Air Force Academy and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets have been taking in sights and sounds of the Air Force in action under a program called Operation Air Force, which is in its second year. The participating cadets—all in the top 20 percent of their classes—fall into different year groups, but usually only the senior level cadets get to deploy overseas. Some 52 senior cadets were sent to three air bases in Southwest Asia for their orientations. (Read here about the SWA group; here for those that visited Edwards AFB, Calif.; here for Buckley AFB, Colo.; and here for Eglin AFB, Fla.)
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.