Browsing: Military

A Brief History On December 22, 1975, President Gerald Ford ordered a national stockpile of oil, or petroleum if you prefer, be created in underground storage located in Texas and Louisiana.  The stockpile would consist of as many as 714 million barrels of oil and would be there if a national crisis mandated its use. Digging Deeper During the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Arab and Muslim oil producing countries followed Saudi Arabia’s lead to embargo oil from nations aiding Israel, most notably the United States.  International oil prices soared from an average of $3 per barrel to $12 per barrel…

Read More

A Brief History On December 21, 1988, the giant Soviet cargo jet, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, made its maiden flight.  Heavier than any airplane before or since, and with a wingspan longer than any production aircraft, the An-225 was intended to carry mass quantities of military cargo, outsized items, and to transport the Buran-class orbiter space vehicles. Digging Deeper Built as an enlargement of the already large An-124, only a single flying copy of the An-225 was ever completed.  A second airframe was started, but not finished. The dimensions of the An-225 were 84 meters long, an 88.4 meter wingspan,…

Read More

A Brief History On December 20, 2019, the United States Space Force became a branch of the US Military, a military that far exceeds any current competitor. Digging Deeper Nations have always struggled with military costs, but the US is so rich that it is the only country to boast a Space Force at all.  Spending nearly $900 billion per year, the US defense budget is 40% of the total world defense spending, more than the next 10 nations combined. The US has 1.3 million active members and another 800,000 reservists.  The Navy has 11 active aircraft carriers among its…

Read More

A Brief History On December 17, 1947, the Boeing B-47 Stratojet made its first flight.  A graceful looking six engine jet bomber, this nuclear “big stick” of the US Air Force was destined to never drop a bomb in anger, although 2,042 Stratojets served from 1951 to 1977.  Other highly capable bombers that never saw combat include: Digging Deeper The Convair B-36 Peacemaker, which entered service in 1948 and retired in 1959, 384 of these gigantic bombers were the largest planes in service while they flew.  Powered by six propeller engines and four jet engines, the B-36 was defended by…

Read More

A Brief History On December 16, 1863, after bungling the defense of Chattanooga, Confederate Army General Braxton Bragg was replaced as Commander of the Army of Tennessee by General Johnston.  Nevertheless, a major US Army base was named after Bragg. Digging Deeper Many other American places have been named after people infamous for their failures, including: Fort Polk, Louisiana, named after Confederate General Leonidas Polk, a political appointee with no significant military experience and poor performance during the Civil War.  Fort Polk is now Fort Johnson. Custer, South Dakota and Custer City, Oklahoma, named after US Army Lt. Col. George…

Read More