• In May 2021, the Air Force published the findings of its cancer incidence study of nearly 35,000 aircrews who flew in the Air Force from 1970 to 2004.

    The debate concerning increasing cancer rates among Veteran aviators transitioned from the hypothetical to a discussion backed up by fact-based evidence.

  • The Air Force is expanding its study of whether service members who worked with nuclear missiles have had unusually high rates of cancer after a preliminary review determined that a deeper examination is needed.

    The initial study was launched in response to reports that many who served are now ill. The Air Force isn’t making its initial findings of cancer numbers public for a month or so, but released its initial assessment Monday that more review is necessary.

  • Pentagon reporter Tara Copp broke news about a new Pentagon study that found high cancer rates not only among pilots, but also among ground crew who take care of military aircraft. Copp has kept a close eye on reports of high cancer rates among military families. In recent months, she broke news on high cancer rates among those who work in nuclear missile silos.  

    Last week she had another big scoop: A long-awaited in-depth study examining cancer rates among air crews was finally released. And the findings were alarming. 

  • Pentagon study has found high rates of cancer among military pilots and for the first time has shown that ground crews who fuel, maintain and launch those aircraft are also getting sick.

    The data had long been sought by retired military aviators who have raised alarms for years about the number of air and ground crew members they knew who had cancer. They were told that earlier military studies had found they were not at greater risk than the general U.S. population.

  • A new research paper on young soldiers exposed to radar and other full-body radio-frequency radiation (RFR) exposures during their military service finds higher cancers. The study concludes that “based on our findings and on the previous accumulated research, we endorse the recommendations to reclassify RFR exposure as a human carcinogen, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) group 1.”

  • WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman August Pfluger’s (TX-11) amendment to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, the Aviator Cancers Examination Study (ACES) Act, passed the House of Representatives.

    Pilots and aircrew have been found to have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer and melanoma, with possible links to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and testicular cancer. Pfluger’s ACES Act directs the Secretary of the VA to study cancer incidence and mortality rates among aviators and aircrew who served in the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

  • American military aircrews dominate the skies wherever they operate. With medical evacuation, intelligence gathering, troop and cargo transportation, and beyond, it’s hard to overstate their impact on defending the nation. Now there’s an effort to provide them with the support they need and have earned.

    The Aviator Cancer Examination Study (ACES) Act (H.R. 7524) would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study cancer occurrences among Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps veterans who served as aircrew members for fixed-wing aircraft. The bill does not include Army veterans or those who served on helicopter crews.

  • Too little is known about direct links between cockpit radiation and a variety of cancers in U.S. Air Force aircrews. The director of the USAF Operational Test Team for the F-35 says, “We’re just starting to tease out some of the data on that and it’s not very encouraging.”

    At next week’s annual symposium for the Society of Experimental Test Pilots Colonel Dan “Animal” Javorsek will give a presentation on the relationship between exposure to radar, avionics and other emissions in the cockpits of fighter aircraft and a rising incidence of cancers among active and retired Air Force pilots.

  • Over the past several years, studies have shown a significantly higher rate of certain cancers within veteran populations than nonveterans—among them, breast cancer. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 700 women veterans enrolled in VA health care are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.




Tara Copp and Audrey Decker have or are currently covering the Hawkeye Initiative and both are invested in the veterans and families impacted by service-related cancers and their devastating impact. Please contact us via the form below if you are interested in sharing your story and we will connect you with the appropriate party.

Note: The contact information for journalists contained on this website does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Hawkeye Initiative nor are they the only journalists investigating this issue. We are simply providing our members contact with interested parties in the media who have reached out to the organization.

Tara Copp

Tara Copp


Audrey Decker

Audrey Decker




Though much is taken, much abides; and though

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


Ulysses – Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809 1892