Alaska Raptors Return from Guam

An expeditionary squadron of F-22s began returning to JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, last week after nearly three months of operating out of Andersen AFB, Guam, as part of a rotational theater security package in the Pacific. The F-22 deployment “was a...

Governance, Sanctuaries Still Problematic for Stability in Afghanistan

While security gains have been made in Afghanistan as a result of the US military surge that ended earlier this year, an unstable border with Pakistan and safe havens for insurgents inside Pakistan are impeding progress, states a congressionally mandated Pentagon report released on Dec. 10. Taliban attacks are now taking place away from main population centers, states the report, which covers the six-month period between April 1 and Sept. 30. "Security dramatically improved in most of Afghanistan's five most populous districts," reads the document. For example, attacks in the first nine months of 2012 dropped 22 percent in Kabul, 62 percent in Kandahar, and 13 percent in Herat compared to 2011, states the report. Still, there's been mixed progress towards increased stability, especially in regard to the effectiveness of Afghan government and security forces. The Afghan government is limited due to "widespread corruption, limited human capacity, lack of access to rural areas due to a lack of security," and other factors. Pakistan-based sanctuary for insurgents, such as the Haqqani network, and the financial and operational support they receive keep the situation along the Afghan-Pakistani border "volatile," states the report. (Section 1230 report; caution, large-sized file.) (See also transcript of briefing on report.)

Hickam F-22 Damaged in Landing Mishap

An F-22 assigned to the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th Fighter Squadron sustained $1.8 million in damage in a landing incident at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam last week, reported CBS News. The mishap occurred on Dec. 7 as the Raptor...

Lackland Activates Medical Group

The Air Force recently formed the 959th Medical Group to organize airmen to work with Army units at the San Antonio Military Medical Center complex on the grounds of JB San Antonio, Tex. This move is one of the final...

Strato-swapping

Air National Guard KC-135 tanker units in six states recently swapped aircraft as part of a maintenance plan implemented by the Air Guard and Air Mobility Command, according to Air Guard officials. This initiative has two main goals: to arrange...

Air Force Eyes Studies on Future Nuclear Cruise Missile

The Air Force announced that it intends to award contracts to Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon for each company to study performance attributes of the next-generation nuclear cruise missile that the service intends to develop and field. Each...

Iran Claims RQ-170 Secrets Cracked

An Iranian military commander boasted on Monday that Iran had gained access to all the encrypted information held aboard the US remotely piloted aircraft that Iran recovered on its territory last December, reported ABC News. “We know each and every...

Global Airlift Missouri Style

Airmen from Japan and the Netherlands touched down in their C-130s last week at Rosecrans ANGB, Mo., to learn the latest in tactical airlift from members of the Missouri Air National Guard’s 139th Airlift Wing. Over the two-week Combat Aircrew...

Linebacker II Memorial Dedicated at Barksdale

Airmen past and present gathered at the Barksdale Global Power Museum on the grounds of Barksdale AFB, La., to dedicate a memorial to the aircrews who flew B-52s and supporting aircraft against North Vietnamese targets during Operation Linebacker II nearly...

No Vanity, Just Better Vanes

Rolls-Royce modifications to legacy C-130H T56 turboprop engines yielded even better fuel economy and reliability than predicted in recent trials at Edwards AFB, Calif., announced the company on Dec. 10. “The Air Force flight test team “confirmed that by inserting...