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President Trump on Tuesday announced his intention to nominate Barbara Barrett, a former chairwoman of the nonprofit Aerospace Corporation and an Arizona business executive, to be the next secretary of the Air Force.

Trump tweeted out his choice of Barrett, 68, to serve as the military branch’s 25th secretary.

“She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin,” he tweeted.

If confirmed by the Senate, Barrett will succeed Secretary Heather Wilson, who is leaving at the end of the month to be president of the University of Texas at El Paso. Wilson frequently butted heads with the White House — and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan — over Trump’s desire to create a Space Force as a sixth branch of the military.

Former President Jimmy Carter accepts the O'Connor Justice Prize from the former U.S. ambassador to Finland, Barbara Barrett, in 2017. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Former President Jimmy Carter accepts the O’Connor Justice Prize from the former U.S. ambassador to Finland, Barbara Barrett, in 2017. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

“Great choice by @realDonaldTrump Ambassador Barrett is an accomplished leader with a heart for service,” Wilson tweeted in response to Trump’s announcement.

Republican Arizona Sen. Martha McSally praised Barrett’s nomination, saying her knowledge and expertise would “lead our Air Force into the future during a time of increased global threats.”

“I have confidence that Ambassador Barrett will lead the way in maintaining air and space dominance and continue to build upon the initiatives, leadership and example set forth by Secretary Heather Wilson,” McSally said in a news release.

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Barrett was previously nominated to be Air Force secretary by President George W. Bush, but withdrew her name and was never confirmed. She later served under Bush as ambassador to Finland. She also served as the deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and worked with the RAND Corporation and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

In 2009, she trained at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, and Kazakhstan, and is certified for space travel, the Air Force Times reported.

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Unexploded weaponry aboard an F-16 fighter jet that crashed into the roof of a commercial building in Riverside County, Calif., on Thursday was safely detonated near the crash site Friday, military officials said.

The jet was carrying a standard armament package, the vice commander of the Air Force Reserve’s 452nd Air Mobility Wing at March Air Reserve Base said at a news conference. The weaponry was removed from the jet, which remained at the crash site in the warehouse. The detonations were conducted by the base’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.

AUTHORITIES SAY CRASHED FIGHTER JET HAD STANDARD WEAPONS

This photo taken from video provided by KABC-TV shows where an F-16 fighter jet crashed into a warehouse just outside March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif., on Thursday. (Associated Press)

This photo taken from video provided by KABC-TV shows where an F-16 fighter jet crashed into a warehouse just outside March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif., on Thursday. (Associated Press)

The pilot was able to eject before the jet crashed Thursday afternoon.

Ten people, including some first responders, received medical treatment at an emergency room and released, while three other people were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“It was an event that we all planned for, and we all work toward and hope that never happens,” Leah Patterson, associate clinical nursing officer at Riverside University Health System in Moreno Valley, told the Times. “Thank God for the outcome.”

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The F-16 may have experienced “hydraulic failure” when it crashed, according to a report.

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An F-16 fighter jet crashed into a warehouse while attempting to land at March Air Reserve Base in Southern California, an Air Force official confirmed to Fox News late Thursday.

The pilot was not hurt and there were no immediate reports of injuries on the ground, said Maj. Perry Covington, director of public affairs at the base.

Interstate 215, which runs between the base and the warehouse, was closed in both directions, backing up rush-hour traffic for miles.

Television news footage showed a large hole in the roof and sprinklers on inside the building about 65 miles east of Los Angeles. The jet’s cockpit canopy was on a runway and a parachute had settled in a nearby field.

The pilot ejected and was being medically evaluated, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office.

The F-16 is assigned to the Air National Guard, officials said. One official told Fox News that the F-16 was one of the alert jets for the North American Aerospace Defense Command and was armed.

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The base is home to the Air Force Reserve Command’s Fourth Air Force Headquarters and various units of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, California Air National Guard and California Army National Guard.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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A 72-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran is on a one-man mission to make sure ordinary Americans don’t forget about the needs that returning combat veterans require.

William Shuttleworth, of Newburyport, Mass., embarked on a six-month walking trek across the country with just one message: “Vets Don’t Forget Vets.” He left Wednesday from Haverhill, Mass. and will end more than 3,000 miles away in California.

“I will average about 25-30 [miles] per day, which is like walking a marathon a day,” he told Boston 25. “I will probably average 500 miles a pair of shoes so I’ll probably go through six or seven pairs.”

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Shuttleworth said he plans on stopping and visiting other veterans across the country to learn about their stories and journeys.

“I’m particularly concerned about the number of homeless, veterans that have mental health issues and the number of veterans that every day struggle with opioid and alcohol issues,” he said. “I consider it a privilege and an honor, lucky enough to be healthy to do this.”

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The 72-year-old man plans to camp out throughout his journey. He plans to arrive at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, Calif. by Halloween.

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A U.S. bomber group is broadcasting its first apparent message to Iran after the Air Force sent it to the Middle East “to defend American forces and interests in the region.”

Images released by the U.S. Air Force Central Command show a nuclear-capable B-52H Stratofortress bomber taking off from a base Sunday in Qatar. The mission comes days after the Pentagon released a video showing the planes departing an Air Force base in Louisiana.

“This was the first mission of the Bomber Task Force deployed to U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in order to defend American forces and interests in the region,” it said.

A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bomber, assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, takes off from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on Sunday.

A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bomber, assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, takes off from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on Sunday.

The Air Force also released images Monday of a B-52H Stratofortress being refueled mid-flight somewhere over southwest Asia. Accompanying images show F-35A Lightning II and F-15C Eagle fighter jets being refueled as well, but at an undisclosed location.

An F-15C Eagle prepares to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 28th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron on Sunday at an undisclosed location.

An F-15C Eagle prepares to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 28th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron on Sunday at an undisclosed location.

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The Bomber Task Force was deployed to the Middle East along with a U.S. Navy fleet in an effort to counter reported threats from Iran.

A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress takes off in Qatar on Sunday. (U.S. Air Force)

A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress takes off in Qatar on Sunday. (U.S. Air Force)

“Any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force,” National Security Adviser John Bolton said last week. “The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces.”

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High schools across the country are highlighting their soon-to-be graduating students’ intentions to join the military.

Similar to college or athletic “signing days” — in which high school students officially or ceremonially declare the place of higher education they’ve committed to — schools are increasingly hosting “military signing days.”

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At Robertsdale High School in Robertsdale, Ala., on Thursday, 28 students enlisted in the military, according to Fox affiliate WALA-TV. It was the school’s first such event, where the students signed paperwork to join various branches including the Alabama National Guard, the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force.

Four students at Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, N.J., did the same on Wednesday, also the school’s inaugural “military signing” day.

Four students at Becton Regional High School in New Jersey signed their intent to join the armed forces at the school's first "military signing day."

Four students at Becton Regional High School in New Jersey signed their intent to join the armed forces at the school’s first “military signing day.” (Dario Sforza)

Dario Sforza, the school principal and acting superintendent, told Fox News on Thursday, “We hope this inspires leaders to have the courage to recognize and celebrate all students’ skills, abilities, talents and post-secondary selections — not only the academically and athletically gifted.”

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The principal told NorthJersey.com that the four students — 4 percent of the 100-student class — make up the largest amount of graduating seniors he’s seen enlist in the military during his time at the school.

Another eight students in Clarkston, Mich., committed to the armed forces once they graduate from high school during a ceremony at Clarkston High School on Wednesday.

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Alex Hunt, a student who will join the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Alabama, told WDIV-TV he feels as though his enlistment will be “more of a betterment for me.”

“I’m growing as a person,” he told the news outlet. “I’m going to become a better human being by coming through this. It’s going to make me grow.”

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The Pentagon released a new video Wednesday showing four nuclear-capable B-52 bombers taking off for the Middle East as part of the Trump administration’s effort to deter what officials call a “credible threat” from Iran.

Officials tell Fox News the Cold War-era bombers, part of the 2nd Bomb Wing, departed Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana Tuesday en route to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

The White House said it dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and the bombers to the Persian Gulf over what it described as a new threat from Iran.

On Wednesday, President Trump announced new sanctions targeting Iran’s steel, aluminum, copper and iron sectors and vowed to continue a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Tehran until it stops supporting terror groups, ends destabilizing activities in the region, gives up any nuclear weapons efforts and ends development of ballistic missiles.

“We call on the regime to abandon its nuclear ambitions, change its destructive behavior, respect the rights of its people, and return in good faith to the negotiating table,” Trump said.

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Earlier Wednesday, Iran threatened to enrich its uranium stockpile closer to weapons-grade levels in 60 days if world powers fail to negotiate new terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. Trump pulled out of the deal a year ago, but the other nations involved — China, France, Germany, Great Britain, and Russia — stayed in.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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A U.S. official says intelligence information that prompted the Pentagon to send an aircraft carrier and Air Force bombers to the Middle East included indications that Iran had moved short-range ballistic missiles aboard boats in or near the Persian Gulf.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive information.

The official says the movement of missiles was among a wider range of troubling intelligence information that led to the decision announced Sunday to speed up the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group from the Mediterranean Sea to the Middle East.

At the Pentagon, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters the U.S. was being “very prudent and very measured” in its approach to perceived Iranian threats.

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Images released by a Washington-based think-tank show construction on China’s third and largest aircraft carrier, activity analysts believe could eventually challenge U.S. strategic superiority in East Asia.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington released images from April that reveal construction on China’s third aircraft carrier in the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai over the past six months, Reuters reported.

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China has not confirmed it is building a third carrier. But the Pentagon said last week that work had begun on a vessel that would “probably be larger than the first two and fitted with a catapult launch system to accelerate aircraft during takeoff.”

The CSIS images support the Pentagon’s claims. The satellite photographs show China’s Type 002 aircraft carrier is slightly smaller than U.S. carriers but larger than France’s Charles de Gaulle, analysts said. It remains unclear whether the vessel would have nuclear capability.

Changing political relationships have motivated the Chinese government to accelerate the modernization of its armed forces over the past few years, the CSIS reports. Both Asian and Western militaries are seeking information regarding the purpose of China’s newest aircraft carrier.

Meanwhile, some analysts view its construction as a way for China to slowly undermine U.S. strategic superiority in the region, according to a series of Reuters Special Reports.

Singapore-based regional security analyst Ian Storey told Reuters that China’s Type 002 might put added stress on the relationship between the U.S. and China as other nations in the region become threatened by China’s growing military presence.

“Once completed, it will outclass any warship from any Asian country, including India and Japan,” said Storey, of the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute. “It is yet another indication that China has emerged as Asia’s paramount naval power.”

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China’s second, smaller aircraft carrier is not set to go into service until the year 2020. The U.S. operates 11 aircraft carriers in the region. State media has previously reported the Chinese military needs 6 aircraft carriers.

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The man who allegedly killed a Mississippi police officer and Air Force veteran was identified on Monday.

Darian Tawan Atkinson, 19, is accused of fatally shooting Officer Robert McKeithen, of the Biloxi Police Department, outside of the agency’s headquarters on Sunday night.

Darian Tawan Atkinson, 19, is accused of killing a Mississippi police officer outside the department's headquarters on Sunday night. 

Darian Tawan Atkinson, 19, is accused of killing a Mississippi police officer outside the department’s headquarters on Sunday night.  (Biloxi Police Department)

Atkinson has been charged with capital murder, and a warrant was issued for his arrest on Monday, Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania told reporters.

The suspect is considered “armed and dangerous,” and investigators said they “are actively pursuing him.”

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“We hope he decides to surrender and let us bring him to justice,” Papania said. “He will not rest and we will not rest until he is taken to custody.”

McKeithen, whom Atkinson allegedly killed, served with the police department for 24 years and was set to retire at the end of 2019.

The suspect, later identified as Atkinson, appears to be between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-10.

The suspect, later identified as Atkinson, appears to be between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-10. (Biloxi Police Department)

The 58-year-old was shot multiple times near his patrol car parking outside police headquarters and later died at a local hospital. The suspect ran off after firing several rounds, officials said.

Surveillance images released by investigators from that moment depict a man between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-10, wearing a red beanie cap, black shirt, and navy blue shorts.

“Any time you have this kind of deliberate and violent attack on a police officer, especially right in front of a police station, it should cause everyone great concern,” Papania previously said.

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Biloxi Police Chief John Miller said McKeithen was among a group of officers awarded the Medal of Valor for saving four special needs children from a flooded home during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

CORRECTS FIRST NAME TO ROBERT, NOT JOHN - This photo provided by the City of Biloxi, Miss., Public Affairs Department shows police officer Robert McKeithen who was killed Sunday night, May, 5, outside the department building in Biloxi. (City of Biloxi, Miss., Public Affairs via AP)

CORRECTS FIRST NAME TO ROBERT, NOT JOHN – This photo provided by the City of Biloxi, Miss., Public Affairs Department shows police officer Robert McKeithen who was killed Sunday night, May, 5, outside the department building in Biloxi. (City of Biloxi, Miss., Public Affairs via AP)

“That’s the kind of guy he was,” Miller said. “It was a horrible, horrible event he had to go through but he went through it anyway. And they say those children undoubtedly would have perished.”

“He was very gentle, likable, he treated people with respect and dignity and we are going to miss him sorely,” the police chief added. McKeithen leaves behind a wife, daughter, two stepsons, and a stepdaughter.

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The Gulfport Police Department and Harrison County Sheriff’s Office are working jointly on the investigation and are being assisted by their counterparts at the federal, state and local levels.

A $35,000 reward is being offered for information leading to Atkinson’s arrest.

Fox News’ Greg Norman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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