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The 325th Maintenance Group's building lay in ruin following Hurricane Michael on Oct. 10, 2018. Hurricane Michael is the third largest hurricane to make landfall in the United States, reaching peak winds of 155 miles per hour. DOD photo.


Tyndall Rebuild Represents Possible Opportunity for USAF

Col. Brian Laidlaw, the commander of the 325th Fighter Wing, tells Air Force Magazine what it was like to ride out one of the worst storms ever to make landfall in the United States, saying Tyndall AFB, Fla., looked “like a warzone” immediately after Hurricane Michael passed through. The base now is in the early stages of recovering from the Category 4 storm, but Laidlaw said the extensive rebuild can be an opportunity for the Air Force. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

AETC Fires Three Commanders at Laughlin

Three commanders at a main flying training wing were fired this week after investigations into chronic leadership failures, Air Education and Training Command announced. Col. Charles Velino, commander of the 47th Flying Training Wing at Laughlin AFB, Texas, along with the operations group commander and a flying training squadron commander at the base were relieved by Air Education and Training Commander Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast after a review and recommendation from the commander of 19th Air Force, according to an AETC release.  Col. Lee Gentile, formerly the commander of the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance AFB, Okla., has assumed command of the wing. “The prior command team chronically failed to appropriately care for people and the mission,” Kwast said in the release. “They failed to correct an evolving situation that led to an environment where some airmen did not feel safe or respected.” AETC did not detail the specific actions, but stated that the commanders did not take appropriate steps to respond to, correct, and report incidents of officer misconduct. The command change comes as the Air Force’s flying training wings face repeated incidents of hypoxia-related events and crashes involving T-6 and T-38 aircraft, including a November crash of a Talon from Laughlin that killed one pilot and injured another. —Brian Everstine

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Airstrike Total in Afghanistan Highest Since Late 2010

US aircraft in September conducted more airstrikes in Afghanistan than any other month since the height of the surge, according to new statistics released by Air Forces Central Command. US aircraft conducted 841 airstrikes—the highest total since November 2010 when US aircraft conducted 866 airstrikes. The increase comes as US forces are going “on the offensive” against a resurgent Taliban because Afghan and coalition forces were absorbing an increased number of casualties, US Forces-Afghanistan Commander Gen. Scott Miller told NBC News this week. So far this year, US strike aircraft have flown 5,819 sorties—more than the yearly totals of 2015, 2016, and 2017 each, according to AFCENT. Meanwhile, US and coalition aircraft have picked up the pace in Iraq and Syria, conducting 758 airstrikes in September, the highest monthly total since January. —Brian Everstine


Operation Faithful Patriot: These USAF Units Will Deploy to the US-Mexico Border

​Active Duty airmen from Scott AFB, Ill., and Peterson AFB, Colo., will deploy to the US-Mexico border in support of Operation Faithful Patriot, and two USAF installations will serve as operational supply hubs, the Defense Department said Wednesday. Under the operation announced Monday, DOD is providing Active Duty troops and military capability in support of US Customs and Border Protection efforts to secure the boundary and stop reported caravans of people from Central America from illegally entering the US. NORTHCOM chief Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy initially cited 5,200 troops as an base number—an estimate that has jumped by nearly 2,000 personnel in two days. Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.

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RADAR SWEEP


Air Force leaders more vocal about their support for Trump’s Space Force proposal
Top leaders of the US Air Force are doing their best to counter the narrative that they oppose President Trump’s plan to establish a Space Force. Space News

412th Test Wing Releases FY19 Strategic Action Plan
The 412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB, Calif., released its Fiscal 2019 Strategic Action Plan, which outlines how the organization will meet the goals set forth by the US Air Force and the National Defense Strategy. AFMC News

US Strategic Command Conducts Exercise Global Thunder
US Strategic Command today commenced Global Thunder 2019, an annual command and control exercise that provides training opportunities that assess all USSTRATCOM mission areas and joint and field training operational readiness, with a specific focus on nuclear readiness. STRATCOM News

L3 Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Alleging Bias Against Guard and Reserve Pilots
A major defense contractor has agreed to pay $2 million to National Guard and Reserve pilots who were passed over for jobs at the company going back to 2011, under a proposed settlement filed Tuesday in federal court in Washington state. Air Force Times

23rd STS Hands Off Hurricane Michael Airfield Operations to 821st CRG at Tyndall AFB
When Hurricane Michael began devastating much of the Florida panhandle with upwards of 150 mph gusts and rain on Oct. 10, it left many with uncertainty of what their community would look like when they returned home. AFSOC News

Deployed Border Troops Are Preparing For Militias Stealing Their Gear, Protester Violence, Documents Show
The 5,200 troops mobilizing to the US southern border are headed there to deter a caravan of migrants, but some of the direct threats they are preparing for are homegrown, according to documents obtained by Military Times. Military Times

Afghan Government Controlling Fewer Districts, says SIGAR
Kabul’s control or influence over Afghanistan’s districts has reached the lowest level since at least November 2015, according to a quarterly report published Thursday by the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Jane’s

Japan Scrambles Fighter Jets to Intercept Chinese Spy Plane
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force scrambled fighter jets to intercept a People’s Liberation Army Navy Air Force Shaanxi Y-9JB (GX-8) electronic warfare and surveillance plane crossing the Sea of Japan and East China Sea on Oct. 29, Japan’s Ministry of Defense reported earlier this week. The Diplomat


China Claims to Have Successfully Developed a Quantum Radar That Can Detect ‘Invisible’ Fighter Jets From 60 Miles Away
A Chinese firm has claimed to have successfully developed a quantum radar, which could detect stealth fighter jets from great distances. Daily Mail

Former Airman Accused of Placing ‘Spambot’ on Supervisor’s Cellphone
A former airman accused of tampering with his supervisor’s phone faces up to 10 years in federal prison for computer fraud. Stripes