The St. Petersburg Times reported Tuesday afternoon that an airman assigned to MacDill AFB, Fla., has died from injuries sustained by an improvised explosive device outside of Baghdad Tuesday local time. The newspaper cites a US military spokeswoman as confirming the airman’s death. The airman’s name is being withheld pending notification of the family, it said. MacDill is home to the 6th Air Mobility Wing as well as US Special Operations Command. According to an Associated Press report earlier on Tuesday, a total of four US servicemen—apparently including this airman—died in two separate IED attacks in Iraq Tuesday local time.
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.