The bulk of the Air Force’s deployable air traffic control and landing systems reside in the Air National Guard, and Air Guardsmen voluntarily fill some 25 percent of ATC deployments, according to a USAF news release. Recently, members of the Hawaii ANG’s 297th Air Traffic Control Squadron—a combat communications unit—honed their already battle-tested skills in a four-day exercise at Barber’s Point, Hawaii. Airmen of the 297th deployed to Diego Garcia for the opening of Operation Iraqi Freedom and followed that a year later to set up operations in Mosul, Iraq.
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.