KC-46 Deliveries Resume, McConnell Accepts Fifth Aircraft

The Air Force on Saturday resumed deliveries of its next-generation tanker after the second pause due to continued problems with debris in the aircraft. A KC-46 flew from Boeing Field in Seattle to McConnell AFB, Kan., the KC-46 main operating base. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Airman Dies in Non-Combat Incident at Al Udeid

An airman from Dover AFB, Del., died April 19 while deployed to Al Udeid AB, Qatar, in a non-combat-related incident, the Pentagon announced Saturday. SSgt. Albert J. Miller, 24, of Richmond, N.H., was assigned to the 736th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Dover, where he was a crew chief on C-17s. “He was a positive force in his unit and made valuable contributions to multiple contingency and humanitarian operations around the world. He will be missed by all,” 436th Airlift Wing Commander Col. Joel Safranek said in a statement to WMUR. On Sunday, the Pentagon announced Army Spc. Ryan Dennis Orin Riley, 22, from Richmond, Ky., also died in a non-combat incident. Riley was deployed to Ninawa Province, Iraq, with the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, at Fort Campbell, Ky. —Brian Everstine

Air Force Expands Bonuses for Air Battle Managers

The Air Force is extending bonuses for air battle managers in an attempt to try to keep more of the airmen in the service. Previously, only ABMs who had completed their initial undergraduate flying training service commitment or those who were retirement eligible could apply for the bonuses. Now, ABMs whose contracts have expired or those who have never signed a previous bonus agreement may apply for the bonuses. These include annual payments of $20,000 for contract lengths of five years, for a total of $100,000. The ABMs must have less than 19 years of total active military service at the time of the agreement, and no contracts can extend beyond 24 years of aviation service, according to an Air Force release. Congress in the fiscal 2017 defense bill authorized expanded bonuses and required the Air Force to evaluate the bonus program to ensure it meets the service’s needs. This change expands the number of ABMs eligible by 595 airmen, according to the release. It is the latest in a series of steps to address a shortage in the career field, including offers to bring retired air battle managers back into service. —Brian Everstine

Boeing Gets $605 Million WGS Satellite Award, Bringing Total to $2.5 Billion

Boeing on Friday received a $605 million contract modification for the production of the eleventh Wideband Global Satellite Communication space vehicle. This modification to the ongoing program brings the total value of awards under the contract to about $2.5 billion, according to a Pentagon announcement. The contract follows the March 15 launch of the 10th satellite on a Delta IV launch vehicle. The WGS satellite constellation provides enhanced communication capability for the military and allied nations. The first satellite in the system was launched in 2007. Lt. Gen. John Thompson, head of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, told reporters earlier this month the Air Force and Boeing worked on the procurement plan for this, wanting to approach the new WGS systems in different ways as part of an Air Force push to move the programs along faster. Brig. Gen. Steve Whitney, the production corps program executive officer at SMC, said Boeing has proposed to arrange for the launch. —Brian Everstine

Eglin Honored for Environmental Efforts

The Defense Department on Monday announced Eglin AFB, Fla., was the winner of a 2019 Secretary of Defense Environmental award—the only Air Force base to be recognized. Nine installations received awards for efforts to “conserve the nation’s natural and cultural resources, protect human health, prevent or eliminate pollution” among other efforts. Eglin, the Air Force’s largest installation, received the award for natural resources conservation, because of its efforts to relocate 1,030 gopher tortoises, conduct 160 prescribed burns across more than 145,000 acres on base, removal of 290,000 tons of hazardous fuel biomass, and a 20 percent reduction of wildfires caused by mission activities on test areas, according to a Pentagon release.


F-16 Intercepts Private Aircraft Near Mar-a-Lago

An F-16 fighter jet and military helicopter intercepted a single-engine aircraft that strayed into restricted airspace and was not in communication with air traffic controllers on Saturday, according to a statement released by the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Task and Purpose

Nevada Assembly Opposes Nellis Air Force Base Range Expansion

On the heels of Rep. Mark Amodei’s call to work with Congress to get some public lands from the federal government in trade for expansion of the Air Force and Navy ranges, the Assembly has passed a resolution opposing any expansion of the Nellis Air Force Base range. Nevada Appeal

Air Force: Kirtland Jet Fuel Cleanup to Continue for Years

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Mark Correll said efforts to rid the groundwater of jet fuel contamination at Kirtland Air Force Base would continue for years to come, and he noted that there are no funding issues with the project. Albuquerque Journal

The Air Force Is on a Mission to Fix its Uniforms

Since his tenure in the Air Force, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has called for improved, better-fitting uniforms — not only for comfort, but also for safety. Military.com

As Floods Hit Offutt, Vets Took Extreme Measures to Salvage 55th Wing History from Threatened Buildings

As fetid floodwaters crept into the parking lot of the 55th Wing headquarters on the morning of March 16, teams of uniformed and civilian employees finished clearing out classified documents, personnel files, computers. Omaha World-Herald

Pentagon Hosts Sijan Award Presentation, First-Ever Resiliency Event

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein presented eight airmen with the 2017 and 2018 Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award April 17, 2019, at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes in Arlington. The 2018 award recipients: Lt. Col. Martin O’Brien, 1st Lt. Jason Quadros, MSgt. Robert Perz, and MSgt. Veronica Babauta, alongside the 2017 award recipients, were all honored during the ceremony. USAF release

Wilkie: Entire Government to Focus on Reducing Vet Suicides

With veteran suicides remaining stubbornly high, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said Friday the entire federal government was focused on finding a solution to the problem. Associated Press via Military.com

One More Thing …

Watch a B-52’s Engines Literally Explode into Action with a “Cart Start”

The B-52 Stratofortress bomber can use explosive cartridges to jump start its engines. Popular Mechanics