Providing close air support to coalition ground forces engaged against terrorists near Samara, Iraq, on Aug. 2, coalition strike aircraft killed senior al Qaeda terrorist Haitham Sbah al Badri and three others, one a foreign fighter, per Multi-National Force Iraq spokesman Rear Adm. Mark Fox. Al Badri is said to have masterminded 2006 and 2007 bombings of the Golden Mosque in Samara and numerous other bombings. In other action, two USAF F-16s destroyed a rocket site near Diwaniyah, killing more than three extremists that were planning to attack coalition forces. Coalition forces called in the Viper strike following confirmation by Special Forces of a local citizen tip.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.