Tag: Military Travel

View All Tags

/ / /

Inside Vogelsang: German Woods Hide An Abandoned Soviet Military Post

June 9, 2015 at 3:00 PM | by | ()

In a forest some 100 kilometers outside Berlin hides a community trapped in 1955. No, not in the "buckle-up blouse and motorcycle jacket greaser" kind of way — rather, in the "post-WWII Soviet Russia" kind of way. Vogelsang — named for the forest’s chirping birds — delivers a unique sense of waldeinsamkeit amid Cold War detritus. It’s a German city that the Soviet Union once claimed and prepared for nuclear war — and today, its remnants remain decades after desertion.

After Germany's reunification in 1990, Russian troops in (East) Germany were forced to abandon their posts, leaving behind garrisons, military complexes, and soldier quarters. Most of these military towns have faded into obscurity. But in Vogelsang, demolition crews are used to tear down the town. Why? Because Vogelsang was massive.

This town began as small barracks to station allied troops during WWII, and during the years after the war it quickly transformed into one of the largest Red Army garrisons outside of the Soviet Union.

more ›

/ / / / / /

Airports Offering Free Coffee to Soldiers

May 26, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | ()

Memorial Day might be over, but we should still make a point to stop and remember — and thank — our brave military men and women. And thanks to the folks behind Hudson Group, American airports are places where uniformed service members will continue to find some tokens of gratitude.

According to USA Today, Hudson-operated airport retailers will offer free small coffees to American and Canadian military members through July Fourth. The weeks-long giveaway applies to more than 50 cafes, shops, and kiosks in terminals and concourses across the country, including spots like Dunkin’ Donuts, Aeromart and Euro Café, among others.

more ›

/ / / / / / / /

Watch World War 2 Airplanes Fly Over Washington D.C. This Friday

May 5, 2015 at 4:00 PM | by | ()

May 8, 1945: V-E Day. The Allies officially celebrate the end of World War 2 with the acceptance of the surrender of Nazi Germany and the Axis powers. For the first time in years, airplanes flying overhead meant only celebration and the return of good times instead of loss and potential tragedy.

May 8, 2015: The 70th Anniversary of V-E Day. The airplanes flying overheard on this day will again celebrate the victory of the allies, and some of the aircraft will be the very same which flew those 70 years ago.

Washington D.C. will be the site of the United States' grand 70th anniversary celebration of V-E Day this Friday, and Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum reports that the highlight will be a flyover of one of the country's largest private collections of World War 2-era aircraft.

The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum is the chief sponsor, and has a bunch of extras for those who both will and won't be there to watch the display. From the Smithsonian:

more ›

/ / / / / /

New York and Five More Cities Announce 2015 Fleet Week Dates

March 25, 2015 at 6:03 PM | by | ()

Spring in New York City is a beautiful thing. Flowers are blooming (at bodega florists), people walk hand-in-hand (on film shoots in the West Village), and the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold (in subway stations). Furthermore, spring is when Fleet Week fills the streets with smiling sailors in their dress whites, and New York Harbor with military ships of all shapes and sizes.

The dates for Fleet Week NYC 2015 were announced today, so mark your iCal for May 20-26. While you're at it, type in a few more Fleet Weeks as well; the gathering of Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines does happen in cities other than New York City, and during other times of the year than just late spring.

more ›

/ / / / / / /

Sydney Harbour Secrets: The Sailing Ship You Can Crew

December 5, 2014 at 4:56 PM | by | ()

The Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the ferry to Manly…every tourist to Sydney, Australia knows where to go, but Sydney happens to be home to the largest natural harbour in the world. It’s in and amongst those large sites you’ll find the smaller secrets, and we’re sharing a few of our favorites all this week.

Keep going. Beyond the beaches, the islands, the famous bridge, is the district of Darling Harbour and its nautical gem: Australian National Maritime Museum.

As with every museum, there's a building with glassed-in exhibits, explanation plaques, and priceless artifacts; it's outside, at the docks, where the Maritime Museum really shines. You see, there's a submarine docked there. And a destroyer. And a patrol boat or two. And a humongous tall ship that's a full replica of the Endeavor which Captain Cook sailed around Australia and New Zealand in the late 1700s. You're welcome to board them all and have a look around, because the Australian National Maritime Museum is home to some of the best preserved examples of nautical history still in the water, still welcoming the public.

more ›

/ / / / / / / /

Fleet Week Returns to NYC with Ship Tours and Aerial Displays

May 20, 2014 at 1:40 PM | by | ()

Anchors aweigh! After budget cuts necessitated that Fleet Week NYC go on hold for 2013, the week-long event is returning for 2014. Starting tomorrow (May 21) through May 27, New York's waterfront and tourist centers will be crawling with the Navy, Coast Guard and Marines as their ships welcome the public.

Fleet Week is a chance for New York City to recognize the contributions of the US military around Memorial Day, and also to appreciate the city's advantageous location on a beautiful harbor. Events include fighter jet flyovers and other aerial displays, ship tours, live music performances, special days at the city's ballparks and, of course, hoards of sailors in their dress whites carousing on their best behavior around town.

more ›

/ / / / / / /

Hoist the Mainsail on 18 Tall Ships During August's 'Battle of Lake Erie' Festival

August 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM | by | ()

The War of 1812 actually didn't happen in 1812. In truth, it was a 32-month conflict between the US and Great Britain which stretched from June 1812 to February 1815, with one of the most notable turning-of-the-tides going down in 1813. On September 10, Captain Oliver Hazard Perry flew the flag "Don't Give Up the Ship" on the ships of his fleet as they went head-to-head (or cannon-to-cannon) with the Royal Navy, eventually winning the Battle of Lake Erie.

His victory is essentially the reason why (most of) Lake Erie, Detroit and much of eastern Michigan and northern Ohio belong to the United States.

Naturally this is a huge frickin' deal, and 2013 marks the bicentennial of the battle. To celebrate, ports of the Lake Erie Islands are banding together to host a gathering of 18 tall ships and re-enactments, and the public is welcome to do more than watch; you may sign up to join the crew on a ship, be a part of the land militia, or just volunteer to help the onboard tours when the ships pull into port.

more ›

/ / / / /

The US Military Orders Up a Side of Lasers with Their Airplanes

January 28, 2013 at 10:19 AM | by | ()

This kind of technology probably isn’t coming to the Boeing 787 anytime soon, because after all they kind of have plenty of issues to work out with their current technology. All kidding aside, this stuff is more geared toward the military, but who knows if it could eventually land aboard commercial aircraft in the future. We’re talking about lasers—the ones that go "pew pew"—and they could be attached to military planes before too long.

It might be straight out of your favorite science fiction movie, but it looks like lasers on planes are chugging along to becoming a reality. We know virtually nothing about lasers, but we’ll fill you in with what the news knows. It’s the Navy and Air Force behind the new venture, as they’re going to test out some liquid-cooled, solid-state lasers in airplanes. They won’t be blasting bad guys back on the ground, but they will be used to intercept stuff shooting up into the air from bad guys on the ground. Think surface-to-air missiles and other not-so-friendly stuff like that.

more ›

/ / / / / / /

When Crossing the Equator Used to Be a Big Frickin' Deal

October 9, 2012 at 1:24 PM | by | ()

When was the last time you flew over the Equator and, at the exact moment, toasted the occasion? Probably never, right? That's because it's not that big a deal anymore and airplane pilots have stopped announcing it. But trust that there was a time when heading over the equator was a very big frickin' deal and flight crew not only noted it, but celebrated it by passing out official certificates of equatorial passage to passengers.

This was a time before seatback TVs and the moving map channel, of course. In fact, the ritual of "Crossing the Line" goes back to the days of exploration by tall ship, a fact that wasn't lost on Pan Am when they borrowed the practice to break up the monotony that set in on those long Clipper (also a maritime term) flights, from the 1930s through the early 1960s.

more ›

/ / /

Boeing's Making a Laser, but It's Not Dr. Evil-Ready Just Yet

October 9, 2012 at 9:33 AM | by | ()

From winglets to entire 787s, we’re all about what Boeing engineers and designers are cooking up over at their headquarters. Usually the stuff that comes out of the design room and assembly line is primarily focused on things that head into the skies, but this latest Boeing innovation is intended to remain firmly on the ground—at least for now.

Boeing has been working on some new laser technology, and if all goes according to plan it just might be zapping bad guys before too long. What they’ve been working on is a ten-kilowatt—we’ll assume that’s a decent amount of power—solid state laser, and they’re calling it the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator, or "HEL MD" to its friends. The plan is to slap the thing on top of one of those Oshkosh Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks, and then you can kind of figure out what the thing will do next.

more ›

/ / / / / / /

Salute the Sky, New York: It's Air Force Week

August 20, 2012 at 9:20 AM | by | ()

What with all the summer air shows, this last weekend being Aviation Day and all sorts of airline announcement in anticipation of fall travel, it's no wonder we've been all above airplanes lately. This only continues this week as NYC celebrates Air Force Week.

You know how it's said that there's always something going on in NYC? Well it's true and this week that something just happens to be military jet demonstrations. flyovers, water rescue drills and some on-deck action at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. For your drooling-over-autos pleasure, Air Force Project Supercars, the X-1 Mustang and the Vapor Challenger, will be on hand as well.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / / /

Mission Accomplished: Refueling Fighter Jets in Mid-air with the US Air Force

August 15, 2012 at 4:24 PM | by | ()

"This is my day off!"

Not words you want to hear from a man in a flightsuit, controlling a plane on which you're flying. That is, unless it's Wayne Hanna, who spends his work days in American Airlines aircraft maintenance and his free days as a KC-10 Extender Flight Engineer with the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

Hanna would be the reason why yesterday thousands of passengers on AA flights out of New York-JFK Airport witnessed an Air Force KC-10 Extender plane taxiing around and parking at a gate. His seemingly crazy idea to bring together his two passions to draw attention to the upcoming NYC Air Force Week was given the green light. So we joined him onboard the aircraft for an up-close demonstration of what to expect during the event.

more ›