Special operations airmen from Kadena AB, Japan, executed a parachute jump onto Wake Island in the Western Pacific to clear the island’s runway following a typhoon earlier this month. “Special tactics operators and MC-130 aircrew provide a rapid response to difficult problems that makes it safer for the next guy to get the job done,” Lt. Col. Edmund Loughran, commander of Kadena’s 320th Special Tactics Squadron, said in a release. All personnel were evacuated from Wake ahead of Typhoon Halola, leaving it vacant since July 15, according to officials. The 353rd Special Operations Group airmen surveyed and cleared the runway permitting contingency responders aboard a C-17 to land 20 minutes later to begin reopening the base. “It was critical that we open the airfield and get Wake Island back online quickly,” said 36th Contingency Response Group Commander Col. Lee Anderson from Andersen AFB, Guam. The 353rd SOG flew the mission aboard a 1st Special Operations Squadron MC-130H Combat Talon II on July 18.
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.