Poland continues to build its relationship with the United States as both nations' air forces integrate their capabilities in a joint theater security cooperation event July 15-26, 2013.
While flying to an Operation Northern Watch mission on July 18, 2001, an engine failure brought the aircraft down. Captain Michael A. Nelson Jr. ejected safely at 10:09 hours at 11 miles east of Batman, Turkey at 2,000 feet. Rescue was by a HH-60G from 305th RQS. The pilot heared a loud bang followed by a buzzing noise only 35 minutes after take-off. RPM decreased and FTIT increased. He attempted 9 airstarts without success. The cause of the crash was a failure of the number 4 bearing assembly.
A U.S. F-16 fighter jet heading for a patrol over northern Iraq crashed in Turkey on Wednesday after apparently suffering engine problems, the first U.S. warplane to go down in more than 200,000 flights over the no-fly zones.
Raw footage of U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft taking off from Aviano Air Base, Italy. Six Aviano aircraft joined forces with Poland in a joint theater security training event. This marks the third rotation of U.S. aircraft that have supported the U.S. Air Force Aviation Detachment at Lask Air Base, Poland as part of a partnership-building initiative that began in October 2012. Video by Airman 1st Class Abbey Whittaker | 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Since inception, the 31st AMXS has deployed in support of Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, in addition to supporting Operation Joint Forge from in-garrison. The squadron is postured to seamlessly transition back-to-back deployments in support of both Air Expeditionary Forces 5 and 7, while maintaining its edge through an aggressive flying hour program to include frequent weapons training deployments throughout Europe, such as Rodopi Javelin to Bulgaria, Anatonlian Eagle to Turkey, and Viper Lance to Romania. The squadron's proven commitment to maintenance excellence has led to several outstanding achievements and recognition at all levels. The 31st AMXS was selected as the USAFE Maintenance Effectiveness Award winner for 2005, 2006 and 2007 and went on to win the 2007 U.S. Air Force Maintenance Effectiveness Award. In 2008, the 31st AMXS received the 2008 Secretary of Defense Field-level Maintenance Award. Finally, the 31st AMXS was a key contributor to the 31st Maintenance Group earning the USAFE Clements McMullen Daedalian Maintenance Award for Maintenance Excellence for both 2006 and 2007.
The 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron proved they were not only the premiere maintenance squadron in the Air Force, but also in the Department of Defense, winning one of the six 2008 Secretary of Defense Field-level Maintenance Awards.
Twenty-nine F-16 Fighting Falcon crew chiefs from the 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron were recognized as the top in their field during the Aviano Dedicated Crew Chief Ceremony held here Aug. 31.
John Prince Harris passed away July 29, 2013, in an aviation accident near the Georgetown County Airport in South Carolina.He was born August 24, 1933, in Charleston, and attended Charleston High School and the West Virginia Institute of Technology. JP graduated in the Aviation Cadet Pilot Class of 55K. He was later stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va., where he met Genelda Robertson of Newport News. They married on November 30, 1957, in Zurich, Switzerland, while he was on temporary duty at Landstuhl Air Force Base in Germany with the 510th Fighter Bomber Squadron. After returning from Europe he was an instructor for the Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. During his career as a USAF pilot JP flew a variety of jets, including the P-80 Shooting Star, the Republic F-84 Thunderjet, the F-86 Sabre, the F-100 Super Sabre and the F-104 Starfighter.
John returned to Charleston to raise a family and work for West Virginia Steel Corporation, which was founded by his father, John Roy Harris, in 1934. He joined the West Virginia Air National Guard and flew, among others, C-130 cargo planes in transport missions all over the world, including the Bright Star operation in Egypt in 1982. He retired from the Air Guard in 1987 as a full colonel and was president of West Virginia Steel Corporation until it was sold in 1998. He also served as a director of the National Bank of Commerce for many years. He was a member of the Charleston Rotary Club, Classic Jet Aircraft Association and War Birds of America.
During those years he built a Smith mini-plane, two PJ-260 bi-planes and restored two Pontiac GTOs in his home garage. JP helped build the innovative Bellanca SkyRocket II and holds five world speed records as its test pilot in 1975. The Skyrocket was later acquired by NASA. Later, he rebuilt a Piper Twin Commanche, which he eventually donated to Wings for the Word, a North Carolina-based mission which delivered water purification relief to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. It is still in service flying aid missions. He also assembled and flew a Fouga Magister French trainer and attack fighter, which is now owned by a private collector and on display in Hamilton, Ontario. At the time of his death he was flying a 1963 vintage Folland Gnat T-1 British jet trainer like the ones used by the RAF Red Arrows.
John was predeceased by his parents, John Roy Harris in 1996 and Nelle Prince Harris in 2006. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Genelda; daughters, Susan Prince Harris Wallace (Thomas) of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Cynthia Ann Harris Grissom (James) of Chevy Chase, Md.; grandchildren, John Prince Wallace, Caroline Harris Wallace, James Mahaley Grissom, John Hewitt Grissom; and many friends.
A memorial service will be held Friday, August 16, at 2 p.m. in the Old Chapel at All Saints Church, 3560 Kings River Road, Pawleys Island, SC 29585. In Charleston, W.Va., there will be a funeral service at St. Matthews Episcopal Church, 36 Norwood Road, Charleston, on Saturday, September 14, at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to join the family at a visitation on Friday evening, September 13, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Matthews Hall, church parish.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org or P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675, or to a charitable organization of your choice. The online guestbook may be accessed at www.mayerfuneralhome.com.
Greg Norwood passed away on June 20, 2013 in Elk Grove CA shortly after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Greg was a Buzzard weapons specialist in Bien Hoa in 1968. His job was mission critical to the 510th because it’s aircraft were designed, built, flown, and maintained for only one reason – to deliver weapons. Deepest condolences to his wife Chris. We respect him, and will miss him.
More than 250 Airmen and pilots flying fourteen F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 510th Fighter Squadron returned to Aviano AB, Italy, on 27 March after more than three weeks of training at Zaragoza AB, Spain. The purpose of the training was to build coalition partnerships with North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies and accomplish critical flight training. While in Spain, the 510th FS pilots completed air-to-air training mission against Spanish EF-18 Hornets and EF-2000 Eurofighters and performed air-to-ground missions such as basic surface attacks, close air support, and large force employment.