Air Mobility Command disclosed June 25 that it plans to retire all its remaining KC-135Es by the end of September. As recently as February, the plan had been to ask Congress to let just 38 of the oldest tankers go, with the rest serving out their time until retirement by about 2016 or so—about when the first KC-X tankers were to have reported for duty to replace them. AMC did not immediately provide an explanation as to why it had so sharply moved up the timetable on the KC-135E’s exit. There are 86 E models in the Total Active Inventory, including active, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve aircraft. A spokesman for the command said that KC-135E personnel will be shifted to the KC-135R to help that aircraft “mitigate the shortage of tankers” until the KC-X begins to come on line. AMC said it will have to endure “a temporary shortage of tanker aircraft in inventory.” He also said the decision to retire the KC-135Es was irrespective of the recent delay in the KC-X contract. The Government Accountability Office last week recommended setting aside the KC-X contract, upholding Boeing’s protest that the competition was fraught with mistakes that unfairly favored the winner, Northrop Grumman. The Air Force has until Aug. 15 to declare its intentions about how it will proceed with the tanker replacement process.
Feb. 28, 2021
In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, Air Force Magazine is posting daily recollections from the six-week war, which expelled Iraq from occupied Kuwait.
Feb. 26, 2021
Acting Secretary of the Air Force Roth, NORAD’s Gen. VanHerck, U.S. Space Command’s Gen. Dickinson, Spark Tank, and more from Day 3 of the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.
Feb. 26, 2021
A crew chief and production superintendent from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., took home the 3D-printed trophy in the Department of the Air Force’s Spark Tank innovation contest for a simple idea he predicts could “solve a lot of issues across the aircraft community.” Master Sgt. Justin Bauer pitched his…
The first flight of the AGM-183A hypersonic missile will happen within a week, experts reported Feb. 26 at AFA's virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium. The Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon will fly soon after a failed attempt, which was apparently due to technical and procedural glitches not related to the missile's design.
Air Combat Command is trying to move forward with an experiment it hopes will pave the way for a larger overhaul of fighter pilot training, despite pandemic-era complications. The command is working through the contracting process for the resources it needs to test the “Reforge” idea, ACC boss Gen. Mark…
Feb. 26, 2021
Nearly 140 Air National Guard personnel from Texas and Kentucky have responded to parts of Texas that were devastated by Winter Storm Uri, ANG Director Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh told reporters Feb. 26. The polar vortex ravaged Texas’ power grid and deprived many citizens of running water.
The head of Air Combat Command isn't sure the cost of operating the F-35 will hit the desired $25,000 per hour by 2025, and he's headed out to meetings to see what can be done to make it happen. He's also concerned that China will beat the U.S. to 6th-generation…
The Pentagon’s new Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military has 90 days to find ways to combat the problem within the ranks, and the group will consider all options to address an issue that has “shattered the dreams” of many service members who joined with optimism about…
Feb. 26, 2021
Air Education and Training Command has incorporated a focus on human performance optimization—which includes personal resilience, health, fitness, diet, and mental performance—into its Undergraduate Pilot Training 2.5 program, 19th Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Craig D. Wills said at the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.