USAF to Receive First KC-46 in October
The Air Force and Boeing have reached an agreement to deliver the first KC-46A in October, with the remaining 17 contractually obligated aircraft to be delivered in 2019. The new schedule is more than a year after the previous target date, but earlier than the Air Force’s most recent estimate of spring 2019. Read the full story by Brian Everstine and John A. Tirpak.
USAF Leaders Say Space Force Planning to be Deliberate, No Sudden Changes
Air Force top leadership Tuesday told airmen in a letter that work to implement President Trump’s directive to begin planning for a Space Force will be deliberate and that no sudden shifts are on the horizon. In the Tuesday letter to airmen, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, and CMSAF Kaleth Wright said they looked forward to working with Defense leaders, Congress, and “our national security partners” on the planning effort. “The work directed by the President will be a thorough, deliberate, and inclusive process,” they wrote. “As such, we should not expect any immediate moves or changes. Our focus must remain on the mission as we continue to accelerate the space warfighting capabilities required to support the National Defense Strategy.” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White, also on Tuesday, made a similar comment, emphasizing the move to create a Space Force would require congressional action and take years to put into place. —Steve Hirsch
North Korea Reportedly to Begin Handing Over Remains of US Troops from Korean War
USAF Announces 2018 Outstanding Airmen of the Year
The Air Force on Wednesday announced the 12 airmen selected as the year’s Outstanding Airmen of the Year. The winners include SMSgt. Melissa Beam, Air Combat Command; Sgt. Elizabeth Caulfield, Air Force District of Washington; SSgt. Wilson B. J. Gardner, Air National Guard; SMSgt. Ruth Griffin, Air Force Global Strike Command; TSgt. Brett Laswell, Air Force Special Operations Command; MSgt. Kit Lui, Air Force Reserve Command; MSgt. Joshua Matias, Air Education and Training Command; TSgt. David Miller, US Air Forces in Europe; SrA. Patrick Schilling, Air Force Materiel Command; TSgt. April Spilde, Air Force Space Command; SMSgt. Lucero Stockett, Air Mobility Command; and SrA. Jon Taitano, Pacific Air Forces. Thirty-six nominees were considered by an Air Force selection board at the Air Force Personnel Center; the final 12 were selected on the basis of leadership, job performance, and personal achievement. The top 12 will be able to wear the Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon with the bronze service star device on the ribbon and will be authorized to wear the Outstanding Airman of the Year badge for a year after presentation at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference Sept. 17-19 in National Harbor, Md. The Outstanding Airman of the Year program debuted at the Air Force Association’s 10th annual National Convention in 1956.
Former Thai Monk Finds New Life in Air Force
Kornkawee Rue Art, who spent 18 years as a Thai monk, is now an airman 1st class and a pharmacy technician with the 23rd Medical Support Squadron at Moody AFB, Ga., according to a Defense Department profile released Monday. While a monk, on a missionary trip to the US, Rue Art was inspired by a friend, who was about to enlist in the US military. The friend, A1C Pramuan Buddee, with the 90th Force Support Squadron, became the first Thai Buddhist monk in the US Air Force; Rue Art is the second. —Steve Hirsch
Remains of MIA Vietnam-Era F-4C Pilot Returned to US
The remains of F-4C Phantom II pilot Col. Peter Stewart, shot down during the Vietnam War, have been recovered, the Defense Department said Tuesday. The remains, discovered during an excavation in Vietnam by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, were brought home to Winter Haven, Fla., where a formal full honors funeral service was held Monday. Stewart, who was declared missing in action in March 1966, flew 70 combat missions in World War II and continued to serve in the Korean War before flying combat missions in Vietnam.
—US Africa Command said Wednesday allegations of civilian casualties from a June 6 airstrike near Bani Walid, Libya, were found to be “not credible,” noting four ISIS-Libya militants were killed in the strike, “as previously released:” Africa Command release.
—Air Force medical personnel participated in a health services administration subject matter expert exchange with the Chilean air force in Santiago, Chile, earlier this month, which included briefings, discussion sessions and informal talks on administering health services to patients: US Southern Command release.
—Lockheed Martin is expected to host a ceremony Thursday at its Fort Worth, Texas, headquarters marking the delivery of the first two F-35s for Turkey despite congressional attempts to keep Turkey from obtaining the fighters: Hurriyet Daily News.