SSgt. Israel del Toro Jr., a Tactical Air Control Party operator in Afghanistan when he was severely wounded, received a Purple Heart from Gen. Michael Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff, during a ceremony at Brooke Army Medical Center, Ft. Sam Houston, Tex. There were some 200 people attending the June 23 ceremony. Del Toro was on a patrol mission in December 2005 with the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Brigade, when an improvised explosive device exploded near him, burning him severely. Moseley praised del Toro for his accomplishments during his recovery, adding, “You represent everything good about the Air Force.”
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.