B-1s Fly Alongside South Korean, Japanese Fighters
Two B-1Bs flew for the first time at night alongside South Korean and Japanese fighter aircraft on Tuesday, as President Trump called top Pentagon leaders to the White House to discuss military options for North Korea. Read the full report by Brian Everstine.
Travis Responds to California Wildfires
Airmen and aircraft from Travis AFB, Calif., are responding to requests for help as wildfires burn across the state. The base sent three fire trucks and ten personnel from the 60th Civil Engineer Squadron fire and emergency services flight to Fairfield, Calif., to help local fire departments, the base announced in a release late Tuesday. The base also transported two 1.2 megawatt generators to the Green Valley Water Treatment Plant, along with 19 personnel from the 60th CES, 60th Logistics Readiness Squadron, and the Civil Engineer Maintenance Inspection Repair Team, Travis announced. The base is ready to respond to additional calls for help. Twenty-two fires are burning across 170,000 acres in California, with 17 people confirmed dead, according to Cal Fire. —Brian Everstine
B-1s Deploy to England
Two B-1B Lancers on Tuesday arrived in England for a training deployment across Europe, the Air Force announced. The B-1Bs, from Dyess AFB, Texas, arrived at RAF Fairford, England, for training with joint partners, allied nations, and other USAF units, according to US Air Forces in Europe. The deployment closely follows the deployment of F-22s from JB Langley-Eustis, Va., to RAF Lakenheath, England, for similar training missions across Europe. B-1s previously deployed to RAF Fairford earlier this year for exercises including Saber Strike in multiple Baltic states. —Brian Everstine
Democrats Ask Mattis for Information on Transgender Decision
More than 100 Democrats in the House have signed a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis requesting information related to President Donald Trump’s directive to ban transgender persons from US military service. The letter, which was written by Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), asks Mattis to supply “information about what discussions or correspondence between the White House and the Pentagon, if any,” led Trump to claim that the move was good for the US military. McEachin is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and 12 other members of that Committee signed the letter. The lawmakers expressed particular interest in whether “senior military or Department of Defense personnel asked that the president ban transgender individuals from military service,” and they request “letters, emails, telephone transcripts, meeting logs and minutes” related to any such conversations. The letter is motivated by a concern over a possible “breakdown in communication” on the transgender issue between “the president, his national security team, and military leaders.” Trump announced the policy change via a series of Tweets on July 26 before following up with the presidential directive to the DOD and other federal agencies on Aug. 25. —Wilson Brissett
A C-17 Globemaster III conducts a heavy equipment drop during Exercise Swift Response 17 Phase II at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center Hohenfels, Germany, Oct. 10, 2017. US Army photo by Gertrud Zach.
Kentucky, California ANG Units Deploy to Germany for Swift Response
The 123rd Airlift Wing, Kentucky ANG, and the 146th Airlift Wing, California ANG, are supporting exercise Swift Response at the Hohenfels Training Area, Germany. The exercise involves 6,000 participants from 12 NATO and European partner nations, and lasts from Oct. 2-20. Swift Response features training scenarios related to joint forcible entry, personnel and equipment drops, air assault operations, force build-up using short takeoff and landing strips, and evacuation operations.
First KC-46 Tanker-to-Tanker Refueling Completed
A joint Boeing-USAF test team recently used one KC-46A to refuel another KC-46A for the first time. During a four-hour flight, the two tankers took turns refueling each other, reaching the aircraft’s maximum transfer rate of 1,200 gallons per minute. The tankers transferred a total of 38,100 pounds of fuel over the course of the flight, according to a Boeing press release. The successful test marked another milestone for the KC-46 as it moves through its certification process. The Air Force expects first deliveries of the Pegasus sometime next year despite recent concerns that the tanker’s boom could scrape stealth coatings off some receiving aircraft. —Wilson Brissett
Air Force Looking for M-Code Handheld Devices Among Existing Technology
The Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center wants to develop an M-code capable receiver from existing technology, according to a modified request for information released Tuesday. While the service says the new devices would “require security certification, security approval, and compatibility certification by the GPS Directorate,” the Air Force wants to identify devices that could be developed from “industry technologies available today.” SMC wants to pay $2,500 per unit and will procure the devices, which will be capable of receiving an enhanced anti-jamming GPS signal, for the entire Department of Defense. The RFI says the Navy plans to buy around 32,000 units, and the total annual expected production rate for DOD is between 2,600 and 5,200 units. —Wilson Brissett
—Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, declared the AC-130J has reached initial operational capability with six of the attack aircraft delivered. AFSOC expects full operational capability in 2023: Air Force Times.
—Former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin is the leading candidate to become the first undersecretary of defense for research and technology. The position was created when the role of undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics was split into the USDR&E job and an undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment: Defense News.
—The court-martial for CMSgt. Jose Barraza, former command chief of the 12th Air Force, Air Forces Southern, began on Tuesday. Barraza, who was removed from his position last November, is charged on 17 specifications, including dereliction of duty, making false official statements, indecent recording, and obstruction of justice: Air Force Times.