House Spending Bill Blocks Money for B-1 Retirements

H.R. 2219, the House’s version of the Fiscal 2012 defense appropriations bill, includes language that would bar the Air Force from using any funds next fiscal year to retire the six B-1B bombers that it wants to. Randy Neugebauer (R-Tex.),...

Fraser for TRANSCOM, McNabb Retiring

President Obama has tapped Gen. William Fraser, Air Combat Command boss since September 2009, to be the next commander of US Transportation Command at Scott AFB, Ill. Fraser would replace Gen. Duncan McNabb, who is retiring after leading TRANSCOM since...

House Passes Defense Spending Bill

The House last week adopted H.R.2219, its version of the Fiscal 2012 defense appropriations bill by a vote of 336 to 87. The bill contains some $530 billion in base funding (excluding military construction), $9 billion less than President Obama's request, and $119 billion for overseas contingency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a House Appropriations Committee release. "It was a difficult task to write this bill that is $9 billion below the [Defense] Department's request, but we did so smartly and effectively," said Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.), chairman of the HAC's defense panel. "In this time of financial crisis, no one should be exempt from tightening their fiscal belts—yet with our national defense, we must do so very carefully, making sure to not impact the warfighter or their mission. I believe this bill does just that." The Senate has not yet completed its version of the spending bill. (H.R. 2219 and HAC report accompanying the bill; caution, large file.)

Final Space Shuttle Mission

The Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on its last space flight, a round-trip mission to the International Space Station. The 12-day flight is doubly historic since it is the 135th and final mission in the 30-year...

C-17s to Employ Fuel-Saving Concept

This summer, C-17 aircrews will start employing mission index flying, a concept that enables them to adjust their flight profiles in real time to maximize fuel efficiency. Air Mobility Command expects to see a 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent decrease...

Shindand Transformation Under Way

The construction work of airmen, along with soldiers and contractors, since last fall has nearly tripled the original size of Shindand Air Base in northwest Afghanistan. It’s now the second largest airfield in the country, behind only Bastion Field in...

Academy Acquiring New Gliders

The Air Force Academy is purchasing 19 new two-seat gliders, along with 11 trailers to haul them, under a $4.8 million transaction. The new German-made gliders will be designated TG-16As and used to introduce cadets to flying, reported the Colorado...

Ellsworth Runway Getting Repairs

Officials with the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., will shut down the base’s runway on Aug. 1 for repairs. During the shutdown, several of the wing’s B-1B bombers will temporarily operate out of Dyess AFB, Tex., the Air...

Locals Await Cannon Low-Altitude Flight Study

Air Force officials anticipate releasing by early September the draft study assessing the environmental impact of conducting low-altitude training flights over southern Colorado and northern New Mexico for MC-130 and CV-22 aircrews from Cannon AFB, N.M. Colorado’s Pueblo Chieftain reported...