Digital AIR FORCE
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.
Wednesday April 16, 2014
The US and Europe were the only regions to cut defense spending last year, while several adversary nations topped the world charts, according to the most recent Stockholm International Peace Research Institute fact sheet. "China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia—all made substantial increases, with Saudi Arabia leapfrogging the United Kingdom, Japan, and France to become the world's fourth largest military spender," SIPRI summarized in an April 14 press release
. Those three countries "have more than doubled their military expenditure since 2004," states the release. US defense spending, on the other hand, dropped by 7.8 percent in real terms in 2013, due to the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, which was compounded by sequestration. Russia is undertaking a massive military recapitalization with the goal of replacing "70 percent of equipment with ‘modern’ weapons by 2020," outspending the US as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product for the first time since 2003, states SIPRI. Britain fell out of the top five spenders for the first time since World War II, while Japan reversed its declining budget trend citing security concerns over China, according to the release.
wounded airmen were chosen to represent the Air Force in the 2014 Warrior Games
in September following the first-ever Air Force trials competition, which concluded Friday at
Nellis AFB, Nev., according to an April 15 release. Over 100 athletes participated
in the trials. Those selected will compete in archery, wheelchair basketball,
cycling, track and field, swimming, shooting (air rifle and pistol), and seated
volleyball at the 2014 Warrior Games at the US Air Force Academy, Colo.,
Sept. 28 to Oct. 4. An additional 20 airmen were chosen to participate in the Invictus Games—United Kingdom’s Warrior
Games. They will join some 300 athletes representing 13 nations competing in
athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, road cycling, indoor rowing, wheelchair
rugby, swimming, and sitting volleyball at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in
London Sept. 10 to 14. The full list of competitors is available here.
Barack Obama has nominated Maj. Gen. John Thompson for a third star and for
assignment as commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, according to a Defense Department release. Thompson has served as
the Air Force’s program executive officer for tankers since January 2013. If
confirmed, he will replace Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore, who has led AFLCMC since July
Defense Department rolled out a series of changes to its sexual assault prevent
and response training on Monday as part of the department's ongoing efforts to
eliminate sexual assaults from the ranks. The plan focuses on improving
training for new accessions, annual and refresher training, pre- and
post-deployment training, professional military education, as well as training
for SAPR coordinators, victim advocates, chaplains, and senior leaders, states
an April 14 release. “The entire military
community must be engaged in creating an environment where sexual assault,
sexual harassment, and sexist behaviors are not tolerated,” said Army Col.
Litonya Wilson, deputy director of prevention and victim assistance in DOD’s
SAPR office. The new training program will cover “the complexities of the crime
and their role in fostering a command environment of professional values, team
commitment, and dignity and respect, proactive measures to reduce sexual
assaults in their units, the protections afforded victims and the accused, and
… quality victim care,” states the release. (See also Seeking the Sex Assault Solution from the April 2013
edition of Air Force Magazine.)
Air National Guard's 162nd Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., recently
changed its name to the 162nd Wing. Brig. Gen. Edward Maxwell, commander of the Arizona
Air National Guard, spoke at the wing's rededication ceremony on April 5 at the
Tucson International Airport. “The word ‘fighter’ may be falling out of this
wing’s name, but the reality is that it will continue to do what it has always
done so well: support our country and our forces on the ground against those
who want to do us harm,” he said. The change, effective April 1, reflects the
inclusion of Davis-Monthan’s 214th Reconnaissance Group, which operates
remotely piloted aircraft, states the release. More than 800 guardsmen,
retirees, family, and friends came for the wing's ceremony.
US forces continue to draw down in Afghanistan, the Air Force’s presence in
Africa could be increasing, reported Stars and Stripes. “Our presence here [at
Camp Lemmonier] Djibouti is enduring and I
think it is growing,” Col. Kelly Passmore, 449th Air Expeditionary Group
commander at Camp Lemonnier, told the paper. “As DOD has capacity that is freed
up from our transition out of Afghanistan, it gives us forces that are able to
now focus on this region.” Much of the mission of US military
presence in Djibouti and throughout East Africa centers around readiness:
positioning to fight “violent extremist organizations,” and conducting crisis
response and personnel recovery missions throughout the region. The region also
is key for intelligence gathering. “Obviously there is [intelligence, reconnaissance,
and surveillance] capacity here,” Passmore said in the article. “The location ...
is key for multiple combatant commands. From here you can reach Central
Command’s and Africa Command’s areas of concern.”
Air Force awarded Boeing a $9.9 million contract modification to expand pilot and
maintenance training for the Royal Saudi Air Force new build F-15SA fighters,
the Pentagon announced. In addition to the 70 legacy RSAF F-15s undergoing
refurbishment in the US, Boeing is building an additional 84 upgraded F-15SA fighters for the Saudis. The modification adds to the original $75.5
million foreign military sales contract for training on the new jets, according
to the Defense Department's April 11 list of major contracts. The Air Force Security
Assistance Training Squadron is overseeing the training, which will be
conducted both stateside and in Saudi Arabia, according to DOD. Boeing rolled
out the F-15SA test aircraft last May at its factory in St. Louis, Mo., reported Aviation
local community honored fallen airman SSgt. Daniel Fannin with a bronze plaque
at AWACS Park, just outside the gate of Tinker AFB, Okla., earlier this month.
"Everyone reassures me that Daniel won't be forgotten, but nonetheless, it
has been my biggest fear that he might be," his wife Sonya Fannin said at
the April 4 dedication ceremony, according to an Air Force release. Fannin
and three other airmen were killed in an MC-12 Liberty crash
near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, on April 27, 2013. He had already
completed three tours deployed from Tinker as an AWACS and MC-12 system
operator. "Memorializing Danny here in this public park, a place in which
our civilian friends and family can visit and heal on their own time is truly
special," added his wife. The community of Del City, Okla., honored Fannin
with the inscription "service before self" on the tail of an E-3
Sentry replica in the park as well.
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In More Depth
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.
Air Force Secretary Deborah James acknowledged the Air Force does “have a systemic problem” within its nuclear forces, though she said she is confident the mission itself remains strong.
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.