President Donald Trump speaks on Thursday in Warsaw, Poland. Screenshot photo.
Trey Griffin, a U.S. Air Force Academy cadet, marshals a C-130 Hercules as it taxis at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, June 27, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Hehnly)
About 20 US Air Force Academy cadets in June deployed to southwest Asia to get an up-close look at contingency operations abroad. The academy’s Operation Air Force program sends cadets to bases across the country, though some were able to go to Southwest Asia to get a look at deploying. The cadets went through pre-deployment training and were able to do “real work in support of the mission,” academy instructor Capt. Alex Hollenbeck said in a release. The cadets were tasked with at least 40 hours per week of work, including working with the aerospace equipment flight, civil engineers, crew chiefs on marshaling aircraft, and manning working posts with security forces, the release states.
The Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center released a new request for proposal for its Pathfinder commercial satellite communications effort Wednesday. For the past three years, SMC has sought to take advantage of existing commercial technologies to develop more resilient, more affordable SATCOM infrastructure. The Pathfinder programs are intended to demonstrate new acquisition strategies that build toward “a future innovative, affordable procurement of long term COMSATCOM services,” according to the RFP. In 2014, Pathfinder 1 developed on-orbit transponders for use by combatant commanders. In the current RFP, Pathfinder 2, SMC is looking to procure pre-launch transponders to be used over the Continental United States. —Wilson Brissett
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