Metro-East News

Roger That: First test flight of Air Force’s KC-46 air tanker delayed by a month

Belleville News-Democrat reporter Mike Fitzgerald.
Belleville News-Democrat reporter Mike Fitzgerald. News-Democrat

The first flight of the U.S. Air Force’s KC-46 tanker test plane has been delayed by about a month because a mislabeled chemical was mistakenly loaded into the aircraft’s refueling line during testing, Boeing confirmed this week, according to DefenseOne.

“While we’re making the needed repairs as quickly as possible, the first tanker flight will be roughly a month beyond our previous plan to fly in the late-August to early-September time frame,” a Boeing spokeswoman said Tuesday. “Our team is continuing to work hard to make it happen.”

This is not the first time the milestone for the Pegasus has been delayed. Its first flight was initially scheduled for 2014, then pushed back to April, then postponed again to later this summer. The company will have more specifics on the exact date of first flight once the team completes ground testing, the spokeswoman said.

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The Pentagon is researching a three-pronged counterattack against a decades-old form of cyber assault that continues to paralyze government and industry networks, despite its low cost of sometimes $10 a hit, according to the website DefenseOne.

Beginning next spring, military-funded researchers are scheduled to produce new tools that would quickly enable organizations to bounce back from so-called distributed denial-of-service attacks. A recovery rate of at most 10 seconds is the goal, according to the Defense Department.

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Many of the nation’s largest for-profit college chains have seen enrollments plummet amid investigations into questionable job placement rates and deceptive marketing practices, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

One crucial source of revenue, however, has remained a constant: military veterans.

For-profit colleges have collected $8.2 billion from the latest GI Bill since it went into effect in 2009, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of government data. Those colleges enroll only 8 percent of all U.S. students but 30 percent of the 1.4 million veterans who have used the most recent version of the GI Bill.

That money for years helped prop up some of the industry’s most distressed institutions — including ITT Educational Services Inc. and bankrupt Corinthian Colleges Inc. — which needed the funding to meet tough regulatory requirements.

Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at mfitzgerald@bnd.com or 618-239-2533.

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