Gen. Robin Rand took the reins of Air Force Global Strike Command from Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson during a July 28 ceremony at Barksdale AFB, La., becoming the first four-star leader of the command. Wilson, who has served as commander since October 2013, oversaw several initiatives and changes across the command, including the establishment of the Force Improvement Program, the bottom-up, command-wide initiative to generate USAF leaders with recommendations from airmen across the force to reinvigorate nuclear operations, management, and leadership. During Wilson’s tenure, USAF also realigned three wings under AFGSC—the 377th Air Base Wing at Kirtland AFB, N.M.; the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas; and the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., which are slated to formally join the command in October, according to a July 24 release.? “General Wilson and the Global Strike team have worked tremendously hard to make significant, positive changes for the airmen who are charged with the deterrence mission,” said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh during the ceremony. “General Rand is the perfect leader to connect with those airmen and continue to drive improvements for them and their families. They deserve nothing less.” (AFGSC release.)
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.