$950 Million

— The ceiling cost of a Pentagon contract awarded Wednesday to provide the fledgling Afghan air force with 20 Light Air Support Aircraft. The initial $427 million award to Sierra Nevada Corp. of Sparks, Nev., and its Brazilian partner, Embraer SA, will buy the planes and “one computer based trainer, one basic aviation training device, one flight training device, six mission planning stations, six mission debrief systems, long lead spares for interim contractor support, outside the continental United States base activation, site surveys, flight certification to U.S. Air Force military type certification standards, and data.” The turbo-prop aircraft are part of the Pentagon’s plan to leave Afghanistan with sufficient force to battle the Taliban after U.S. combat troops pull out by the end of 2014. Beechcraft was the losing bidder.
Battleland Battleland

Golf War Won

Folks in the other military services routinely joke about how much Air Force types like playing golf. Sure, all the services have golf courses, but the flyboys have the most.

We took note of this last Friday when we posted, …

Old Salt

Jimmy Carter, 88, former Navy man and president, checks out new gear aboard USS Carl Vinson Feb. 22 in California.

2.6 Years

— The total time the first operational KC-135R Stratotanker spent in the air before retiring following its final flight from Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma to the Davis-Monthan “boneyard” in Arizona Feb. 21. The flying gas station flew its first Air Force flight on Aug. 14, 1962, and accumulated 22,500 flight hours in the more than half-century since (it got new engines in 1985). Happy contrails to you, Tail No. 61-0312…

The Germany Military, On the Move

BERLIN — On March 1, the German Parliament will debate sending 80 soldiers to Mali to provide medical care and help French soldiers train Malian government troops to clear mines and build bridges.

That may not seem like a big …

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