For the first time since its establishment in 1951, the Puerto Rico Air National Guard’s 156th Airlift Wing has deployed as a unit to support combat operations. The wing will cover a 120-day deployment, operating out of Bagram AB, Afghanistan, but will rotate its airmen every 30 days. The wing has deployed individual members to support combat operations around the world, but it has never deployed as a unit. The first group of 68 airmen deployed Sept. 8. The Air Guardsmen fly and maintain C-130s, having transitioned from F-16s in 1998. (Read more here.)
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.