ARMED FORCES: Birdbrained

When it comes to writing manuals, the U.S. Air Force is very good at flying airplanes and setting off missiles. That is not to say that the Air Force does not try. It supports a stable of authors so large and imaginative that it also needs a squadron of printers—the 2220th Printing Squadron at Langley Air Base, Va.—to keep up with them. Off its fecund presses roll official booklets on insurance, on citizenship, on adoption. There is one Air Force manual tersely titled "Plumbing," another on "Planting and Maintenance of Trees, Shrubs...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!