Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says that the state’s Air National Guard wing at Key Field near Meridian, Miss., has a new lease on life. The 186th Air Refueling Wing is slated to lose its KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft under BRAC 2005, but now it appears the Air Force has decided to let the unit work with Boeing on a KC-135 safety modification project. Barbour says the work, which will start next month and run through January 2010, comes in addition to Air Force plans to create a 150-person warfighting headquarters and a 250-person RED HORSE engineering unit at Key Field. These new efforts, however, have not dissuaded the state’s elected officials from continuing to search for a new flying mission.
A Chinese fighter jet conducted an “unnecessarily aggressive” maneuver in front of a U.S. Air Force RC-135 last week, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command announced May 30, releasing footage of the incident. The intercept, which took place May 26, happened over the South China Sea in international airspace.