Scott Air Force Base is providing volunteer opportunities for teenagers this summer through the American Red Cross Summer Youth Program. Youth volunteer positions range from checking ID cards at the swimming pool to filing medical records at the hospital, as well as other positions. Volunteers must have access to the base and be 14 to 18 years old. The positions will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The program will run from June 8 to July 31. To sign up, contact the Scott AFB Red Cross at 618-256-3292.
The Air Force is growing again. The flying service is trying to lure back hundreds of departed airmen who left last year because of budget cuts to active duty to help it handle strikes against the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq and to manage tensions flaring in Ukraine, the Air Force Times is reporting.
The Air Force is seeking airmen in maintenance, cyber operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and nuclear missile fields. Brig. Gen. Brian Kelly, director of military force management, last week outlined three plans to find or retain these wanted airmen: The first plan is to bring back separated senior airmen, staff sergeants and technical sergeants in these fields. The second plan, which began Monday, will offer high-year tenure extensions to enlisted airmen with those skills to allow them to stay up to two years longer. And under a third program, Air National Guard members and reservists with the same skills — both officer and enlisted — will be able to move to active-duty status for one-to-three years.
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The White House has announced it is halting federal programs to transfer some surplus military items and vehicles to local law enforcement agencies, according to The Hill, a publication that covers Washington, D.C. politics.
The programs have generated a lot of controversy as public concern has grown about the gray area between policing and military operations, especially as relations between law enforcement officers and minority communities have soured. The unrest last year in Ferguson, Missouri, underscored these hot button issues.
President Barack Obama announced Monday that police officers may not obtain “(tracked) armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers, and large-caliber firearms” through federal swap progams, The Hill reported. There is an exception: Law enforcement agencies that meet certain standards for training — including having policies in place for better relations with their communities — may acquire certain controlled surplus items that include armored personnel carriers, all-terrain vehicles and drones.
The flying service in 2013 conducted its fourth and longest flight of the X-51 WaveRider missile. After separating from a rocket launched under the wing of a B-52 bomber, the hypersonic vehicle built by Boeing Co. climbed to 60,000 feet, accelerated to Mach 5.1 and flew for about 3.5 minutes before running out of fuel and plunging into the Pacific Ocean.
At that speed, which is equivalent to about 3,400 mph, a missile could travel from Washington, D.C., to Atlanta in just several minutes, making it a potentially powerful weapon against enemy air defenses.
Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2533.