The Air Force has recognized 12 awards for upgrades, including possible Air Force Crosses to be lifted to the Medal of Honor. The Air Force held two review boards in May as part of a push by Defense Secretary Ash Carter to review Global War on Terror medals for upgrades. One board reviewed 12 Air Force Crosses, and another reviewed 135 Silver Stars. In total, 12 were selected for upgrade and are now on Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James’s desk for consideration, Air Force spokesman Maj. Bryan Lewis said in an email. The Air Force is currently the only service without a Medal of Honor for actions in the Global War on Terror. In August, it was reported that James is pressing to upgrade the Air Force Cross awarded to fallen TSgt. John Chapman, a combat controller who was killed in the 2002 battle at Takur Gar, Afghanistan.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.