Yokota Increases C-130J Operations Following Completion of New Fleet

Yokota AB, Japan, is ramping up its C-130J operations after receiving its last Super Hercules in April and preparing its crews for operations on the newer tactical airlifter. The aircraft has already shown its effectiveness in exercises such as Vigilant Ace, and Yokota crews expect it to have an impact in its mission of humanitarian assistance. Read the full story by Brian Everstine, who recently returned from the base.

F-15 Grounding at Kingsley Linked to Paperwork Loss

The March grounding at the Air Force’s main F-15C advanced training base was due in part to missing documentation, according to the Air Force. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center spokesman Brian Brackens said Kingsley Field, Ore., requested an extension to a scheduled depot overhaul for an aircraft, approval of which involves F-15 Program Office engineers reviewing the aircraft’s maintenance history. Some previous inspection paperwork relating to a longeron—an aircraft structural element—was missing, though, he said, so the program office repeated the inspection to ensure the integrity of the longeron. “Other nonrelated maintenance issues, led the wing commander at Kingsley Field to pause operations for the remainder of their fleet,” Bracken said, although he had no further details on what those issues were when contacted by Air Force Magazine Friday. The Air Force F-15 Program Office plans a longeron replacement program for the F-15C/D fleet. Fielding is slated to begin around 2020, he said. —Steve Hirsch

“Cargo City” in Kuwait Almost Complete

The planned temporary “Cargo City” in Kuwait, intended to be an interim logistics point for passengers and cargo throughout the US Central Command area of responsibility, is almost complete, the Air Force said Thursday. The facility, which will be the Middle East’s largest aerial port of debarkation, is located next to an unused Kuwait International Airport aircraft parking ramp. It will house Kuwait Air Force, US military, and coalition personnel while the airport is being expanded until the West Al-Mubarak Air Base is completed, expected in 2023.—Steve Hirsch

Growing the Afghan Air Force

Twenty-two new Afghan air force pilots graduated from Initial Entry Fixed Wing school in the Czech Republic in June—including two female pilots, the Air Force said in a press release. Officials with Operation Resolute Support have been working to recruit more women into the Afghan National Army, and, to that end, have placed gender integration advisors in the train, advise, and assist commands, the Air Force said. One of the female graduates, Afghan air force 2nd Lt. Omari, said in the release that she and the other woman had “no experience driving cars or motorcycles,” so flying was “kind of unnerving.” However, she said, “As we got used to it, it became easy.” Omari added it was “unbelievable” to get her wings, after a lifetime of wishing to be a pilot. The pilot graduation came as the deputy air commander for the Resolute Support mission praised the Afghan air force’s improving capabilities and proficiency. Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch told reporters via teleconference that the Afghan air force has begun dropping laser-guided bombs and integrating the UH-60 helicopter into operations, and has also conducted combat air drops. The force “gets better every day,” Bunch said, and the “capability gap between the Afghan government forces and the Taliban continues to grow.” —Jennifer Hlad


—The Defense Department has identified Army Cpl. Joseph Maciel as the US service member killed in an apparent insider attack in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, on Saturday. Maciel was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga. Two other service members were wounded in the attack: ABC7news.com.

—The Air Force is sending two additional specially equipped C-130s, from the Wyoming and Nevada Air National Guard to help handle Colorado’s raging wildfires: Associated Press, via The Tribune.

—Vance AFB, Okla., expects an increase of more than 100 student pilots in coming years, reversing recent drops. The commander of the 71st Flying Training Wing, Col. Darrell Judy, said there will not be an immediate increase in instructors, so the base will increase use of simulators and take other steps: NewsOK.com.

— US Forces Korea and the UN Command opened a new headquarters at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, in late june: DOD release.