Maj. Gen. Patrick Doherty, commander of 19th Air Force, has suspended all T-6 Texan II operations as of Feb. 1, a 19th AF spokesperson emailed Air Force Magazine. The "operational pause" comes after a "cluster" of unexplained physiological events (UPEs) were reported at Columbus AFB, Miss., Vance AFB, Okla., and Sheppard AFB, Texas, "within the last week," the email reads. It's unclear how long the pause will last, but a Wednesday message from Doherty to T-6 leaders—widely shared on
an unofficial USAF-centric Facebook page—suspended T-6 solo sorties "until further notice." Meanwhile, according to the evening statement, USAF will examine the "root causes of the incidents" and react accordingly. “We’re acting swiftly, making temporary, but necessary, changes to everyone’s training, general awareness, checklist procedures, and possibly [modifying] aircrew flying equipment to mitigate risk to the aircrew while we tackle this issue head-on to safeguard everyone flying T-6s,” Doherty said in the statement. The suspension comes a week after
USAF stood up a team dedicated to investigating similar UPEs. As recently as November 2017, two A-10 pilots at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., reported physiological incidents while flying, which led USAF to ground a third of the base's Warthog fleet for about a week. Weeks before the A-10 grounding, the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance AFB, Okla., grounded all T-6As after
pilots reported four physiological incidents there. —Gideon Grudo
The Nuclear Posture Review doesn’t say the US will always answer cyber attacks with nuclear weapons, said Gen. Paul Selva, vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Tuesday. He described how large-scale cyber attacks—among other attacks that cause mass destruction—might well prompt a nuclear response, but he shot down the notion that the NPR calls for developing low-yield nuclear weapons specifically to use against cyber attackers. These misinterpretations stemmed from a leaked copy of an NPR draft, and he suggested that the leaker was a US service member. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.
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