Senate Authorizers Agree to Axe Global Hawk Block 30s

The Senate Armed Services Committee last week became the first congressional defense oversight panel thus far to agree to the Air Force's proposal to retire the RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 remotely piloted aircraft fleet next fiscal year. The committee's mark-up of the Pentagon's Fiscal 2013 budget request "upholds the termination" of the Global Hawk Block 30s, according to the SASC's May 24 release highlighting the panel's changes to the budget request. The committee said it would apply unexpended funds appropriated for these aircraft in Fiscal 2011 and Fiscal 2012—some $545 million—"to pay for priorities" in next fiscal year's budget. The Air Force proposed divesting the Block 30s since it wants to continue operating its manned U-2 reconnaissance aircraft for longer. The House's version of next fiscal year's defense authorization bill would keep these Global Hawks in service. House defense appropriators also blocked the Air Force from retiring the Block 30s next fiscal year.

Healing a National Shame

President Obama on Monday called on all Americans to help “set the record straight” on the noble service and sacrifice of US military personnel who served in the Vietnam War. “One of the most painful chapters in our history was...

Tanker Unit Hits Communications Milestone

In addition to being one of the busiest aerial refueling squadrons operating over Afghanistan, the airmen of the 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron now have another milestone under their belt. They recently reached 25,000 hours of carrying the Roll-On Beyond...

End of an Era

The official retirement of Lt. Gen. Craig Koziol on June 1 marks the end of an era for the Air Force, as the service will bid adieu to the last uniformed airman who was once a part of the US...

SpaceX Delivers First Commercial ISS Berth

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft last week successfully berthed with the International Space Station, becoming the first commercial vehicle in history to attach to the space station. The space station’s robotic arm grappled Dragon on the morning of May 25 US East...

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Air Force Research Lab engineers from Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, last week visited Beale AFB, Calif., to determine how big or small and short or tall a U-2 pilot can be and still function well in the high-flying reconnaissance aircraft’s cockpit....

Airmen Train Honduran Firefighters

Air Force firefighters instructed their Honduran counterparts on firefighting procedures earlier this month during the Central America Sharing Mutual Operational Knowledge and Experiences exercise at Soto Cano AB, Honduras. Centam Smoke is a quarterly event that brings USAF airmen together...