Benefactors of Malmstrom AFB, Mont., donated a rare Norden Bombsight to the base’s museum collection in memory of their father, a B-17 bomber crewman who trained at the base during World War II. “The first mission of what is now Malmstrom Air Force base was training B-17 groups, and part of this was using a new optical sighting system called a Norden Bombsight,” explained museum director Curt Shannon during the presentation ceremony. “It’s quite an astounding feat to get one because there [are] not a lot of them out there,” he added. Highly classified during WWII, the bombsight revolutionized accuracy by allowing the bombardier to stabilize, compensate, and guide the aircraft through the bomb-run via linkage to a bomber’s autopilot. Brothers Bill Selling and Mike Hanlen presented the family heirloom, Aug. 19. (Malmstrom report by A1C Katrina Heikkinen)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.