The Air Force has presented Air Medals to Capt. Brian Crum and Capt. Julie Moore, both F-16CJ pilots with the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw AFB, S.C. The two had just taken off for an Operation Noble Eagle mission last year, when the tower told Crum his Viper was on fire. His wingman Moore confirmed the news. They coordinated a plan that put Crum at a safe ejection altitude, while Moore scanned the surrounding area for an uninhabited place over which Crum could jettison his external fuel tanks. Meanwhile, airfield operations opened a runway closed for repairs because the takeoff runway had burning debris from Crum’s takeoff. Moore followed Crum to ensure he was OK to land. Crum landed and safely exited the still burning fighter.
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.