U.S. military history was made Aug. 21, when two female Army officers – First Lts. Kristen Griest and Shaye Haver – graduated from the Army’s elite Ranger School and were awarded the prestigious Ranger Tab.
But now, People magazine is reporting that in January, long before the first women attended the Ranger School – one of the most grueling military courses in the world – officials at the highest levels of the Army had already decided failure was not an option.
Multiple sources told the magazine that women Ranger candidates were given an array of advantages that male candidates didn’t have. First, the women were sent to a special two-week training in January to get them ready for the school, which didn't start until April 20. Once there, they were allowed to repeat the program until they passed – while men were held to a strict pass/fail standard.
In addition, members of the special female platoon were taken out to the land navigation course – a very tough part of the course that is timed – on a regular basis. The men had to see it for the first time when they went to the school, according to the magazine.
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The U.S. Air Force’s KC-46A refueling tanker made by Boeing Co. on Friday made its first flight in a historic milestone for the program that came after repeated delays, according to the military website DefenseTech.com.
“History in the making,” Boeing employee Jerry Pham tweeted while sharing a picture showing the aircraft taking off near Seattle.
The Air Force plans to spend $49 billion to develop and build 149 of the planes to replace its aging fleet of KC-135s, according to Pentagon budget documents. Boeing forecasts an $80 billion global market for the new tankers, according to Trading Alpha.
The Chicago-based company plans to deliver the first 18 KC-46As to the service by August 2017 despite a recent string of technical challenges on the program.
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Unknown to most Americans, the Pentagon has spent $2.7 billion developing a system of giant radar-equipped blimps to provide an early warning if the country were ever attacked with cruise missiles, drones or other low-flying weapons, according to the Los Angeles Times.
After nearly two decades of disappointment and delay, the system — known as JLENS — had a chance to prove its worth on April 15.
That day, a Florida postal worker flew a single-seat, rotary-wing aircraft into the heart of the nation’s capital to dramatize his demand for campaign finance reform.
JLENS is intended to spot just such a tree-skimming intruder, and two of the blimps were supposed to be standing sentry above the capital region. Yet, 61-year-old Douglas Hughes flew undetected through 30 miles of highly restricted airspace before landing on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
At a congressional hearing soon afterward, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, demanded to know how “a dude in a gyrocopter 100 feet in the air” was able to pull off such an audacious stunt.
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U.S. troops and Defense Department civilians racked up more than $1 million at strip clubs and casinos last year, and now Congress is taking a closer look, according to Military Times.
U.S. lawmakers have requested a follow-up investigation into a May 19 report titled: “DoD Cardholders Used Their Government Travel Cards for Personal Use at Casinos and Adult Entertainment Establishments.”
In addition, the DoD Inspector General has announced it will launch a follow-up investigation into its probe last year that revealed card holders ran up more than 5,000 transactions at casinos and strip clubs.
According to the Washington Post, the Defense Department has about 1.6 million cardholders, who are meant to use the cards for official travel-related expenses only.