F-16 Romania

480th Fighter Squadron Rapidly Deploys to Deter Russia on the Black Sea

As Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened Ukraine in early February, amassing some 150,000 troops along its border, worrying NATO allies, the U.S. Air Force needed to reassure eastern flank Allies, and fast. The 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, answered the call. They had one week to deploy to Romania with nine F-16Cs, 150 service members, and a million pounds of equipment. Seven days later, they were flying.

New Pilot Bonuses Could Be Worth Up to $420K

Certain Active-duty pilots who renew their contracts can earn up to $420,000 through the service’s 2022 Aviation Bonus program. “Airpower will always be in high demand, and our operational readiness hinges on retaining a force of skilled and experienced aviators,” said Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. in a release. “As we explore an employ a variety of tools to assist in the production, retention, and absorption of aviators, these incentives are one element of ensuring we have the force to meet current and future mission requirements.” 
air force enlistment bonuses

Air Force Expands Enlistment Bonuses to Six New Career Fields

More future Airmen will be eligible for enlistment bonuses in fiscal 2022, as the Air Force expands its Initial Enlistment Bonus program to include more skillsets. The expansion of the IEB includes six new Air Force Specialty Codes, with bonuses of $3,000 for four-year contracts and $6,000 for six-year contracts.

Making the Kessel Run

How a handful of Airmen brought DevOps to USAF, then used it to save more than 123,000 lives.

Radar Sweep

Air Force Clarifies Policies for Pregnant Aircrew

USAF release

The Air Force recently clarified its policies that lifted some pregnancy restrictions for aircrew members. Air Force officials underscored that aircrew members may voluntarily request to fly during pregnancy and no waiver is required to fly in the second trimester with an uncomplicated pregnancy in a non-ejection seat aircraft if all flight safety criteria are met. All pregnant aircrew are authorized to apply for a waiver regardless of trimester, aircraft, or flight profile. These changes, implemented in 2019, represent data-driven policy adjustments, to include pushing some authorities down to the lowest level possible. To avoid any further confusion about the current policy, the Air Force Personnel Center emailed the policy clarifications to the entire force March 31.

Judge Rules US military Can’t Discharge HIV-positive Troops

The Associated Press

U.S. service members who are HIV-positive cannot be discharged or barred from becoming an officer solely because they’re infected with the virus, a federal judge in Virginia ruled. Advocates say it’s one of the strongest rulings in years for people living with HIV. The cases involved two service members that the Air Force attempted to discharge, as well as Sgt. Nick Harrison of the D.C. Army National Guard, who was denied a position in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps.

OPINION: Air Forces Need, You Know, Airplanes

American Enterprise Institute

The President’s latest defense budget request for 2023 would shrink and age America’s geriatric Air Force even further. This for a service that by automobile standards has more than a dozen fleets of aircraft that qualify for antique license plates.

Space National Guard Put on Indefinite Hold

SpaceNews

Instead of having a dedicated reserve force, the U.S. Space Force would have a regular Active-duty force with full-time and part-time members, according to a proposal the Department of the Air Force submitted to Congress April 1. The proposal approved by Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall would establish in law “a new approach to managing reserve component forces by merging what has traditionally been called Active-duty forces and reserve forces into a new component that provides full-time and part-time service options to Guardians,” Kendall’s spokesman Lt. Col. Justin Brockhoff, said in a statement to SpaceNews.

Biden Asks India to ‘Do More’ to Stop Russia and Help Ukraine

Defense One

President Joe Biden urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “do more” to support Ukraine and slow down the import of Russian energy in a virtual meeting of the two leaders on Monday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. India’s close relationship with Russia, and reluctance to side against Moscow unequivocally in response to the Russia-Ukraine war, has become an issue of global concern this year.

China Delivers Anti-aircraft Missiles to Serbia

Defense News

China has delivered anti-aircraft missile systems to Serbia as part of a contract the European nation signed with China that also included drones. Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters Monday the delivery was part of the two countries’ annual cooperation plan, does not target any third parties and “has nothing to do with the current situation.”

One More Thing

Grenade Found Among the Spuds on Auckland Chip Factory Conveyor Belt

The New Zealand Herald

Amongst hundreds of thousands of muddy spuds, a World War II-era grenade was picked up on a conveyor belt at an Auckland potato factory earlier this week. The old Mills bomb grenade, which has since been confirmed as being a training grenade that didn't contain explosives, is believed to have been dug up during harvesting on a farm in Matamata.

This Day in Airpower
Celebrating 75 Years of Air and Space Power