Cash allocation reinstates critical training, tests operations to Combat Air Force
Combat Air Force units from multiple commands began flying again this week after many stopped flying in April of this year due to sequestration.
The restored flying hour program represents $208 million of the $1.8 billion reprogramming allocation authorized by Congress. The money reinstates critical training and test operations for the CAF fleet across the Air Force for the remainder of fiscal 2013. This impacts not just Air Combat Command units, but also CAF units assigned to U.S. Air Forces Europe and Pacific Air Forces.
For ACC, the restored flying hours will be allocated to combat aircraft and crews across the command’s operational and test units, including the Air Warfare Center’s Weapons School, Aggressors and the Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team.
While the return to the sky means a return to crucial training and development for pilots, navigators, flight crews, mission crews and maintainers, the leader of the Air Force’s CAF fleet cautions that this is the beginning of the process, not the end.
“Since April we’ve been in a precipitous decline with regard to combat readiness,” said Gen. Mike Hostage, ACC commander. “Returning to flying is an important first step, but what we have ahead of us is a measured climb to recovery.
“Our country counts on the U.S. Air Force to be there when needed — in hours or days, not weeks or months,” Hostage said.
An Airman assigned to the 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base rescued three people from drowning in the Missouri River.
Altus Air Force Base opened an Airman resilience center for Airmen and their dependents to encourage better mental, social, physical and spiritual fitness. It has classrooms for training, an electronic gaming area, a theater and a game room.
A team of Liberian soldiers, U.S. service members and county health officials conducted a mobile medical outreach mission in Grand Cape Mount County July 1 through 4.
Pilots from the 35th Fighter Wing, stationed at Misawa Air Base, “fought” their way into Chitose airspace early in the day while performing simulated combat training with their Japanese hosts.