Airmen from Ramstein AB, Germany deployed with a Botswana C-130 aircrew to the Darfur region in support of an African Union peacekeeping effort. US airmen from the 86th Operations Support Squadron, 86th Air Mobility Squadron, and 786th Security Forces Squadron flew aboard a Botswana C-130 that transported 56 Ugandan civil police out of Darfur, following a one-year deployment to the area. It was a win-win type operation. “Even though we are located thousands of miles from each other, we have common experiences and are able to build on those by sharing techniques and ideas,” said Maj. Jim Wandmacher, a C-130 navigator. The mission also marked the first time Botswana provided airlift to the troubled Darfur region.
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.