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  • 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
  • Eric Fanning
    Undersecretary of the Air Force
  • Senator James Inhofe, Congressman Buck McKeon
    Ranking Member, SASC, Chairman, HASC
Data Points
Airpower Classics
From the AIR FORCE Archive

10 Years Ago




Editorial: The Dragon and the Snakes
The Cold War was long and expensive. The Global War on Terror will be no different.



The War Before the War
Long before the actual land invasion, Iraqi forces were taking a ferocious beating from the air.



A Plague of Accidents
Top leaders warn that USAF “cannot tolerate nor sustain” the recent level of loss.



A Line in the Ice
It has been a half-century since the “DEW Line” first started rising in the Arctic waste.



Trenchard at the Creation
The father of the RAF was one of the first to grasp that aviation would radically change warfare.





25 Years Ago





Editorial: The Doctrine of Tranquility



On Stealthy Wings
The B-2 is built for penetration. It will be a while before a Soviet long-range radar is good enough to detect it.



The Electronic Wind Tunnel
New regimes of flight become possible as supercomputers unlock the doors to their simulation and development.


Valor en Masse





50 Years Ago




The Myth of Overkill
An examination of the theories and proposals of Prof. Seymour Melman of Columbia University.



Greased Lightning
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.





Daily Report

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.
  • Forty 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.
  • President 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 2012.
  • The 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.)
  • The 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.
  • As 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.”
  • The 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 International News.
  • The 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.
  • On the Record material is under copyright by the Air Force Association. All rights reserved.

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