Kadena F-15C Pilot in Serious Condition Following Monday Crash

An F-15C pilot with the 44th Fighter Squadron at Kadena AB, Japan, is in serious condition and the base has grounded its F-15 operations after a crash into waters south of Okinawa. The grounding marks the second time since March an F-15 squadron has stood down its aircraft, and comes shortly after an Air Force-wide safety review. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Dyess B-1 Made Emergency Landing at Hickam in June Before Stand Down Ordered

A Dyess AFB, Texas, B-1B experienced an in-flight emergency and was forced to land at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, shortly after taking off on June 1. The incident occurred just days before Air Force Global Strike Command grounded its entire B-1B fleet after a separate incident involving a Dyess B-1 on May 1. That aircraft was forced to land at a local airport, and AFGSC discovered “an issue with ejection seat components,” which prompted the stand down. During the June 1 incident, the crew safely returned to base and the unidentified issue was resolved, according to an AFGSC statement. The Hickam incident is not related to the recent B-1B stand down, and the aircraft was not deployed as part of the service’s ongoing Continuing Bomber Presence in the Pacific, according to the command. —Brian Everstine

Medal of Honor Recipient Bud Day Posthumously Promoted

Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein posthumously promoted former prison of war and Medal of Honor recipient retired Col. Bud Day to brigadier general during a summer concert series at the Air Force Memorial on Friday evening. Goldfein used the stars he had received when he was promoted to brigadier general during the ceremony. “I’d like to recognize all of our Vietnam-era friends and thank them for their service,” said Goldfein. “Tonight we gather to remember those who gave the last measure of devotion, those missing in action, those who endured the harsh and tyrannical treatment at places like the Hanoi Hilton and their families.” Sen. John McCain, who was Day’s cellmate in captivity in Hanoi, introduced the advancement, which was directed by the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and became official on March 27. Day—who died in July 2013 after a long illness—was flying his F-100 Super Sabre on a dangerous mission over North Vietnam when he was shot down and immediately captured on Aug. 26, 1967. He was the only prisoner to escape from North Vietnam, but was recaptured by the Viet Cong before he could reach safety. He was repatriated on March 14, 1973, and reunited with his wife and four children. Day eventually returned to active flying status and retired from Active Duty in 1977 as one of the most decorated officers in USAF history. For more about Day, read The Strength of Bud Day and Valor: The Long Road to Freedom from Air Force Magazine’s archives.

KC-46 Heads to Edwards for More Testing

The Air Force’s next generation tanker has returned to Edwards AFB, Calif., so USAF and Boeing crews can put it through its paces. A KC-46 touched down at the test base on May 23, and will remain through June for developmental tests. This visit will be the beginning of a “more robust test schedule,” according to an Edwards release. “While the KC-46 has done some remote testing at other bases, this is the beginning of a new chapter in its development where Edwards personnel can directly test the Air Force’s newest aircraft on site at the world’s premier flight test location,” Lt. Col. Paul Calhoun, commander of the 418th Flight Test Squadron, said in the release.

CYBERCOM, USAF Use New Authority to Fill Cyber Jobs Immediately

US Cyber Command and the Air Force Personnel Center are already using a new authority to hire prospective employees on the spot to help fill its ranks with qualified personnel more quickly. Congress, in the Fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, gave the military the authority called Cyber Excepted Service to help speed up its recruitment, according to a Pentagon release. CYBERCOM, which became the military’s newest combatant command last month, used this authority just days after becoming its own command, hosting a joint hiring event with the Air Force in Silver Spring, Md., on May 8. At the event 18 people were given on-the-spot job offers for positions such as cyber operations, acquisitions, and support.


—The Pentagon on Friday awarded Lockheed Martin a $735.7 million contract modification for materials, parts, and support in advance of the next F-35 low-rate production lot contract: Pentagon release.

—The Air Force is implementing a new parental leave policy, giving secondary caregivers 21 days of leave following the birth or adoption of a child. The policy is in accordance with the Defense Department’s Military Parental Leave Program: USAF release.

—A C-130H and airmen from the Reserve 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron on June 3 conducted a combat airdrop in an undisclosed location in the Middle East. It was the first combat airdrop in a decade for the squadron, which was deployed from Maxwell AFB, Ala.: AFCENT release.

—Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.) on Monday introduced a resolution to honor the 75th anniversary of Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works division: Feinstein release.

— Two E-3 Sentry AWACS flew alongside NATO partners in support of Exercise Baltic Operations on June 6 at NATO AB Geilenkirchen, Germany. The AWACS are deployed from Tinker AFB, Okla.: USAFE release.