King Herod I. served Rome as a willing proxy ruler over Judea, alienating his Jewish subjects by supporting pagan temples, observance of Roman holidays, and sponsorship of arena games in Jerusalem. The last straw for the pious Jewish opposition was erection of a huge gilded eagle – the symbol of Roman power – above the gates to the Temple District.
When Herod died in 4 BC, Jerusalem and all Judea erupted. Pious Jews, would be Messiahs, and terrorists alike rose up, all hoping to restore Judea’s liberty. Publius Quintilius Varus, Rome’s governor in Syria, was tasked with suppressing the revolts and restoring order — Rome’s order — in the land.
Varus led three complete legions and numerous Arab auxiliaries into Judea and marched on Jerusalem, systematically and brutally suppressing all opposition, with little regard for the fate of innocents. Jewish-Roman historian Josephus termed the War of Varus one of the greatest catastrophes to ever befall the Jewish people.
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. — Employees here are fabricating and populating more than 1,700 kits that will enable warfighters throughout the world to test water samples.
“Today marks a critical milestone in the life of the LCS 2,” said Rear Adm. James Murdoch, the LCS program manager in the Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “The Navy and our industry partners have worked diligently to deliver a much-needed capability.”
Prior to delivery, the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) conducted Acceptance Trials aboard LCS 2 on Nov. 13-19, and found the ship’s propulsion plant, sea-keeping and self-defense performance to be “commendable,” and recommended that the chief of naval operations authorize delivery of the ship following the correction or waiver of cited material deficiencies.
Between now and sail away in February 2010, the contractor will correct most of the trial cards received during trials. Any remaining cards will be corrected during scheduled post-delivery maintenance availabilities including the post-shakedown availability scheduled for completion in 2011.
Delivery is the last shipbuilding milestone before commissioning, scheduled for Jan. 16 in Mobile, Ala.
The LCS class is designed from the keel up to deliver efficient capability, capacity, and flexibility to the warfighter. Independence, a high-speed aluminum trimaran, is designed to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The 417-foot Independence will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission packages, which can be changed out quickly. These mission packages focus on three mission areas: mine counter measures, surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.
PEO Ships is responsible for the development and acquisition of U.S. Navy surface ships and has delivered eight major surface ships to the fleet since the beginning of 2009. PEO Ships is working in conjunction with its industry partners to achieve steady production for all programs to increase production efficiencies and leverage cost savings. Delivering high-quality war fighting assets ¯ while balancing affordability and capability ¯ is key to supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy and building the Navy’s 313-ship force structure. PEO Ships is committed to delivering quality ships at an affordable price.
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A new exhibit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force now gives visitors a chance to see not only the service’s past, but also its present and future.
Called “Warrior Airmen,” the new exhibit highlights how today’s Airmen are contributing to the war on terrorism, both in the air and on the ground.
The exhibit includes more than 400 artifacts, three dioramas with fully dressed and equipped mannequins, an audiovisual presentation on a 15-foot wide screen, and compelling firsthand accounts
“The Air Force has always been an adaptive service,” said Dick Anderegg, the director of Air Force history and museums. “This exhibit is a testament to this adaptability and serves as an opportunity for future generations to see what we already know our Airmen are capable of.”
The exhibit, which opened to the public Jan. 12, is divided into three sections, each highlighting a way the Air Force is supporting efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The first section, “Battlefield Airmen,” is dedicated to Air Force special operations forces such as pararescuemen, tactical air controllers and combat weather personnel. The section opens with an immersive video recreation of the battle for Takur Ghar, where several Air Force pararescuemen were either killed or wounded while attempting to rescue a Navy SEAL who had fallen out of his helicopter when it was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.
The next section, “Expeditionary Combat Airmen,” highlights other ground operations Airmen perform on a daily basis in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. These Airmen include security forces personnel, convoy operators and explosive ordnance disposal teams.
The final section, “In the Air,” demonstrates how pilots and aircrews continue to perform important missions in the air, providing close-air support, flying rescue aircraft and dropping bombs on target.
“The Air Force is truly engaged in the war on terrorism,” said Jeff Duford, the museum’s research historian. “But not many people realize how many Airmen are working on the ground. This exhibit will hopefully educate a lot of people on this fact.”
All of the uniforms, items and photos in the exhibit were donated by Airmen who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan. For them, this exhibit is a way to honor all Airmen and keep the memory of their sacrifices alive.
“This place, this exhibit, defines legacy and heritage,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ramon Colon-Lopez, a pararescueman who donated several items he used and wore while in Afghanistan. “Our legacy now lives on for our sons and daughters.”
The exhibit also includes several firsts at the museum. There are several digital touch screens that allow visitors to interact with the displays and the donated items include numerous special operations “tools of the trade.”
The exhibit itself is also an original at the museum. It is not a monument to the past, but to the present and future of Air Force operations.
“The past is static and never changes,” said retired Maj. Gen. Charles D. Metcalf, the museum’s director. “This exhibit is a contemporary one, though. It will change and grow with the mission as long as the mission continues.”
The “Warrior Airmen” exhibit is a permanent display at the museum and will be open year-round.
“More than 1 million people will see this exhibit each year and our hope is that they will better appreciate the courageous sacrifices of today’s Airmen and gain a better understanding of how they make a difference in the world,” Mr. Duford said.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). Admission and parking are free.
Matthew Bates (AFNS)
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The Fly Girls of World War II traveling exhibit began its national tour at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Nov. 14 here.
The exhibit, which is dedicated to the history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, features a history of the WASP.
The exhibit includes the “WASP Film Strip,” an “Above and Beyond” tribute, a 26-foot WASP Timeline, WASP standups, uniformed mannequins and hundreds of photos. Also featured is a special tribute to the 38 WASPs who lost their lives in service to the United States, WASP memorabilia, a celebration of their final battle for recognition, and a mosaic featuring the face of each WASP.
During the grand opening ceremony, each WASP in attendance took a minute to introduce herself and share a few thoughts and words, which brought laughter, tears and smiles to fellow WASPs, family members, retired and current servicemembers who gathered in the packed exhibit hall.
“Everybody remarks about how courageous we were … but, we just had a great time. It was fun! We hope the young women who are coming out now will have as much fun as we had,” said Doris Brinker Tanner, a WASP official.
One thousand seventy-four women earned their wings during the WASP program, which began in 1942 and continued through 1944. They flew every type of aircraft the U.S. Army Air Forces had while logging more than 60 million miles. The pilots were assigned to Air Transport Command, where they ferried aircraft from production plants to bases around the country. Others flew personnel transports and performed target towing duties while some test piloted experimental aircraft. Their safety record was even better than their male counterparts. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed a bill making the WASP part of the Air Force.
“With this exhibit here on hallowed ground, visited by millions of people every year, we are finally telling your story in grand, grand fashion,” said Maj. Nicole Malachowski, the first woman pilot on the Air Force Thunderbirds team. “Your service to our nation during a time of war is the stuff that legends are made of. And, I think that the legacy you leave me with is that, when you have dedication, commitment and a desire to serve you can overcome tremendous obstacles. Your service to our nation in a critical time of history, actually to the entire free world, is remarkable not because you are women, but it’s remarkable in its very own right.
“You didn’t fly and serve your country because you are women, but because you had to overcome some attitudes and restrictions of the time, you managed to serve our country in spite of being women,” said the major who currently serves as a White House Fellow. “You had a dream and you followed that dream and it’s your legacy that inspired my own dream.”
Each WASP, while proudly wearing her service uniform, wandered through the exhibit while chatting with old friends and sharing stories with current servicemembers and guests. Friends and family members proudly snapped pictures.
“I’m so proud of her,” said Janice Holton of Grand Rapids, Mich., when chatting about her mother, Jane Baessler Doyle, who served as a WASP from 1943 to 1944. “For her day, she and the women paved the way for other women to do a lot more in the military.”
“It’s great to see some of the old friends today and the way they put together the exhibit,” Ms. Doyle said. While glancing at her own photos in the exhibit, she said, “It’s nostalgic. It brings back the good old days.”
This is the first major exhibit about the WASP at the Women’s Memorial. It is scheduled to remain on display at the Women’s Memorial through November 2009, before continuing its nationwide tour.
April Lapetoda (AFNS)