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Air Force establishes F-35 IOC target

US Air Force News - Fri, 05/31/2013 - 10:30am
The Air Force announced today it expects to declare F-35A Lightning II initial operation capability in December 2016. The announcement was included in a joint report detailing service-specific IOC requirements and dates for each of the F-35 variants that was delivered to Congress today.

"The Air Force has spent the last six months looking at our initial capability requirements and the expected availability date. This announcement is exciting news for the Air Force," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley. "It highlights to members of Congress, our international partners, and the American public that the program is on track to bring the United States military and our allies this critical capability."

Today's Air Force visits the Boneyard, takes glimpse at aviation history

US Air Force News - Fri, 05/31/2013 - 10:20am
Air Force Television News released a new, special edition of Today's Air Force on May 31.

Featured in this episode is a visit to the Boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., taking viewers for an inside look at what happens to Air Force planes after they've flown their last mission. Here, a dedicated team brings new life to old aircraft and retrieves aircraft parts for future use. 

Then, Today's Air Force listens to the nostalgic stories of former Airmen who flew these planes decades ago and carry with them memories and stories of missions long past. 

Air Force Week in Photos

US Air Force News - Fri, 05/31/2013 - 10:19am
This week's photos feature Airmen around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.

View the slideshow.

AF secretary to Class of 2013: Next chapter of your story begins today

US Air Force News - Wed, 05/29/2013 - 4:57pm
A total of 1,024 cadets graduated from the Air Force Academy May 29, following a commencement address by Secretary of the Air Force Mike Donley.

Donley congratulated the graduates on overcoming the stringent physical and mental challenges they faced through their four-year Academy experiences.

"Getting into the Academy is a highly competitive and selective process, and members of this class entered with some of the highest aptitude scores in the Academy's history," Donley said. "Our country has invested in your talent and your promise. We expect you to continue to excel in your Air Force careers."

Airmen continue tornado relief efforts

US Air Force News - Sat, 05/25/2013 - 2:22pm
Since the devastating tornado struck Moore, Okla., May 20, 2013, Airmen have been on the ground helping the residents there. Nearly a week later, Air National Guard and active-duty Airmen are still assisting in relief efforts.

View the slideshow to see what they and the residents of Moore have been experiencing.


SecAF: Sequestration hits AF readiness, modernization

US Air Force News - Fri, 05/24/2013 - 2:46pm
Sequestration has hit the Air Force particularly hard, impacting its force structure, readiness and modernization, senior Air Force leaders said here today.

Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley and Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, the chief of staff, said Congress must provide a solid budget number so the Air Force can ground its planning in reality.

The Air Force understands it must do its part to work through the debt and deficit reduction problem, Welsh said.

"We just want to get to the bottom line or the new top-line budget ... and get on with preparing our Air Force to remain the best in the world," he said.

Air Force Week in Photos

US Air Force News - Fri, 05/24/2013 - 12:42pm
This week's photos feature Airmen around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.

View the slideshow.

AF provides special counsel to sexual assault survivors

US Air Force News - Fri, 05/24/2013 - 11:40am
Often, when survivors of sexual assault are "put on the witness stand, they can feel like they're being attacked," said Capt. Dustin Kouba, a special victims counsel attorney. "I feel like I'm almost defending them ... I'm like their big brother."

The Air Force is taking the lead on providing special counsel to survivors of sexual assault, spearheading a pilot program for the Department of Defense.

The goal of the Special Victims' Counsel (SVC) is to ensure the best possible care for our Airmen, who report they are the victims of sexual assault, by providing independent legal representation through an assigned Air Force attorney. Within 48 hours of the victim requesting the SVC, the SVC will contact the victim and remains their SVC throughout the entire legal process.

Air Force leaders send Memorial Day message

US Air Force News - Thu, 05/23/2013 - 8:00am
Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to Airmen of the U.S. Air Force and their families:

Memorial Day provides an opportunity to reflect upon the sacrifices of our nation's uniformed service members, particularly the more than one million Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who gave their "last full measure of devotion" to preserve the freedoms we cherish. Many of us can envision a specific individual -- a relative, friend, or coworker -- who has paid the ultimate price in defense of America. Take a moment -- right now -- and think of that person and their family ... thank them for giving their all.

KC-46A training, operational bases, alternatives selected

US Air Force News - Wed, 05/22/2013 - 3:31pm
Air Force officials announced today Altus Air Force Base, Okla., as the preferred alternative for the KC-46A formal training unit (FTU).

McConnell AFB, Kan., was selected as the preferred alternative for the first active duty led KC-46A main operating base (MOB 1) and Fairchild AFB, Wash., and Grand Forks AFB, N.D., are the reasonable alternatives.

The preferred alternative for the first Air National Guard KC-46A main operating base (MOB 2) is Pease Air Guard Station, N.H., and Forbes AGS, Kan.; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J; Pittsburgh IAP AGS, Pa., and Rickenbacker AGS, Ohio, are reasonable alternatives.

Oklahoma tornado relief

US Air Force News - Wed, 05/22/2013 - 10:51am
A massive tornado struck Moore, Okla., three miles south of Tinker Air Force Base, May 20, killing 24 people. Nearly 250 members of the Oklahoma National Guard, as well as members of Tinker AFB are assisting with clean up efforts. The following are photos of the damage and relief efforts.

View the slideshow.

Massive tornado hits near Tinker AFB

US Air Force News - Tue, 05/21/2013 - 11:22am
Nearly 250 members of the Oklahoma National Guard, as well as members of Tinker Air Force Base are assisting with victim search and security in Moore, Okla., where a tornado left at least 24 dead, including nine children, authorities said.

The twister hit Monday, May 20, about 3:15 p.m. CDT, just three miles south of Tinker.

Tinker Air Force Base officials activated the 507th Air Refueling Wing Crisis Action Team and initiated accountability of all personnel assigned to the wing.

Airmen submit innovative ideas by the thousands

US Air Force News - Tue, 05/21/2013 - 9:04am
More than 8,000 money-saving ideas have cascaded into the Pentagon from across the Air Force this month.

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer launched the Airmen Powered by Innovation Challenge May 1, challenging uniformed and civilian Airmen to find places to save money across the service, no matter how big or small.

"If there are things we can do better, if there are things we can stop doing, or if there are ideas (Airmen) have on how we can better manage our money... we want to hear it," Spencer said.

Keesler picked as one of five top installations in DOD

US Air Force News - Mon, 05/20/2013 - 4:03pm
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today announced Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., as one of five of the 2013 recipients of the Commander in Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence.

The award recognizes the outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations, Pentagon officials said, and the five recipients were selected for their exemplary support of Defense Department missions.

The other installations are:


Air Force Week in Photos

US Air Force News - Fri, 05/17/2013 - 12:51pm
This week's photos feature Airmen around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.

View the slideshow.

Warrior Games 2013: Airman faces challenge at Games as TBI victim

US Air Force News - Thu, 05/16/2013 - 8:00am
By looking at him, you would never be able to tell he is a battle-tested, combat-injured Airman. He is a testament to invisible wounds and just how their effects can become visible in everyday life.

Capt. Mitchell Kieffer is a mathematician at heart and an operations research analyst at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. The three-time Air Force triathlete and personal trainer was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., working at the Air Force Research Laboratory there when he got the opportunity he had been waiting for - a deployment.

Hagel announces fewer furlough days for DOD employees

US Air Force News - Wed, 05/15/2013 - 1:57pm
After weeks of review, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has concluded budget cuts will require most of the department's civilian employees to be furloughed beginning in July, but that because of other efforts to deal with the shortfall, only half of the 22 days originally envisioned as temporary layoffs will now be necessary.

During a town hall meeting May 14 at the Mark Center in Alexandria, Va., Hagel told Defense Department employees that most will be required to take 11 furlough days beginning July 8, one per week, through the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.

Warrior Games 2013: Life can change in a split second

US Air Force News - Wed, 05/15/2013 - 10:10am
Life can be described as a series of moments, seconds even, strung together to form experiences and memories. A split-second decision can mean the difference between life and death.

Senior Master Sgt. Martin Smith knows the impact just one second can make.

Smith, a seasoned motorcycle rider and Active Guard Reservist, was driving home from work just as he had done countless times before. A construction project on the interstate caused traffic to back up on the roadway. As he came around a sharp curve, he didn't realize the cars in front of him were actually at a stand-still.

Warrior Games 2013: Airman uses Games to rise above PTSD, injury

US Air Force News - Tue, 05/14/2013 - 8:00am
Behind her bright brown eyes, easy smile and contagious laugh there is pain -- both physical and mental.

Retired Staff Sgt. Zuleika Cruz-Pereira joined the Army after Sept. 11, 2001, because she wanted to do something to help people.

"I wanted to go out there and do something big," she said. "I'm one of those people who it doesn't matter if I know you or not. I'm going to help you if you need help."

She enlisted as a water treatment specialist and served two tours in Southwest Asia before she joined the Air Force in 2008. During her time in the Army, Cruz-Pereira saw and experienced things that are still too painful for her to share outside of her closest confidants. Despite her battle with post-traumatic stress disorder, which was undiagnosed at the time, she deployed again -- this time as a logistics Airman.

Warrior Games 2013: Competing 'medicine' for AF wounded warrior

US Air Force News - Mon, 05/13/2013 - 8:00am
Master Sgt. Shawn Schwantes may have been a pleasant surprise for his Air Force Warrior Games coaches during the team's training camp at the U.S. Air Force Academy. But Schwantes fully expected to flourish on the track and with his teammates because he considers sports his most effective medicine.

Representing the Air Force Warrior Games team in men's open 30-kilometer cycling and 1900-meter open track and field is a natural fit because of a strong running background that includes ultra marathons with distances of 26-plus miles.