What’s up at Beale…actually quite a lot. Since we last spoke, the U-2 program has been removed from life support or what was affectionately known as “the sunset program.” The program is forecast to not only continue but thrive until somewhere around 2040. A common misconception about this great weapon system is that it was built in the 1950s when in reality most of our inventory came into existence in the late 1980s. Not only do the U-2 casino online “Dragon Ladies” have a lot more life/flying hours left in them than previously advertised, but their relative youth, coupled with a state of the art sensor suite and a formidable payload, has finally caught the eye of the DoD’s most senior leadership. Furthermore, the responsiveness of this manned aircraft is a key characteristic which Joint Forces Air Component Commanders (JFACC) look for when combating a dynamic enemy force. The news of the U-2’s resurgence caused an immediate increase in pilot production, instruction and will eventually trickle down to new courseware development.