Digital Air Force Magazine
Deborah Lee James
Senate Armed Services
Gen. Mark A. Welsh III
Senate Armed Services
Gen. Larry O. Spencer
Vice Chief of Staff
House Armed Services, Readiness
Defense Writers Group
Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
Commandant, Coast Guard
Undersecretary of the Air Force
Senator James Inhofe, Congressman Buck McKeon
Ranking Member, SASC, Chairman, HASC
From the AIR FORCE Archive
10 Years Ago
25 Years Ago
The Myth of Overkill
An examination of the theories and proposals of Prof. Seymour Melman of Columbia University.
Last fall a B-58 and a SAC combat crew demonstrated the capabilities of a remarkable airplane and the versatility of our nuclear striking command by making the longest supersonic flight in aviation history.
Thursday April 17, 2014
Force Space Command last week launched a National Reconnaissance Office
intelligence satellite from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. The successful
launch was treated as routine, but it quietly marked a significant
milestone in USAF launch history. It was the Air Force’s 100th consecutive
successful national security space launch. The string of successes, which dates
back to 1999, is the result of years of self examination, process improvement,
and mission assurance changes implemented after a disastrous period in the late
1990s that saw multiple launch failures costing billions of dollars. Since
April 1999, Air Force Space Command has successfully sent USAF, Navy, Missile
Defense Agency, NOAA dual-use satellites, and other payloads into space with
steady success. “We have literally gone back to basics on the launch business,”
AFSPC boss Gen. William Shelton told Air Force Magazine. Every launch today is looked at as “our first in the sequence, not
the latest in a long string of successes.” (Continue to full story.)
list of additional pain the services will endure if sequester persists past
Fiscal 2015 forecasts $66 billion more will be cut from modernization accounts
through 2019. For the Air Force, that includes 15 fewer F-35 strike fighters
and five aircraft—$1.1 billion—out of the KC-46 tanker program. Maj.
Gen. Wendy Masiello, USAF’s deputy assistant secretary for contracting,
told reporters Wednesday that further sequester means potentially “breaking”
the fixed-price contract on the KC-46, and thus “exposing” the Air Force “to
additional risk.” The KC-46, “right now, … is moving exactly as we want it to,”
hitting cost and schedule marks, but Masiello said “it’s a possibility” that,
if forced to reopen the deal, the Air Force could be on the hook for Boeing’s
true development costs, which are higher than the contract amount. Masiello
spoke to reporters after a speech to an AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast event
in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday.
that want to keep doing business with the Air Force will have to be more
efficient, accept lower profits, and perform on-time and to budget, said Maj.
Gen. Wendy Masiello, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for contracting.
Speaking at an AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast in Arlington, Va., on
Wednesday, Masiello—who’s been selected for a third star and to head the
Defense Contract Management Agency—said if companies aren’t meeting cost and
milestones on existing projects, “we risk losing the program ... it’s just as
simple as that,” because of the extreme tightness of the budget. The Air Force is taking a “deep” look at
costs, and reviewing “should cost” at every level, Masiello said. “We need the
primes to look at the vendor and supply base” for greater efficiencies, she
said, since some 70 percent of cost now is incurred at those levels. On long-term
deals, where the Air Force “thought we were negotiating 10 percent profit” but
the contractor is making 15-20 percent profit, Masiello said that’s fine, as
long as USAF is benefitting from the efficiency. To encourage best efforts,
competition will be introduced wherever possible, and companies shouldn’t
assume a follow-on award unless they truly offer the best deal, she said,
telling attendees to expect a lot of renegotiation. “Maybe we’ve been generous
in the past,” she observed, and the profit being earned “is not commensurate
with the risk.”
members agreed to deploy additional military forces to ensure European members'
security in light of Russian military escalation and unrest in Ukraine, NATO
Secretary General Anders Fogh
Rasmussen said. "Today, we agreed on a package of further military
measures to reinforce our collective defense and demonstrate the strength of
Allied solidarity," Rasmussen announced
after a meeting of allied leaders on April 16. "You will see deployments
at sea, in the air, on land to take place immediately. That means within
days," he stressed, adding that "more will follow, if needed, in the
weeks and months to come." Rasmussen said allied fighters deployed to
Lithuania as part of NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission will "fly more
sorties," more ships will be dispatched to the Baltic and Eastern
Mediterranean, and NATO will up the number of exercises in the region.
Meanwhile, State Department officials said the US is studying "options for
potential additional security assistance" to Ukraine, in addition to long-standing
capacity building efforts, according to an April 14 statement.
of the best ways to speed up the acquisition process is to make sure a program
gets off on the right foot, said Maj.
Gen. Wendy Masiello, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for contracting, on
Wednesday. Addressing an AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast in Arlington, Va.,
Masiello said USAF is doing its utmost to get requirements “clear” right at the
outset of a program, and keep them from changing. However, she said things will
speed up tremendously if industry sends negotiators to the table who are “fully
... empowered” to cut a deal, and who don’t have to “ask ‘momma or papa, may I?’”
Contractors also have to speed their response to request for proposals and make
sure they are fully thought through. On USAF’s part, she’s pushed negotiating
teams to “keep talking” to contractors right up until RFPs are submitted; there
should be no lack of communication, she said. If there is, she wants to hear
Gen. Wendy Masiello outlined her priorities for the Defense Contracting
Management Agency during an AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast event in
Arlington, Va., Wednesday. The Senate
confirmed Masiello, who currently serves as the Air Force’s deputy
assistant secretary for contracting, for her third star and to head DCMA on
April 9. Masiello said she would like to find ways to insert more competition
into the bidding process and get more small business involvement; however, did
not want to “knock them off the track of improvement” or reinvent the wheel in
terms of the agency’s approach. “We see huge results, in terms of cost-savings,
when we insert competition,” she said, adding that sometimes it is the smaller
companies with more limited resources that have the most creative, cost-saving
solutions. Masiello also emphasized a need to shorten the acquisitions timeline
and make the overall process more efficient. Other priorities will include increasing
collaboration with the Defense Contract Audit Agency to better understand
cost-estimation mechanisms, differences in projected vs. realized costs to
contractors, and evaluating fixed-price arrangements, and improving
communications with partners, stakeholders, and within the agency itself.
joint service F-35 Lightning II fleet recently notched up 15,000 total flying
Lockheed Martin. "Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program
is maturing, but what I think is even more impressive is the fact that
operational F-35s accounted for more than half of those," said J.D.
McFarlan, the company's F-35 vice president for test and verification. Air
Force F-35A test aircraft have logged 328 flight hours. The service's
operational Lightning IIs have clocked 963 hours in the air so far in 2014, states
the release. "Reliability metrics are trending upward as the operations
tempo picks up—recently 60 F-35 sorties were flown in one day," added
McFarlan. "While the fleet continues to train, we are actively flight
testing the software and mission systems" to reach the Marine Corps'
initial operational capability target "next year as planned," he
Jordanian Air Force fighters intercepted and destroyed “a number of armored
vehicles” on Wednesday on the country’s border with Syria, according to a
Jordanian military statement. The statement claimed a number of
“camouflaged vehicles” were spotted attempting to enter the country through
rough terrain away from the primary border crossings. RJAF F-16s responded to
the incursion, subsequently firing warning shots. When the vehicles failed to
respond they were “targeted and destroyed.” However, the statement did not say
whether the vehicles belonged to the Syrian military or other unidentified
militants. A Syrian
military source, quoted by the state-run SANA, said no Syrian Arab Army
vehicles were mobilized in the area of the strike, noting the vehicles shot by
the Jordanian armed forces were not from Bashar Al Assad’s military. Jordan is
host to a large refugee population fleeing the Syrian civil war, and the Assad
government has repeatedly criticized Jordan for not cracking down on the flow
of rebels and weapons into the country. Since the start of the civil war, the
Jordanians have expanded military cooperation activities with the US, such
as the annual Eager Lion exercise, where USAF fighter crews train with
their RJAF counterparts.
Air Force Inspector General recently recognized the 21st Space Wing at Peterson
AFB, Colo., as the first Active Duty or Reserve wing to fully implement the Air
Force’s new inspection system, states an April 15 release. “We worked aggressively on the implementation of this new
system within our wing,” said Col.
John Shaw, 21st SW commander. Under the
previous system, an external team inspected the unit. Now the unit commander regularly
conducts inspections. “The frantic preparation” under the old system “was
unsustainable,” said 21st Space Wing’s Inspector General L. J. Van Belkum. “You
can't maintain at that speed and expect to stay mission ready and focused.
Everyone was exhausted by the end of our most recent consolidated unit
inspection; the AFIS is designed to eliminate that,” he said. The wing has come
up with a two-year strategic plan to aid the self-assessment. “While we
know we don’t have this AFIS 100 percent right, we
are on a good course to meet its intent of improving operations within the
wing,” said Shaw.
A new high-definition, digital edition of Air Force Magazine is available now. Members
can view the digital edition on browsers today. Beginning in May, members also
will be able to view the digital edition on an iPad, Android, or Kindle Fire
tablet. “AFA is moving to put greater emphasis on digital communications to
further engage those who share in AFA’s mission,” states an April 17 AFA release.
“This new digital format is a testament to that transition.” The digital
edition, which will be delivered by Qmags, will allow members to search text or
articles using keywords, author name, or subject; jump to articles directly
from the cover or table of contents; and access an Air Force Magazine library from anywhere in the world. AFA
eMembers are automatically subscribed. Those who receive the print magazine
can opt to receive the digital edition at no extra cost. To view the digital
version of the April magazine, click here. Beginning
in May, additional login information will be required. If members have already
established a login for www.afa.org, the same
login will provide access to digital Air
Force Magazine. To establish a login, go to the AFA website and select
“Login” at the top of the page. To join, click
In More Depth
Fifteen years ago, the space launch business needed to overcome costly failures and setbacks. What followed was an unprecedented string of successes.
Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, commander of the Air Force Sustainment Center, is trying to “develop a cost-conscious culture” through an initiative dubbed the “Road to a Billion and Beyond.”
In his book, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates describes the Air Force as “one of my biggest headaches”—a perception USAF leaders were never able to turn around during his tenure.
The Document File
Aircraft Accident Reports
10 Years Ago
Editorial: The Thirty Years’ War
The volunteer military has had its problems, but a conscript force would have even more.
Compressing the Kill Chain
The goal is to put weapons on time sensitive targets in “single-digit” minutes.
The Guard and Reserve Stand Fast
Guardsmen, Reservists, employers, and family members have stepped up to a bigger mission, but it has not been easy.
25 Years Ago
Editorial: Discriminate Deterrence
Russia's defense leaders are willing to take short-term risks in the hope that Gorbachev's economic reforms will sustain Soviet military power over the long term.
50 Years Ago
The Future of Manned Aircraft
In the debate over our strategic deterrent, manned aircraft are getting much the worse of the suppositions. Yet the new technology can be used to strengthen rather than weaken the arguments for manned aircraft.
The Great Deterrent Dialogue
Missiles, bombers, space weapons, arms control are all advanced as essential to deter general war. Many participants engaging in this debate are long on words, short on knowledge.