Airman Dies in Afghanistan

The Pentagon announced May 4 that A1C Austin H. Gates Benson, 19, of Hellertown, Pa., died May 3 of injuries sustained in a non-combat related incident near Khyber, Afghanistan. He had deployed from the 54th Combat Communications Squadron at Robins...

False Alarm

The Pentagon's press office on Tuesday squelched reports by several press outlets claiming that there had been a slip in the schedule for selecting the winner of the Air Force's KC-X tanker competition. "Despite what was erroneously reported," stated Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell, "we are NOT delaying the award of the tanker contract." (His emphasis.) Instead, Morrell said the plan "has always been" to award the KC-X contract this fall and that hasn't changed. Back in February, the Defense Department leadership said it expected to choose the KC-X contractor around mid-September, a target date unaltered when DOD later agreed to extend the deadline for proposals. The source of this confusion appears to have been an Air Force planning document posted online in late April that revised the projected start date of the KC-X contract, shifting it out to mid-November. (See Associated Press report via Business Week) (Morrell statement)

Compromise Coming

Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley, National Guard Bureau chief, said Tuesday that he expects a solution will be reached over what has become a controversial transfer of some C-130 transports from the reserve components to the active duty. “We are...

Finding That New Place

There’s no denying the difficult challenges that the Air National Guard faces in moving beyond performing just traditional missions like flying fighters and broadening out to embrace new roles like operating remotely piloted aircraft, Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley, National...

One Stop Shopping

The Air Force Reserve is in the midst of creating a single entity that will answer and field requests for Air Force Reservists from all over the service, Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner, AFR chief, said Tuesday. The new Force Generation...

Reserve Equipment Priorities Laid Out

Air Force Reserve chief Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner on Tuesday articulated his three priorities for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account, a fund set up by Congress to enhance the relevance of gear for the reserve components. They are:...

Veil Lifted

The Obama Administration on Monday took the unprecedented step of disclosing the number of nuclear weapons in the nation’s stockpile—5,113 warheads, as of Sept. 30, 2009—in a move that aims to encourage greater transparency among the world’s nuclear powers and...

New MC-12 Unit Up and Running

Air Force officials on May 1 activated the 361st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, the third unit of MC-12W intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance aircraft now operating in Southwest Asia. “The MC-12 is a critical capability, fielded at a critical time,” said Lt. Col. Darren Halford,...

Upgraded B-1B Radar Goes Airborne

The Air Force in late April conducted the first flight test of a B-1B bomber with upgrades to its APQ-164 radar system. The test flight, during which the B-1 took off from Edwards AFB, Calif., and landed, as planned, at...

Air Sorties from SWA 042710

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, April 27, 2010 Sortie Type OIF OEF OIF/OEF Total YTD ISR 27 42 69 7,217 CAS/Armed Recon 20 68 88 10,812 Airlift 172 172 19,939 Air refueling 41 41 4,978 Rescue 26 26 1,585 Total...