All posts tagged 'military aircraft'

WWII HONOR FLIGHT AT EAA AIRVENTURE 2012 WILL FLY VETERANS TO D.C. MEMORIALS

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WWII HONOR FLIGHT AT EAA AIRVENTURE 2012 WILL FLY VETERANS TO D.C. MEMORIALS
American Airlines’ 737 to depart, arrive at AirVenture grounds as part of ‘Salute to Veterans’
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (June 26, 2012) — EAA, American Airlines, and Old Glory Honor Flight, Inc., have joined together once again to give World War II veterans the opportunity to visit the powerful memorials dedicated in their honor with an Old Glory Honor Flight departing from EAA AirVenture 2012 on Friday, July 27.

The 60th annual edition of “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” will take place July 23-29 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. The Old Glory Honor Flight is just one of the endless attractions, activities and forums as part of “Salute to Veterans Day,” presented by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, on July 27.

On the morning of Friday, July 27, the special American Airlines yellow-ribbon 737 aircraft, “Flagship Liberty,” will fly approximately 80 World War II veterans from the AirVenture grounds to Washington, D.C. After a reception greeting them at Reagan National Airport, the veterans will be taken on a day-long tour of memorials honoring the sacrifices they made preserving freedom, including the World War II Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.

“All of us at American Airlines are excited to be a part of this year’s EAA AirVenture, and especially to have the opportunity to fly some of our nation’s greatest treasures – World War II veterans – to see their memorial in Washington, D.C.,” said Captain Jim Palmersheim, Director of Veterans Military Programs for American Airlines. “American has a long history of supporting our troops, veterans, and their families. It is an honor to serve the members of ‘The Greatest Generation’ who have given so much for this country.”

The Old Glory Honor Flight veterans will return to AirVenture on Friday for a scheduled arrival shortly after 6 p.m., when they will be greeted by thousands of AirVenture attendees on Phillips 66 Plaza and receive a welcome home reception that many did not receive more than 60 years ago. "We at Old Glory Honor Flight live by the motto that it is never too late to say 'thank you,' and we are honored to be conducting our third annual AirVenture Honor Flight in partnership with EAA and American Airlines," said Drew MacDonald, President of Old Glory Honor Flight, Inc. “It is truly a unique and spectacular way of showing our admiration, respect and gratitude for America's military veterans."

The Old Glory Honor Flight, the Northeast Wisconsin hub of the Honor Flight Network, recognizes World War II veterans for sacrifices and achievements by providing a memorable, safe, and rewarding tour of Washington, D.C., memorials at no cost. Additional information on the Old Glory Honor Flight is available at www.oldgloryhonorflight.org.

About EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” and EAA’s yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at www.airventure.org. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. Immediate news is available at www.twitter.com/EAAupdate.

The tightrope of security and spending


Courtesy of the Defense Department

Certainly, a large part of aviation innovation, and of the aviation industry itself, derives from the American military. Anyone enjoy that GPS stuff lately?

An editorial in the USA Today last week echoes what has become a growing sentiment of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration largely credited for righting the ship in Iraq, to limit military spending and to cut into rank-and-file bureaucracy.

Gates has pushed in recent years for cuts in parts of the Defense budget, something rarely seen from a Pentagon leader during active conflict.  His reasoning is often this: The military strength held by the United States overshadows that any other nation, and in the case of the next-largest armies, many belong to allies.

Fighting the global war on terror does not always necessitate billion-dollar machinery, his logic says.

Gates has railed to trim fat from various branches that squabble for slices of the hundreds of billions of dollars available each year in the Defense budget, the second largest expenditure behind Social Security.

Often, a general of one military branch lobbies for the same money as another. For instance, when the Army insisted upon up-armored Humvees so more soldiers could survive IED blasts in Afghanistan and Iraq, similar requests came from the Air Force for UAVs and expanding fighter jet programs.

The Pentagon, at Gates’ urging, capped production of the F-22 last year. However, another recent request of his to curtail a similar program went unheard by lawmakers.

The House Armed Services Committee passed legislation to award GE a contract to compete with Pratt & Whitney building engines for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (pictured above), which is expected to cost $113 million per plane.

The USA Today notes that the most ardent in Congress who backed the plan without approval from the Defense Secretary came from districts home to GE facilities. At home, such a vote for a Congress member means creating or saving jobs, regardless of the true defense needs.

"Does the number of warships we have and are building really put America at risk when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined, 11 of which belong to allies and partners? Gates asked in a recent speech. "Is it a dire threat that by 2020, the United States will have only 20 times more advanced stealth fighters than China?"

In today’s times, there is a difficult balance for politicians and the non-partisan civil service workers who carry out the laws they pass. That balance spans between creating jobs, leashing government spending and defending our country. Each is important, but drawing lines is hard.

Many times, the simple solution is not the smart solution, but one can just as easily say that the other way around, too.  Weigh in below and let us know what you think.

Thanks to our friends at CFM Jet for tweeting the editorial.

 

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