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​Col. Joel Safranek, 436th Airlift Wing commander, A1C Ceasar Ventura, 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron dedicated crew chief, and A1C Mason Gray, 436th AMXS assistant dedicated crew chief, pull off tape during a DCC unveiling ceremony Oct. 4, 2019, at Dover AFB, Del. Air Force photo by SrA. Christopher Quail.

​Now AMC Crew Chiefs Can Paint Their Names on Aircraft

Dedicated crew chiefs can now put their names on Air Mobility Command aircraft for the first time in about 20 years, thanks to a push from the 736th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Dover AFB, Del. The policy change, effective Sept. 17, lets dedicated and assistant dedicated crew chiefs for C-5s, C-17s, C-130s, KC-10s, and KC-135s paint their names on their aircraft. Names must be removed only when aircraft will be deployed to war zones for longer than 14 days, according to AMC. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Barksdale B-52s Deploy to England

B-52s from Barksdale AFB, La., flew to RAF Fairford, England, this week for a bomber task force deployment. The deployment of bombers from the 2nd Bomb Wing is the latest in a series of bomber rotations to Europe, and follows last month’s deployment of B-52s from Barksdale’s 307th Bomb Wing to Fairford for an exercise. While in England, the 2nd BW B-52s will conduct “integration and interoperability training” with allies in the region, according to an Air Force Global Strike Command release. The deployment is the latest in a series for B-52s overall, as the bombers carry the load for Global Strike Command as B-1s continue to face readiness struggles. B-52s are currently deployed to Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific, with another B-52 rotation expected from Barksdale in the near future to replace Minot B-52s currently in Guam for the continuous bomber presence mission. —Brian Everstine

Valkyrie “Wingman” Drone Damaged After Third Test Flight

The XQ-58A Valkyrie experimental “wingman” drone was damaged upon landing after its third flight,1 on Oct. 9. The Valkyrie, produced by Kratos in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory, is part of AFRL’s Low Cost Attritable Strike Demonstration Program. During a 90-minute flight at the US Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, the aircraft met its test objectives, including flying faster and at a higher altitude than previous flights. However, after landing, high surface winds combined with a malfunction of the aircraft’s provisional flight test recovery system caused a mishap, the service said in an Oct. 10 release. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

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Green Beret to Receive the Medal of Honor

An active duty Green Beret will receive the Medal of Honor later this month for his actions during a 2008 battle in Afghanistan in which he is credited with saving the lives of four soldiers and preventing his team from being overrun. MSgt. Matthew Williams was deployed to Afghanistan with Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3336, Special Operations Task Force-33, when his team came under fire. While rescuing other members of the assault element and evacuating multiple casualties, Williams faced rocket-propelled grenades and sniper and machine gun fire, according to the White House announcement. He led an Afghan Commando element across a river to fight up a mountain, setting up a base of fire the enemy could not overcome. Williams aided his team sergeant who was wounded by a sniper, helping him down the steep mountainside to a casualty collection point. He then climbed up the cliff, exposing himself to enemy fire to move more casualties to the collection point, and then loaded the wounded onto helicopters, according to the announcement. Williams, who still serves in the Army at Fort Bragg, N.C., will receive the award during an Oct. 30 White House ceremony. —Brian Everstine

Special Tactics Pararescueman Dies in Training Incident

A special tactics pararescueman died Oct. 8 in a training incident while practicing mountain rescues in Idaho. TSgt. Peter Kraines, 33, was assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing. He sustained injuries while practicing rescue techniques on mountains near Boise, the Air Force announced Oct. 10. The service did not expand on the incident. “This is a tragic loss  to the special tactics community,” 24th SOW Commander Col. Matthew Allen said in the release. “We are grateful for the support from our community and our (Air Force Special Operations Command) teammates. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and teammates at this time.” Kraines joined the Air Force in 2011, and had previously been assigned to the 347th Rescue Group at Moody AFB, Ga., before joining special tactics and being assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C. —Brian Everstine

Spangdahlem Operations Likely to Resume Next Week Following Crash

The 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, is expected to resume flying operations next week following the Oct. 8 crash of an F-16 near the base. Wing leadership after the crash halted flying operations “to provide space to respond to the incident,” the base said in an Oct. 10 statement. At about 3 p.m. local time, an F-16 from the 480th Fighter Squadron crashed during a routine training sortie, going down near the town of Zemmer. The pilot was able to eject, sustained minor injuries, and was released from a local hospital the same day. —Brian Everstine

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RADAR SWEEP


Two ISIS “Beatles” Transferred from Syrian Prison to US Military Custody
Two notorious British Islamic State fighters nicknamed “The Beatles” were moved on Oct. 9 from a Kurdish-run prison in Syria to a safe location, officials said. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh are British nationals who were part of a four-person ISIS cell behind the video executions of western hostages, including American journalist James Foley. ABC News

Air Force Concludes Investigation into Aircrew Trump Resort Stays
The US Air Force has concluded an internal travel log investigation prompted by a C-17 Globemaster III stop at Scotland's Glasgow Prestwick Airport earlier this year, and the airlift crews' subsequent decision to stay at a Trump-owned property. Military.com

Air Force Boosts Funding Cap for Promising Startups
The Air Force tech accelerator AFWERX is dangling the prospect of an extra injection of capital for commercial startup firms that show promise in developing weapons for the service, via matching funds that start at $3 million—but the sky is the notional limit. According to the “first of its kind” solicitation, obtained by Breaking Defense, the objective of the so-called commercial solutions opening (CSO) “is aimed at “solutions with significant dual-use potential; ability to scale rapidly; and of strategic interest to the US Air Force.” Breaking Defense

Netherlands to Buy Nine More F-35s
The Dutch Ministry of Defence will buy nine more F-35s, State Secretary for Defence Barbara Visser informed parliament on Oct. 8. This will bring the total number of Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35s to 46, allowing the creation of a third Joint Strike Fighter squadron, the ministry said on its website on Oct. 8. Jane’s Defence Weekly (subscription required)

OPINION: Effective Cybersecurity Requires Persistent Presence
“In nearly eight years as Secretary of the Navy, I faced a steep challenge on how to manage cyber threats at the pace of 8 million attempted intrusions a day in an organization of 900,000 people,” writes former Navy Secretary and current Mabus Group CEO Ray Mabus. Nextgov

This Is How to Get Your Goodies to Troops Overseas in Time for the Holidays
Summer is barely over, but it’s time to start thinking about the holidays, especially when it comes to getting packages overseas in time for the troops. Military Times

One More Thing …

CSAF Gen. Goldfein Jams with the USAF Band!
Watch Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein join the USAF Band’s SuperSonic ensemble for a quick jam session before the group deploys as the US Air Forces Central Command Band. The USAF Band on YouTube