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The police chief of Kandahar province, Gen. Abdul Raziq Achakzai (left), was one of the people killed in a targeted Taliban attack. He was meeting with US Army Gen. Austin Miller (right), who also was targeted, but escaped uninjured from the attack. Photo illustration by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory/NATO photos.


Top US Officer in Afghanistan Escapes Deadly Attack in Kandahar

The head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan escaped a targeted Taliban attack on Thursday, while the local Afghan head of police and provincial officials were killed. A gunman, reportedly wearing an Afghan National Army uniform, opened fire during a meeting between local leaders and US Forces Afghanistan Commander Gen. Austin Miller in Kandahar. Three coalition members were injured in the attack—a US soldier, a US civilian, and a coalition contractor, according to the Pentagon. The local chief of police was among the Afghans killed in the attack. US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Col. Dave Butler said in a statement on Twitter that it was an “Afghan-on-Afghan” incident, that the Americans were in stable condition, and that Miller is uninjured. A Taliban spokesman claimed both Miller and the chief of police were targets of the attack, according to The New York Times. The Pentagon pushed back on this claim, saying in a statement that initial reports indicate the Afghan leaders were the targets.  —Brian Everstine


Wilson: KC-46 Delivery Will Slip, Again

The Air Force and Boeing expect the first delivery of the KC-46, previously scheduled for Oct. 27, to slip again as the aircraft’s refueling system and avionics await Federal Aviation Administration certification. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, speaking this week with Bloomberg News, said delivery is now “a little later than [Boeing] expected” because of this wait for certification. “I’m not angry about it,” Wilson told the news agency. “We have some deficiencies that we are working with Boeing to make sure those are corrected.” The Air Force met with Boeing on Wednesday to discuss the way forward, and wants to ensure the aircraft “we get flies, tanks, defends itself, and does what it’s supposed to do,” Wilson told Bloomberg. Air Mobility Command last month said it still expected the delivery by October, though newly discovered “category one” deficiencies could threaten the timeline. The Air Force and Boeing in June reached an agreement to deliver the aircraft by October, with the rest of the 18 on contract to arrive by April 2019. —Brian Everstine

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Shaw F-16s Deploy for Anti-ISIS Fight

F-16s and airmen from the 55th Fighter Squadron at Shaw AFB, S.C., recently deployed to Southwest Asia to continue the air war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The “Shooters,” along with the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and supporting units, are “on their way to an incredibly important fight” as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, 20th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Derek O’Malley said in a release. The aircraft will be assigned to the 407th Air Expeditionary Group and arrived at the undisclosed base on Tuesday, according to Air Forces Central Command. The F-16s are deploying at a time when top US officials have said the fight against ISIS is “far from defeated” and fighting remains in locations such as the Middle Euphrates River Valley in Syria. —Brian Everstine


First Sergeant Academy Lengthens Course

The Air Force said Thursday its First Sergeant Academy is increasing resident class length to four weeks to help revitalize squadrons, one of Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein’s top focus areas. The new curriculum, set to start Oct. 22, will concentrate more on what the Air Education and Training Command called “hands-on, scenario-based training.” In addition, the academy is ending the distance learning course for first sergeants as the school looks to focus focus on such skills as alternate dispute resolution, advanced counseling, and increased engagement with former commanders. “Two weeks just wasn’t enough time to actually train them correctly. What we did now is give them an opportunity to get more comfortable and more confident so they can be prepared to get out there and take care of their business,” said CMSgt. Manny Pineiro, first sergeant special duty manager. The academy hopes these changes will help to “offset the decrease in average first sergeant experience, prepare first sergeants to handle current and emerging issues in complex environments, and to enhance performance as part of the command team,” according to the release. —Steve Hirsch


ANG Controller Makes History During Clear Sky Exercise in Ukraine

A North Carolina Air National Guard air traffic controller became the first female Air Force controller to work inside a Ukrainian air traffic control tower in the history of Ukraine and its military. MSgt. Jacqueline Plumley, assigned to the 235th Air Traffic Control Squadron, 145th Airlift Wing, participated in the Clear Sky 2018 exercise, hosted at Starokostiantyniv AB, Ukraine, which is the first US Air Forces in Europe-sponsored large-scale, air-centric, multinational exercise of its kind to be held in Ukraine. Plumley was assigned to coordinate Ukrainian aircraft departure and arrival times while integrating her unit’s aircraft into the schedule. —Steve Hirsch
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RADAR SWEEP


—The Trump administration is opposed to a North and South Korean plan to establish a no-fly zone over their border: Reuters.

—President Donald Trump Wednesday said he will propose a five percent budget cut from Cabinet departments, although he also seemed to give the Pentagon, now funded at $716 billion, a break, saying the budget for that department "will probably be $700 billion": NBC News.

—The Oct. 12 airstrike in Somalia largely destroyed an al-Shabaab training camp and killed more extremists than the 60 announced by AFRICOM, Somali intelligence officials told Associated Press: Associated Press.

—Ten bomber crews from five Air Force bases are set to fly over Montana without GPS to make sure they can still operate if GPS is ever jammed: Keloland Media Group.

—A new paper from Israel’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies examines North Korea’s air force, which it says no longer challenges the US and South Korean air forces: Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.