National Guard Leadership Change

Army Gen. Frank Grass replaced Gen. Craig McKinley as National Guard Bureau chief during a change-of-responsibility ceremony at the Pentagon. The Sept. 7 event also marked the end of McKinley’s Air Force career that began in 1974. “It is because...

Sequestration Report Expected Late This Week

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) criticized the White House for missing the Sept. 7 deadline to submit a report to Congress on the effects of budget sequestration in Fiscal 2013. The Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012,...

Spotlight: TSgt. Brandon C. Bruner

A vehicle operator/dispatcher with the 1st Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla., TSgt. Brandon C. Bruner is one of the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2012. While logging 13,000 miles in the Iraq...

No Fan of Shoddy Blades

A fan blade flawed in manufacturing caused the loss of an F-16C during ground-support training over the Utah Test and Training Range on May 4, determined Air Combat Command's inquest board. Cracking along the manufacturing anomaly at the base of the number 17 fan blade, along with eight years of wear and tear, caused the blade to snap off, leading to "catastrophic damage to the engine fan, compressor, and turbines," states ACC's Sept. 6 release outlining the findings of the newly issued accident investigation board report (caution, large-sized file). The pilot "correctly applied" procedures and attempted to restart the engine for 90 seconds before ejecting from the crippled jet, states the report. The pilot was uninjured, but the fighter was destroyed upon ground impact, a loss of some $23.9 million, states the release. Investigators determined that "failure to detect the anomaly" during the engine's installation inspection in 2004 "substantially contributed" to the crash, according to the release. Both the pilot and F-16 were assigned to the 421st Fighter Squadron at Hill AFB, Utah.

Out of the Fire and into the Sea

Members of the California Air National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Federal Airfield last week rescued two fishermen requiring medical attention aboard an Ecuadorian vessel located about 1,400 miles off the coast of Acapulco, Mexico. “This mission demonstrates the...

Lancer Shall Lie Down with the Super Herk

Officials at Dyess AFB, Tex., last week inaugurated a $21 million large-aircraft hangar that is capable of simultaneously servicing the base’s B-1B bombers and C-130J airlifters. “A house should reflect those who live in it” said Col. Walter Ward, commander...

GPS III Launch-Readiness Exercise Held

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon said they’ve successfully completed the first launch-readiness exercise for the Air Force’s next-generation GPS III satellites. Held over a three-day period, mission operations personnel validated the basic satellite command and control functions, tested the software and...

Obama Administration Strengthens Suicide-Prevention Activities

President Obama signed an executive order to strengthen federal suicide-prevention efforts for military personnel and to enhance treatment services for service members, veterans, and family members suffering from mental health issues and substance abuse. “Long deployments and intense combat conditions...