Two dozen airmen from Charleston AFB, S.C. recently participated in an international mission to invade the North Carolina coast—as part of an exercise called Operation Iron Thunder. The C-17 airmen helped wrap up a four-day joint training session involving 100 US, British and NATO aircraft that took them to Camp Lejeune and the MCAS Cherry Point, N.C., the Charleston Post and Courier reports. The C-17s were used to pick up marines, vehicles and supplies, perform a mid-air refuel and maneuver to avoid “smoky Sams”—dummy surface to air missiles. “We want to incorporate more of what we’re doing in the real world,” said Capt. Aaron Walenga, one of the C-17 pilots.
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.