Officials elevated the 36th Rescue Flight to squadron-status in a redesignation ceremony at Fairchild AFB, Wash., last Friday, according to a release. “The flight has been preforming at a squadron level for years,” said Lt. Col. Jason Snyder, the commander of the newly christened 36th Rescue Squadron, during the Aug. 14 ceremony. “This is a great accomplishment for us, and well deserved,” he added. The unit’s UH-1N Huey helicopters mainly support Fairchild’s 336th Training Group, which conducts the Air Force’s survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE) training. “We also do other support, such as hoist training, parachute drop demonstrations, and even some missions that are not in support of the Survival School,” added 36th RQS scheduling chief Capt. Faith Sanders-Walker. The unit is credited with saving 689 lives since its inception as the 48th Aerospace and Recovery Squadron in 1971, according to the release.
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.