Aircrew Identified in C-17 Crash

Officials at JB Elmendorf, Alaska, have released the names of the four airmen who died in Wednesday's C-17 crash near the base (see coverage below). They are: Maj. Michael Freyholtz, pilot with the Alaska Air National Guard's 249th Airlift Squadron, Maj. Aaron Malone, 249th AS pilot, Capt. Jeffrey Hill, pilot with the active duty 517th AS, and MSgt. Thomas Cicardo, 249th AS loadmaster. "We come to work with immense sorrow after four of our fellow airmen lost their lives in the C-17 crash," said Brig. Gen. Charles Foster, commander of the Alaska ANG's 176th Wing. He added, "They were more than valued airmen: They were our teammates, friends, family members, and fellow Alaskans." Col. John McMullen, commander of Elmendorf's 3rd Wing, said of these airmen "selflessly served their country and will be sorely missed by our entire Arctic Warrior family." (Elmendorf release)

C-17 Crash Claims Lives of Four Airmen

An Air Force C-17 transport crashed late Wednesday (about 6:14 p.m. Alaska time) near JB Elmendorf, Alaska, killing the four airmen on board. (See our initial coverage from Thursday's Daily Report column.) The aircraft, assigned to Elmendorf's 3rd Wing, was on a training mission, with the aircrew practicing for their performance at this weekend's Arctic Thunder air show and open house at the base. Three of the airmen were Alaska Air National Guardsmen; the fourth was on active duty. Their names had not been released as of late Thursday, pending notification of kin. "Our deepest sympathy and sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of those airmen killed in this crash. [On Wednesday], we lost four members of our Arctic Warrior family, and it’s a loss felt across our entire joint installation,” said Col. John McMullen, 3rd Wing commander, in a statement from the base. According to an Alaska Dispatch report, the C-17 went down shortly after takeoff. An accident investigation board will investigate the crash. Elmendorf officials announced late Thursday that Arctic Thunder will proceed as planned despite the tragic loss of these airmen. More information will be released as it becomes available. (Initial Elmendorf release) (See also AFP report and Aolnews.com report, and AP report.)

First Deadly C-17 Flight Mishap

Wednesday’s C-17 crash near Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, was the first Globemaster flight mishap leading to the loss of aircrew and destruction of the aircraft. The C-17 went down near Elmendorf during a training mission, killing all four airmen aboard (see...

Holloman Loses F-22s in Fleet Consolidation

Holloman Air Force Base is losing its Raptor mission under the Air Force’s F-22 consolidation plan announced Thursday. Instead, one of the two New Mexico-based combat squadrons will transfer to Tyndall AFB, Fla., the site of F-22 training. Thus, Tyndall...

Hill and Burlington to Gain F-35 Operations

Hill AFB, Utah, and Burlington ANGS, Vt., are the Air Force’s two preferred bases for its initial batches of combat-ready F-35 strike fighters, USAF officials announced Thursday. Hill and Burlington were chosen for operations over candidate locations disclosed last October:...

USAF Prefers Luke AFB, Ariz., for F-35 Training

The Air Force simultaneously announced Thursday that Luke AFB, Ariz., is the service’s preferred site for the next F-35 training schoolhouse. Luke was picked for the training mission ahead of the other previously announced candidate bases of Boise ANGS, Idaho,...

Consolation Prize?

Holloman AFB, N.M., will receive two squadrons of F-16s for training purposes under a new plan announced Thursday by the Air Force leadership. The move may be some consolation for officials at the desert base, who were hit with the...

Liberty for Beale

The Air Force’s preferred basing location for its new fleet of MC-12W surveillance aircraft is Beale AFB, Calif., the service announced Thursday. Beale stood out among the six candidate locations announced in April due to its “access to training opportunities,...

Air Force Finishes Iraqi Police Training Mission

The Air Force earlier this week completed its mission of training Iraqi police, representing a significant milestone in the maturation of the Iraqis into a self-sustaining force. During a ceremony Monday at Camp Stryker, Det. 2 of the 732nd Expeditionary...

Remaining Spartan Spots Identified

The Air Force leadership on Thursday identified the two Air National Guard installations it favors for basing the remaining 14 of USAF’s 38 planned C-27J Spartan transports. They are: Boise Air Terminal ANGS, Idaho, and Great Falls International Airport, Mont....

AC-130s Get Sensor Upgrade

Lockheed Martin has delivered to the Air Force the first full-production unit of the new AN/AAQ-39 targeting system for the AC-130 gunship, the company announced Thursday. The Q-39 is a sophisticated electro-optical/infrared fire-control system that builds upon the capabilities of...

Air Sorties from SWA 072210

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, July 22, 2010 Sortie Type OIF OEF OIF/OEF Total YTD ISR 23 68 91 13,874 CAS/Armed Recon 18 79 97 19,270 Airlift 204 204 35,065 Air refueling 57 57 9,255 Rescue 16 16 4,208 Total...