Officials at Kirtland AFB, N.M., ceremoniously cut the ribbon at Building 950, site of the 58th Special Operations Wing’s new HC/MC-130J aircraft simulator. Lt. Col. Regan Patrick, 58th Training Squadron commander, called the simulator “a tremendous addition” to the wing’s training mission. “We intend to use it extensively to meet the needs of tomorrow’s warfighters,” he said. The simulator will enable the wing to train pilots, combat systems officers, and loadmasters “in an environment very much like the actual airplane” and “at substantially lower cost,” said Lt. Col. Alex Carothers, the 58 SOW’s HC/MC-130J program manager. This includes activities such as night-vision-goggle low-level operations, air-to-air refueling, and no-light landings,” he said. The ribbon-cutting took place on Jan. 19. The Air Force’s first MC-130J special-mission aircraft entered the inventory last September. (Kirtland report by John Cochran)
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.