In a new enlisted perspective letter to airmen, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney McKinley questions the practice of calling young airmen—enlisted and officer—“kids,” which he says does not reflect the “highly trained and motivated airmen” that USAF sends into battle. He goes on to relate a few significant statistics: The Air Force today has more than 30,000 airmen deployed around the world and many more deployed in place; 4,000 protect America’s skies in Operation Noble Eagle; USAF flies more than 250 missions each day, including 45 strike missions against enemy forces; one Air Force mobility aircraft takes off every 90 seconds, hauling troops and equipment of all services; airmen complete more than 450 satellite supports every day; more than 4,500 airmen are filling in for US soldiers.
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.