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​The Air Force has down selected the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano (top) and Textron Aviation AT-6B Wolverine (bottom) for its new light attack program. USAF photos; Air Force Magazine illustration.


USAF Moving Forward on Light Attack with Presolicitation Notice

The Air Force on Friday took the next step in its light attack experiment, down selecting to two possible entrants and paving the way forward for an actual acquisition program to begin later this year. In a presolicitation notice, the Air Force said Sierra Nevada and Textron are the only two companies that “possess the capability necessary” to meet the Air Force’s requirements and not cause a delay. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

DOD Officially Bans Geolocation-enabled Devices and Apps

The Defense Department on Monday officially banned all geolocation-capable devices, such as cell phones and fitness watches, from operation locations to protect operational security. “The rapidly evolving market of devices, applications, and services with geolocation capabilities presents a significant risk to the Department of Defense personnel on and off duty, and to our military operations globally,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “These geolocation capabilities can expose personal information, locations, routines, and numbers of department personnel, and potentially create unintended security consequences and increased risk to the joint force and mission.” The move comes after the Pentagon launched a review of the use of GPS-enabled devices earlier this year. The review was prompted by a “heatmap” posted by the fitness network Strava, which hinted at the locations of clandestine bases and operational locations. Pentagon spokesman US Army Col. Robert Manning told reporters Monday that official guidance was being released, and that punishment would occur on a case-by-case basis. —Brian Everstine

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DOD, USAF, and Guard Increasing Fire Response

The Defense Department is increasing its commitment of aircraft and personnel to help fight fires across the west, as blazes continue to spread throughout the West Coast. Four specially equipped C-130s are flying fire suppression missions out of the Sacramento, Calif., airport, and an Air Force RC-26 Metroliner is assisting with fire location and mapping missions out of Fairchild AFB, Wash. The Pentagon on Monday said it was also activating 200 Active Duty soldiers at JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., who will be trained and deployed next week to assist with fighting fires. Other local units have already deployed to help on the fire lines. Security forces airmen from the 163rd Attack Wing at March ARB, Calif., last week joined the fight against the Mendocino Complex Fire, which has now spread to become the second largest in California’s history. —Brian Everstine

Alaska Guard Rescues Two After Plane Crash

Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons on Saturday rescued two people after their plane crashed in the wilderness. The plane went down near Tyonek, west of Anchorage, and a good Samaritan pilot saw the wreckage and reported it to the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, according to a JB Elmendorf-Richardson release. An HH-60G with the 210th launched with a Guardian Angel team from the 212th, and the downed aircraft’s 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter directed them to the scene of the crash. The airmen were able to rescue the two injured people, and took them to Central Peninsula Hospital is Soldotna, the release states.

Air Force Magazine Honored for Outstanding Defense Reporting

The Air Force Magazine staff has been honored this year with a variety of regional and national awards for journalistic excellence. Editorial Director John A. Tirpak has been named this year’s recipient of the Air Force Association Gill Robb Wilson Award, which recognizes the “Most Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Arts and Letters.” The national-level award, which will be presented at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber conference in September, has been presented previously to Edward R. Murrow, Walter Boyne, Ted Koppel, H.R. McMaster, Tom Brokaw, and Gary Sinise, among others. Tirpak also was honored—for the third consecutive year—by the Trade Association Business Publications International organization for his April, 2017 article, USAF’s Aggressors. The article was among the top five percent of over 400 submitted for consideration. Air Force Magazine News Editor Amy McCullough this year was recognized by the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists—for the fourth year in a row—with a first-place award for her December 2017 feature on Israel Del Toro, Like a Phoenix. McCullough also received first place awards from SPJ in 2017 for Keeping Peace in Korea and in 2016 for her exclusive look at the Raptors first combat operation, With the Raptors Over Syria. She was a finalist in the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ investigative reporting and series categories in 2015.

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RADAR SWEEP


—The Air Force on Friday awarded Lockheed Martin a $32 million contract modification for the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency missile warning satellite: DOD release.

—The US Air Force Academy plans to graduate more pilots in 2019 than any time in the past 30 years as part of a strategy to get more pilots into cockpits, USAFA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria said: The [Colorado Springs] Gazette.

—A Taliban suicide bomber on Sunday attacked a NATO foot patrol, killing three Czech soldiers and injuring a US soldier: The Associated Press.

—The Saudi Arabia-led, US-backed coalition fighting in Yemen has cut secret deals with al Qaeda fighters to have them retreat with looted weapons, cash, and equipment: The Associated Press.