• The Afterburn Podcast
  • Posts
  • Battle of Takur Ghar | North Korean Missile Launch | Air Force Pilot Bonus | F-15SGs to Gaum?

Battle of Takur Ghar | North Korean Missile Launch | Air Force Pilot Bonus | F-15SGs to Gaum?

Your insider view into the latest in aviation, defense, and geopolitics

Forwarded this email? Sign up here

To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That's when you will have to make a decision
-Col John Boyd

Col John Boyd

🎙️ Listen to The Lowdown on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. We dive a bit deeper and share some “bonus” thoughts.  

Lowdown: 3-1 Brevity communication for a request for the tactical ground picture in an area of interest.


March 2002 - 24th Special Tactics Squadron - A combined tasked force launched Operation ANACONDA to eliminate Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in the Shai Kot valley in eastern Afghanistan. During the operation, U.S. forces fought a 17-hour battle on the mountaintop of Takur Ghar, which became known as Roberts Ridge.

MSgt. John Chapman

At approximately 0100L, an Army MH-47 attempted to insert a special operations team onto the mountaintop. The helicopter came under heavy enemy fire and was struck by an RPG and gunfire. Navy SEAL Neil Roberts fell from the helicopter as a result.

Technical Sergeant John Chapman, an Air Force Combat Controller, began coordinating for close air support and a rescue effort for Roberts. Chapman and a team were inserted back onto the 10,000ft peak. Upon landing, Chapman advanced on an enemy position, killing two enemy fighters. Chapman’s team would then become pinned down by heavy enemy fire from three sides. TSgt Chapman broke cover and charged over 200’ up a 16-degree snow-covered slope, engaging and killing enemy fighters.

Chapman was posthumously awarded the Air Force Cross. On August 22, 2018, Chapman’s Air Force Cross was upgraded to the Medal of Honor. In accordance with Air Force policy, Medal of Honor recipients are automatically promoted on grade. Drone footage of the battle: here


✈️Air Force's Pilot Retention Push The U.S. Air Force is offering up to $600,000 (*clickbait*) in bonuses to retain experienced aviators, addressing a persistent pilot shortage that sees them 1,500 to 2,000 pilots short of needs. The programs include both monetary and non-monetary incentives amid intensifying global military challenges and internal recruitment issue

✈️ North Korea's Missile Launch | Escalated Tensions North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast, traveling about 570 km before landing in the ocean. This launch, seen as a response to U.S.-led military activities in the region, heightens tensions and violates U.N. Security Council resolutions.

“Rocketman” visibly upset over low birth rates

✈️ US Updates Plans for Gaum The US Air Force updated its Notice of Intent for Gaum Air Force Base environmental impact study to include the bed down of 12 Republic of Singapore F-15s. This move, part of a strategy to enhance capabilities and agility in the Indo-Pacific, aims to counter rising tensions and challenges in the region.

Singaporean F-15SG

In Partnership with Bogidope.com


🎯 FY24 National Defense Authorization Act Highlights:

  • Budget: $874.2 billion defense policy budget passed, with $841.4 billion for the Defense Department.

  • Pay Raise: 5.2% increase for service members and civilian defense employees.

  • Aircraft Changes: Allows retirement of some 57 F-15s and 42 A-10s; blocks retirement of 32 F-22 Raptors.

  • Munitions Procurement: Expands emergency and multiyear procurement for munitions, including tomahawk Cruise Missiles, Precision Strike Missiles, Mark 48 Torpedoes, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, Rolling Air Frame Missiles and Small Diameter Bombs. 

  • Amphibious Ship and Nuclear Program: Authorizes $1 billion for a San Antonio-class ship; funds sea-launched nuclear cruise missile research.

  • AUKUS Agreement & Taiwan Support: Authorizes Virginia-class submarine transfers and Taiwan military training and cybersecurity enhancement.

  • NATO Provision: Requires Senate agreement for any U.S. withdrawal from NATO.

  • Ukraine Aid: Authorizes $300 million for Ukraine Security Assistance in FY24 and FY25.

  • Space Command HQ Delay: Delays construction in Colorado Springs until July for additional evaluations.

Congress still needs to pass a full funding bill for the NDAA.

🎯 Air Force Punishes 15 Officers - Jack Teixeira has been charged with six counts of retaining and transmitting classified information. The Air Force has reprimanded 15 officers and Non-Commissioned officers in his chain of command, stating they were aware and failed to report SrA Teixeira’s actions properly.

🎯 Houthi Drone Attacks - The U.S. Navy has downed 38 Houthi drones over the last two months. The Iranian backed Houthis have stepped up their attacks on commercial vessels moving through the critical shipping lane.

🎯 "There were no problems…but now there will be…” -Vladimir Putin is upset over Finland joining NATO this year. Finnland closed its border with Russia this week, claiming the Russian government of “enabling the instrumentalization of people and guiding them to the Finnish border in harsh winter conditions.”

🎯 F-16 For Ukraine- - Ukrainian forces are moving closer to fielding the greatest fighter ever produced, the F-16. According to the Commander in Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhnyi the F-16’s will be “less helpful” compared to a year ago since the Russians have time to prepare. While the F-16 will be a vast capability improvement to the Ukrainian Air Force, the implementation is full of challenges.


🌎 Israel Facing Truce Calls - The Israel-Hamas war rages on. Israeli forces mistakenly killed 3 hostages waiving white flags on Friday. The hostages were killed in the Gaza City area of Shijaiyah, where troops have been engaged in fierce fighting with Hamas militants in recent days. The soldiers mistakenly identified the three Israelis as a threat and opened fire on them, said the army’s chief spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari.

🌎 Hong Kong Activist Trial -  Jimmy Lai faces a possible life sentence if convicted under a national security law imposed by Beijing following the 2019 pro-democracy protests. Lai is charged with colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security and conspiring with others to publish seditious publications.

🌎 127 Dead | 155,000 Homes Destroyed -  A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Gansu Province in China. China's deadliest quake in recent decades was in 2008 when one of magnitude-8.0 struck Sichuan, killing nearly 70,000 people.


Join the conversation

or to participate.