Airman Dies in Afghanistan

SrA. Andrew S. Bubacz, 23, of Dalzell, S.C., died Nov. 12 in Nuristan, Afghanistan, the Defense Department has announced. Bubacz succumbed to head injuries sustained while maintaining a communications tower at a forward operating base. Assigned to the 97th Communications...

Eighty, Maybe

Air Force programmers are struggling to get their annual buy of F-35A strike fighters up to 80 per year, say Pentagon officials. USAF wants to reach that production rate in order to avoid a big bill to upgrade aged F-16s...

Bomber Unit To Deploy for First Time Since Reactivation

A contingent of airmen and B-52s from the 69th Bomb Squadron at Minot AFB, N.D.—the Air Force’s newest operational B-52 squadron—is set to deploy to Guam this week for the first time since the squadron’s reactivation in September 2009. This...

Slowly but Surely

Air Force space officials announced last week that they have entered the third phase of a four-stage process to position the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellite into its intended operational orbit. The satellite experienced an anomaly with one of its propulsion systems upon reaching space in August, forcing USAF to devise an alternate plan to maneuver the spacecraft. Stage three began on Oct. 20 with the firing of two high-efficiency hall current thrusters, or HCTs, for about nine hours as the satellite reached its apogee altitude. These apogee firings will continue every orbit over the next seven to nine months. Stage four will require the near-continuous firing of the HCTs to adjust the satellite to its mission orbit. This final stage will last approximately three months. Phase one and phase two involved firing smaller thrusters. They concluded on Sept. 7 and Sept. 22, respectively.

“Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” Stays in Place for Now

The US Supreme Court ruled last week that the Pentagon’s “don’t ask-don’t tell” policy will remain in place while the case challenging its constitutionality moves through a federal appeals court. SCOTUS denied a request from a gay rights group to...

Making a Cyber Operator

The Air Force is looking for the best of the best as it fills its newest enlisted cyber career field, said Maj. Gen. Michael Basla, vice commander of Air Force Space Command at Peterson AFB, Colo. “It’s going to be...

Budget Places Tanker Units Under Pressure

The high demand for Air Force tankers in battle does not mean air refueling units will be exempt from increasing budget pressures, Gen. Raymond Johns, Air Mobility Command boss, told members of the Maine Air National Guard’s 101st Refueling Wing...

Joint STARS Testbed Mated with Imaging Sensor

Northrop Grumman recently fit the E-8C Joint STARS testbed aircraft with the MS 177 long-range multi-spectral sensor that is already resident on Air Force U-2 surveillance platforms. This imaging sensor augments the E-8C’s radar, giving Joint STARS aircrews the ability...

Tuskegee Airmen Honor Schwartz

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz is now an honorary member of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II fame. Retired Brig. Gen. Leon Johnson, Tuskegee Airmen Inc., president, bestowed Schwartz with an honorary membership during a ceremony...

Bronze Stars for Kadena Airmen

Three explosive ordnance disposal technicians assigned to the 18th Civil Engineer Squadron at Kadena AB, Japan, have received the Bronze Star for their meritorious actions in Afghanistan and Iraq earlier this year. They are MSgt. John Beebe, TSgt. Lazaro Acosta,...

Air Sorties from SWA 110510

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, Nov. 5-7, 2010 Sortie Type OND OEF OND/OEF Total YTD ISR 70 151 221 23,656 CAS/Armed Recon 62 273 335 30,464 Airlift 510 510 54,093 Air refueling 152 152 15,102 Rescue 72 72 7,014 Total...