Members of the 505th Operations Squadron from Nellis AFB, Nev., helped prepare the Marine Corps’ Regimental Combat Team-8 for deployment to Afghanistan during Exercise Spartan Resolve at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The squadron’s joint integration team supplied a Theater Battle Management Core System to introduce marines to the systems and protocol for requesting Air Force airborne intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance assets and monitoring real-time execution of ground support. They also trained the marines on the tactics, techniques, and procedures for employing remotely piloted aircraft like the MQ-1Predator and MQ-9 Reaper. “Our goal is to ensure the regimental staff understands the capabilities and limitations of assets like the Predator and Reaper that will be at their disposal while they’re in Afghanistan,” said Lisa Jalbert, an RPA specialist with the JIT. (Camp LeJeune report by Casey E. Bain)
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.