Air Commando Nominated for Air Force Cross

Air Commando Nominated for Air Force Cross: Air Force officials have nominated SSgt. Robert Gutierrez, an instructor at the Air Force Special Operations Training Center at Hurlburt Field, Fla., for the Air Force Cross—the service's second highest award for valor. The award is still pending the signature of Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. On Oct. 5, 2009, Gutierrez was the lone joint terminal attack controller assigned to an Army Special Forces team in Afghanistan. The team was tasked with capturing, detaining, or killing a "high-value target" whom coalition forces had been chasing for the previous six years. During the course of the battle, Gutierrez suffered a bullet wound, a collapsed lung, and busted ear drums, but he continued to direct air strikes with an "exceptionally high degree of technical proficiency" despite his dire circumstances, his former commander, Lt. Col. Parks Hughes, told the Daily Report. Read Gutierrez's full story here. (For the PDF version of this Air Force Magazine article, click here.)

Chambliss Pleads the Fifth

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) urged Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to commit fully to expeditiously fielding the fifth generation F-35 strike fighter and forego procuring any additional fourth generation fighters like the F/A-18E/F. "I am dismayed to see an apparent lack of commitment by some in the Department to the success of this cornerstone program, which will ensure tactical air superiority for US forces for decades to come," he wrote in a letter to Panetta dated Aug. 31. Chambliss specifically cited the Navy for reportedly mulling another buy of F/A-18E/Fs "at the expense of the F-35." Such 4th Gen fighters, he argued, "will be of limited to no value in any future threat scenario, and will only drain scarce budgetary resources from systems designed to keep us ahead of our adversaries." He added, "Air superiority is and always will be the necessary foundation for any successful large-scale military operation."

Trial Begins of Gunman Who Killed Two Airmen

The Kosovar Albanian who shot two airmen to death in a cold-blooded attack in March at the main airport in Frankfurt, Germany, admitted to the act at the beginning of his court trial this week. Arid Uka, 21, whom German...

Spotlight: SrA. Daniel T. Skidmore

A combat control journeyman with the 21st Special Tactics Squadronat Pope Field, N.C., SrA. Daniel T. Skidmore is one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2011. Skidmore was among the first airmen in Haiti, deploying just 26...

North Granted Order of the Sword

Gen. Gary North, commander of Pacific Air Forces, was inducted into the command’s Order of the Sword during a ceremony at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. “Your dedicated service, your trust, your faith and your confidence in me, and the privileges...

Goodbye Brooks

The Air Force inactivated the last unit at Brooks City-Base, Tex., marking the end to nearly a century of cutting-edge research, service, and training. The 311th Air Base Group cased its colors during a ceremony Wednesday in front of more...

Eglin Receives Two More F-35s

Lockheed Martin delivered two more F-35A strike fighters to Eglin AFB, Fla., home of the first F-35 joint schoolhouse. With the arrival of AF-10 and AF-11, Eglin now has four of the fifth generation fighters, with more expected for delivery...

It’s Electrifying

Los Angeles AFB, Calif., will become the first federal facility to replace 100 percent of its general-purpose vehicles with plug-in electric vehicles. “With gas prices rising and the cost of batteries falling, now is the time to move toward electric...

Vietnam War Airman’s Remains Recovered

The remains of Maj. Thomas E. Reitmann of Red Wing, Minn., an airman missing in action since the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to his family, announced the Defense Department Thursday. Reitman’s burial with full military honors is...