The Air Force has selected Maj. Jay Spohn with the Arkansas Air National Guard’s 188th Fighter Wing to be among the initial cadre of 10 active and two reserve pilots to fly the new F-35 strike fighter. (The Air Force has not yet released a comprehensive list. We reported on Lt. Col. Stephen Pieper and Maj. Chad Lewis, at Luke AFB, Ariz.; a report from Eglin AFB, Fla., has Maj. Lee Kloos among the 10; Maj. Ben Bishop, at Nellis AFB, Nev., is on the list, reported the Las Vegas Sun.) All the applicants have previous instructor time in the A-10, F-15, or F-16. Spohn begins his transition in December, training to fly the F-15C first at Tyndall AFB, Fla. Eglin is slated to receive its first F-35s in August 2010. (188th FW report by Capt. Heath Allen)
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.