Air Mobility Command’s 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center, the unit at Scott AFB, Ill., that runs global airlift, air refueling, and aeromedical evacuation missions, has bested its previous high-point for number of sorties planned: 1,063 sorties in one 24-hour period in November compared to 1,051 sorties in February 2008. An average day’s worth of sorties runs around 900, so in the view of TACC members, it was just another day. “We’re here 24 hours a day, 366 days on a leap year giving our military global reach capability,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Solo, 618th TACC commander. While the TACC plans every mission, identifying crews and aircraft and creating tasking orders, not every mission comes off. According to Solo, about 80 percent of the missions planned are actually flown, because various factors—like weather and maintenance issues or even the enemy—can affect the sorties. Since 9/11, TACC personnel have planned and coordinated more than 453,000 sorties for the war on terror. “Whether it’s evacuating injured troops, delivering supplies to our forces on the ground, performing humanitarian operations, or providing air-to-air refueling, the 618th TACC plays a key role in our military’s operations every day,” said Solo. (618th TACC report by 1st Lt. Justin Brockhoff)
The Collaborative Combat Aircraft will be operational in the late 2020s, several years before the Next-Generation Air Dominance family of systems, Air Force officials told the House Armed Services tactical aviation panel. The CCAs will first be “shooters,” then electronic warfare platforms, then sensors, in that order, they added.