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AFA News
I am a current member of the Air Force Association on a 3-year plan and will be sharing it's news here. However, due to copyright issues I will be sharing the most known available news. Glad I can help in this thread! Idea

Military Intelligence Gets Big Boost With Return to Great Power Competition

The Defense Department is spending billions more on classified intelligence programs, with the most recent numbers representing the biggest spike in years. In Fiscal 2018, Congress appropriated $22.1 billion for military intelligence—that’s a $3.7 billion increase from Fiscal 2017 appropriated funds and $1.4 billion more than what was originally requested in Fiscal 2018. The ramp up in classified funding comes amid a return to “great power competition,” as outlined in the most recent National Security Strategy. Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford told military reporters last week that, “Our competitive advantage has eroded over time, and that needs to be dealt with.” Read the full story by Amy McCullough.

USAF Airlift Plan Calls for Increase in C-17s, C-130 Reduction

Air Mobility Command is still trying to figure out exactly how it will increase the number of its C-17 squadrons, while simultaneously looking to reduce the size of its C-130 fleet. The Air Force at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber conference last month outlined its plan to grow the number of total squadrons to 386, which included a large increase for Air Mobility Command airlift and aerial refueling squadrons. The “Force We Need” calls for more airlift, but only with C-17s. Specifically, the Air Force wants an increase of three C-17 squadrons, with a corresponding drop of two C-130J squadrons. USAF studies have shown the strategic airlifter is in higher demand for potential future conflicts than the tactical C-130, AMC boss Gen. Maryanne Miller told reporters on Friday. The plan is largely based on classified information, so the Air Force’s reasoning for why it would need the larger C-17 isn’t public. However, Air Mobility Command is finalizing a mobility capabilities study for its future needs, which is in coordination with the Pentagon and Congress and will be released in the near future. The Air Force cannot, right now, say how any potential jump in the C-17 fleet would be possible because the Boeing production line for C-17s has closed. Those details “we have not looked at,” and would be the focus of future discussions with Congress. The “Force We Need” plan is an “initial stage” to get the concept out there, and more in-depth discussions are forthcoming, Miller said. —Brian Everstine
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Operation Faithful Patriot: These USAF Units Will Deploy to the US-Mexico Border

Active Duty airmen from Scott AFB, Ill., and Peterson AFB, Colo., will deploy to the US-Mexico border in support of Operation Faithful Patriot, and two USAF installations will serve as operational supply hubs, the Defense Department said Wednesday. Under the operation announced Monday, DOD is providing Active Duty troops and military capability in support of US Customs and Border Protection efforts to secure the boundary and stop reported caravans of people from Central America from illegally entering the US. NORTHCOM chief Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy initially cited 5,200 troops as an base number—an estimate that has jumped by nearly 2,000 personnel in two days. Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.

Airstrike Total in Afghanistan Highest Since Late 2010

US aircraft in September conducted more airstrikes in Afghanistan than any other month since the height of the surge, according to new statistics released by Air Forces Central Command. US aircraft conducted 841 airstrikes—the highest total since November 2010 when US aircraft conducted 866 airstrikes. The increase comes as US forces are going “on the offensive” against a resurgent Taliban because Afghan and coalition forces were absorbing an increased number of casualties, US Forces-Afghanistan Commander Gen. Scott Miller told NBC News this week. So far this year, US strike aircraft have flown 5,819 sorties—more than the yearly totals of 2015, 2016, and 2017 each, according to AFCENT. Meanwhile, US and coalition aircraft have picked up the pace in Iraq and Syria, conducting 758 airstrikes in September, the highest monthly total since January. —Brian Everstine
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