s goal is to enhance American military power as space systems assume an ever-greater role in the missions of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard which depend on space for navigation and communication to strike targets with precision and lethality. By staying lean and focused, Space Force can address the challenges that lie ahead, out-competing adversaries, deterring conflict, and keeping Americans safe.

• The article’s writer, General John W. Raymond, is the first chief of space operations for the United States Space Force.

 

                  Space Force personnel

Early in 2020, Russia positioned one of its satellites dangerously close to an American satellite and then instructed it to execute a series of provocative and unsafe maneuvers. This summer, that satellite backed away, released a target, and then conducted a weapons test, firing a projectile at that target. This raw display of space combat power was carefully designed as an act of intimidation, right out of the 1950s Soviet playbook.

Over the past five years, space has become a contested commercial and military realm. During that time,

             Gen. John W. Raymond

the number of active satellites in orbit has grown from 1,250 to 3,400. By 2023, there will be about 5,000 active satellites orbiting the Earth. The Satellite Industry Association estimated the 2019 global space economy at $366 billion, and Morgan Stanley projects that revenues could top $1 trillion by 2040. During this period of explosive growth, Russia and China have made obvious their intention to challenge American preeminence in commercial and military space and to prevent the U.S. from using its space capabilities in crisis and conflict, raising the prospect of war beginning in, or extending into, space. We are still dealing with the fallout from China’s 2007 anti-satellite test, which left a cloud of space debris that even today must be carefully tracked to avoid collision with a wide array of spacecraft, including the International Space Station. The consequences of a full-blown war in space would be far worse.

A year ago, to deal with these challenges, the United States created its first new independent military branch in more than half a century. The U.S. Space Force, which I am privileged to lead, is a new kind of service. The Space Force headquarters at the Pentagon will have about 600 military and civilian members in a building that houses more than 20,000 Defense Department employees. Only by staying lean, agile, and tightly focused on our mission can we succeed in protecting the United States.

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Air Force Ready to Begin Its ‘Internet of Military Things’

Article by Jared Serbu                                      November 25, 2020                                  (federalnewsnetwork.com)

• Air Force acquisitions has confirmed that the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS), also known as an “internet of military things”, is ready to move into a “steady-state demonstration-deployment phase” and start delivering real-world capabilities on existing military platforms as soon as next year.

• Will Roper, in the department of the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office, told reporters, “This will be something new (and) needs a new construct for how we manage and execute.” “[T]he reality of this business that we are handed a budget that we don’t make, and we have to do our best job executing it.”

• AMBS is the Air Force’s main contribution to the DoD’s broader vision of Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) – born in 2008 – when the service decided not to build a replacement for the Joint Surveillance Target and Attack Radar System, an aging aircraft that tracks targets and sends that information to ground forces. Instead, the Air Force shifted to a plan to connect all of its systems through an “internet” of military platforms.

• The Air Force used the same architectural underpinnings as the AMBS system when it created new data links between F-35, F-22, AC-130 aircraft and commercial satellites last December. In September, the Air Force demonstrated new abilities to use AI and cloud technologies to track and destroy a simulated cruise missile.

• “Air Mobility Command, for example, is one of most forward-leaning commands we have…and they are ready to go put [ABMS capabilities] on mobility platforms so they can act as data relays,” said Roper. “We’ve got tankers that top you up with gas – [so] the vision of topping you up with data makes a lot of sense: You’re going to be there anyway to get fuel. And then that tanker standing off also can act as a battlefield relay and a network node. So they’ve got the right thinking.”

• “ABMS has been something we have put in front of…every program office and said, ‘you are part of this, you must figure out how to integrate with this, and we’ve made it personal for them. …[I]f someone ever walked into my office and said ABMS doesn’t have anything to do with me, that would be a long mentoring discussion that we would have.”

 

                            Will Roper

The Advanced Battle Management System, a future system-of-systems that the Air Force likes to think of as an “internet of military things” is likely to start delivering real-world capabilities on existing military platforms as soon as next year, the Air Force’s top acquisition official said Tuesday.

ABMS crossed a significant milestone this week when Will Roper, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, signed a memo saying the construct is ready to move into a “steady-state demonstration-deployment phase” and assigning a program executive office to manage future developments.

The Department of the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office, Roper said, will serve as an “integrating” PEO — a recognition that since every part of the Air Force and Space Force will have a hand in building ABMS, no single PEO can tackle the entire project.

“This will be something new, and something that’s new like ABMS probably needs a new construct for how we manage and execute,” he told reporters during a virtual roundtable Tuesday. “The RCO will gain the components that do not have a natural home within the Department of the Air Force, but they will also be responsible for providing the consolidated work breakdown structure, the consolidated baselines and most importantly, making funding trades when there’s not enough funding to do everything. That is something our program executive offices are accustomed to doing, and it’s the reality of this business that we are handed a budget that we don’t make, and we have to do our best job executing it.”

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