As we reported Friday, the Senate on Oct. 22 approved the conference report for the Fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill, and, since the House had passed the legislation on Oct. 8, the policy bill now goes to President Obama for signature. Lawmakers expressed their concern on several airpower issues, including the fighter gaps facing the Air National Guard and the Navy. The bill would slow the Air Force plan to retire some 250 legacy fighters in 2010, requiring no action until 30 days after the service provides a detailed report on how it expects to address shortages in ANG’s air sovereignty alert mission. It also authorizes the Navy to enter a new multiyear agreement to purchase additional F/A-18 fighters to address current and forecasted shortfalls in strike fighters. (Conference report summary and full report, large file)
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.