Saturday, June 10, 2017

Week in review (6/4 to 6/10)

The week started out with the release of the sixth edition of the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor book, and it's now available for download. The 100-page book, free to readers, details the aerospace and aviation activities in the region between Southeast Louisiana and Northwest Florida. To access the book, visit the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor website.

But there was a lot more aerospace news during the week. Here's your weekly review:

The Air Force temporarily grounded a squadron of F-35s at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., after five pilots reported symptoms consistent with oxygen deprivation, the service said Friday.

The 56th Fighter Wing canceled local flying operations for its F-35A fighters after five incidents since May 2 where pilots experienced symptoms similar to hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation. Each time the F-35's back-up oxygen system kicked in and pilots were able to land the plane.

Flight operations are scheduled to return Monday. F-35 operations at five other bases are not affected. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center. (Post)

Navy T-45s recently has also had issues with oxygen deprivation.

Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport will receive $2.1 million and Pensacola International Airport will receive $43,796 in grant money from the Department of Transportation. The Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport will use the money to rehabilitate 2,000 feet of taxiway, and Pensacola International will use its grant to remove obstructions on land acquired for further airport development. The money is expected to be disbursed before September. (Post)

Air Force Reservist Lt. Col. Robert Hines Jr., a test pilot at the 84th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., was among 12 selectees named to the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class.

Hines serves as an F-15E Strike Eagle program test director and test pilot at the F-15 Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force for the 84th TES. In civilian life, Hines is a full-time NASA research pilot. Hines, who has flown 76 combat missions, will report for duty in August for two years of astronaut training. (Post)

One hundred and nine graduates received degrees last weekend as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide held its Pensacola commencement exercises June 3 in the Blue Angels Atrium of the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

The Pensacola campus, located at Naval Air Station Pensacola, offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as undergraduate certification. (Post)

Col. Debra Lovette took command of the 81st Training Wing at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., during a June 2 ceremony. The outgoing commander, Col. Michele Edmondson, will be the new executive officer to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

The 81st TRW provides technical training for officers, enlisted and civilians of the Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserves and other Defense Department agencies. (Post)

-- Two 815th Airlift Squadron crews from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., participated in a six-ship multinational airborne mission in the Normandy region June 4, 2017 to commemorate D-Day 73.

C-130J Super Hercules crews from the 815th AS joined the 37th AS from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, as well as French and German C-160s to drop 451 U.S., French, British, Dutch and German paratroopers and re-enactors. The aircraft followed the same route C-47s did to drop paratroopers on D-Day.

The 815th AS, assigned to the Reserve 403rd Wing at Keesler, is one of nine historical units that took part in various events and ceremonies throughout the region. Now a C-130J tactical unit, the 185th AS was the 815th Bombardment Squadron during World War II.

It was in 1944 that paratroopers from the 82nd and 101st Infantry Divisions dropped into France in the opening moments of what would become known as “The Longest Day.” (Story)

Woolpert Inc., Dayton, Ohio, Stanley-UC-Cardo JV, Muscatine, Iowa, HDR Engineering Inc., Omaha, Neb., have been awarded a combined $40 million multiple award contract for architectural-engineering services. Work will be performed at various U.S. and international locations including Hurlburt Field, Fla., and is expected to be complete by May 31, 2022. The 765th Specialized Contracting Flight, Hurlburt Field, is the contracting activity.

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