Military News

J-STARS replacement program moves forward

The effort to buy new jets for the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System at Robins Air Force Base has taken a big step.

An announcement came last week that the Joint STARS Recapitalization program office has been given the go-ahead to issue the first contracts.

That means the office can award up to three contracts that will focus on refining the requirements, identifying the costs and reducing risks, a release stated.

“This is one of the Air Force’s top acquisition priorities, and we’re motivated and extremely pleased to be moving forward,” said Col. Mike Harm, acting J-STARS Recap senior materiel leader.

Ultimately the goal is to buy new business-class jets based on existing commercial planes to replace the decades-old E-8C jets the unit currently flies.

FALL PROTECTION DEMONSTRATED

Across all Air Force installations in the past four years, according to a news release, falls were responsible for 7,671 injuries and three deaths, resulting in 44,000 lost work days and a cost of more than $30 million.

At Robins on Monday maintenance area employees were given a demonstration of fall protection techniques and equipment. The demonstrations were conducted across the Air Force over the past two weeks in partnership with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

DEFENSE SPENDING BILL CLEARS HOUSE

The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, with includes provisions favorable to Robins and the region, passed the House of Representatives on Friday.

The bill still must go before the Senate and be signed by President Barack Obama.

“I applaud the House for standing with our nation’s military and passing the National Defense Authorization Act,” said U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., said in a news release.

“Our nation’s security should not be a partisan issue. This vital legislation provides resources for our nation’s warfighters and recognizes the need for long-lasting reforms while also ensuring that our military is better prepared for the challenges we face.”

Scott said the bill includes an amendment he introduced that protects the workload that goes to military maintenance depots.

It also includes language that prohibits a Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 2016 and prohibits the retirement of the A-10 attack plane. The Boeing plant in Macon builds new wings for the A-10. The bill includes $240 million for additional replacement wings for the A-10.

The bill also prohibits furloughs at maintenance depots and rejects proposed cuts to base commissaries.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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