Air Force Academy cadets and personnel deemed mission-critical were holding their ground, as of midday on June 27 local time, as the Waldo Canyon fire raged in Colorado Springs, Colo., according to academy officials. At the time, “no structures” on the academy were threatened by the fire, they said. However, leadership had ordered the evacuation of some 2,200 residents of the Douglass Valley and Pine Valley housing areas at the academy’s southern end “as a health and safety precaution resulting from the unpredictability of the fire,” stated the academy’s release of updates on the fire. The academy grounds remained closed to visitors and non-essential personnel, and academy officials suspended on-campus athletic activities until further notice, academy spokesman Harry Lundy told the Daily Report. However, the academy planned to go ahead on June 28, as scheduled, with in-processing of cadets for the Class of 2016, according to a release. Many of those incoming cadets would otherwise be stranded at airports en route, said Lundy. He said new cadets were briefed on evacuation procedures should the fire crawl closer to the campus, but he emphasized that the situation posed no immediate danger. (For updates, check the academy’s Waldo Canyon fire webpage.)
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.