Rapid Response

When Hurricane Irene took a turn toward JB Langley-Eustis, Va., at the end of August, Air Force officials knew they couldn’t risk such an expensive and critical national asset. They had less than 24 hours to get 28 fifth generation...

Air Commando Gutierrez 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.)

F-35 Structural Component Requires Redesign

Thirty Air Force F-35A and 34 Marine Corps F-35B strike fighters built early in the aircraft's production run will require modification to achieve their full 8,000-flight-hour design lives, according to the F-35 Joint Program Office. That's because program engineers identified a shortfall with a structural component in their wings, known as the forward root rib, according to a JPO statement. It's an aluminum part located where the leading edge of the wing meets the strike fighter's fuselage. The engineers came across this issue initially during an analytical assessment of the F-35 airframe's fatigue life. During more recent F-35A full-scale durability testing, a crack emerged in the forward root rib after more than 2,800 hours that was consistent with the analytical predictions. The JPO and prime contractor Lockheed Martin have drafted retrofit plans for the 64 early aircraft and they've created a redesigned root rib that they'll incorporate for both variants at the beginning of Lot 5 production. The root rib is not an issue with the Navy's F-35C variant. The JPO said durability testing helps identify structural issues early on "to avoid costly sustainment issues later in the life of the aircraft."

Air Force Reserve Senior Leadership Changes

Air Force Reserve Command boss Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner last week announced several senior leadership changes among his ranks. Maj. Gen. Frank Padilla, commander of 10th Air Force at NAS JRB Fort Worth, Tex., will become the Air Force’s deputy...

Spotlight: SrA. Nora L. Limjoco

One of the Air Force's Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2011, SrA. Nora L. Limjoco is a dental lab journeyman currently assigned to the 30th Medical Operations Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Limjoco has "definitely raised the bar," according to one supervisor. In addition to excelling at her primary work, designing and fabricating dental prostheses, she directs the 30th Space Wing's Basic Life Support program, oversees the Precious Metals program, and is a member of the 30th Medical Group security team. As part of the BLS program, Limjoco has certified more than 3,000 base personnel, greatly improving wing emergency readiness. She led a five-person lab during the non-commissioned officer in charge's six-month absence and is rated No. 1 among five lab personnel by providers. Her efforts to develop a dental lab case log and initiate product timeline comment codes were lauded by Air Force Medical Operations Agency officials. Limjoco's home of record is Bossier City, La. She represents Air Force Space Command among this year's outstanding airmen.

The Daily Report is shining the spotlight on each OAY. Also featured to date: SrA. Daniel T. Skidmore, SrA. Ulla B. Stromberg, and SrA. Raven S. Taylor.

Polar Parachutes

A C-17 last week completed the first-ever mid-winter airdrop in complete darkness over the South Pole during an extended mission from Christchurch, New Zealand. The Globemaster’s crew delivered critical medical supplies during the Sept. 1 flight. After a routine resupply...

Pave Hawks Join 10K Club

Two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters simultaneously surpassed 10,000 flight hours on a sortie from Kirtland AFB, N.M., last week. “I’m humbled to get the chance to take the very aircraft I used to fly when it had double-digit flight time...

Turkey Agrees to Host US Missile Defense Radar

The State Department last week announced that Turkey will host a ballistic missile defense radar in support of NATO’s efforts to defend its European member states from attack. “The United States welcomes Turkey’s decision,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland...

F-106 for Minot Museum

The Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot, N.D., will receive an F-106 Delta Dart fighter-interceptor for display. The Minot Daily News reports that museum officials hope to receive the aircraft before the end of the year. The F-106 has been...