A bevy of Army, Navy, and Marine Corps aircraft used Holloman AFB, N.M., as home base during four days of testing countermeasures to fend off a new threat in Afghanistan operations—attacks on helicopters from above with heat-seeking missiles. The Holloman team “stepped up to help us pull off this operation,” said Jimmy Morgan, 586th Flight Test Squadron program manager at Holloman. The services evaluated nine aircraft—including UH-1Y, CH-46E, CH-53E, MV-22, CH-47, UH-60, and AH-64—employing more than 1,500 infrared countermeasures and different flying techniques as they flew over White Sands Missile Range. First Lt. Steve Crosbie, 586th FTS program manager, said that once the information from the test flights is compiled, “it will go straight back to Afghanistan where they can hopefully fly more successful sorties against the enemy.” (Holloman report by A1C Sondra Escutia)
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."