Digital AIR FORCE
Gen. Mark A. Welsh III
Senate Armed Services
Gen. C. Robert Kehler
House Armed Services, Strategic Forces
William A. LaPlante
House Armed Services, Tacair-Land
Defense Writers Group
Gen. Mark A. Welsh III
Air Force Chief of Staff
Gen. Herbert J. “Hawk” Carlisle
Gen. C. Robert “Bob” Kehler
From the AIR FORCE Archive
10 Years Ago
25 Years Ago
Editorial: Of MiGs and Plowshares
Austerity Is Relative
Defense consumes less of the GNP than it once did, while entitlement programs consume more. Even so, the impending cuts should still fund defense at a relatively high level. This is a legacy of the Reagan-era rearmament.
The Battle Log of Birdman Silver
Nobody in his unit ever called him "Stumpy." He flew through enemy fire with rare skill. When a chance round finally got him, he still made it home, mission accomplished.
Valor: Courage, Heroism, Valor
Throughout his life, Eddie Rickenbacker overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to become a national hero and a major figure in American aviation.
50 Years Ago
Thursday December 05, 2013
Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Beijing on
Wednesday as tensions
continued to mount over China’s recently declared air defense
identification zone over parts of the East China Sea. Following a meeting with
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden said he believed Xi was being candid and
constructive. “In developing this new relationship, both qualities are sorely
needed,” Biden said during a media availability with Xi, in which he also noted
the regional landscape is undergoing “profound and complex changes.” While US,
Japanese, and South Korean military aircraft have breached the zone without
following Beijing’s strict identification requirements, three US airliners have
notified China in advance of plans to transit the zone (Japanese and South
Korean airliners have been told by their governments to ignore the rules). The
disputed zone also topped discussions between Biden and Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Tuesday, reported
Reuters. According to pool reports, Abe did not ask Biden to demand China
withdraw the ADIZ pronouncement. However, the two leaders did agree that US and
Japanese military forces operating in the region would not abide by the new
regulations. “The prime minister discussed explicitly in his remarks that our
military operations will not be changed by the announcement,” one official told
the reporting pool.
House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.)
is seeking to organize a bipartisan coalition that will back a bill aimed at
clearly defining congressional expectations for any final nuclear deal with
the National Journal. Under the interim
deal reached last month, the US, Germany, and other
UN Security Council permanent members agreed not to impose any new sanctions on
Iran for six months. In return, Iran agreed to freeze part of its
uranium-enrichment programs during the same time period. Immediately after the
deal was reached congressional members on both sides of the aisle argued it
didn’t go far enough. Cantor spokesman Rory Cooper confirmed his office is
pursuing legislation, although he declined to offer any specifics at this time,
according to the report. “The leader does not believe the interim agreement
with Iran was in our nation’s best interests, and he will work with fellow
members, Republican and Democrat, to determine that any final deal definitively
addresses congressional concerns,” Cooper told the National Journal.
The Air Force in mid-November appointed Troy
Meink to serve as deputy under secretary of the Air
Force for space. Meink has served in a variety of Air Force jobs since 1988,
including his most recent role as director of signals intelligence systems
acquisition, in Chantilly, Va. “When the opportunity arose for me to take this
position, there was a little bit of apprehension and excitement,” said Meink in
a Dec. 3 release.
“An old mentor once told me that if a job doesn’t scare you a little bit, then
you shouldn’t take it. So it fits . . .
scares me a bit, but this gives me the opportunity to do great things
for the Air Force.” Meink said his primary goal is to maintain the US’
leadership role in space. However, in order to do that, the Air Force is going
to have to become even more innovative as budgets decline, he noted. “Allowing our
airmen, both Active Duty and civilian, to be innovative and push the edges is
what is going to keep us on top,” said Meink.
Air Frame: An A-10C, assigned to
the Arkansas Air National Guard’s 188th Fighter Wing, conducts close-air
support training near Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. (Air Force photo by
Jim Haseltine) (Click
on image above to reach wallpaper version.)
The Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman an
$81 million follow-on contract to begin design and test work for upgrades to
its air and space operations centers, the company announced
Dec. 3. Northrop Grumman won
the overall contract to modernize the Air Force's command and
control system in 2012. The Defense
Department approved the overall acquisition plan in October, giving the
go-ahead for the latest engineering and manufacturing development phase
contract, according to the company. Over the next year, the company plans to
refine the system's design through a continuing series of operational trials to
glean feedback from users, in addition to a critical design review. The new AOC
architecture aims to reduce cost by cutting down on physical hardware, and
simplifying system interface, according to the company. The base $102 million eight-year
modernization contract could be worth up to $504 million if all options are exercised.
The Air Force announced
Tuesday it will offer some ROTC cadets and recently
commissioned graduates in the Individual Ready Reserve an opportunity to get out of their military service commitment early. In an effort to align
its policies and programs to a smaller and leaner force, cadets slated for graduation in 2014 and recent
graduates in the following fields may apply for voluntary release in January:
airfield operations, nuclear and missile operations, intelligence, cyberspace
operations, aircraft maintenance, munitions and missile maintenance, logistics
readiness, security forces, public affairs, personnel, acquisition, and
contracting. ROTC applicants that have been approved for the program will no
longer receive their monthly stipend as of March 1, but the Air Force “will not
seek scholarship or stipend recoupment in exchange for release from their
service commitment,” states the release. Air Force leaders are encouraging ROTC
graduates to look at reserve components for similar opportunities. The Air
Force also plans to reduce applicants to the Officer Training School, “but we
can’t cut any deeper into OTS production without harming our ability to fill
specific technical career fields,” said Lt. Col. Jonelle Eychner, chief of
officer accessions and training.
The Pentagon has commissioned RAND Corp to
conduct a cost/benefits study of Defense Department elementary and secondary
schools, according to a Dec. 3 Air Force release.
The $905,000 study—slated for completion in mid-2014— will consider a variety
of options ranging from keeping operations as they are to closing schools and
transferring children to local district schools, states the release. “There are
no pre-conceived outcomes for this study,” said Marilee Fitzgerald, DOD
education activity director. “The input of commands, parents, teachers,
students, and community members is essential and will be actively sought and
taken into consideration.” RAND will review 60 schools at 15 North American military
installations as part of the study, reported
Stars and Stripes. All together, those schools educate 23,000 students at a
cost of nearly $376 million per year, according to the article.
As budgets tighten, the Air Force intends to cut
“nice-to-have” programs such as base bowling alleys and golf courses, said
Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh during a visit with airmen in Grand Forks, N.D.
“We have already decided what our core support programs are in the Air Force
and those will be funded: child and youth programs, health care for families,
airmen and family readiness centers and so on,” said Welsh. “We are not going
to cut those things.” However, the Air Force simply can’t afford other
facilities that once made base life a bit more enjoyable. Instead, airmen and
their families will have to rely on local communities for such entertainment.
Overseas locations and some remote bases could be exceptions, noted Welsh. “We
will have to cut people. We will have to cut force structure until we can
rebalance and create a ready force that is at the readiness levels we think we
will need to be successful,” he said.
is a new, 136-page, coffee-table size, hardbound book (with laminated dust jacket) that captures the vintage aircraft from Air Force Magazine's
one-page Airpower Classics series. The first 60 aircraft from this imaginative series have been printed in full color on art paper and collected in this visually stunning book. The giant 14.5 inch x 11.5 inch horizontal format showcases the vivid aircraft illustrations—classic fighters, bombers, transports, and recce aircraft—created by Air Force Magazine’s
Zaur Eylanbekov, with supporting text by world-renowned aviation writer Walter J. Boyne. Each listing contains additional historical facts and photos that did not appear in the magazine version. Airpower Classics
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AFA Remains Tax-Exempt Organization
It has come to our attention that AFA does not appear as an Exempt Organization on the IRS’s Exempt Organization Master File, complicating attempts to donate. This issue is due to a system failure at the IRS, but rest assured, AFA remains an income tax-exempt entity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). For more information go to www.afa.org or contact Larry Dilworth at email@example.com
In More Depth
An unpublished RAND study found that members of the nuclear missile force have low job satisfaction and often feel job-related “burnout,” however, Air Force officials say morale across the missile wings actually is comparable to the Air Force average.
Senators have introduced a host of competing amendments to the Fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill aimed at curbing sexual assaults in the military.
Three of the four surviving Doolittle Tokyo Raiders made their final toast to their deceased comrades during an invitation-only ceremony at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, on Nov. 9.
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.