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With 2022’s Arrival, U.S. Air Force Gear Up To Commemorate Its 75th Anniversary

January 8th, 2022


It’s never too early to start celebrating a major milestone, which explains why the U.S. Air Force and Department of the Air Force kicked off the year with a bang Jan. 1 by highlighting the start of their 75th year at the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl.

Seventy-five years after the Air Force’s birth on Sept. 18, 1947, the spirit of innovation that has driven the service was on display when a B-2 Spirit from the 509th Bomb Wing, located at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, roared over the Tournament of Roses Parade and one of the most prestigious college bowl games, the 2022 Rose Bowl, to kick-off the yearlong 75th-anniversary celebration.

The B-2 has supported the Tournament of Roses and Rose Bowl for nearly two decades, showcasing one of the Air Force’s premier weapon systems over the skies of Pasadena to inspire a future generation of patriotism and aviation.

Joining the B-2 this year to kick off the celebration was an Air Force Total Force Band, comprised of 75 Airmen-Musicians from 14 units. Fittingly, the band marched in the 75th spot in the Tournament of Roses parade lineup.

The Airmen taking part in the start of the year celebration highlighted one of the service’s greatest strengths: the nearly 700,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen who remain the heart and soul of the service, said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., who currently serves as the service’s highest ranking military officer.

“Ever since the Air Force became a separate military service, empowered Airmen have pushed the boundaries of technology and innovation that have allowed the service to excel and keep pace with the rapid changes and the demands placed upon us,” Brown said. “Our commemoration of this important anniversary provides a chance to reflect on the amazing accomplishments of our service and those who have served among its ranks since 1947, while also celebrating the boundless future that lies ahead.”

Brown added, “As the Air Force approaches its 75th anniversary, we have a responsibility to our nation and our international allies and partners. I am confident that our Airmen will continue to innovate, accelerate and thrive so that we can execute our mission to Fly, Fight, and Win…Airpower Anytime, Anywhere.”

To honor the past, present and future, the theme for the 75th anniversary is “Innovate, Accelerate, Thrive – The Air Force at 75.” That focus captures a range of activities and observations that will take place throughout the year and highlight the anniversary’s significance.

“The 75th anniversaries of the U.S. Air Force and the Department of the Air Force provides a unique opportunity to highlight the contributions of our Total Force Airmen, both past and present, who have fought and defended our nation in air and space,” Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said. “When you think about what the Air Force has accomplished since its inception in 1947, there’s so much to be proud of – it’s truly incredible.

“These past 75 years have showcased the service’s ability to adapt to any situation and provide unparalleled airpower as well as spacepower right up to the establishment of the U.S. Space Force within the Department of the Air Force in 2019,” he said. “As we look ahead to the next 75 years, we must continue to adapt and modernize so that our Airmen and Guardians have the warfighting capabilities they need to stay ahead of our pacing challenges, while also ensuring they and their families have the resources they need to thrive. One team, one fight!”

Throughout 2022, the Air Force will celebrate its 75th milestone with various events around the U.S. and worldwide to showcase the values, commitment, and expertise of America’s Total Force Airmen, past and present. In addition, the service will spotlight its history, accomplishments, and many of the pioneering Airmen whose innovation, dedication to mission, and war-fighting spirit helped established the U.S. Air Force of today.

Innovation fueled by Airmen has always been a part of the Air Force’s heritage, even before it became an independent service in 1947.

Maj. Gen. Billy Mitchell, also known as the “Father of the Air Force,” was one Airman who paved the way for the service. According to military historians, his commitment to pushing boundaries and working towards a distinct aerial service branch seeded a renaissance for the airpower legacy that would distinguish itself during conflicts across the globe for years to come.

Likewise, Gen. Henry H. “Hap” Arnold, who was designated the first and only five-star General of the Air Force by President Truman, also played a key role in leading, developing and innovating American military airpower during World War II, providing the necessary vision and drive to ultimately create the conditions for an independent U.S. Air Force following the war. Today, Gen. Arnold is considered an airpower pioneer whose efforts helped to lay the foundation for modern Air Force logistics, R&D, and operations, according to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The Air Force’s history is also the history of the nation’s advancements in space. Under the Air Force’s early space pioneers such as Gen. Bernard Schriever, the Air Force developed and integrated the technologies that put U.S. rockets and satellites into space. By Operation Desert Storm in 1991, often called the nation’s first space war, space became central to nearly all military operations. These same technologies that brought victory in Desert Storm, such as GPS and communication satellites, are now essential to modern life in America. The importance of space grew to such an extent that the U.S. Space Force emerged as an independent service within the Department of the Air Force in 2019.

“This is what is being celebrated as the U.S. Air Force and the Department of the Air Force enter their 75th years and what was on display in the skies over California when the B-2 roared overhead: 75 years of American airpower, spacepower, and innovation that have secured our nation and made us stronger,” said Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, Department of the Air Force Public Affairs director.

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Photos by Nicholas Pilch

Samson Manufacturing Exhibiting at SHOT Show in Las Vegas

January 8th, 2022

Keene, NH — Samson Manufacturing will be joining more than 2,000 amazing exhibitors at the 2022 SHOT Show®, January 18–21, in Las Vegas Nevada. Samson invites members of the firearms industry and interested media to come by booth Booth #70737 in Caesars Forum and see what’s new with Samson Manufacturing, and enter one of our daily drawings.

Samson representatives will be on hand to showcase the new Rapid Precision Mount (RPM), the Hannibal Rail for the Ruger® Mini-14® and Mini Thirty®, and “BLACK by Popular Demand”, the Samson A-TM and B-TM Folding Stocks – yes, now available in BLACK oxide!

The SHOT Show is the world’s most comprehensive trade show for professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries. It attracts an impressive 60,000 industry professionals from all 50 U.S. states and more than 100 countries. 

For additional information about Samson Manufacturing, visit the Samson website at www.samson-mfg.com.

Savage Arms Adds .17 WSM to its A Series Rifle Line

January 7th, 2022

WESTFIELD, Massachusetts – January 3, 2022 – Savage Arms is proud to announce the addition of .17 Winchester Super Magnum (WSM) to its line of A Series rifles. The new A17 WSM Sporter and A17 WSM Target Thumbhole pair the dynamic rimfire cartridge with Savage’s A Series semiautomatic action for exceptional accuracy and fast follow-up shots.

“Savage has seen outstanding performance from the 17 WSM cartridge and felt it could be optimized in new platforms,” Jessica Treglia, Sr. Brand Manager at Savage Arms said. “The A Series rifles have a delayed blowback design that accommodates this caliber with limited modifications, making it an ideal action for the WSM cartridge.

“We are launching the A17 chambered for 17 WSM in two of our more popular configurations,” Treglia added. “Both are designed for target shooting and varmint hunting applications and have rigid laminate stocks. Both the Target Thumbhole and Sporter run from Savage’s 8-rnd rotary magazine.”

Both the A17 WSM Sporter and A17 WSM Target Thumbhole are button-rifled barrel for superior performance and include the user-adjustable AccuTrigger™ for precision and accuracy.

A17 WSM Sporter Features

• Gray wood-laminate stock

• Delayed-blowback action

• Hard chrome bolt with oversized bolt handle

• Case-hardened receiver

• 22-inch button-rifled barrel

• 8-round rotary magazine

• User-adjustable AccuTrigger

A17 WSM Sporter Part No. / Description / MSRP

47801 / 17 WMS 22” Barrel / $619

A17 WSM Target Thumbhole Features

• Gray wood-laminate thumbhole stock

• Fluted heavy target barrel

• Delayed-blowback action ensures safe, reliable cycling

• Hard chrome bolt with oversized bolt handle

• Case-hardened receiver and 22-inch button-rifled barrel

• 8-round rotary magazine

• User-adjustable AccuTrigger™

A17 WSM Target Thumbhole Part No. / Description / MSRP

47800 / 17 WMS 22” Barrel / $709

Learn more at www.savagearms.com.

The Vortex Razor HD Gen III 6-36×56 FFP Riflescope: The Ultimate Long Range Tactical Solution

January 7th, 2022

BARNEVELD, Wis. – The new Razor® HD Gen III 6-36×56 FFP riflescope from Vortex® offers all the magnification you need to go long, while staying optically crisp and incredibly clear throughout its magnification range.

Long-range shooting scenarios can challenge even the best marksmen. Optically, it becomes a balancing act between providing the tools and features shooters need for long-range accuracy with the clutter-free, intuitive controls they need for decisive action. With the Razor® HD Gen III 6-36×56 FFP, it all starts with an optical system designed with the perfect balance of magnification and field of view, providing the resolution and contrast you need to clearly identify far away targets in-scope.

Vortex® built-in the new EBR-7D reticle with cross plex illumination for a streamlined sight picture that still offers ample wind hold and ranging information. An exposed elevation turret makes for rapid dialing with audible and tactile clicks, and an external rotation indicator gives you visual and tactile reference of the turret’s position. The L-Tec+™ Zero Stop System with micro-adjust dial means an ultra-fast and fine-tuned zero, and a rapid return to zero after dialing. The locking side illumination control lets you choose from ten levels of adjustment to precisely match your shooting scenario.

$3,999.99 – Razor® HD Gen III 6-36×56 FFP EBR-7D MOA
$3,999.99 – Razor® HD Gen III 6-36×56 FFP EBR-7D MRAD

The new Vortex® Razor® HD Gen III 6-36×56 FFP riflescope features the needed balance to provide shooters with the very best tactical long-range solution. Find out what separates it from the Razor® HD Gen II 4.5-27×56 FFP, how to use the brand-new L-Tec+™ Zero Stop System, and much more on the Vortex Optics® YouTube Channel.

Vortex Optics Awarded Next Generation Squad Weapons – Fire Control (NGSW-FC) Follow-on Production Award, Other Transaction Agreement by US Army

January 7th, 2022

The U.S. Army Contracting Command – New Jersey (CC-NJ), on behalf of Project Manager – Soldier Lethality, awarded a fixed amount Follow-on Production, Other Transaction Agreement W15QKN-22-9-P0001, in accordance with 10 U.S.C. § 2371b(f) to Sheltered Wings, Inc. d/b/a Vortex Optics. The contract ceiling is $2,700,000,000.00.

The Next Generation Squad Weapons – Fire Control (NGSW-FC) Production Other Transaction Agreement will provide the U.S. Government the ability to procure fire controls, supporting accessories, contractor support, spare parts, repairs, and engineering efforts to support the National Defense Strategy, to include other Department of Defense Services and potential Foreign Military Sales. The NGSW-FC is the planned fire control for the Next Generation Squad Weapons – Rifle and Next Generation Squad Weapons – Automatic Rifle. The NGSW-FC is the planned replacement for the Close Combat Optic, Rifle Combat Optic, and Machine Gun Optic within the Close Combat Force.

Next up are the weapons.

Zenith AeroTech, VIRTEX Form Strategic Partnership to Meet Increasing Customer Demand for Long-endurance, Heavy-lift, Tethered Drones

January 7th, 2022

This collaboration will allow Zenith AeroTech to meet larger production goals for its line of tethered aerial vehicles while being fully compliant with National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) regulations

AFTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Zenith AeroTech, a leading developer of heavy-lift tethered aerial vehicles (TAVs), announced today that it has formed a strategic partnership with VIRTEX Enterprises (“VIRTEX”), an Austin-based electronics manufacturing service provider, to meet increasing customer demand for more TAVs in shorter timeframes and for these platforms to be NDAA compliant.

“Zenith brings years of custom-made TAV and free-flight drone design and manufacturing experience, while VIRTEX—an AS 9100 accredited organization—contributes its sought-after advanced electronics design, manufacturing, and testing capabilities.”

“This new partnership allows our two companies to leverage their individual areas of expertise,” said Kutlay Kaya, chairman of Zenith AeroTech. “Zenith brings years of custom-made TAV and free-flight drone design and manufacturing experience, while VIRTEX—an AS 9100 accredited organization—contributes its sought-after advanced electronics design, manufacturing, and testing capabilities.”

Zenith AeroTech offers industry, Federal government, first responder, telecommunications, and military customers the option of three different, highly customizable TAV platforms: Hexa, Quad 8, and Quadro. Thanks to Zenith’s Ground Power-Tether Management System, these TAVs can stay aloft for days at a time, delivering true persistent surveillance.

VIRTEX provides engineering services, design, system level integration, PCBA and full life cycle management services for the aerospace, military, and commercial market. These services are delivered in vertically integrated solutions with an aim towards long-term customer partnerships.

“VIRTEX’s U.S.-based manufacturing capability and its specialized aerospace experience will ensure that Zenith products are all American-made and fully NDAA compliant, unlike other drone suppliers,” said Kaya. “VIRTEX will also allow Zenith to scale up production to meet larger volume orders in a shorter timeframe.”

Meanwhile, Zenith will help VIRTEX enter the growing, technically sophisticated small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) market, with introductions to new defense and law enforcement customers.

Dana Pittman, Executive VP of VIRTEX, noted that the combination of the two companies brings with it a great deal of technical depth.

“The vertical capabilities of our two companies include full system design, manufacture and integrated test,” Pittman said. “We offer leading-edge custom solutions that support multiple channels, including defense. With this partnership, VIRTEX and Zenith will build complex systems to address diverse and complex problem sets.”

High Speed Gear / Comp-Tac ARE attending SHOT Show 2022

January 7th, 2022

January 7, 2022 – If they are going to hold SHOT Show we are going to be there.

High Speed Gear® / Comp-Tac® ARE attending SHOT Show 2022.

“SHOT Show is such an important part of the commitment we’ve made to our customers,” said Bill Babboni, Chief Operating Officer for High Speed Gear® and Comp-Tac®. “We have so many products that people are asking to see … such as our NEW CT3 Level III & II retention holsters and our NEW Polymer TACO® V2 design, we will absolutely be in attendance at SHOT Show 2022 in booth number 75707.  Come by and say hello!”


Raptor Tactical – Always Prototyping

January 7th, 2022

Raptor Tactical recently shared this Ops Core helmet cover prototype with owner Tom saying this is the hardest project he’s worked on so far, stating, “I want it to be perfect, no wrinkles. What you see is just the beginning, a f… tip of the iceberg, still need loop and cable managment, bungees, etc.”