Thirty-six F-35s for Nellis

The Air Force has approved the plan to bed down 36 F-35 strike fighters at Nellis AFB, Nev., between 2012 and 2020, to support test activities and weapons school training there, announced base officials Tuesday. This plan is laid down in the newly issued record of decision that Kathleen Ferguson, USAF's deputy assistant secretary for installations, signed on June 24, following May's release of the final version of the environmental impact statement. The EIS explored the various ecological effects of basing the F-35s at the desert base; the service had to complete it before rendering its decision. The stealth fighters' beddown will result in an increase of 412 personnel, require construction of new facilities, and result in the alteration and demolition of some of Nellis' existing facilities, said the officials. Twelve of the F-35s will support testing, while WS training will utilize the remaining 24, states the ROD. Nellis is the second USAF installation, behind Eglin AFB, Fla., for which the service leadership has made a final decision to assign F-35s. It is working towards additional beddowns. Just last week, Eglin received its first F-35 for the nascent schoolhouse there. (Record of decision full document) (Final EIS full document; caution, massive file.)

EASE-ier Said Than Done

The Air Force’s proposed new space acquisition strategy has gotten mixed reviews so far on Capitol Hill. Service officials conceived of evolutionary acquisition for space efficiency, or EASE, to help foster stability in the space industrial base by locking in...

Orbital Talk

The Defense Department wants to establish “regular dialogue” with China on space, Gregory Schulte, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, told reporters Tuesday in Washington, D.C. China already agreed in principle to the discussions during the US-China security...

First C-17 for Stewart

The first of eight C-17s destined to replace the C-5As of the New York Air National Guard’s 105th Airlift Wing landed Monday at Stewart ANG Base in Newburgh. “It’s sad to see the C-5As go, but it’s the right thing...

Air Guard in Ukraine for Air Sovereignty Exercise

More than 140 members of Air National Guard units in Alabama, California, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Washington arrived at Mirgorod AB, Ukraine, for Safe Skies 2011, a US European Command-sponsored air sovereignty exercise with the Ukrainian and Polish air forces. This...

Lewis-McChord Hosts Aeromedical Evacuation Conference

The first-ever US-led international symposium on in-flight medical care begins Wednesday at JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., for hundreds of aeromedical evacuation professionals from nearly 30 nations. The two-day International Aeromedical Evacuation/En Route Care Conference features speakers from various countries sharing their...

The Cost of Peace

The cost of peacetime operations continues to rise, even though the overall size of the force has declined as have indicators like flight hours and steaming days, said Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary...

Standing Tall, Warthogs and All

A quartet of A-10 pilots from Air Force Reserve Command’s 47th Fighter Squadron at Barksdale AFB, La., broke 20,000 combined Warthog flight hours during a formation sortie from the base. That’s a feat never before accomplished by any four A-10...

One Small Step, One Giant Rocket

Space Exploration Technologies broke ground on a new launch site for its Falcon Heavy rocket at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Falcon Heavy, the most powerful launch vehicle envisioned since Saturn V, is slated to make its inaugural flight from Vandy in...

Satellites Track Short-range Missile in Test

The Missile Defense Agency’s two Space Tracking and Surveillance System demonstration satellites successfully acquired and tracked the short-range air-launched target missile that the agency tested earlier this month, announced STSS prime contractor Northrop Grumman, Tuesday. “Air-launched targets have a wide...