More than 100 members of the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno, along with eight of the unit’s F-16s, last month participated in a two-week Combat Archer air-to-air weapons system evaluation at Tyndall AFB Fla. The exercise tested the wing’s operations with the F-16’s air-to-air weapons. The airmen and machines performed well, said wing officials in a release. “We scored 100 percent in live fire tests as well as performing quality and timely maintenance,” said Maj. Robert Gellner, 144th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. During the evaluation, pilots from the wing’s 194th Fighter Squadron shot eight AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles, six AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles, and more than 6,000 rounds from a 20 mm multi-barrel cannon, according to the release. “The 144th FW clearly demonstrated our readiness and capability to provide combat power to the combatant commander on demand,” said Col. Clay Garrison, 144th FW vice commander. The evaluation took place from Oct. 5 to Oct. 20. (Tyndall report by TSgt. Charles Vaughn)
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.