¡á More than 1,000 people gathered to bid farewell to the 440th U.S. Air Force Reserve Airlift Wing at General Mitchell International Airport. The unit will move to the Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina this summer. The transfer of the 440th and the closure of the Air Reserve Station are part of the 2005 Base Realignment. Master Sgt. Frank Weiss, who plans to retire in June after 34 years of service and almost 30 with the 440th said he was sorry to see the unit move. ¡°It¡¯s sad to see all the years and efforts go away,¡± he said. ¡°I¡¯m seeing supervisors that were here when I started ... and we won¡¯t have these opportunities to get together anymore.¡± Retired Senior Master Sgt. Osbee Sampson Jr. logged more than 6,500 flight hours from 1953 to 1996. ¡°This is like family - today it¡¯s just like I¡¯m going to a wake,¡± Sampson said.
¡á More than half the Air Force¡¯s secondary inventory, worth an average of $31.4 billion, was not needed to support required on-hand and on-order inventory levels from fiscal years 2002 through 2005. DOD regulations provide guidance for developing materiel requirements based on customer expectations while minimizing inventories. However, the value of Air Force on-order inventory not needed to support required inventory levels increased by about 7.8 percent, representing an average of 52 percent ($1.3 billion) of its on-order inventory. The Air Force has continued to purchase unneeded on order inventory because its policies do not provide incentives to reduce the amount of inventory on order that is not needed to support requirements.
¡á India has expressed interest in purchasing the U.S.-built C-130J transport aircraft for its Air Force. The purchase would be the first American-made military purchase since India currently uses Russian aircraft. The Indian Air Force cited the aircraft¡¯s ability to land and takeoff on short airfields without lights as appealing features. India would like to buy an unspecified number of the aircraft via the U.S. government¡¯s Foreign Military Sales program but no contract has been signed.
¡á Delta Scientific announces a government installation in the Middle East has just received shipment of the 2,000th DSC501, the only K54-certified vehicle barricade in the world. Set in a foundation only 18 inches (46 cm) deep, the Delta DSC501 will survive and operate after a 5.4 million foot pound impact. That¡¯s equivalent to a 65,000-pound (29,484 kg) truck hitting it at 50 mph (80 kph). Stopping the truck dead in its tracks, the DSC501 protects against a ¡°second hit¡± risk from a second vehicle.
¡á The Air Force¡¯s first unmanned aircraft systems wing stood up May 1 at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. Forming an unmanned aircraft systems wing has been in the works for about four years, according to Col. Christopher Chambliss. The new wing is an evolution in the Air Force¡¯s UAS program and provides the next step forward in medium- and high-altitude unmanned air systems,¡± he says. UASs have been ¡°an unblinking eye that can pack a punch when necessary,¡± says Colonel Chambliss, referring to the MQ-1 Predator¡¯s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities coupled with its abilities to fire Hellfire missiles.
¡á The Marine Corps¡¯ MV-22 Osprey aircraft will make its combat debut in Iraq when Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 deploys to Al Asad Air Base in September, Commandant Gen. James Conway announced. Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, deputy commandant for aviation, said the Osprey¡¯s primary job in Iraq will be ¡°to take Marines into combat,¡± but that it will be used ¡°for a variety of missions¡± currently performed by the Corps¡¯ aging fleet of CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters.
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In 2006, the university was able to leverage $1 million in funding and turn that into $5.6 million in funding for unmanned aircraft research.
At issue is whether unmanned aerial systems (UAS) will ever provide "an equivalent level of safety" to manned aircraft operating in the NAS.