Daily Report

Oct. 18, 2018

California Air National Guardsman Killed in Ukraine Su-27 Crash Identified

The California Air National Guardsman who died Tuesday when a Ukrainian air force Su-27 crashed during the Clear Sky 2018 exercise in Ukraine has been identified. Lt. Col. Seth “Jethro” Nehring, 44, of Fresno, Calif., was assigned to the 194th Fighter Squadron, 144th Fighter Wing. Nehring was deployed to Ukraine in support of the Clear Sky 2018 exercise. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

F-22 Forward Deploys to Belgium

An F-22 forward deployed to Belgium on Wednesday for local training, part of a redeployment of Raptors to Europe following a combat deployment in the Middle East. The F-22, from the 27th Fighter Squadron at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., touched down at Kleine Brogel AB, Belgium, where it will fly with Belgian air force F-16s for about two weeks, according to US Air Forces in Europe. The deployment, called Raptor Redeploy 19-1, is funded by the European Deterrence Initiative “to enhance the US deterrence posture” along with increasing the readiness and training of NATO allies, USAFE said in a statement. While similar redeployments haven’t officially been called “Raptor Redeploy” in the past, it’s not uncommon for F-22s returning from CENTCOM to stop at Lakenheath before returning home, according to USAFE. —Brian Everstine

Retired Marine Awarded Medal of Honor for Actions in Vietnam

President Trump on Wednesday awarded the Medal of Honor to retired Marine Corps Sergeant Major John Canley, who helped save wounded troops during the notorious Battle of Hue during Vietnam. Canley was a gunnery sergeant with Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines who led the surge into Hue City on Jan. 31, 1968, where he fought for almost a week to rescue Americans in the besieged city. Canley was originally awarded the Navy Cross for his actions in 1970. “In one harrowing engagement after another, John risked his own life to save the lives of those under his command,” Trump said during the White House ceremony. During the battle, Canley led a convoy into the city that was teeming with Vietcong and North Vietnamese fighters. He was wounded during the fighting, and repeatedly ran across open terrain to carry wounded Marines to safety. More than a week after the battle began, Canley twice scaled a wall in full view of the enemy to aid wounded Marines, according to his citation.—Brian Everstine

Japanese Airmen Honored For Saving USAF Pilot

The commander of US Forces Japan on Monday thanked the Japanese airmen who saved a USAF F-15 pilot’s life after a crash in June. Read Jennifer Hlad’s report from Okinawa, Japan.

Fourth AEHF Military Communications Satellite Launched from Cape Canaveral

The Air Force early Wednesday morning successfully launched the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communication satellite from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced. The satellite, which launched at 12:15 a.m., arrived at Cape Canaveral in August. AEHF is a joint service satellite communication system designed to provide global, secure, survivable communications for high-priority military users. The satellites also serve other countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. There are two remaining AEHF satellites, and with this launch, “the full constellation will provide near-worldwide continuous protected communication for national leaders and joint warfighters as well as our international partners,” the Air Force said Tuesday. —Steve Hirsch

US Strike Kills 60 Al-Shabaab Fighters in Somalia

About 60 members of al-Shabaab were reportedly killed in a US airstrike inside Somalia on Oct. 12. The strike, which was conducted in the vicinity of Harardere in the central region of the country, was the largest since November, 2017. These strikes, which are conducted in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, “reduce al-Shabaab’s ability to plot future attacks, disrupt its leadership networks, and degrade its freedom of maneuver within the region,” according to AFRICOM, which also reported that no civilians were injured or killed in the strike. —Brian Everstine


—An Air Force investigation found that Thunderbirds No. 4 pilot Maj. Stephen Del Bagno was killed after he experienced G-induced loss of consciousness during a training flight April 4, causing him to crash his F-16CM into the Nevada desert: Air Force Magazine (Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Oct. 17 Daily Report, but the link was broken.)

—Potential carcinogenic contaminants have been found in wells on and near Cannon AFB, N.M., state officials said Tuesday: Albuquerque Journal.

—The aircraft carrying First lady Melania Trump landed safely at JB Andrews, Md., Wednesday after a mechanical issue, during which the cabin started to fill with smoke, according to reporters on the plane: Reuters.

—Alpha Research & Technology, an Air Force subcontractor, has agreed to a $1 million payment to settle bill-padding allegations: Associated Press, via Air Force Times.

—Air Force Col. Nick Hague, who survived this month’s aborted launch of a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station discussed the experience Tuesday: Associated Press.

—Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Wednesday visited a former US air base in Vietnam slated to become the biggest US Agent Orange cleanup site ever: Reuters.

—The first deliveries of Russia’s Su-57 fifth-generation stealth fighter are set to be delivered to that country’s air force, as scheduled, late next year, according to Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko: The Diplomat.