Ho'okele Staff | Jun 22, 2012
* On June 23 and 24, 1952, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft in coordinated attacks virtually destroyed all the hydroelectric power plants of North Korea. The two-day operation, involving more than 1,200 sorties, was the largest single air effort since World War II.
This bombing campaign was designed to apply political pressure against the communists at a time of stalemate in both the ground war and the truce talks.
* Arc Light began on June 18, 1965. There were 30 B-52Fs from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, refueled by 30 KC-135s, that bombed a Viet Cong stronghold near Saigon.
This was the first use of B-52s in combat, the first bombs dropped by B-52s in war. However, two B-52s were lost in a collision in the air refueling area.
In the first three years of operations in Vietnam, B-52s flew more than 25,000 sorties and dropped more than 630,000 tons of bombs. Enemy ground forces could not see or hear approaching B-52s, which typically released bombs from 30,000 feet.
* On June 19, 1970, the Minuteman III missile first became operational at Minot Air Force Base, ND. Minuteman III test launches were done into Pacific ranges from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
The missile had been airlifted to Minot in April and placed in its silo a few days later. Minuteman IIIs went on alert in August.
Each Minuteman III carries three independently targetable warheads. The LGM-30G Minuteman III is the only operational land-based ICBM in the United States’ inventory.
* On June 19, 1973, the United States Congress passed the Case-Church Amendment banning any further U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia, effective Aug. 15, 1973. The veto-proof vote was 278-124 in the House and 64-26 in the Senate. On Aug. 14, U.S. bombing of Khmer Rouge forces in Cambodia was halted in accordance with the ban.
With U.S. airpower gone, North Vietnam invaded and conquered South Vietnam in 1975.
* Final U.S. base closures in Thailand took place June 20, 1976.
The last two U.S. facilities in Thailand closed, U Tapao Royal Thai Naval Air Field and the Ramasun electronic monitoring facility. The last scheduled C-130 service from U Tapao departed on June 19.
At U Tapao, facilities valued at an estimated $102 million were given to the Thais. After nearly 26 years, the U.S. Military Assistance Command Thailand also ceased to exist.
* On June 18, 1981, the F-117 Nighthawk, the world’s first stealth combat aircraft, flew for the first time at Tonopah Test Range, Nev. on June 18, 1981. The revolutionary aircraft presented very little radar image.
* Exercise Valiant Shield was conducted as the largest joint exercise in the western Pacific on June 19 to 23, 2006. More than 290 aircraft, three carrier strike groups and approximately 22,000 U.S. military personnel participated in the exercise. Valiant Shield focused on joint training among U.S. military forces while responding to a range of mission scenarios.
B-2 and B-52 bombers; F-15C, F-15E, F-16CJ, and F/A-18 fighters; E-3 AWACS aircraft as well as KC-10 and KC-135 tankers launched from Andersen Air Force Base to support exercise events.