AMC Opens Applications for Flying-Only Career Track
Air Mobility Command on Friday officially opened the application window for pilots who want to only fly throughout the rest of their career and avoid staff work in future positions. AMC opened the Aviator Technical Track program to find mobility pilots who can help train and mentor new pilots with the goal to “keep an initial cadre of our talented pilots flying while offering the stability they’ve been asking for,” AMC boss Gen. Carlton Everhart said in a release. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 17, with a panel convening Aug. 29 to select the first participants, according to the release. Notifications are planning for mid-September. “Our pilots have been clear that work-life balance and the quality of their service are concerns for them when they face the choice to separate or continue serving,” said Brig. Gen. Mike Koscheski, director of the Air Force’s Aircrew Crisis Task Force, in the release. “We already implemented several initiatives to enable pilots to focus on their primary duties, and AMC’s beta test is an effort to determine if we can retain more pilots by offering flexibility in how they serve.” Everhart said in announcing the effort last fall that pilots would likely move away from flying operational missions, instead flying “white tails” such as C-20s and C-21s or help train future pilots. —Brian Everstine
House, Senate Conferees Agree on Defense Authorization Language
House and Senate conferees agreed on common defense authorization language for Fiscal 2019, clearing the way for each house to pass the bill, a process that is likely to start with a vote in the House this week. The bill would authorize $639 billion for the Defense Department and national security programs in the Energy Department, and $69 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations. Read the full story by Steve HIrsch.
Boeing, Northrop Present GBSD Design Ideas
Both Boeing and Northrop Grumman have presented their design options for the next generation intercontinental ballistic missile system, a milestone in the progression of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program. Both companies last year received a $349 million contract to mature their designs for the GBSD system, which will replace the Minuteman III ICBM. “We offered the Air Force cost and performance trades for a deterrent that will address emerging and future threats,” said Frank McCall, vice president of Boeing’s Strategic Deterrence Systems, in a release. “By considering the various capabilities and opportunities for cost savings, the Air Force can prioritize system requirements as we progress toward the program’s next phase.” Northrop Grumman presented its design last month. “This key program milestone was the culmination of years of analysis, aimed at helping the Air Force finalize its GBSD design. We are excited about continuing our partnership with the Air Force to ensure we deliver this critical capability for the nation on schedule,” Carol Erikson, Northrop’s vice president for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program, said in a statement. The Air Force has until next year to define its requirements for the GBSD system, with preliminary design reviews slated for 2020. —Brian Everstine
US, Italy, NATO Work Together on Simulator-Based Exercise
US Air Forces in Europe, as well as the Italian air force and NATO, worked together last week in exercise Spartan Alliance 18-8, a large command and control weapon system, air and ground simulator training exercise using virtual and constructive aircraft, the Air Force said Friday. The July 17-20 exercise, operated completely on simulators networked together from locations in Germany and Italy, involved more than 80 service members, civilians and contractors. This is the first time the IAF has participated in this type of exercise outside of Italy. Spartan Alliance will have two more iterations this year. —Steve Hirsch
Aviano F-16s Training at Lakenheath
About 200 airmen and 14 F-16s from the 510th Fighter Squadron at Aviano AB, Italy, have deployed to RAF Lakenheath, England, for a training deployment. While in England, the jets are flying alongside USAF aircraft from Lakenheath and Royal Air Force fighters, according to a US Air Forces in Europe release. The deployment evaluates aircraft and personnel capabilities to train in NATO operations, the release states. ?
—A senior employee at Dover AFB, Del., inappropriately offered inspectors a look at John Glenn’s body before burial, Air Force investigators discovered: Military Times.
—Armed MQ-9 Reapers have begun flying over Niger, a development that a Nigerien official said has raised fears among local militants: Stars and Stripes.
—An Air Force F-16 intercepted a small aircraft in the no-fly zone near President Trump’s Bedminster, N.J., golf course Saturday. The White House said the aircraft was determined to be a non-threatening: Washington Post.
—Two senators, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) have called on the Defense Department to release a report rating the risk of sexual assault at military bases worldwide: USA Today.
—World War II airman Sgt. Charles Daman was laid to rest in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, 72 years after he was shot down over Germany. Daman had been presumed missing until last year when it was learned that researchers had found a piece of bone that belonged to him: KREM.
—A post office in Wyncote, Pa., a northern suburb of Philadelphia, has been renamed for SSgt. Peter Taub, who grew up there, and was killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan in 2015: Stars and Stripes.