The Air Force is moving ahead with its plan to realign aircraft maintainers with the operations units they support, at least for the fighter and combat search and rescue forces. The moves will begin next summer and conclude by November 2008, according to the directive just issued by Gen. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff. Moseley had broached the idea publicly last summer, citing the long heritage of partnership between crew chiefs and aircrews. Moseley’s predecessor combined maintenance and logistics as a means to broaden career possibilities for young officers. Now, fighter and CSAR squadrons will include aircraft maintenance units that support them, while other maintenance units will combine with logistics readiness squadrons and aerial port squadrons to comprise new materiel groups. Moseley said that the new arrangement would “consolidate traditional logistics functions under a single logistics leader in the wing,” while it would provide the “most effective formula” for sortie generation and be “best for our Air Force.” (USAF report by SSgt. Monique Randolph)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S. The bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.