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Hurricane Damage Won’t Stop Most F-22s From Flying, Air Force Secretary Says
The damage caused to F-22 Raptors that rode out Hurricane Michael at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, will not prevent 80 percent of all Raptors from being flyable by fiscal 2019, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said on Friday.
“We expect to meet that goal,” Wilson told reporters. “Most of the F-22s have already flown out of Tyndall and the last ones will fly out by Nov. 6.”
Defense Secretary James Mattis has ordered that 80 percent of F-22s and other fighter aircraft fleets be mission capable by Oct. 1, 2019.
Seventeen F-22s were at Tyndall when Hurricane Michael destroyed the base on Oct. 10, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., revealed in an Oct. 22 letter to Wilson.
“The damage was far less than feared and we won’t go into details,” Wilson said on Friday, noting that the Raptors were able to fly shortly after the storm.
The Air Force does not yet know how much the damage to Tyndall will cost to repair, she said. It will take “several years” to fully restore the base.
For the meantime, the F-22s and personnel with the 95th Fighter Squadron will move to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Wilson said.
The Air Force has not yet decided whether the squadron will return to Tyndall.
F-22s from training units will also move from Tyndall to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, an Air Force news release says. The Non-Commissioned Officer Academy will be dispersed among four bases: McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Bas, Tennessee; Maxwell Air Force Base-Gunter Annex, Alabama; Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; and Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.
“We believe that all but about 500 military members will be returning to the Panhandle within the next one to three months – either at Eglin or at Tyndall,” Wilson said. “There are only two missions that can’t be supported at Tyndall at this time.”
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.