Air Force KC-135 tankers from RAF Mildenhall, Britain, recently joined C-17s of the multinational Heavy Airlift Wing stationed at Pápa AB, Hungary, in the skies over Germany for the rare opportunity for both to hone vital skills. Boom operators of the 100th Air Refueling Wing’s KC-135s normally service fighter aircraft, but seldom have occasion to refuel large receiver aircraft, such as the C-17, which pose unique air refueling challenges. But under the new “mutually beneficial arrangement” with the HAW, they will get this training. The HAW aircrews, in turn, will be able to fulfill their requirements for receiver training in Europe rather than having to travel to the United States for it. The HAW is “committed to training to the same standard” as the US Air Force and maintain the skills needed “to employ all aspects of C-17 capabilities,” said USAF Col. John Zazworsky, HAW commander. (Mildenhall report by SrA. Tabitha M. Lee)
Rumored cuts to the F-35 from the fiscal 2025 defense budget—six from Air Force plans—would not be offset by recent Foreign Military Sales, and will disrupt ongoing Lot 19 negotiations, Pentagon and industry sources said.