Air Frame: Year in Review, December 2011: The United States officially concluded its military mission in Iraq on Dec. 15 after nearly nine years of war. Three days later, the last US troops left Iraq. Also in December, the final F-22, shown here, rolled off Lockheed Martin’s assembly line in Marietta, Ga., and Iranian state television showed off the stealthy US RQ-170 remotely piloted surveillance aircraft that went down in Iran. President Obama signed the bills into law authorizing and appropriating some $660 billion for national defense programs in Fiscal 2012. Also, the Air Force ordered its eighth WGS communications satellite. General Electric and Rolls Royce ceased self-funding their F136 engine for the F-35. The Civil Air Patrol turned 70 and the National Guard celebrated its 375th birthday. And, America marked the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Lockheed Martin photo
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.