USAF Aircraft Escape Hurricane Michael
Bases in Florida and Georgia have evacuated aircraft as Hurricane Michael prepares to make landfall on Wednesday. F-35s from the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., arrived at Barksdale AFB, La., on Tuesday morning, as did T-1 Jayhawks from NAS Pensacola, Fla., and F-16s from Shaw AFB, S.C. Eglin-based F-15s and F-16s evacuated to Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, along with F-22s from Tyndall AFB, Fla. Tyndall also evacuated some aircraft to Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Texas. Moody AFB, Ga., relocated HC-130J and A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft, though the base did not say where the aircraft will ride out the storm. Both Eglin and Tyndall have said only mission-essential personnel should report to duty, while Hurlburt Field, Fla., announced it will close at 6 p.m. Tuesday with nonessential personnel excused from duty until further notice. —Steve Hirsch
“Crimped” Component—Not Ejection Seat— Caused B-1B Mishap, UTC Says
Reserve Sets Up Program for Mandatory Separation Date, High Year of Tenure Extension Requests
The Air Force Reserve is instituting a temporary program that would allow Reservists to ask to serve beyond their mandatory separation or high year of tenure date. The move is described as part of efforts to deal with expected growth, recruiting challenges, and Air Force Reserve readiness needs. In Fiscal 2018, which ended on Sept. 30, more than 700 Citizen Airmen were eligible for MSD/HYT extensions but only 84 requests were submitted, most of which were approved. The program requires commanders to evaluate decisions based on such factors as the effect of losing a member on unit readiness, level of professional military education completed, and whether extending a member will block a promotion or opportunity for another member. —Steve Hirsch
F-35A Maintainers at Hill Speed Work with Advanced Tablets
Maintainers at Hill AFB, Utah, are starting to use a new, high-tech tablet to work on F-35As, augmenting the laptops they use to connect to the aircraft’s Autonomic Logistics Information System, which tracks information ranging from flight data to aircraft status and supply information. The laptops are heavy, bulky, and not Wi-Fi enabled, requiring airmen to manually update tech data and other information, according to a release. When using the laptops maintainers must leave the flight line and log into ALIS for changes to the jet’s status, but the tablets enable maintainers to immediately update work orders and information, allowing them to move from jet to jet more quickly. Hill is slated to have three operational F-35A squadrons by the end of next year. —Steve Hirsch
The article “Operation Colony Glacier: Recovering, Identifying Remains More Than Half a Century After Crash” (posted Oct. 5) incorrectly characterized the aircraft in this 1952 accident. The C-124 Globemaster was a heavy lift cargo aircraft.
—Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has given the Air Force and Navy one year to get mission capable rates above 80 percent for tactical aircraft, saying budget cuts have led to “systemic underperformance, overcapitalization, and unrealized capacity” in US fighter fleets: Defense News.
—A recent Government Accountability Office report states that hackers can quickly and easily gain access to US military weapons system, and that the Defense Department does not yet grasp the full extent of potential vulnerabilities: Task and Purpose.
—Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, commander of Air University and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Ala., said airmen are choosing to leave their families behind because of low-rated schools in Montgomery: Military.com.