Senate Committee Wants to Shift MC-12 Fleet to Army

The draft version of the Senate's defense authorization bill for next fiscal year includes language that would switch ownership of the Air Force's MC-12 Liberty intelligence-gathering aircraft to the Army. The Senate Armed Services Committee included this provision in its bill mark-up, completed last week. The measure would require the Defense Secretary "to develop and implement a plan for the orderly transfer" of the MC-12s, according to the SASC release summarizing the bill, which now goes to the Senate floor for consideration. The Air Force rapidly fielded a force of 37 MC-12s to bolster US intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance capability in the conflicts in Southwest Asia. MC-12s began operating in Iraq two years ago; they arrived in Afghanistan in December 2009. They have been providing invaluable support to ground troops at the tactical level via overhead streaming video and signals intelligence. In April, the Air Force announced that Beale AFB, Calif., would be the stateside home of the MC-12s.

Lancer Cuts—Dyess Four, Ellsworth Two

The Air Force-designated cuts to the B-1B fleet will fall most heavily on the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB, Tex., losing four of the six bombers slated for retirement. The remaining two bombers will come from the 28th BW...

SBIRS Satellite’s Checkout Progressing Well

GEO-1, the first Space Based Infrared Systems geosynchronous satellite continues to make excellent progress on orbit, said Air Force space officials last week. “The Air Force is a step closer to making this new persistent infrared surveillance capability available to...

House Lawmakers Cut Prompt-Strike Funding

House defense appropriators roughly halved the Pentagon’s funding request for development of conventional prompt global strike capabilities next fiscal year. They approved only $104.8 million of the $204.8 million sought by the Defense Department, according to the House Appropriations Committee’s...

Lawmakers Want Report on Guard’s Aviation Role

House defense appropriators want a report from the Defense Department on its future plans for National Guard aviation. They’re concerned that DOD “has failed to adequately consider” the Guard’s role in its long-term fixed- and rotary-wing aviation plans, reads the...

F-16 Simulation Center for Nellis

L-3 Link Simulation and Training is in the process of delivering an F-16 Mission Training Center to Nellis AFB, Nev. Operational turnover is set for October. The F-16 MTC includes four high-definition networked simulators. Each simulator features an F-16 fighter...

Guarding Air Force Coasts

Air Force security forces marine patrol units descended on MacDill AFB, Fla., for waterborne tactics training and certification. MacDill’s 6th Security Forces Squadron hosted police from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., and JB Charleston, S.C., for the Coast Guard-approved boat operations...

Ending the F-4 Tap Dance

Engineers are exploring more accurate and efficient means of detecting structural damage to F-4 airframes, using an RF-4C Phantom at the Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill AFB, Utah. Experimenting with the RF-4, technicians with Hill’s 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group are...

Airman Missing in Action Since Vietnam War Identified

Defense Department officials announced last week that they have identified the remains of 1st Lt. David A. Thorpe of Seneca Falls, N.Y., an airman missing in action since the Vietnam War. They are returning his remains to his family for...