Many More Minutes Left to Fill

The Air Force already has completed about $7 billion worth of improvements to the Minuteman III ICBM fleet to keep it viable through 2020, said Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, on Sept. 13. However,...

Tough Decisions

Air Force Global Strike Command boss Lt. Gen. James Kowalski said on Sept. 13 he “is comfortable” with 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads—the cap under the New START agreement with Russia. However, if the United States decides to pursue further...

Spotlight: SMSgt. Emilio Hernandez

An operations flight superintendent with the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron at RAF Mildenhall, Britain, SMSgt. Emilio Hernandez is one of the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2012. Hernandez led 52 people in 53 civil engineering projects...

Reservist Awarded Bronze Star with Valor

MSgt. Jim Lambert, a member of Air Force Reserve Command’s 729th Airlift Squadron at March ARB, Calif., received the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device for his heroism during a fire at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, on Aug. 20, 2011, that...

Positive Vector

No F-22 pilot has experienced an unexplained physiological incident in flight since March 8, a span covering some 10,000 sorties and more than 13,000 cockpit hours, said Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, Air Combat Command’s director of operations, in testimony on...

Gone to School on the F-22

The F-35's cockpit oxygen system is "more robust" than the one installed in the F-22 in terms of design and redundancy, retired Gen. Gregory Martin told the House Armed Services Committee's tactical air and land forces panel on Sept. 13. That's important because "we know of no physiological incident" similar to those that have occurred with some F-22 pilots "in any of the F-35 flight operations to date," Martin told the panel in testimony on F-22 pilot oxygen-deprivation issues. Martin chaired the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board's aircraft oxygen-generation study group that examined what was causing the Raptor pilots to experience symptoms like dizziness and nausea in flight. "We have shared all of our information with the F-35 program office," said Martin. He added, "From the lessons we've learned with respect to connections, potential for leakage, and of course the emergency oxygen system, they have applied those lessons in the F-35." In fact, he noted, "it seems as if the F-35 has gone to school on the F-22." (Martin's written testimony)

Raptor Reserve Unit Cleared for Full Operations

Five years after standing up, Air Force Reserve Command’s 477th Fighter Group at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, is now fully capable of executing its combat mission, announced group officials. “Fully operation[ally] capable means that we are ready and able to execute...

NRO Satellite Launched

The Air Force and its industry partners launched a National Reconnaissance Office satellite into space on Sept. 13 from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carried the satellite into orbit. “It’s an honor to work alongside...

BMT Instructor Gets Prison Sentence

SSgt. Kwinton Estacio, a former military training instructor at JBSA-Lackland, Tex., received a one-year prison sentence for having an unprofessional relationship with a trainee and additional conduct violations, reported the Los Angeles Times on Sept. 13. The military jury imposed...

New Airman Leadership School Curriculum Coming to Misawa

Airman Leadership School instructors at Misawa AB, Japan, are preparing to start teaching a refined ALS curriculum in November that is designed to foster stronger leaders among the enlisted ranks. The new curriculum emphasizes improving communication and leadership skills, and...

Kunsan’s Airfield Closes for Repairs

The airfield at Kunsan AB, South Korea, shut down on Sept. 13 for two weeks of no flying so that members of the 8th Civil Engineer Squadron, along with South Korean contractors, may carry out repairs, maintenance, and upgrades, announced...