Spending Bill Passes with Additional C-17s

On Tuesday, the full Senate passed its version of the 2010 defense spending bill by a vote of 93 to 7, appropriating $636.6 billion, which includes $128.2 billion for overseas contingency operations and is $3.9 billion less than the Obama Administration proposed. And, in what Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) called a "Groundhog Day" moment, Senators trounced—for the second time—Sen. John McCain's attempt to eliminate funding for 10 additional C-17s. The vote on his kill-the-C-17 amendment last week was 64 to 34 against, and, this time, the vote on McCain's new amendment was 68 to 30 against. Now the Senate must reconcile its appropriations with the House, which passed its version of the bill in July and included three additional C-17s. The Senate on Tuesday appointed its conferees (see list).

New C-130J Model in Spotlight

The keel for the Air Force’s first Special Mission Hercules aircraft was laid in ceremonies at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Marietta, Ga., on Monday, marking the start of final assembly of this aircraft. This new model of the C-130J Hercules...

F136 Lives On

House and Senate defense authorizers have reportedly agreed in conference to authorize funds for the General Electric-Rolls Royce F136 engine in Fiscal 2010, going against the urgings of the White House to kill the engine project and proceed with only...

Closer to Home

Air Force officials from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, on Sept. 29 attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new $11 million landing strip at Allen Army Airfield north of the base, which is now available for Elmendorf’s C-17s to practice assault landings....

Preparing for the Big Move

Air Combat Command and Air Force Global Strike Command officials led a one-day summit Sept. 30 at Langley AFB, Va., to discuss the transfer of the service’s three nuclear-capable bomber wings from ACC to Global Strike Command next February. This...

Commercial Tanker Service Update

The total estimated costs of the Air Force’s five-year pilot program to judge the merits of a commercial fee-for-service air refueling option are still “uncertain, but are likely to be significant,” stated the Government Accountability Office on Monday. In a...

A Walk to Remember

One dozen airmen started an 11-day, 821-mile trek from Lackland AFB, Tex., to Hurlburt Field, Fla., Tuesday in honor of 12 special tactics airmen who have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Associated Press reported Tuesday (via the Gainesville...

Ex-POW Johnson Honored

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society will present its highest civilian award, the National Patriot Award, to Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Tex.) on Oct. 10 during a gala dinner in Dallas with at least 34 living MoH recipients in attendance. Johnson...

Chaplain School Closes

The last formal class of the Air Force Chaplain School at Maxwell AFB, Ala., concluded last month, and after an informal professional continuing education course that concludes on Thursday, the service’s chaplain instruction will cease there and be moved to...

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia

Oct. 3, 2009 Sortie Type OIF OEF OIF/OEF Total YTD ISR 28 33 61 12,513 CAS/Armed Recon 20 81 101 26,784 Airlift 151 151 36,537 Air refueling 48 48 13,243 Total 361 89,077 OIF=Operation Iraqi Freedom OEF=Operation Enduring Freedom ISR=Intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance...