1st Helicopter Squadron

Andrews Huey Shot At, Makes Emergency Landing in Virginia

An Air Force UH-1N Huey took small arms fire and conducted an emergency landing during a training flight west of Washington, D.C., on Aug. 10. The Huey, part of the 1st Helicopter Squadron at Joint Base Andrews, Md., was flying an instrument approach to the Manassas, Va., airport when it was hit by a bullet about 10 miles northwest, near Middleburg, Va., in affluent Loudon County. An aircrew member sustained a minor injury, but the helicopter, which was flying about 1,000 feet above ground level at the time, landed safely. The aircraft was damaged by the bullet, according to the statement.
3D printed innovation for C-130 fleet

Air Force Goes for the Gold with Advanced Manufacturing Olympics

The Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office and its partners want more than 60 teams to channel the speed and precision of the world’s top athletes as they chase a new standard in airworthy, 3D-printed plane parts. The “Advanced Manufacturing Olympics,” which are already underway and will end with a online showcase in October, will test the limits of innovative new manufacturing techniques that can lead to faster maintenance turnaround, cheaper upkeep, and more flexible flight operations. Sixty-four teams from industry, government, and academia are vying for a $1 million pot of prize money spread across five challenges.
KC-135 Refuels KC-46

TRANSCOM: Draft Defense Bills Keep Enough Tankers to Bridge the Gap to KC-46

Draft versions of the 2021 defense policy bill in both the House and Senate will keep enough legacy tankers in the Air Force to “bridge” the fleet to the point where the KC-46 will become fully operational without extensive stress on the military’s refueling backbone, the head of U.S. Transportation Command said. While the Air Force called for cutting 29 KC-135s and KC-10s, House and Senate versions of the 2021 defense policy bill block most of those retirements at a time when TRANSCOM boss Gen. Stephen R. Lyons says refueling is the most stressed part of his command. “We were about to reduce the active component tanker capacity by 30 percent or more against a force that’s already pressing deploy-to-dwell ratios,” Lyons said during a Foundation for the Defense of Democracies online event. “The leadership, the members on the Hill, were very attuned to the issue.”
B-2 Spirit arrives at Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia

B-2s Deploy to Diego Garcia

The Air Force’s stealth bombers have returned to the Indo-Pacific. Three B-2s arrived Aug. 12 at Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., for the first Spirit bomber task force since a January 2019 deployment to Hawaii. The deployment marks the first time B-2s have deployed to the Pacific since the service’s continuous bomber presence ended in April. “This Bomber Task Force is our National Defense Strategy in action,” Lt. Col. Christopher Conant, task force commander, said in a release. “We are sharpening our lethality while strengthening relationships with key allies, partners, and our sister-service teammates.”
Hill Air Force Base hosts F-35A and F-16 integrated combat exercise

Combat Hammer Underway at Hill

Bomb builders at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, this week are testing weapons for F-35As, B-1s, and MQ-9s as part of an in-depth combat evaluation exercise looking at the effectiveness of the bombs from separate aircraft. The 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron, the military’s sole group tasked with testing the effectiveness of precision weapons, conducts the regular Combat Hammer evaluation at the Utah Test and Training Range. This year’s event includes F-35s from both Hill and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., along with B-1s from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., and MQ-9s from Creech Air Force Base, Nev.

Virtual Events: 6th Annual Schriever Space Forum, and More

On Nov. 20, the Air Force Association's Schriever Chapter will host the 6th Annual Schriever Space Futures Forum—a live, virtual event—featuring appearances by Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John E. Hyten, Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David D. Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center Commander Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, and incoming U.S. Space Command boss Lt. Gen. (sel.) John E. Shaw. Register for free here.

Radar Sweep

Snapshot: DOD and COVID-19

Air Force Magazine

Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

U-2 Makes Mildenhall Emergency Landing

Key.Aero

A Lockheed Martin U-2S Dragon Lady, tail number 68-10337, made an emergency landing at RAF Mildenhall, U.K., gliding in after engine failure on Aug. 10.

Iran Is Our Top Priority, Says Senior US Commander In Middle East

Defense One

Countering the threat from Iran is the U.S. military’s top priority in the Middle East, America’s top commander in the region said Aug. 12, blaming rocket attacks from Shiite militia groups in Iraq for hampering U.S. efforts to defeat ISIS in the region.

Subscription Required

Russia Makes Open Skies Treaty Flight over US Military Bases in Germany

Stars and Stripes

A Russian surveillance plane flew over Ramstein Air Base on Aug. 11 during its second Open Skies treaty flight this year through German airspace, military officials said. The Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft also had a look at Spangdahlem Air Base and flew near U.S. Army bases in Bavaria, officials said.

DOD Drafts Guidelines For Laser Design

Breaking Defense

As the military rushes to deploy new laser and microwave weapons, it doesn’t want to end up buying a welter of incompatible systems that don’t work well together, as happened so often in Afghanistan and Iraq. So the Pentagon’s directed energy office has tapped a veteran of Navy laser programs, Christopher Behre, to draft technical guidelines for all the programs to follow.

Air Force Announces Second Set of New Scholarships for HBCU Students

USAF release

The Department of the Air Force announced this week it has extended more than 100 scholarship offers to new students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the fall of 2020, as part of its efforts to increase diversity in its officer ranks. The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps coordinated with leadership within Junior ROTC and its aviation program, the AFJROTC Flight Academy, to find rising college freshmen that had demonstrated leadership ability, aviation competencies, a propensity to serve in the U.S. military, and an interest in attending an HBCU.

Subscription Required

OPINION: Infertility Was Distressing. The Military Made It Even More Complicated.

The New York Times Magazine

“For service members like me, Tricare health insurance and the limited number of military medical facilities offering fertility treatments add more stress to an already emotional process,” writes Victoria Chamberlain, a U.S. Army veteran who now works as a reporter for the Guns and America public media collaborative at WAMU.

One More Thing

Take a Look at These Incredible Shots of Russia’s Sole Completed Lun-Class Ekranoplan

The Aviationist

Known as Ekranoplan in Russia, the ground effect vehicle or WIG (short for wing-in-ground-effect) plane is a vehicle that is designed to attain sustained flight over a level surface (usually over the sea) by making use of ground effect, the aerodynamic interaction between the wings and the surface. The cushion of air reduces drag allowing the WIG to carry significant payload over long distances, very fast and very low: this makes a WIG equipped with missiles difficult to detect and a significant threat to any enemy warship.