Air Force | Texas Public Radio

Air Force

Inflexible work schedules and lack of support can make it tough for new mothers in the military to keep breastfeeding their children.

Contributed photo / U.S. Air Force

Thirteen years ago Friday, 21-year-old Elizabeth Jacobson became the first airman to die in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She was assigned to the 17th Security Forces Squadron out of Goodfellow Air Force Base near San Angelo, where she was memorialized.


The Air Force must expand its operational squadrons by some 25 percent in the coming years, officials say, to deal with the growing military might of China and Russia and to protect the homeland and continue to fight violent extremists.

"What we know now from analysis, what everyone in this room knows by experience," said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson at a military conference outside Washington on Monday, is that "the Air Force is too small for what the nation expects of us."

Carson Frame / TPR News

Updated Sept. 6.

The Air Force has been battling a manpower crisis for several years as it continues to lose pilots to the lucrative airline industry. The total force faces a shortfall of about 2,000 pilots — the bulk of them fighters. It’s now exploring ways of modernizing its training pipeline, with the goal of making it faster and less expensive.


Paul Flahive / Texas Public Radio

About 250 airmen attended a presentation at Joint Base Lackland’s Gateway Club, featuring the culmination of 21 months of work: The transfer of authority over the 24th Air Force from Air Force Space Command to Air Force Air Combat Command.


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