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Thunderbird Sonic Boom Caused $22K in Damages

Thunderbird Sonic Boom Caused $22K in Damages

The Air Force has paid out claims connected to an error by a Thunderbird pilot this past spring.

A Thunderbird pilot from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., who was practicing for a weekend air show over downtown Tucson on the afternoon of April 13 created a sonic boom that shattered windows when he surpassed the speed of sound for several seconds.

Read more in the Air Force Times.

House, Senate Reach Agreement on Defense Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on a $633 billion defense bill that includes a 1.7 percent pay raise for military personnel.

Top members of the Armed Services committees announced the completion of the bill at a Capitol Hill news conference Tuesday.

The House is expected to vote on the measure Thursday and the Senate later in the week before sending it to President Barack Obama.

The White House had threatened a veto, but Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin said lawmakers addressed a number of administration concerns. He said he didn't see anything in the final bill that would warrant a veto.

It would also tighten sanctions on Iran and give the Pentagon some leeway in developing alternative fuels.

Military Review: Start Officers' Ethics Training Earlier

Military Review: Start Officers' Ethics Training Earlier


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's top military officer says ethics training for senior leaders is adequate but should begin earlier in an officer's career and be reinforced more frequently.

That's one of two initial findings by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in response to a request by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for a review of ethics training following a series of highly publicized ethical lapses by top military officers.

The other finding was that the Pentagon should look closer at perquisites for top officers. Dempsey wonders whether those -- which in some cases include household staffs, drivers and aides to carry generals' bags -- are necessary and sensible.

Dempsey declined to release a copy of his report, but Pentagon press secretary George Little summarized Dempsey's two main findings.

North Las Vegas Woman to Appear on 'Cupcake Wars'

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Cupcakes are serious business these days. A North Las Vegas mother and daughter team found that out first-hand on the Food Network show "Cupcake Wars".

Dani Moulton and her daughter Megan bake cupcakes for her husband, who's a fighter pilot. When Dani found out "Cupcake Wars" is airing an episode that features military spouses, she jumped at the chance to audition.

Watch Dani's Audition Video

She says the whole experience was intense.

"What you see is what you get. When that clock starts on ‘Cupcake Wars', it does not stop," she said. "Once those lights start showing, and the film starts rolling and the timers go, it's non-stop, and it's non-stop chaos. You have a million things to do and not enough time to do it."

Air Force Drone Aircraft Crashes in Nevada Desert


LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A Nellis Air Force Base official says an unmanned drone aircraft crashed in a remote part of the Nevada Test and Training Range north of Las Vegas.

Senior Master Staff Sgt. Andrew Lynch says no one was injured in the crash of the MQ-9 Reaper about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday west of Hiko in Lincoln County.

Lynch says the remotely piloted aircraft was assigned to the 57th Wing at Nellis, near Las Vegas.

It was being used in an Air Force weapons school combat training mission.

The cause of the crash wasn't immediately determined. Lynch says a board of officers is being convened to investigate.

Nellis Hosts Graduation Exercises for Weapons School

Nellis Hosts Graduation Exercises for Weapons School


People around southern Nevada may notice more military aircraft in the skies as the weapons school at Nellis Air Force Base conducts graduation exercises.

The Mission Employment Phase started December 3 and will last through December 12. It is the final exercises for airmen graduating from the U.S. Air Force Weapons School.

Weapons school students test their ability to plan, execute and lead complex missions. They use several aspects of the Air Force, including aircraft, personnel, cyberspace and space assets.

The exercises are conducted during the day and night and use aircraft not normally seen at Nellis.

The men and women who make it through this exercise, and the weapons school are considered the elite advisors for both military and civilian leaders. They become experts in the use of air forces in combat situations.

Speedway Reminds Street Racers of Track Program

LAS VEGAS -- A young man is dead and two others injured after a high speed crash Friday.

Police say they might have been street racing.

According to police, Maryland Parkway just south of Bonanza Road is not a hot spot for racing, but speed has been a factor in more deadly crashes this year compared to last year.

Those deaths could have been avoided, Metro Police Sgt. Richard Strader said.

He added that evidence at the site of the crash points to street racing.

"Unfortunately they did not have the experience to control around that S-curve and the result is we have one dead person and two injured," Strader said.

Police are still investigating the crash and looking for the other people involved.

Deborah Lewis lives nearby and said she's seen drivers shattering the 30 mph speed limit.