The first production drone version of the F-16 has touched down at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and will get ready for its demise. On March 11, the first production version of the QF-16 aerial targeting drone landed at the base. The aircraft has been in testing to eventually replace the legacy QF-4 Phantom aerial target. “Today culminates five years of hard work and dedication beginning with a development program, completing a rigorous test and evaluation phase that has ultimately led to the first operational delivery of the QF-16,” said Michele Hafers, director, test and training division at Eglin Air…

When a lack of English comprehension among Afghan pilots led to hazardous traffic in the skies over Jalalabad, a group of airmen responded by sending the pilots to the classroom. A group of Air Force Train, Assist, Advice, Command Air Advisors stationed at the base this month created a weeklong aviation English course specifically for Afghan pilots to help them communicate better. In January and February, miscommunication led to 19 hazardous traffic reports at the base. “[The situation] presented a major collision hazard to the US and NATO helicopters and fixed wing traffic that flows in and out each day,”…

The 70-member House of Representative Air Force Caucus this week announced its leadership for the 114th Congress, and it includes a group of representatives who are no strangers to the service. The co-chairs for this session are Reps. Michael Turner, R-Ohio; Sam Johnson, R-Texas, Madeleine Bordallo, D-Guam; and Niki Tsongas, D-Massachusetts. The caucus “seeks to educate other members of Congress on the Air Force’s role in national defense and raise pertinent issues related to Air Force manpower, capabilities and missions,” the group said in a statement. Throughout the year, the group has meeting with Air Force leaders and works…

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When the former Army officer created a morale patch poking fun at the most recent ruckus surrounding the Air Force’s plan to retire the A-10, he wasn’t sure how it would be received. He sold out of the “Treason Bird” patches in two days — all 400 of them. For those who haven’t followed the controversy, the stitching is in reference to alleged statements by a two-star general blasting officers as “treasonous” if they worked with Congress against the service’s own plans to phase out the A-10. An Air Force spokeswoman called the comments “hyperbole.” But after an outcry from…

The U.S. government is disputing media reports that a coalition aircraft accidentally bombed an Iraqi unit’s headquarters near Ramadi on Wednesday. Reuters cited an unnamed Iraqi military source on Thursday, who said that a coalition aircraft accidentally attacked an Iraqi unit’s headquarters near Ramadi, killing 22 Iraqi troops. Reuters later updated its story with a quote from a U.S. military spokesman that no coalition aircraft were involved with the attack. Still, Iraqi media and Anti war.com continued to report that a U.S. airstrike killed the Iraqi troops, prompting the U.S. Embassy to issue a statement pushing back on “recent false…

It was only after the death of his 80-year-old neighbor that Senior Airman Robert Evans of Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, learned all they had in common. Now Evans hopes his story of what might have been inspires others to do things differently. Here’s his poignant letter to Air Force Times: My neighbor, retired Maj. Max B. Olson, was a Vietnam veteran who had an arsenal of amazing stories. He was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal and numerous Air Medals, and was a graduate of several flight schools. He had nearly 6,000 flight hours. Throughout his Air Force career, he piloted…

A new handheld tool being developed will allow F-35 maintainers to check the aircraft’s paint for any damage in a fraction of the time it now takes. The handheld imaging tool consists of a 7-pound scanner and an 11-pound backpack; whereas the current piece of equipment weighs 1,200 pounds, according to the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Recent advances in materials and electronics have allowed the Air Force to miniaturize imaging systems, said Juan G. Calzada, of the laboratory .Because the tool is so portable, it eliminates much of the time needed to set up…

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