The 45th Space Wing at Patrick AFB, Fla. is feeling the strain of having more than 15 percent of its airmen deployed to Southwest Asia, reports Norman Moody of Florida Today. And, for some units, like the 45th Security Forces Squadron, the percentage is even higher—much higher, say about half. That leaves much more work for those at Patrick, the focus of Moody’s article, but we expect the situation is much the same around the country. At Patrick, some airmen are taking on responsibilities above their pay grade, and the wing relies heavily on reservists and, in some cases, volunteers from the Red Cross to help out in medical areas. One reservist made it clear he and his cohorts had volunteered. Said Sgt. Dennis McCarthy: “We’re not here because our arms are twisted. We raised our hands and said we’ll help out for a year.”
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.