The switch to a new intelligence mission for the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 102nd Fighter Wing at Otis ANGB, Mass., has hit a funding wall, reports the Cape Cod Times. Unit officials tell the Times that there is no money for needed construction, equipment, and training. A new Government Accountability Office report says USAF’s transformation plan for the Air Guard lacks adequate funding and space in technical schools. So far, the Otis unit has only been able to train eight Air Guardsmen in the new intel mission, which calls for Otis airmen to operate a Distributed Ground Station. The 102nd needs at least 70 to meet its initial operational capability date of January 2008. Meanwhile, it will begin to lose its F-15s this fall, and the new intel mission will not support all the unit’s airmen.
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.