The Air Force wants to bolster the Afghan military’s air wing with four more A-29 Super Tucanos. Air Force Materiel Command on Oct. 7 posted a “sources sought” notice for the production of four more of the Embraer and Sierra Nevada light air support aircraft for the Afghan Air Force. The AAF already has 20 of the aircraft under contract, with eight currently in operation in Afghanistan. Afghan airmen have increased their operations with the small fleet after reaching initial operational capability in April. As of this summer, the aircraft had not yet employed precision-guided munitions—a capability expected shortly. (See also: The Afghan Air Force’s Manning Shortfall.)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.