combat aircraft

(Axel Boer) #1

al-Qaeda, IS, and other insurgents.
US operations in Afghanistan have
increased this year. In fact, through
June, US aircraft had released 2,
bombs in theater, more than double
the amount that was dropped at the
same point in 2017.

Spirits in Hawaii
Three B-2As from the 509th Bomb
Wing at Whiteman AFB, Missouri
arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-
Hickam, Hawaii, on August 15. The
bombers are conducing routine air
operations through the Indo-Paci c
region in support of US Strategic
Command’s Bomber Task Force

Carrier round-up
The US Navy has announced plans to
swap the home ports of three of it 11
aircraft carriers. The move involves
the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS
Carl Vinson (CVN 70), USS Abraham

Lincoln (CVN 72) and USS John C.
Stennis (CVN 74). Under this plan the
Lincoln, which is currently located
in Norfolk, Virginia, will rejoin the
Paci c Fleet, and make San Diego its
home port. Commissioned in 1989,
the ship served the Paci c Fleet
from 1990 to 2011 when it moved to
Norfolk for a mid-life refueling and
complex overhaul (RCOH).
The USS John C. Stennis, which
is home-ported at Naval Station
Kitsap, in Bremerton, Washington,
will relocate to Norfolk by May 2019
in advance of its RCOH at Newport
News Shipbuilding. The USS Carl
Vinson (CVN 70) will conduct a home
port change from NAS North Island,
in San Diego, to Bremerton in March
2019, in advance of its docking-
planned incremental availability
(DPIA) at Puget Sound Naval
The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN
76) Carrier Strike Group returned

to Yokosuka, Japan, on July 24,
following a patrol in the US 7th Fleet
area of operations.
The USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)
Carrier Strike Group returned to
Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, on
July 21 at the conclusion of a more
than three-month deployment to
the US 5th and 6th Fleet’s areas of
responsibility. In addition to combat
operations, the strike group’s
ships and the aircraft assigned to
carrier air wing CVW-1 conducted
combat and training operations
in ‘a highly dynamic environment
across two theaters’, according
to the strike group commander.
Operations included a variety of
partnership and interoperability
exercises, as well as maritime
and theater security operations.
Carrier air wing CVW-1 aircraft
 ew 210 combat sorties in support
of Operation ‘Inherent Resolve’
over Iraq and Syria during May
and June. Although US Navy CSG
deployments have typically lasted
up to seven months, the shorter
duration for CVN 75 was part of the
navy’s agile and less predictable
dynamic force employment concept,
under the service’s optimized  eet
response plan. The radical concept is
intended as a step toward the goal
of restoring readiness and enabling
forces to be ready for a major
con ict at short notice.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) recently
returned to Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, at the conclusion of a three-
month deployment that began on April 11. US Navy/MC2 Bobby Siens




THE US ARMY has revealed that
Boeing will begin development
of a Block 3 variant of the
CH-47F and MH-47G transport
and assault helicopter around

  1. Block 3 development
    for both Chinook variants will
    run from through 2040 when
    production will begin. Boeing
    is currently developing the
    Block 2 variant and low-rate
    initial production of that model
    will begin in 2023. The  rst
    of three Block 2 prototypes
    is now in  nal assembly. The
    Block 3 upgrades will allow the
    Chinook to remain in service
    until the 2060s. The service did
    not release details regarding
    the updates.
    In related news, Boeing
    received a $181.3-million
    contract from US Army
    Contracting Command for
    the procurement of CH-47F
    helicopters. The Multi-Year II
    provides for the delivery of
    up to 156 Block I-con gured
    Chinooks and runs through
    December 2022.

with Royal Norwegian Air Force
F-35As during a forward deployment
to Ørland Air Base, Norway, on
August 15. On August 16, F-22As
were forward-deployed to Los
Llanos Air Base in Albacete, Spain,
where they conducted training
with Spanish Air Force EF-18As
and Typhoons.
The host unit at Spangdahlem, the
480th FS ‘Warhawks’,  ies the F-16CM
and squadron commander Lt Col
Mike Richard said, ‘My pilots learned
a lot more on air-to-air tactics when
 ying integrated missions with the
F-22s.’ The F-16CM’s suppression of
enemy air defenses (SEAD) mission
training was also said to have been
‘of value’ for the F-22 pilots. Indeed,
recent upgrades have seen the
Raptor receiving enhancements to
improve its capabilities in the SEAD
role. Peter ten Berg

95th FS F-22s taxi at Spangdahlem
for a local mission with the resident
F-16CMs. Peter Ten Berg

UNITED STATES [NEWS] // October 2018 13

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