Members of the Arkansas Air National Guard’s 154th Training Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base hope to begin using the Walnut Ridge Airport in the north-central part of the state before the end of the year as a night-vision goggle training base. The airport, a mere 20 minutes flying time from Little Rock, was used during World War II as a training site for the Army Air Forces. “Walnut Ridge is a great place because it gives us a low-traffic, low-light environment for NVG training,” said Maj. Tom Parker, the squadron’s scheduling officer and person in charge of finding a suitable location. Members of the training unit scouted the airport May 3. If it gets approval, the Guard C-130s could be using Walnut Ridge by October. (Little Rock report by MSgt. Bob Oldham)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.