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12 Jan 17. US chooses Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas, for the first Air Force Reserve-led F-35 base. Three other bases were named as possible alternates if a problem arises during the environmental impact process: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida; and Whiteman AFB, Missouri. That environmental analysis must be completed before service officials formally announce a final decision.
“We selected the Air Force Reserve unit in Fort Worth because it is the location that meets all of the necessary training requirements at the lowest cost,” said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James in a news release. “Additionally, the location will provide mission synergy and access to an experienced workforce for recruiting as a result of its proximity to the F-35 manufacturing plant.”
The Texas base should begin receiving its first F-35As in the mid-2020s. Three active-duty installations — Hill AFB, Utah; Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom; and Eielson AFB, Alaska — and one Air National Guard base — Burlington Air Guard Station, Vermont — have been identified for F-35A basing. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
13 Jan 17. The defensive operational arm of Cyber Command – Joint Force Headquarters-DoDIN – is slated for full operational capability for the beginning of 2018. Brig. Gen. Robert Skinner, deputy commander of JFHQ-DoDIN told C4ISRNET that Cyber Command Chief Admiral Mike Rogers set a Jan. 1 target for full operational capability. Skinner noted during a Jan. 15 AFCEA panel that this year marks the two year anniversary JFHQ-DoDIN stood up. Officials at JFHQ-DoDIN have maintained that FOC would be conditions-based. Skinner told C4ISRNET in August that as the command grows and gains more personnel, they will be able to perform a larger range of functions taking them to FOC. “We are working with our higher headquarters to actually determine what the specific mission function and tasks that are required that will determine what that date will be,” he said at the time. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
11 Jan 17. Chile considers building corvettes at ASMAR shipyard. The Chilean Navy and ASMAR, Chile’s state-owned shipyard, are studying the possibility of building corvettes to replace three Israeli-built Saar 4 fast missile craft that will reach the end of their service lives within the next decade, a military source in Santiago told IHS Jane’s . The option of building replacement vessels has gained preference after studies found that operational requirements, calling for ships more capable than the current missile craft, are unlikely to be met by the sort of second-hand vessels expected to be available within the next decade. According to the source, studies are exploring further developing the offshore patrol vessel (OPV)-80 design from German shipbuilder Fassmer – currently used to build a series of 1,800 ton patrol ships – into a 2,200-2,600 ton missile corvette. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
11 Jan 17. Orbital Builds Engine Factory Close to InSitu. Following a $90m agreement with Boeing’s unmanned aerial vehicle subsidiary InSitu, an Australian company that makes engines for aerial drones is setting up a facility in the Columbia Gorge close to InSitu. Orbital, based in Perth, has signed a three-year deal with Boeing to supply InSitu with a new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) engine. It plans to move into an existing facility within six months, probably in Bingen, the Klickitat County town where InSitu is headquartered. It projects about 15 jobs to the area initially, though that should scale up later, InSitu said.
Orbital has been worki