Members of the Civil Air Patrol, the Air Force’s all-volunteer auxiliary, participate in more than 200 air defense training exercises a year, helping Air Force fighter units practice intercepting small-sized aircraft operating unauthorized in North American airspace. “We fly a specific flight profile or multiple profiles that test the ability of the [aerospace control alert] units to respond to various threats,” said Col. Leo Burke, commander of CAP’s Michigan Wing. “The training the ACA units get from these exercises is crucial,” added Mark O’Brien, CAP-Air Force liaison to 1st Air Force at Tyndall AFB, Fla. The CAP aircraft cost only $135 per flying hour to operate. “If the Air Force had to contract for a similar asset, they could easily pay up to $7,000 per hour,” said Lt. Col. Chris Sabo, CAP plans and programs chief. (Tyndall report by Angela Pope)
Gen. Mark A. Milley handed over his responsibilities as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—the nation’s top military officer—to Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. on a gray Sept. 29 morning, marking a milestone in a turbulent era of U.S. defense policy.