Author Archives: David Salanitri

Cool School

Cool School hiking trail

A few miles north of Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, a group of students stand, huddled together along a three-mile, snow-capped mountain ridge jutting through the frozen Arctic tundra.

“Mother nature does not like you in this situation,” shouts Survival Instructor Staff Sgt. Seth Reab, as billows of hot breath escape his mouth and crystallize in the early morning freeze. “ She’s violent. She’s harsh. Your job is to survive until help comes; her job is to find a way to take your life.”

Doolittle Raiders: real superheroes

Doolittle Raiders in an original crew photo

Looking around the auditorium, legends fill the room. A Tuskegee Airman subtly takes his seat in the crowd, and Medal of Honor recipient George “Bud” Day arrives in his wheelchair. Hundreds have come to honor three men standing onstage – the Doolittle Raiders.

Turning the lights off in Iraq

The 70th Medium Truck Detachment and other troops preparing to leave Iraq

Airmen of the 70th and 424th Medium Truck Detachment are on the roads in Iraq every day, cargo and other items out of the country in support of the December 31st deadline for U.S. Forces to be out of Iraq.

The quiet place is gone

Two airmen fold a flag during the retreat call at Camp Etchberger in what was once "The Quiet Place."

“The Quiet Place”—that was the nickname for west Afghanistan before the presence of an air control squadron showed up.

121,000 pounds in 15 seconds

A C-17 Globemaster III on a low-level training mission over the Blue Ridge Mountains

Their flight suits are soaked through with sweat, it’s 110 degrees outside and the smell in the C-17 Globemaster III resembles a high school locker room—we’re 30 minutes into our 15-hour mission.

Like most people who like to browse news on the war, I’ve seen many pictures and videos of supplies and cargo being dropped from an aircraft … the pallets of supplies float gracefully down and that is that. Never do I see the blood, sweat and tears that go behind getting those pallets to where they need to be.

Leaving a legacy of air power

A T-6A Texas US Air Force trainer at COB Speicher, Tikrit, Iraq.

Milestones are being achieved and partnerships are being strengthened here at Combat Operating Base Speicher (formerly Al Sahra Airfield) in Tikrit, Iraq, home of the 52nd Expeditionary Flying Training Squadron, US Air Force.