Air Forces Southern
and 12th Air Force is now under the command of newly promoted Lt.
Gen. Mark Nowland, who assumed leadership of AFSOUTH and 12th AF during a
Dec. 19 change of command ceremony at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. Nowland replaced
Gen. Tod Wolters, who is headed to the Pentagon where he steps into the
office of deputy chief of staff for operations, plans, and requirements on the
Air Staff. Nowland previously served as the chief of staff at US Southern
Command, where he worked to coordinate the command’s theater campaign plan, and
to sync the efforts of nine directorates and 16 staff offices. The subordinate
commands of 12th AF operate more than 680 aircraft and oversee more than 55,000
airmen and civilian employees. In a holiday message to airmen, Nowland said
he and his family are excited, honored, and humbled to join the 12th AF
community. “I look forward to earning your trust, and getting to know you and
your families,” he said. “While leading 12th AF and Air Forces Southern in
producing and providing the trained and ready airmen this nation needs to fight
the threats facing America, we will strive to balance mission and family.”
Modernizing the Air
National Guard’s equipment and resources is a top priority, said ANG Director
Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke. Speaking at a Dec. 19 Mitchell Institute for Aerospace
Studies event in Arlington, Va., Clarke said he wants to make sure “that the
equipment that we have today is going to be recapitalized and modernized.”
Using the example of a beautiful, head-turning 1961 Corvette sitting in his
garage that he doesn’t trust more than 10 miles away from home, Clarke said it
is imperative that the aircraft being utilized in missions are fully updated
and well maintained to get the job done. “If I want these people to be battleready,
... I want them to feel like the airplanes that they are flying are safe,
reliable, and modernized to the point that they can do anything that’s tasked
to them” in different environments and under different conditions, Clarke said.
Air National Guard Director Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke addresses the audience at a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event in Arlington, Va., on Dec. 19, 2014. Staff photo by Lyndsey Akers.
Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke, director of the Air National Guard, said the breadth of the ANG's involvement in security cooperation missions is so wide that he is "still learning today how involved we are" across the world. Speaking at a Dec. 19 Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event in Arlington, Va., Clark gave the example of Romania, which is looking to acquire its own F-16s after partnering with the 187th Fighter Wing in Montgomery, Ala., on F-16 exercises. Members of the Romanian air force joined US airmen for Dacian Viper 2014 in April, a two-week air-to-air and air-to-ground exercise that included F-16s and MiG-21s. The Alabama Air National Guard and Romania having been working together through the Guard's state partnership program since 1993. Romania will receive 12 F-16 Block 15 midlife upgrade aircraft from Lockheed Martin to replace its MiG-21 fleet beginning in 2016. As for the Air National Guard's continued role with security cooperation, "We're going to continue to look for partnerships with anyone who believes the same ideas that America does," Clarke said. (See also The Guard's Partnerships from the October 2014 issue of Air Force Magazine.)
have killed several senior ISIS leaders since November, negatively affecting
the terrorist organization’s operations and its ability to command and control
forces, confirmed the Pentagon on Dec. 18. Since mid-November, strikes have killed
“multiple senior and mid-level leaders within the Islamic State of Iraq and the
Levant,” said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby in a statement.
The loss of these leaders has degraded ISIS and its ability to command and
control operations against Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish fighters. Kirby
did not specify individual leaders killed in the strikes, noting DOD would not
discuss intelligence and targeting aspects of ongoing operations. ISIS leader
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is not among the dead, but unnamed DOD
officials told Al Jazeera and other
media outlets those killed included Haji Mutazz, one of Abu Bakr’s deputies in
Iraq, as well as Radwan Taleb al-Hamdouni, who was a senior ISIS leader
involved in the occupation of Mosul. “It is important to note that leadership,
command and control nodes, facilities, and equipment are always part of our
targeting calculus,” said Kirby. The success of these airstrikes are a clear
sign of the coalition’s resolve in enabling the Iraqi security forces to
disrupt and degrade ISIS, as the Iraqi’s prepare to retake control of contested
areas of the country, he added.
The planned revision
for the US-Japan Defense Cooperation agreement, which was scheduled for
release at the end of the month, will be delayed until the “first half of next
into account the progress of Japan's legislative process, “according to a joint
Japanese and US statement. The Japanese parliament is set to take up new
legislation in 2015 to address many of the long-standing restrictions on the
use and deployment of the Japan Self Defense Forces beyond the territories of
Japan, following local elections next spring. Senior US and Japanese officials
said the delay is to ensure “consistency between the revision of the
guidelines,” Japan’s legislative process, and the content of the guidelines, noting
further discussions will help shape the final report. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
approved a reinterpretation
of the country’s constitution this past summer, which would allow Japanese
forces to come to the defense of allies who are under military threat, in
certain circumstances. The decision ended the so-called “collective self
The Russian air force is slated to receive its first production stealthy fifth-generation T-50 PAK-FA fighter off the Sukhoi assembly line in 2016, reported IHS Jane's. "The number of prototypes is increasing; the state trial program is being conducted as per schedule," Vladislav Goncharenko, director of Sukhoi's parent United Aircraft Corporation, quoted from a radio interview in the Dec. 16 report. As part of its overall aircraft recapitalization plan, the Russian air force plans to have a total of 55 advanced T-50 aircraft in service by 2020, according to the report. Sukhoi has already produced five PAK-FA airframes to support testing and evaluation, and three more are currently on the production line. The prototype fighter flew for the first time in 2010.
A Royal Australian
Air Force F-35 Lightning II touched down at Luke AFB, Ariz., becoming the first
international F-35 partner to join the pilot training schoolhouse there on Dec.
18. "Today, we take another
tremendous step forward in our transition to the F-35 here at Luke," said
56th Fighter Wing Commander Brig.
Gen. Scott Pleus in a release. "Australia
is the first of 10 nations. …Welcoming our first Australian F-35 is a special
day for Luke and the community that has been so supportive of us, he added.
RAAF F-35 pilots will train with the wing's 61st
Fighter Squadron, as well as Italian and Norwegian F-35 pilots whom are
slated to begin training under the auspices of Luke's future 62nd FS by next
June, according to the wing. Dutch and Turkish F-35 partners also will
eventually train at Luke, in addition to current and potential foreign military
Col. Julian Pacheco and Iraqi air force captain Hama land one of the IAF's new
F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft Dec. 16, 2014, at the Tucson International
Airport, Ariz. Air Force photo by SrA. Jordan Castelan.
Iraq's first two
F-16D two-seat Vipers recently were delivered to the Arizona Air National Guard's
162nd Fighter Wing at Tucson to begin Iraqi pilot training there. "The
arrival of Iraqi purchased and owned F-16s is a tremendous step towards Iraqi
air force pilots providing organic air power for their country," said Air
Force international affairs chief Maj.
Gen. Lawrence Martin in a release.
"Once they're done with their training here in Tucson they'll go home and
go right into operations," added instructor pilot Lt. Col. Julian Pacheco.
"Every lesson we can impart to the students, is critical because they'll
be using those skills as soon as they go home" in the fight against ISIS,
he said. Iraq has ordered a total of 36 F-16s, eight of which are slated for
delivery to Tucson, due to the fluid security situation in Iraq. The first jets
touched down on Dec. 16, according to the wing.
Tweets by @AirForceMag