The Air Force personnel and manpower chief, Lt. Gen. Roger Brady, assured lawmakers last week that USAF has a program in place to assist seriously wounded airmen returning from the war on terror. The Palace HART—helping airmen recover together—program begins as soon as the service learns an airman has been injured, explained Brady at a Senate Armed Services personnel panel hearing. He said the service appoints a family liaison officer from the airman’s home unit to work with the family—a process that continues “from initial notification to recovery.” And, it goes beyond active duty time for five years after the airman separates, providing assistance with transition programs, employment searches, financial planning—in general integration back into the civilian community, said Brady. According to a service release, Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph AFB, Tex., manages the program and ensures “each airman’s case is handled on a one-on-one basis.” Recent revelations of shoddy treatment of some wounded warriors has prompted lawmakers to zero in on all such programs.
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.