World War II Veteran Receives Delayed Distinguished Flying Cross
Retired Maj. Joe Campbell was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross on May 18 for his actions as a B-29 Superfortress pilot during the Korean War. The honor was presented by Col. Ty Neuman, 2nd Bomb Wing commander, at a ceremony near Barksdale AFB, La. “Our mission was in support of one of the largest air combat operations in Korea, but before the operation could be launched, up-to-date intelligence was needed and that’s where we came in,” Campbell said, according to a press release. “Our crew was sent out alone, over enemy territory to verify a target, and gather intelligence.” Campbell was selected for the Distinguished Flying Cross soon after the mission, but the paperwork was lost. His family discovered the oversight recently in conversation with Barksdale officials as they began making end of life arrangements for Campbell, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year. According to the release, Campbell worked as both a pilot and navigator in the Air Force.
Lockheed Receives $46 Million Modification for SBIRS
The Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a $46 million modification to the production contract for geosynchronous vehicles five and six in the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) program. SBIRS satellites provide advanced early missile warning and battlefield awareness. Three SBIRS satellites are currently on-orbit, with GEO-3 having launched in January. Lockheed originally received $1.9 billion for production of GEO-5 and GEO-6 in 2014. SBIRS is one of a number of space acquisition programs that recently came under fire in a Government Accountability Office report, which said the program arrived nine years late and had 300 percent cost overruns. President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposes $1.4 billion in new funding for the program, which the Air Force says will complete GEO-5 and GEO-6 production and begin work on GEO-7 and GEO-8.
OCX Costs to Reach $5.5 Billion, GPS III Satellites Pushed Back
The Air Force now expects the cost of the GPS III ground control system (OCX) to reach $5.5 billion, spokeswoman Capt. Annmarie Annicelli said in an email statement. That amount may change in June when the service releases updated cost estimates for the milestone B review. Annicelli also said the service had spent $3.6 billion on the program so far. President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposes $511 million in new spending on the program. At a space budget briefing on May 24, Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, director of space programs, told reporters that OCX “continues to see ups and downs,” but that overall, it “continues to stabilize.” The service has also pushed back the procurement of two GPS III satellites from FY18 to FY19, Annicelli said. The move was made in light of “longer life expectancy of the current GPS II on-orbit,” she said. The extra time will also allow the service to “to fully evaluate the follow-on acquisition strategy” for GPS III satellites 11 and after. The first GPS III satellite is expected to launch in 2018, with up to 32 satellites expected for the full constellation.
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