Members of the Civil Air Patrol, the Air Force auxiliary, have been flying over areas of the southeast United States devastated by tornadoes last week to assist first responders and state and local officials as they assess the damage. CAP pilots from Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia have volunteered their time and aircraft to capture aerial photographs of the affected towns and villages, while also providing airborne communication support as needed. As of April 29, they had flown 20 sorties in nine aircraft, shooting more than 2,000 high-quality photos. “In instances like these, when people’s lives and homes are at stake, it goes without saying that the generous and selfless nature of our CAP pilots comes immediately to the forefront,” said Mark Obrien, CAP liaison officer for Air Forces Northern at Tyndall AFB, Fla. (Tyndall report by Lt. Col. Susan A. Romano)
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.