The National Aeronautic Association announced earlier this year that the B-1B crew Bone 23 would receive the 2008 Mackay Trophy for its support of ground forces during a July 13, 2008, troops-in-contact situation in Afghanistan. The crew—Maj. Norman Shelton, Capt. Kaylene Giri, Capt. Louis Heidema, and 1st Lt. Boyd Smith—deployed from the 37th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., was short on fuel but managed to coordinate an aerial refueling that enabled it to make three bomb runs slowing the attack of a 200-strong enemy force and allowing coalition forces to regroup. The Bone crew will receive the Mackay Trophy during the NAA Falls Awards Banquet, Nov. 2, in Arlington, Va. (Also read Sept. 11 release from Creech AFB, Nev., where Smith is now a Reaper pilot)
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.