USAF Aircraft Escape Hurricane Michael

Bases in Florida and Georgia have evacuated aircraft as Hurricane Michael prepares to make landfall on Wednesday. F-35s from the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., arrived at Barksdale AFB, La., on Tuesday morning, as did T-1 Jayhawks from NAS Pensacola, Fla., and F-16s from Shaw AFB, S.C. Eglin-based F-15s and F-16s evacuated to Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, along with F-22s from Tyndall AFB, Fla. Tyndall also evacuated some aircraft to Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Texas. Moody AFB, Ga., relocated HC-130J and A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft, though the base did not say where the aircraft will ride out the storm. Both Eglin and Tyndall have said only mission-essential personnel should report to duty, while Hurlburt Field, Fla., announced it will close at 6 p.m. Tuesday with nonessential personnel excused from duty until further notice. —Steve Hirsch

“Crimped” Component—Not Ejection Seat— Caused B-1B Mishap, UTC Says

The manufacturer of the B-1B’s ejection seat says it’s not to blame for the May B-1B incident in which the crew was forced to make an emergency landing during a fire emergency after one ejection system failed. The investigation found that a component of the egress system was “crimped,” and when the crewmember pulled the handle, the signal didn’t make it to the ejection seat. UTC Aerospace Systems spokesman Al Killeffer said in a statement emailed to Air Force Magazine Tuesday that the egress system in the B-1 includes the company’s seat, a canopy removal/hatch jettison, and a sequencing system, which he said “controls the aircraft ejection event.” In this incident, the sequencing system jettisoned one of the hatches but did not send the signal to the seat to eject, said Killeffer. “So while there was no issue with our seat, the Egress Sequencing System, which we do not manufacture, must function correctly for the seat to fire,” he said. Air Force Global Strike Command awarded the B-1 crew Distinguished Flying Crosses their work saving the crew and the bomber that day. —Steve Hirsch

Reserve Sets Up Program for Mandatory Separation Date, High Year of Tenure Extension Requests

The Air Force Reserve is instituting a temporary program that would allow Reservists to ask to serve beyond their mandatory separation or high year of tenure date. The move is described as part of efforts to deal with expected growth, recruiting challenges, and Air Force Reserve readiness needs. In Fiscal 2018, which ended on Sept. 30, more than 700 Citizen Airmen were eligible for MSD/HYT extensions but only 84 requests were submitted, most of which were approved. The program requires commanders to evaluate decisions based on such factors as the effect of losing a member on unit readiness, level of professional military education completed, and whether extending a member will block a promotion or opportunity for another member. —Steve Hirsch

F-35A Maintainers at Hill Speed Work with Advanced Tablets

Maintainers at Hill AFB, Utah, are starting to use a new, high-tech tablet to work on F-35As, augmenting the laptops they use to connect to the aircraft’s Autonomic Logistics Information System, which tracks information ranging from flight data to aircraft status and supply information. The laptops are heavy, bulky, and not Wi-Fi enabled, requiring airmen to manually update tech data and other information, according to a release. When using the laptops maintainers must leave the flight line and log into ALIS for changes to the jet’s status, but the tablets enable maintainers to immediately update work orders and information, allowing them to move from jet to jet more quickly. Hill is slated to have three operational F-35A squadrons by the end of next year. —Steve Hirsch


The article “Operation Colony Glacier: Recovering, Identifying Remains More Than Half a Century After Crash” (posted Oct. 5) incorrectly characterized the aircraft in this 1952 accident. The C-124 Globemaster was a heavy lift cargo aircraft.


—Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has given the Air Force and Navy one year to get mission capable rates above 80 percent for tactical aircraft, saying budget cuts have led to “systemic underperformance, overcapitalization, and unrealized capacity” in US fighter fleets: Defense News.

—A recent Government Accountability Office report states that hackers can quickly and easily gain access to US military weapons system, and that the Defense Department does not yet grasp the full extent of potential vulnerabilities: Task and Purpose.

—Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, commander of Air University and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Ala., said airmen are choosing to leave their families behind because of low-rated schools in Montgomery: