Former Air Force One crew members hold special event at museum Monday

Published: Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 1:04 PM
Updated: Saturday, February 18, 2017 @ 3:46 PM

Crew members who flew aboard Air Force One presidential aircraft from the Nixon to Obama administrations will answer the public’s questions on Presidents Day at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The former crew members will be at the museum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.

The museum houses the largest collection of U.S. presidential planes, from the first that flew President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the propeller-powered VC-54C nicknamed the Sacred Cow, to SAM 26000, a Boeing 707 known as President John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One.

The presidential collection was one of the centerpieces of a new $40.8 million hangar that opened in June 2016.

“This program allows people who are associate with these presidential aircraft to engage our visitors with personal stories and interesting facts about the history and heritage of this magnificent presidential collection,” Teresa Montgomery, chief of the museum’s special events division, said in a statement.

RELATED: Museum aims to add latest Air Force One to its presidential fleet

Other presidential aircraft include President Harry S. Truman’s plane nicknamed “The Independence,” a VC-118 that was a military version of the pioneering DC-6 commercial airliner; and President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s air transport dubbed “Columbine III,” a Lockheed L.-1049 Super Constellation.

SAM 26000 is among the most famous aircraft in the world serving eight presidents, from Kennedy to Bill Clinton.

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Trump budget could be good news for Wright-Patt

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 6:21 PM
Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 6:21 PM


            Trump budget could be good news for Wright-Patt

A Trump administration proposal to reportedly add $54 billion to the defense budget would be good for Wright-Patterson if it eliminated spending caps under sequestration, according to Michael Gessel, Dayton Development Coalition vice president of federal programs.

The cuts in the fiscal year 2018 budget would come at the expense of spending reductions at other federal agencies that have not been detailed, reports say.

Donald Trump called for an end to sequestration on the campaign trail.

RELATED: Trump win could boost Wright-Patt

“He talked about the need to eliminate budget spending caps on defense and that will have a significant boost for defense (and) that will likely benefit Wright-Patterson if that happens,” Gessel said. “Increasing the defense budget is good news for Wright-Patterson, but we will have to wait to see the details.”

Sequestration imposed spending caps under the Budget Control Act of 2011, which imposed automatic defense spending cuts.

Gessel pointed to four key Wright-Patterson missions that could benefit with more dollars: science and technology research, acquisition, military intelligence and graduate education.

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Money added to the fiscal year 2018 defense budget would have to be added after the repeal of sequestration, or as part of overseas warfare funding, said Loren B. Thompson, a senior defense analyst with the Virginia-based Lexington Institute and a defense industry consultant.

“This is all problematic in political terms,” Thompson said in an email. “The new director of the Office of Management and Budget has said he does not want to use the war supplemental for items unrelated to overseas contingencies, and it will be hard to attract eight Democrats in the Senate so the administration has the required “super-majority” of 60 senators necessary to repeal the Budget Control Act.

“In other words, the president and defense secretary will need to fight hard for their priorities on Capitol Hill — especially since Democrats oppose cutting funding for domestic agencies,” Thompson said.

What are the military’s different threat levels?

Published: Friday, May 08, 2015 @ 1:21 PM
Updated: Friday, May 08, 2015 @ 1:21 PM

The United States has four threat levels above “normal” for military installations. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and other bases around the country went from Threatcon Alpha, the lowest level, to Bravo, the next highest level. Here’s an explanation of each level:

THREATCON ALPHA: (Threat level low) This condition applies when there is a general threat of possible terrorist activity against personnel and facilities, the nature and extent of which are unpredictable, and circumstances do not justify full implementation of THREATCON BRAVO measures. However, it may be necessary to implement certain measures from higher THREATCONS resulting from intelligence received or as a deterrent. The measures in this THREATCON must be capable of being maintained indefinitely.

THREATCON BRAVO: (Threat level medium) This condition applies when an increased and more predictable threat of terrorist activity exists. The measures in this THREATCON must be capable of being maintained for weeks without causing undue hardship, affecting operational capability, and aggravating relations with local authorities.

THREATCON CHARLIE: (Threat level high) This condition applies when an incident occurs or intelligence is received indicating some form of terrorist action against personnel and facilities is imminent. Implementation of measures in this THREATCON for more than a short period probably will create hardship and affect the peacetime activities of the unit and its personnel.

THREATCON DELTA: (Threat level critical) This condition applies in the immediate area where a terrorist attack has occurred or when intelligence has been received that terrorist action against a specific location or person is likely. Normally, this THREATCON is declared as a localized condition. See also antiterrorism.

New commander to oversee air, space, cyber operations at Wright-Patt

Published: Friday, February 24, 2017 @ 2:28 PM
Updated: Friday, February 24, 2017 @ 2:28 PM


            New commander to oversee air, space, cyber operations at Wright-Patt

A new commander will oversee air, space and cyber operations at the Air Force Materiel Command headquarters, officials say.

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Brig. Gen. Christopher P. Azzano, leader of an aircraft test wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will take over the AFMC post from Brig. Gen. John S. Shapland.

A change of command date had not been announced.

AFMC is headquartered at Wright-Patterson.

Azzano, a former fighter and test pilot, was a former chief of advanced weapons and sensors division in the Air Force Special Program Directorate at the Pentagon. He has had various unit commander roles, including leader of the 412th Operations Group at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; the 72nd Air Base Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and present commander of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin AFB, biographical information shows.

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Azzano has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from Purdue and Stanford universities, respectively, and a master’s degree in strategic studies from , his biography shows.

Shapland, an Air Force Academy graduate, former test pilot and an Iraq veteran, has held the post since September 2015.

Rare Wright brothers artifact could be valued at more than $1 million

Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 7:24 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 7:24 PM

A propeller signed by Orville Wright could be worth more than $1 million and Congressman Mike Turner wants to make sure the Aviation Hall of Fame doesn’t sell it.

An official with the organization says that won’t happen and that Congressman Turner’s ‘cease and desist’ order has no impact on the organization.

The propeller was appraised at a quarter of a million dollars in 2013.

But because it is the only one of its kind, Hall of Fame officials say it could actually be worth much more.

“People are saying this is worth seven figures, easy,” said NAHF President and Vice Chairman Michael J. Quiello.

Turner and the Hall of Fame have been in an ongoing battle since the group announced last year it was moving its enshrinement ceremony from Dayton to Texas.

Turner claims the organization is in ‘financial crisis’ and wants to make sure it doesn’t sell any of its artifacts.

The eight-foot-and-a-half-foot-long wooden propeller has something Hall of Fame officials say no other airplane artifact is known to have: The signature of Orville Wright, who with his brother Wilbur invented the first practical airplane.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROPELLER AND WATCH VIDEO