Airmen of the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Fighter Wing are on their last deployment to Southwest Asia with the F-16 fighter. On their return, they begin the changeover to another type of strike aircraft—the hunter-killer MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle. The Syracuse-based airmen will be the first Air Guardsmen to take up the MQ-9 mission, courtesy of BRAC 2005 and the Air Force’s Total Force game plan. “The only way that we can keep our hand in the fight … is that we transition to a future weapons system, and that’s the MQ-9,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Lunderman, who is commanding the 332nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. It will take about nine months for the unit’s Viper pilots to learn their new UAV roles and four months to train sensor operators, normally enlisted airmen, but Lunderman noted there is no equivalent job in the 174th FW right now. Although Lunderman is positive the wing will accomplish the switch, he said it could be a challenge to find airmen for the sensor ops position and corollary satellite communications systems and imagery intelligence jobs. The wing’s F-16 maintainers recognize the unit’s survival depends on the switch, according to SMSgt. James Davison, the unit’s maintenance operations center superintendent, but he said, “It will be a sad day when the last F-16 departs Hancock Field, because with it will be many memories and some top-notch maintainers.” (Balad report by SSgt. Don Branum)
Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. provided a keynote address at AFA's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Sept. 14, 2020. Here is a transcript of his speech and the following interview with Air Force Magazine Editor-in-Chief Tobias Naegele.
The "Industry Perspectives: How to Align Private Sector with Requirements of the USSF" panel held as part of the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference featured a discussion with Tory Bruno, Bruce Chesley, Blake Larson, and Rick Ambrose.
This video features Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew P. Donovan's "Strategic Plan for Personnel and Readiness" session from the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference.
This video captures a panel entitled "An Effects-Based Approach to Force Structure Decisions: A Mitchell Institute Session" featuring Lt. Gen. David S. Nahom, Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, Lt. Gen. William J. Liquori, Jr., and William LaPlante from the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference.
This video captures the panel entitled "The Right Mix of Stand-in/Stand-off Capability: A Mitchell Institute Session" with Gen. Timothy M. Ray, Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach, and Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian that was held during the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference.
Sept. 30, 2020
"The New Ops Normal for Families" panel at the Air Force Association's 2020 virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference featured Sharene Brown, wife of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.; Mollie Raymond, wife of Space Force Chief of Space Operations John W. "Jay" Raymond; Rahn Bass,…
Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett provided a keynote address at AFA's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Sept. 14, 2020. Here is a transcript of that speech.
Sept. 30, 2020
Chief Master Sgt. Nathaniel M. Perry Jr., Chief Master Sgt. Mary Polanco, Chief Master Sgt. Brian P. Kruzelnick, and Chief Master Sgt. Tony Whitehead joined a discussion on "Leading During a Pandemic: What Our Airmen Need to Excel" during the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference. The…
Sept. 30, 2020
An MQ-9 on Sept. 10 doubled its missile capacity, carrying eight AGM-114 Hellfires for the first time, thanks to a new software upgrade. The 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron flew the Reaper at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., demonstrating the new capability, which is part of the MQ-9 Operational Flight…