Aerospace World

Jan. 1, 2001

Ryan: Pay for Skills, Not Rank

To better retain skilled science and technology workers, the Air Force should base its pay scales on capability, not rank, Chief of Staff Gen. Michael E. Ryan said Oct. 30.

“Someday, someway, we are going to have to break those two apart, particularly in an economy which has demands on these kinds of people across the spectrum of commerce,” Ryan told the Office of the Air Force Chief Scientist 50th Anniversary Symposium.

Retention of top science and tech workers is a major issue for the service as it prepares for next year’s crucial Quadrennial Defense Review. Currently, the Air Force is 2 percent short of its communication and information officer requirement, 7 percent short of its civil engineer requirement, and 23 percent short of its scientist requirement, according to Ryan.

“We’re eroding the high experience levels that we have in the United States Air Force in these critical areas,” he said.

Recapitalization of the force remains perhaps the pre-eminent USAF issue for the QDR, however. Ryan also noted that the service needs to build about 170 aircraft a year to keep the average life of its aircraft under 25 years, given the current force structure.

“The average age of our fleet in the year 2000 was over 20 years old. And if we execute every program we know about, every one that we have on the books, in the next 15 years … the average age of United States aircraft will be approaching 30 years old,” Ryan said.

Rostker Says USAF Faces Worst Readiness Problems

The Air Force has the worst long-term readiness problems of all the US military services, according to Bernard D. Rostker, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

Aircraft are wearing out faster than expected, Rostker told a breakfast meeting of defense reporters. Maintenance requirements per flying hour are increasing. Replacement aircraft such as the F-22 are very expensive.

“The Air Force clearly is the service with the biggest problem in terms of replacing its capital, its hardware,” said Rostker.

The Army is in slightly better shape than the Air Force in terms of the age of its weapons and its long-term procurement plan.

“I’ll tell you the service that is in the best shape is the Navy, both in ship and airplane fleet,” said Rostker.

On the other hand, reports of short-term readiness problems may have been exaggerated. Rostker used the term “exquisitely ready” to refer to the current fighting state of US armed forces and said he does not think the US has a readiness crisis today.

Constant deployments have worn on some parts of the military, he said. But the effect of high operations tempo on readiness varies according to mission and unit.

Expectations play into optempo effects. The Air Force has not traditionally been a deploying force, while the Navy has been, said Rostker.

“That is why the Air Force has gone to an expeditionary force concept to see if they can mimic the structure and in some ways the expectations of the Navy,” he said.

The boost in 1999 funds for spare parts has yet to improve overall Air Force mission capable rates. The overall mission capable rate declined in Fiscal 2000 to 72.9 percent. It was 73.5 percent in 1999, a full 10 percentage point drop since 1991.

The service goal for 2001 is to have 81 percent of its aircraft mission capable over the year.

House May Get Airpower Panel

Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) said Nov. 14 that if he becomes chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in the next Congress he will create a new airpower subcommittee as part of a general committee reorganization.

Specifically, the current research and development and procurement subcommittees would be scrapped and replaced with airpower, sea power, and strategic and land forces panels, according to a 36-page “Vision for the House Armed Services Committee in the 21st Century” report issued by Weldon’s office.

Weldon also said he would like to see HASC become more of an active force in the House. Among possible legislative topics were information warfare, relations with Russia and China, readiness, and defense spending oversight.

“If I have the gavel, there will be a steady stream of substantial legislation ready to go to the floor,” he vowed.

Weldon, chairman of the R&D panel for the last six years, is vying with Rep. Bob Stump, Republican of Arizona, for the right to run the HASC.

Air Force To Select Recruiters

The Air Force is scrapping its all-volunteer recruiter force and moving to a selection-based recruiter program. The move comes because the service’s recruit-the-recruiter effort was not bringing in enough volunteers to grow the force as fast as planned. The Air Force currently has 1,364 recruiters in the field and is seeking to increase that number to 1,650 by August.

The Air Force had as few as 890 recruiters just 18 months ago.

“While the all-volunteer system served us well in a less competitive environment with fewer recruiters, it can’t sustain the number of recruiters with the necessary skills we need to meet our future requirements,” said Chief of Staff Gen. Michael E. Ryan.

This cultural shift will make recruiter duty a part of nearly every NCO’s career path, say Air Force officials. It is aimed initially at staff sergeants through master sergeants with less than 16 years in uniform. The first batch of selectees will be made by March.

Air Force Personnel Center officials will develop an initial list of recruiter candidates. Those candidates will then be recommended, or not, for their suitability for recruiting duty by their major commands. Those on the refined list will have the opportunity to volunteer for specific openings, beginning in mid-January.

Those on the list may then volunteer for a specific location, which officials say they will try to accommodate. Not all in the pool may be selected, but all vacancies will be filled.

“The AFPC and [major commands] will work together to ensure individual units or career fields are not adversely impacted by these selections,” said Brig. Gen. Paul M. Hankins, then director of the Recruiting and Retention Task Force at the Air Staff.

Once recruiters complete their tour, they can return to their primary career field. Along the way they will have developed valuable skills and gained a broader view of their service, say personnel officials.

“People may initially hesitate and may think this is not in their best interest, but when they get to their assignment location we believe they will step to the plate and give an outstanding effort,” said Hankins. “When it’s over, I feel most of them will say it was a great job.”

Recruiting of Veterans on Track

The Air Force is staying on track in its efforts to attract 600 prior-service personnel back into uniform during Fiscal 2001.

As of early November, 73 such vets had signed enlistment contracts. Fifty-nine had previously served in the Air Force. Seven are Army vets, four were Navy, and three had been Marines, according to Air Force Recruiting Service officials.

The Air Force has re-emphasized the value of prior-service recruits as part of its overall effort to improve recruitment and training. Among the changes: Noncommissioned officer slots in certain in-demand specialties can now be filled by returning individuals. Prior-service military members now count toward recruiters’ annual goals.

“The Air Force recognizes there is a pool of highly skilled veterans who’ve served proudly and now miss the opportunities of military service. … They miss the teamwork, discipline, and opportunities of the military and want to serve again on active duty,” said Brig. Gen. Duane W. Deal, Air Force Recruiting Service commander. “Instead of donning Army green or Marine khakis, they want to build on those skills with a career in the Air Force. This program allows them to do that.”

Nearly 900 veterans joined the Air Force in Fiscal 2000. The overall Fiscal 2001 recruitment goal for the service is 34,600.

Air Force Honors Vietnam Hero

The Air Force on Oct. 27 honored 2nd Lt. Richard Van de Geer with a full-honors funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. His name is the last inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Van de Geer was killed May 15, 1975, when the CH-53 helicopter that he was copiloting was shot down during the USS Mayaguez rescue off the coast of Cambodia.

Remains were recovered from the underwater site in 1995, and those of Van de Geer were recently identified via DNA testing

New Space Aggressor Squadron Activated

The 527th Space Aggressor Squadron was activated during a ceremony at Peterson AFB, Colo., on Oct. 23. While the Air Force has long had flying units that mimic potential adversary fighter tactics and weapons, the 527th is the first aggressor squadron focused on the space arena.

“This is a major step in bringing defensive and offensive counterspace capabilities to the fight,” said Lt. Col. Conrad Widman, the squadron’s first commander. “It’s also a new opportunity for Space Command to slip out and play with the rest of the combat air forces on an equal footing.”

The 527th will be under the aegis of the Space Warfare Center, Schriever AFB, Colo. It is divided into an Imagery Exploitation Flight, Electronic Warfare Flight, Red Attack Flight, and Space Control Flight.

The Imagery Exploitation Flight’s job is to explore the World Wide Web for commercial satellite imagery of US forces and installations. The quality and detail of the photos they find are often astonishing-and are available to anyone with a credit card and a modem.

“[Commanders become] very sensitive to the fact that the adversary has a much clearer picture of what US forces are trying to do,” said Widman. “They can find out where planes, depots, soldier barracks, and perimeter fences are. It could be done with untrained analysts downloading commercial imagery.”

The Electronic Warfare Flight uses known adversary technology to jam Global Positioning System signals and military satellite communications during exercises. Since so many US weapons now depend on GPS for targeting data, their efforts can wreak havoc.

The Red Attack Flight takes all the squadron’s capabilities and groups them together into feasible attack plans that target Air Force command-and-control abilities.

The squadron inherits the heritage of the 527th Air Aggressor Squadron, which was based in the United Kingdom and flew F-5s and F-16s against regular units that needed to be ready for combat during the Cold War.

“We’re excited about carrying that mission forward in Space Command … because if we forego the capabilities that the enemy has, it could mean a space Pearl Harbor,” said Widman.

Combined Air Operations Center Opens

The Air Force’s new experimental Combined Air Operations Center opened for business Oct. 30 at Langley AFB, Va. Air Combat Command Commander Gen. John P. Jumper and Air Force Materiel Command Commander Gen. Lester L. Lyles both presided over the unit’s inaugural ceremony.

“Both commands are working to bring an integrated team of acquisition, operations, and testing professionals together to ensure that developing an air operations center is tightly bound to user requirements and that it can be quickly and effectively tested and fielded,” said Lt. Gen. Leslie F. Kenne, commander of Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom AFB, Mass.

An Air Operations Center is a command-and-control center that plans and runs aerospace operations during a contingency or conflict. A Combined Air Operations Center supports joint, allied, or coalition warfare.

The experimental center, CAOC-X, will serve as a test bed for more efficient operations of all US AOCs.

“It’s the embodiment of General Jumper’s vision for improving all AOCs and will be the hub for bringing in good ideas,” said Col. David Tillotson, chief of experimentation for ESC’s Integrated Command and Control System Program Office.

Among the improvements Jumper is specifically aiming for are a reduction in the personnel needed for planning, perhaps via the use of automated tools, and the display of combat information in a more readily digestible format.

He has also sought to increase the numbers and improve the skills of AOC operators.

“Training the C2 warrior is another real key,” said Tillotson.

The Langley CAOC-X will help validate development assumptions and shape future acquisitions.

“We will build a little [and] test a little, with the goal of producing a spiral in three months to get improved capabilities to the warfighter faster,” said Col. Frank DeArmond, interim CAOC-X management team program director.

China Now Views US as “Threat”

China appears to be increasingly convinced that the United States opposes its main geostrategic aims and is thus a threat to the Chinese national interest.

That appears to be the message of Beijing’s latest white paper on national defense, in any case. Three years ago a similar document contained relatively mild language about the US. The latest version referred to the US in negative terms, numerous times.

The white paper refers to “hegemonism and power politics,” which are viewed as code words for US intervention, among other direct and indirect finger-pointing.

The Chinese military might be expected to take a hard line toward the world’s only superpower. But this attitude is also reflected in general government statements, academic debate, and even at times in the press.

A number of events lie behind this trend. Among the actions that are threatening to many Chinese are NATO expansion, the US discussion of a national missile defense, and the signing of new US-Japan military guidelines.

In addition, the May 1999 bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade by US forces stirred great resentment throughout China. Few accepted the American explanation that it was an accident.

Beijing sees continued US arms sales to Taiwan as an impediment to one of its most cherished goals: reunification with what it considers a renegade island.

China has launched a military modernization drive to increase its geopolitical leverage. It has purchased Su-27 and Su-30 fighters from Russia and is beginning domestic production of the Su-27. It has now taken delivery of two modern Russian destroyers. China’s submarine and nuclear forces are in line for upgrades.

Analysts note that for all this, Chinese forces remain far inferior to those of many NATO nations, let alone the United States. China’s entry into the World Trade Organization and its integration into the global economy could yet curb its rising anti-American belligerence.

Visits by US officials in recent weeks were part of ongoing talks to help ease tensions in the region. The Pentagon is considering military exchanges during 2001.

In a statement to the press in Beijing, Walter B. Slocombe, undersecretary of defense for policy, said he told Chinese officials with whom he met that the US welcomed the detail provided in the white paper; however, “References to the US as a would-be hegemon in the Asia-Pacific region were without foundation and unhelpful to building a positive relationship.”

Russia Announces Force-Cut Plan

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reiterated his intention to cut his nation’s 3-million-strong military and paramilitary by 600,000 positions over the next five years. Of that total, the regular armed forces, which number about 1.2 million, will be cut by 365,000.

Nearly 250,000 of the cuts would come from the officer corps, under orders issued by Putin in early November. Another 130,000 would be trimmed from the Defense Ministry bureaucracy.

Money saved by the reductions will allow the purchase of new, more modern weapons, said Putin in a speech to military commanders on Nov. 20. By 2006 reformed combat forces should be deployed facing central Asia and Russia’s southwest-areas where Moscow feels threatened by Islamic militants.

“These forces should use the most modern technology and planning methods,” said Putin.

Putin has also proposed deep cuts in nuclear warheads as part of his ongoing negotiations with the US over missile defense. Warhead levels could go as low as 1,000 to 1,500, the Russian leader said.

President Clinton replied to the arms cut offer with cautious interest. “I think it is quite possible that we could agree to go down to fewer missiles in our nuclear arsenal and theirs,” he said in a Nov. 19 interview with CNN.

But Clinton-who has deferred the decision on missile defense deployment to his successor-said it would be difficult for America to pass up the opportunity to erect a reliable shield against warheads, if it proves possible.

“If the technology existed which would give us high levels of confidence that one or two or five or 10 missiles could be stopped from coming into the country, it would be hard to justify not putting it up,” said Clinton.

Short Says He’s Come Around on UAVs

The commander of allied air forces during 1999’s Kosovo conflict says the experience made him a true believer in the potential for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

UAVs might offer a solution to some of the shortcomings in US airpower exposed during the fight against Slobodan Milosevic, he said.

He came out of the conflict as “an enormous fan of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle,” Short told a Capitol Hill breakfast seminar, sponsored by DFI International.

Suppression and destruction of enemy air defenses are among the missions that might be particularly suited to UAV strengths, said Short. Both were more difficult over Kosovo than anticipated, as the enemy did not fight in the manner US officials had predicted.

The long dwell times possible with unmanned vehicles could make location of air defense sites easier and negate adversary tactics of turning radars on and off and moving them around. “We need to be overhead, suppressing and killing 24 hours a day,” he said.

USAF Eyes Multiservice JSF Facilities

The Air Force is leading a triservice study of the feasibility of joint maintenance and training facilities for the Joint Strike Fighter.

The study will take approximately two years. Its final product will likely be recommendations for the construction of initial sites to handle JSF work, Lt. Gen. Michael E. Zettler, Air Force deputy chief of staff for installations and logistics, said during a DoD maintenance symposium held in Charleston, S.C.

Funds for these facilities would have to be included in Fiscal 2004 budgets to have them completed by 2007, before the first production JSFs roll off the assembly line.

“We envision, initially at least, we will probably have some type of single-location operation,” said Zettler. “The degree of integration of that location has to be worked out.”

Service training concepts for the JSF, which have yet to be established, will be among the factors determining how joint the airplane’s operations will be. Air Force officials envision sharing some back-shop support with the Navy and Marines but point out that Navy, Marine, and Air Force aircraft maintainers all do business in vastly different ways.

Zettler said that training for each one of those communities will be structured differently but would, hopefully, produce the same outcome.

NRO Needs Cash, Attention, Effort

The National Reconnaissance Office-the agency responsible for the design, construction, and operation of US spy satellites-has drifted since the end of the Cold War and needs a new focus and sense of purpose, according to the report of a bipartisan Congressional commission.

Among the panel’s key recommendations: The NRO should establish a secret in-house office to pursue cutting-edge technology for snooping from space.

This new Office of Space Reconnaissance “should have special acquisition authorities, be staffed by experienced military and CIA personnel, have a budget separate from other agencies, … be protected by a special security compartment, and operate under the personal direction of the President, Secretary of Defense, and Director of Central Intelligence,” said the National Commission for the Review of the National Reconnaissance Office.

The 11-member panel, co-chaired by Florida Republican Rep. Porter J. Goss and Nebraska Democrat Sen. Bob Kerrey, found that the NRO has played a crucial role in protecting US national security for 40 years.

However, the clarity of mission and sense of urgency that powered the agency for so many years has dissipated since the fall of the Soviet Union, panel members claim. The agency has suffered from underinvestment and inattention from senior officials at a time when the threats the US faces are increasingly complex and the NRO’s government customers are demanding more and better information.

The personal attention of high officials from the President on down will be necessary to reverse the situation, members said. Its mission should be updated, and its funds-particularly those devoted to research and development and acquisition-should be increased. A new Office of Space Reconnaissance could respond more quickly and effectively to the fast-paced technical changes of today, members decided. Its task would be to attack the most difficult intelligence problems.

In a way, OSR would replicate the early years of the NRO, while the NRO itself would continue to serve a broad and growing array of government agencies.

The commission also urged that the Director of Central Intelligence be given greater freedom to shift funds among US intelligence agencies; that the Secretary of Defense and the DCI jointly establish clear NRO career paths; and that the NRO develop contingency plans for each of its programs that take into account the risks of satellite or launch vehicle failures.

Defender Challenge Tests Security Forces

Defender Challenge 2000-a week-long Olympics-like competition for security forces-wrapped up at Lackland AFB, Tex., on Nov. 4. Teams from 11th Wing, Air Mobility Command, and Air Force Materiel Command were among the gold medal winners.

“The efforts you put forth this week showed the level of excellence and training that the members of security forces have and have shown throughout the world,” Brig. Gen. James M. Shamess, Air Force director of security forces, told competitors.

The 19th Defender Challenge featured six physical fitness, combat weapons, and policing exercises. More than 120 competitors from Air Force major commands and the British Royal Air Force participated.

A team from AFMC won the fitness challenge event, running a 1.1-mile course with 21 obstacles in 11 minutes, nine seconds. AMC won the handgun target event.

A new base response policing skill exercise was won by 11th Wing, Bolling AFB, D.C. Combat weapons exercises, which involve the M-16, M-60 machine gun, and M-203 grenade launcher, went to AMC.

Chief’s Challenge, the only event between individuals, was won by SrA. Pat Spencer from AFMC. The crown jewel event, the Sadler’s Cup nighttime tactical exercise, went to 11th Wing.

“We are a pretty small group of folks in the 11th Wing, and they all work as hard as these guys did this week,” said Col. James P. Hunt, 11th Wing commander.

No Impropriety Found at Tailhook

Navy officials say they have found no evidence that a civilian woman was groped by naval aviators attending a Tailhook Association convention in Sparks, Nev., last summer. (See “Aerospace World: Tailhook, the Sequel,” November, p. 22.)

The woman’s allegations gained wide attention since the Navy has only recently restored official ties with Tailhook following the 1991 association meeting, which became notorious for its drunken debauchery, sexual assaults, and property damage.

A security videotape of last summer’s alleged misconduct shows no inappropriate contact took place. The Los Angeles Times reported that the Sparks Police Department said the woman and her husband refused to sign a formal complaint after learning of the existence of the videotape.

Medal of Honor for Air Force Hero in Vietnam

The Medal of Honor-the nation’s highest military decoration-was awarded posthumously to a pararescueman killed in action during the Vietnam War.

In a Nov. 27 statement, USAF said A1C William H. Pitsenbarger was being given the decoration for valor in treating wounded soldiers despite coming under intense enemy fire and being mortally wounded himself.

Pitsenbarger’s heroics-and death-occurred during a battle April 11, 1966, east of Saigon in South Vietnam. According to Department of Defense officials, the award was stymied for years because so many eyewitnesses were killed. Subsequent eyewitness reports were developed in the 1990s.

William F. Pitsenbarger accepted the Medal of Honor on his son’s behalf in a Dec. 8 ceremony at Wright­Patterson AFB, Ohio. (The February 2001 issue of Air Force Magazine will devote a major article to Pitsenbarger and his valor.)

NATO Must Control Euro Force, Says Robertson

Recent remarks by NATO Secretary General George Robertson indicate the allies are taking a hard line on command of the European Union’s new military potential. According to Robertson, NATO nations are insisting that the European Rapid Reaction Force should remain under NATO control and be led by British Gen. Rupert Smith.

Robertson’s remarks were reported Nov. 28 by John Keegan, esteemed British military historian and defense editor of the London Daily Telegraph.

The EU-whose membership overlaps in part with NATO-on Nov. 20 took its first major military step, with defense ministers pledging troops and equipment to create a 60,000-member force by 2003. EU nations pledged a pool of 100,000 troops, enough to establish a 60,000-member force while leaving a reserve.

Robertson said Smith, in his role as NATO’s deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, will be in charge of any operation the EU force undertakes. However, Robertson acknowledged that a final decision on how the force will be commanded is being held up by France. Paris insists that NATO and the EU force should have separate planning staffs.

Robertson told Keegan that, in an attempt to allay Western concerns that the EU force could become a European army, national contingents allocated to the new force would not be permanently committed and could be recalled by national heads of government at any time.

The deputy SACEUR, acting as head of the new force, would answer to EU’s Council of Ministers. However, the EU would have to gain agreement of the North Atlantic Council, which includes the US, for any employment on EU missions of European forces that are allocated to NATO.

When 90 Days Is Really 91 Days

Air Force officials want airmen to know that when they deploy with an Aerospace Expeditionary Force, they won’t be back in town within 90 days. It will take at least 91 days and maybe more.

Officials at the Aerospace Expeditionary Force Center, Langley AFB, Va., explained that each AEF rotation is for three months-which is not necessarily the same as 90 days.

Since the establishment of the Expeditionary Aerospace Force (based on AEFs), USAF officials have referred constantly to “90-day” deployments.

A cycle of five deployments, however, covers 455 days, five more than a cycle of five 90-day deployments. To eliminate this five-day gap, each AEF deployment has been extended to run for 91 days.

USAF officials noted that the strict interpretation of the 90-days terminology may have caused some confusion. “We’ve heard of some Air Force members who have made leisure and family plans on the 91st day,” said Brig. Gen. Dennis R. Larsen, AEF Center commander.

Moreover, the AEF schedule does not include travel time or overlap with departing units, if required. “People will most likely be deployed beyond exactly 91 days,” said Larsen.

John Levitow, Medal of Honor Recipient


Air Force Sgt. John L. Levitow, the most junior airman to earn the Medal of Honor, died of cancer at his home in Connecticut on Nov. 8. He was 55.

Born in Hartford, Levitow had lived in Connecticut most of his life. After his Air Force service, he worked for more than 20 years on veterans issues, including developing and designing veterans programs for Connecticut.

On the night of Feb. 24, 1969, then­Airman 1st Class Levitow was serving as loadmaster on an AC-47 gunship that was flying to the aid of troops at Long Binh Army post northeast of Saigon. As the airplane approached its target area near the post, an 82 mm mortar shell ripped through its right wing, spraying the interior with shrapnel.

Levitow-along with four fellow crew members-was badly wounded, his back and legs shredded by more than 40 shards of metal. Though in great pain and entering shock, he saw that an armed flare was rolling about the cargo area amidst thousands of rounds of ammunition. The AC-47 had been hit at the moment the gunner was about to toss the flare out the open cargo door.

Levitow attempted to pick up the flare but was unable to grasp it as the airplane banked out of control. Finally he threw his body on the smoking flare, knowing full well that it could ignite and burn at 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit at any second.

He dragged himself to the cargo door and tossed the flare out just as it burst into flame. He fell unconscious as the pilot regained control of the gunship and it limped back to base, riddled by 3,500 holes.

In later years, Levitow said he remembered nothing between the pilot yelling back to the crew after the AC-47 was hit and its arrival at a landing strip. His actions were a conditioned response, he said.

After his recovery at a hospital in Japan, Levitow returned to Vietnam and flew 20 more combat missions, for a total of more than 200. President Nixon presented him with the Medal of Honor on Armed Forces Day, May 14, 1970, in a ceremony at the White House.

“Sergeant Levitow served during a war in which heroic acts were commonplace, but by any standard, his courage that night was extraordinary,” said Secretary of the Air Force F. Whitten Peters. “His selfless actions saved not only his own life but the lives of seven others.”

Only 61 airmen have received the nation’s highest military award. Of those, Levitow had the lowest rank at the time of his act of courage.

In the years since he left the service, the Air Force has honored him in a number of ways.

The Levitow Honor Graduate Award goes to the top professional military education graduate from Air Force Airman Leadership Schools. At Lackland AFB, Tex., the 737th Training Group Headquarters building is named in his honor.

In 1998, Air Mobility Command named a new C-17 Globemaster The Spirit of Sgt. John L. Levitow. That year Hurlburt Field, Fla., also made Levitow part of their Walk of Fame.

Burial was at Arlington National Cemetery on Nov. 17, with full military honors.

“John Levitow for years has been woven into the fabric of enlisted heritage,” said CMSAF Jim Finch. “Through his heroic efforts he was the embodiment of our core value ‘service before self.’ His name has become synonymous with excellence, and his legacy will continue to live in the hearts and minds of all Air Force members today and well into the future.”

Pentagon Report Blasts Deutch for Security Lapses

Former CIA Director John Deutch, who should have known better, failed to follow “the most basic security precautions” by storing classified information on unsecured computers.

That is the scathing conclusion of the Defense Department’s Inspector General. It was contained in the final report of the IG investigation into Deutch’s security lapses.

“The evidence we obtained clearly establishes that Dr. Deutch failed to follow even the most basic security precautions,” said the report, dated Aug. 28 and released to reporters Nov. 28.

Deutch, who was the Pentagon’s No. 2 official before taking the CIA post, repeatedly rejected Pentagon requests that he allow installation of security systems on computers at his residence.

“We find his conduct in this regard particularly egregious,” said the report.

Deutch has declined to answer government investigators’ questions about his alleged mishandling of classified material when in office, officials said Oct. 10. A Justice Department special prosecutor has recommended that he be charged with committing security violations.

Among the specific mysteries which remain are what has become of computer disks that Deutch used to store an electronic diary he compiled of his Pentagon experiences between 1993 and 1995. Deutch also has admitted using unsecured home computers to handle classified data. Those computers were used to access the Internet, leading to security officials’ fears that the data was compromised by hackers or foreign governments.

With publication of the report, the IG has ended its part of the investigation. However, the Pentagon was continuing to conduct a damage assessment of Deutch’s actions, according to Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon.

The IG’s report said Deutch maintained a journal that included classified information, first on floppy disks that he “was known to transport … in his shirt pocket” and later on computer memory cards provided by the CIA.

Deutch was deputy defense secretary, the department’s second-ranking official, between March 1994 and May 1995. Prior to that, he served as undersecretary of defense for acquisition and technology.

A Dirty Dozen for the New Guys in Town

For a year, a group of analysts under the aegis of the National Defense University has been considering possible points of departure for the next Quadrennial Defense Review, officially due to get under way shortly after the inauguration.

The NDU’s QDR 2001 Working Group in November issued a report that included, among other things, a list of what it viewed as the 12 most difficult strategy decisions the new Administration will face. They are:

1. How should the United States define its national interests

2. What are the most significant threats to US interests, and what are the most significant opportunities for advancing those interests

3. What should our primary national security objectives be

4. What kind of wars should the US military be prepared to deter and, if necessary, fight and win over the next 10­20 years

5. What are the appropriate uses of the US military short of major war? How much and what kind of military involvement should there be in other contingencies and in peacetime engagement activities

6. What are the appropriate roles and missions for DoD in support of homeland security

7. What should the objectives of military transformation be, and how urgently should they be pursued

8. What should be the military’s overseas-presence posture

9. What is the appropriate role of nuclear weapons? What mix of strategic offenses and defenses should be pursued

10. What roles should we expect allies and coalition partners to play across the spectrum of operations

11. How should these various strategy elements be prioritized

12. What strategy-based criteria should be used to size the force? And what should be the associated declaratory policy

Twitching Carcass of the Soviet Fighter Industry

“Once among the most glamorous components of the Soviet military-industrial complex, the Russian military aircraft industry has been described by some analysts as being on the verge of collapse. Russia’s civilian aircraft industry has faced similar pressures, which does not bode well for the military aviation infrastructure. It may be difficult for fighter aircraft companies to find employment in Russia’s beleaguered civil aircraft sector. …

“Russia’s remaining fighter aircraft design and manufacturing enterprises, Sukhoi and Mikoyan, appear to be struggling to stay alive. Both companies have sought to make up for decreased domestic demand by increasing their export of fighter aircraft and by winning contracts in the civilian aviation sector. Success in both areas has been limited, and many analysts doubt that Russia can support more than one fighter aircraft company for much longer. The potential for a merger between the two companies has been discussed for some time. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it is unclear which would survive a merger.”

-From Nov. 8 report of the Congressional Research Service, “Russian Fighter Aircraft Industrial Base: Parallels With the United States?”

Against Taiwan, China Faces “Probability of Failure”

Rand recently took a fresh look at the long-running conflict of the two Chinas. The result was a new report, “Dire Strait? Military Aspects of the China­Taiwan Confrontation and Options for US Policy.” It postulated a surprisingly bleak outcome for any actual Chinese military adventure:

“Our analysis suggests that any near-term [Communist] Chinese attempt to invade Taiwan would likely be a very bloody affair with a significant probability of failure.

“Leaving aside potentially crippling [People’s Republic of China] shortcomings that we assumed away-such as logistics and C2 deficiencies that could derail an operation as complex as a ‘triphibious’ (amphibious, airborne, and air assault) attack on Taiwan-the [People’s Liberation Army] cannot be confident of its ability to win the air-to-air war, and its ships lack adequate anti-air and anti-missile defenses.

“Provided [Taiwan] can keep its air bases operating under attack-a key proviso … – it stands a relatively good chance of denying Beijing the air and sea superiority needed to transport a significant number of ground troops safely across the strait. Overall, [Taiwan] achieved ‘good’ outcomes in almost 90 percent of [Rand’s analytical] cases against our best-estimate ‘base’ PRC threat.”

Taxes and Troops

Margaret Carlson, columnist for Time Magazine and commentator for CNN, had some harsh words for US military men and women who are Florida residents.

They’re tax evaders, she said.

Carlson’s denunciation, uttered on the nationally syndicated “Imus in the Morning” radio program, came after the Nov. 7 Presidential election. She made the remark amid speculation that the election between George W. Bush and Al Gore might be decided by mail-in ballots from active duty men and women who make Florida their home of record.

Carlson claimed that those military personnel do not pay state taxes. (Neither do other residents of Florida, which does not have a state income tax for anyone to evade.)

Carlson later apologized on CNN’s “The Capital Gang,” citing her own remark as the “outrage of the week.”

Carlson has been a Time columnist since 1994.

Grave of Cold War-Era USAF Pilot Near Discovery

On July 1, 1960, Air Force Maj. Eugene E. Posa died when his RB-47 spy airplane was shot down, plunging into the Barents Sea. A Soviet trawler rescued two other crew members and recovered the body of another, but Posa simply vanished from US view. The Cold War incident occurred two months after the downing of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers. Moscow provided no leads or information, and memory of the incident receded.

Now, more than 40 years later, US officials have raised hopes of finally locating Posa’s body. Denis Clift, co-chairman of the Cold War Working Group of the US­Russian Joint Commission on POWs and MIAs, told the Associated Press on Nov. 22, “We believe we’re on the verge of identifying the [Russian] cemetery where [the body] was buried.”

Clift said it appears Posa, from Santa Monica, Calif., was buried near Severomorsk, north of Murmansk. For a while, authorities believed the body was in a military cemetery in Severomorsk, but Clift said new information pointed to a location outside Severomorsk. Investigators already had located the hospital in which officials conducted an autopsy of Posa’s body.

The renewed US­Russian probe found records indicating a Soviet fishing trawler recovered Posa’s body Oct. 14, 1960, three months after the shootdown of his aircraft. A second trawler retrieved parts of the RB-47’s wings. On Oct. 15, 1960, Posa’s remains were transferred to the second trawler and transported to Severomorsk.

Archival reports and an interview with the trawler captain and crewmen indicated that Posa’s remains arrived in Severomorsk on Oct. 19, 1960. After that, however, investigators found no log entries or release documents to confirm Posa’s removal from the trawler or to indicate where he was buried. Investigators have conducted numerous interviews in an effort to complete the search.

Officials believe the recovery and repatriation of Posa’s remains would be an important step for the commission, which has been in business for more than eight years.

For Worried Air Force, the Down Streak Hits Nine Years

The Air Force Mission Capable rate–a measurement of the ability of USAF’s aircraft fleet to carry out its main missions-has just dropped for the ninth straight year.

The MC rate is a number that expresses the percent of time an aircraft possessed by a unit is either partly or fully ready. As Fig. 1 shows, the number has been falling since 1991.

In Fiscal 2000, the MC rate for active, Guard, and Reserve forces was 72.9 percent, down from 73.5 percent in Fiscal 1999.

As a result of this and prior declines, the MC rate now stands more than 10 percentage points lower than at the start of the 1990s (83.4 percent).

USAF leaders, who have set an MC goal this year of 81 percent, view the decline with concern. The downward trend stems from a huge increase in operations and an enormous reduction in procurement, which has produced the oldest Air Force fleet in history.

In addition to tracking the MC rate, the Air Staff pays careful attention to three subcategories (Fig. 2, 3, and 4) that bear directly on the combat health of the fleet:

  • Not Mission Capable Maintenance rate-Percent of time an aircraft possessed by a unit is not mission capable as a result of pending maintenance.
  • Total Not Mission Capable Supply rate-Percent of time an aircraft possessed by a unit is not mission capable due to parts supply problems.
  • Cannibalization rate-CANN actions per 100 sorties. CANN action entails removing a functional part from one weapon system to make another weapon system fully operational.

The latter category provides the one bright spot in an otherwise worrisome picture. Largely because of major increases in spare parts procurement in recent years, the CANN rate has declined in each of the past three years.

USAF General Gets Key USJFCOM Job

Maj. Gen. Daniel M. Dick, USAF, on Nov. 20 became head of US Joint Forces Command’s directorate of strategy, requirements, and integration, the command announced.

In this new position, Dick will oversee the development of requirements for joint warfighting. The primary mission of JFCOM is to train more than a million US-based personnel from all services for joint deployments around the world. However, it has become the principal center of joint experimentation.

The command’s recently retired commander in chief, Adm. Harold W. Gehman Jr., spoke out frequently in favor of JFCOM having a major say in development of weapon requirements, an area traditionally reserved for the military services.

Dick, a fighter pilot, previously served as commander, 13th Air Force, Andersen AFB, Guam, where he was responsible for air operations in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

F-22 Avionics Software Delivered

Boeing announced it had delivered on Nov. 21 to Lockheed Martin advanced avionics software for installation in Raptor 4005. Plans called for a December start to flight test of the software.

The new software, called Block 3.0, contained increased sensor-fusion capability and added weapons-delivery capability to the F-22’s integrated avionics.

“Block 3.0 will allow us to demonstrate state-of-the-art, multisensor information fusion in a weapon system,” said Bob Barnes, Boeing F-22 program manager.

Congress and DoD last year ordered USAF to install and fly the Block 3.0 software on an F-22 aircraft by the end of the 2000 calendar year. Until it did so, USAF was to be legally barred from awarding initial production contracts.

The software is designed to allow the pilot to operate in battle conditions without the burden of managing individual sensors, thereby improving situational awareness and improving performance.

Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and others have been testing F-22 avionics in Seattle at both the Avionics Integration Lab since 1998 and on the flying test bed since March 1999.

News Notes

  • The Air Force Academy football team won the Commander in Chief’s Trophy for the fourth consecutive year by defeating both Navy and Army. The win was the Falcons’ 14th in the service academy round-robin in the last 19 years.
  • The Pentagon plans to set up recruiting centers in shopping malls, defense officials announced Nov. 14. The first was officially opened in the Potomac Mills megamall in suburban Washington, D.C., on Dec. 5.
  • On Oct. 26 Air Force officials announced they plan to functionally realign Air Intelligence Agency, headquartered at Kelly AFB, Tex., under Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va., on Feb. 1.
  • In November, Launch Facility D09 and Missile Alert Facility D01 at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., will be turned over to the National Park Service and designated as the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Under the terms of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty the sites are being preserved as memorials to the Cold War and the role of the Minuteman missile in US defense.
  • The 502nd Air Operations Group was recently activated by Pacific Air Forces at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. The colocation of the 502nd with PACAF headquarters will help consolidate core components of PACAF’s Air Operations Center.
  • Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Walter B. Slocombe received the Joseph J. Kruzel Award for distinguished service in the pursuit of peace, defense officials announced Nov. 3. Slocombe’s work to lessen conflict in the Balkans and Korea helped win him the award, which is named after a defense official who died on a peace mission to Bosnia in 1995.
  • On Oct. 12 an officer was convicted of misusing his government computer, conduct unbecoming an officer, and receiving child pornography in interstate commerce. Maj. Robert L. Mason Jr. pleaded guilty to all of the charges. While working at the Defense Supply Center in Columbus, Ohio, Mason downloaded and viewed both adult and child pornography and visited Web chat rooms on sexually explicit topics.
  • DoD is considering building its own vaccine production facility. Money has been added to the future years defense plan to study such a move, defense officials said in early November, in light of concerns about anthrax vaccine shortages and shortcomings by the vaccine’s manufacturer, Michigan-based BioPort Corp.
  • The 555th Fighter Squadron, Aviano AB, Italy, was named the best maintenance unit in DoD on Nov. 2. The “Triple Nickel” won the Phoenix Award, presented annually to the unit with the most exceptional maintenance record of the year.
  • On Nov. 2 the Pentagon opened a corridor exhibit honoring the United Services Organization. The display highlights such celebrities as Bob Hope and Marilyn Monroe, who entertained troops under USO auspices, and commemorates the close association between the USO and DoD.
  • This year’s Harold Brown Award has gone to Frank Marcos, a principal physicist from the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Battlespace Environment Division at Hanscom AFB, Mass. The honor recognizes significant achievement in research and development that can lead to substantial improvement in Air Force operational effectiveness. Marcos won for work that improves the modeling of upper atmospheric density-a key variable in determining low Earth orbit satellite trajectories.
  • On Nov. 1 Air Force and New York state officials broke ground on a $23.8 million Air Force Research Laboratory facility at Rome, N.Y. The facility at Griffiss Business & Technology Park is the result of joint funding by the Air Force and state development programs. Completion is scheduled for October 2002.
  • Almerisio Lopes, a civilian editor at Air University’s College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research, and Education, Maxwell AFB, Ala., received the Brazilian Aeronautical Order of Merit in a ceremony at Brasilia air base, Brazil, on Oct. 23. Lopes was honored for his work as the editor of the Portuguese-language edition of Aerospace Power Journal, USAF’s flagship professional periodical.
  • Actor Chuck Norris was named “Veteran of the Year 2001” by American Veteran Awards, founded by the nonprofit public benefit organization Veterans Foundation Inc. Norris is an Air Force vet who served at Osan AB, South Korea, and March AFB, Calif. He was chosen for his “outstanding character, prominence as a veteran, and for his numerous career achievements, personal accomplishments, and philanthropic pursuits.”
  • The last EC-135E Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft flew its last mission Nov. 2, from Edwards AFB, Calif., to Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The aircraft is to go on display at the US Air Force Museum.