DFCs for F-15E Pilot, WSO

Capt. Aaron Dove and Capt. Mike Polidor, F-15E Strike Eagle weapon systems officer and pilot, respectively, received Distinguished Flying Crosses for their actions in Afghanistan Oct. 2, 2009, when they responded to an urgent call for close air support at Combat Observation Post Keating, where about 250 Taliban fighters had surrounded and pinned down some 80 coalition forces, destroying most of the post. Polidor and Dove were on station for about seven hours, as Dove coordinated CAS strikes, relaying coordinates, elevation, and final clearances. He called off strikes twice to correct coordinates, calling the action "intense the whole time." Polidor described the scene as "absolute pandemonium." They were not the first strike aircraft on scene, but they took tactical airborne control, "something [F-15E crews] don't often train for, but they executed it perfectly," later commented Capt. Gordon Olde, another WSO engaged in Keating action. (DFC report by TSgt. Tammie Moore; earlier COP Keating CAS report by Capt. David Faggard) (Also see NPR report)

First HTV-2 to Launch Aboard First Minotaur IV

Air Force and industry personnel are slated to launch today from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., Orbital Sciences Corp.’s first Minotaur IV—an amalgam of three decommissioned Peacekeeper ICBM stages and one built commercially by OSC—in its “Lite” configuration with only the three...

Looking for an Alternative

Air National Guard boss Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt told CongressDaily that USAF leaders are prepared to reconsider its C-130 reallocation plan that would have transferred some Air Guard and Air Force Reserve Command C-130s to the active duty formal training...

Crash Caused by Brownout?

According to a report by Flight Global, USAF officials believe brownout conditions caused the April 8 crash of a CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft that killed four, two Air Force Special Operations Command airmen, a US soldier, and a civilian. Flight...

Is EADS Really In?

Reuters news service late Monday reported that EADS has decided it will go it alone to bid for the KC-X tanker contract, quoting “sources familiar with the matter.” The Pentagon’s No. 2 civilian official, William Lynn, said late last week...

First of 28 J Models

Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff, did fly a C-130J Hercules tactical airlifter to its home at Dyess AFB, Tex., where the 317th Airlift Group expects to receive another 27 new J model Herks over the next couple of years....

Tap Dance

The Air Force and its two reserve components each reached or bettered their enlisted recruiting goals for March and retention remains high, according to the latest recruiting data released by the Pentagon. That’s good news, bad news: The continued rosy...

Lockheed-Sikorsky Team on H-92

Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin formally announced Monday they had joined forces to offer Sikorsky’s H-92 for the next Presidential helicopter contest, now dubbed VXX. The Lockheed had teamed with Agusta Westland for the winning US101 in the original Presidential helicopter...

USAF Assets Adjust to Avoid Ash

The ash spewing from the Icelandic volcano that has disrupted international air travel also prompted Air Mobility Command’s 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center at Scott AFB, Ill., to shift aircraft, aircrews, and maintenance personnel from northern European bases, like Ramstein...

Manhigh Researcher Dies at 87

Retired Lt. Col. David G. Simons, a physician and researcher who reached nearly 102,000 feet during 1957 balloon flight on Project Manhigh II to study the effects of high-altitude flight, died April 5 at age 87. His work helped pave...

Air Sorties in SWA 041510

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, April 15, 2010 Sortie Type OIF OEF OIF/OEF Total YTD ISR 27 43 70 6,394 CAS/Armed Recon 22 85 107 9,680 Airlift 174 174 17,772 Air refueling 47 47 4,435 Rescue 51 51 1,232 Total...