Air Force Implements Stop-Loss Order
The manpower demands of the Balkan crisis caused the Air Force to implement Stop-Loss, halting separations and retirements for personnel in critical career fields.
The May 26 announcement came from F. Whitten Peters, the acting Secretary of the Air Force, and Gen. Michael E. Ryan, USAF Chief of Staff. Their plan called for the order to become effective June 15.
Twenty-three percent of Air Force Specialty Codes have been identified as the critical skills needed to perform the mission. See box, p. 19.
The Air Force decision followed President Clinton’s announcement that he would call up 33,000 Guardsmen and Reservists to help support NATO operations over Kosovo. This call-up order authorizes mobilization of reservists for up to 270 days. Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve refueling units totaling 2,000 people were first on the call-up list.
By implementing Stop-Loss at the same time as reserve mobilization, the Air Force intends to “send a signal to employers that we’re not calling Guardsmen and Reservists while letting active duty people go,” said Maj. Gen. Paul A. Weaver Jr., Air National Guard director.
Stop-Loss was last used during the Gulf War. It will last indefinitely, pending resolution of the situation over Kosovo.
However, the service has no intention of halting the retirement or separations of anyone who is not considered critical to the Kosovo warfighting mission.
“We must implement Stop-Loss to preserve our operational capability and retain critical skills necessary to perform the Operation Allied Force mission,” said Maj. Gen. Susan L. Pamerleau, Air Force director of personnel force management.
In making the announcement, the Air Force said that Stop-Loss will have an immediate impact on the plans of roughly 6,000 troops. That is the number of airmen who requested and received permission to separate or retire from the Air Force after June 15 and who will be required to remain in uniform.
The impact clearly will go much deeper over time, however. The order covers career fields that, taken together, account for 40 percent, or 120,000, of those now on active duty. Stop-Loss also temporarily blocks changes of status of members of the Air Guard and Reserve that would allow a member to leave units at risk for call-up.
“We do not take this action lightly,” said Peters. “Stop-Loss is designed to preserve the critical skills essential to support our missions [and] … allow us to keep our training base intact.”
Peters acknowledged, “We are acutely aware that ours is a volunteer force and that this action, while essential to meeting our worldwide obligations, is inconsistent with fundamental principles of voluntary service.” He added, “We have done our best to minimize this disruption.”
The air war over Yugoslavia has already had at least one major hardware implication for the Air Force. It has forced the Pentagon to accelerate production of Joint Direct Attack Munition kits to meet the demand for the relatively inexpensive precision weapon.
JDAM contractor Boeing has increased the workload at its St. Charles, Mo., production facility. The company had been producing about 200 JDAM kits a month. The line will now churn out 300 kits a month.
The Air Force awarded Boeing a $50 million contract increase for 2,527 JDAMs in April. The kits cost about $15,000 each and turn gravity bombs into precision munitions that can be guided toward a target with Global Positioning System locator target data.
The JDAM was used in combat for the first time March 24, when two B-2s dropped 32 on Yugoslav targets.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael E. Ryan announced June 3 that the new Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force is CMSgt. Frederick J. “Jim” Finch. Finch is currently the command chief master sergeant for Air Combat Command.
CMSAF Eric W. Benken will retire July 30, after more than 29 years in the Air Force. He has served in the service’s top enlisted spot since Nov. 5, 1996, longer than most of his predecessors.
“Chief Benken has been a tremendous advocate for the enlisted corps,” Ryan said.
Ryan added that the selection was a tough decision since there were several highly qualified candidates. He said that Finch has been deeply involved in the transition from a Cold War posture to the Expeditionary Aerospace Force concept and understands the challenges.
Finch, who was born July 29, 1956, joined the Air Force in 1974. He has had various assignments in missile maintenance and professional military education, including commandant of the Pacific Air Forces Noncommissioned Officers Academy.
Peters To Get Nod for Secretary
President Clinton announced his intent June 2 to nominate acting Air Force Secretary F. Whitten Peters to fill the service’s top civilian post.
Peters has been undersecretary of the Air Force and acting Secretary since November 1997.
The White House previously nominated Daryl L. Jones, but he was rejected by the Senate July 22, 1998, because members of the Senate Armed Services Committee felt Jones had misled them about some aspects of his Air Force Reserve career.
The next likely contender, Charles B. Curtis, a former deputy secretary of energy, withdrew his name before the Administration formally announced his nomination. Curtis, now a Washington lawyer, cited concerns that his confirmation might focus on lax security at DoE labs rather than the post of Air Force Secretary.
The acting Air Force Secretary, F. Whitten Peters, has ordered a broad-area review of service space launch capabilities in the wake of a series of spectacular failures which have wasted billions of dollars.
The probe will look at causes and then recommend any necessary changes in procedures and operations to ensure the United States maintains its critical access to space. Other government and private launch agencies will be involved.
“The objective would be to look across all of the launch failures and look at the process,” said Keith R. Hall, assistant secretary of the Air Force for space and director of the National Reconnaissance Office, on May 3.
A string of dud Titan IV launches was the immediate cause of the Air Force review. The Air Force depends on the Titan IV to launch its highest-value satellites-yet the booster suffered three failures in a row.
Last August, a Titan IVA failed seconds after launch while carrying a $1 billion NRO spy satellite. In early April, a Titan IVB with an inertial upper stage stranded a Defense Support Program early warning satellite in a useless orbit. Then on April 30, a Titan IVB with a Centaur upper stage placed a Milstar military communications satellite in the wrong orbit after the Centaur malfunctioned.
The Air Force has declared the $800 million Milstar a total loss and boosted it into a higher orbit, burned off its remaining fuel, and turned off all its functions-to make it a less dangerous piece of space junk.
In addition to the Titan losses, a Boeing Delta III second stage shut down abruptly after the rocket’s launch May 4, stranding a commercial payload.
The loss of three military satellites does not cripple US space capabilities in the short term, said officials.
They say that the existing satellite network is more than capable of handling demands for communications, navigation, missile warning, intelligence, and other missions, at least for the near future.
But future capabilities might be in doubt unless space access can be resumed in a relatively short period of time.
The Air Force has already postponed two launches as it struggles to see if there is a systemic cause of the failures. A Titan IVB scheduled for launch May 9 from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., with an NRO classified satellite, was initially put off indefinitely. It was successfully launched May 22, carrying its payload to the proper orbit; however, the booster did not need an upper stage for this payload.
“I think we have a crisis, but I also think we’ve got our best minds on this,” Deputy Defense Secretary John J. Hamre said.
Titan IV Launches NRO Satellite
A Titan IVB successfully launched an NRO satellite into orbit May 22, breaking a string of failures that prompted a White House assessment of US space boosters.
The Titan IVB lifted off at 2:36 a.m. from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 4 East. The payload and booster separated as planned, 9 minutes, 24.5 seconds into the flight.
Unlike the previous Titan IV launches, this booster did not employ an upper stage.
Five days earlier, President Clinton ordered an assessment of space launch vehicles. This came after a Titan IVA blew up Aug. 12, just seconds after launch. Twice in April, Titan IVs had successful launches from Florida, only to have the upper stages fail, placing the payloads into useless orbits.
A Delta rocket also failed in April, resulting in the loss of a satellite.
The Air Force reported May 25 that the 91st Space Wing, Minot AFB, N.D., sailed through a recent test of its vulnerability to “the millennium bug.”
The test was an operational evaluation of the wing’s ICBM force during a simulated electronic Minuteman launch, in conjunction with a test of the system’s operability in a Year 2000 environment.
The conclusion: The ICBM system works the way it’s supposed to work.
The Year 2000 (Y2K) problem stems from using only the last two digits of a four-digit year in computer code. The worry is that, when the Year 2000 arrives, computers will not read it as such but rather as the year 1900.
The Air Force is testing all its warfighting systems at least twice to make sure they can roll into the Year 2000 without computer problems.
Air Combat Command, the main provider of combat air forces to theater commanders, has been conducting a three-phase Y2K Flag operational assessment during previously scheduled operational events. The first phase, held at Hill AFB, Utah, in late May, demonstrated that all mission-critical systems for the aircraft involved-A-10s, B-1s, B-52s, F-15s, F-16s, F-117s, an EC-130E, and an E-3A-worked, with only two minor and easily correctable glitches, said ACC officials.
The Air Force also held a one-and-only “live-base” test at Keesler AFB, Miss., in May, to check the ability of basewide infrastructure from finance to medical services to handle the Y2K rollover. There were no significant problems, according to USAF.
Keesler was chosen as the single site for the complete basewide, end-to-end systems test for several reasons, including the fact that it is USAF’s computer technical training center.
Air Mobility Command and Pacific Air Forces also report success in the first stages of testing their mission-critical systems.
Air Force Names 20th B-2 Indiana
On May 22 at Grissom ARB, Ind., the Air Force put Indiana’s name on the newest B-2 stealth bomber.
“There was an overwhelming show of grassroots support” for the Indiana name, said Gen. Richard E. Hawley, commander of Air Combat Command, who served as master of ceremonies for the event.
After a thunderous flyover by another B-2 dipping out of low-hanging clouds, B-2 crew members patiently signed autographs for a long line of just-as-patient visitors.
Spirit of Indiana flew back to Whiteman AFB, Mo., after the ceremony, its active duty career under way.
For the third year in a row, the Pentagon appears likely to fail in its effort to win Congressional approval for more base closures.
This time the issue did not even make it out of the Senate Armed Services Committee. On May 13, while drawing up the Fiscal 2000 defense authorization bill, the panel defeated a proposal by Sen. Carl Levin (D) of Michigan for a single round of closures by a vote of 119.
Earlier, an amendment that would have approved two base shuttering rounds, proffered by Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona, lost by an even larger margin. McCain, a longtime proponent of the need to cut infrastructure to produce modernization resources, stormed out of the closed meeting in frustration.
The House is even less friendly to base closing efforts than the Senate. Representatives are still smarting over what they perceive as the Clinton Administration’s politicization of the last base closing round. Clinton officials improperly tried to keep jobs at maintenance depots in vote-rich California, many Republicans charge.
The Senate action was something of a personal setback for Defense Secretary William S. Cohen. A former senator from Maine, Cohen lobbied his colleagues hard in an attempt to get them to agree to shed some infrastructure in the name of new weapon purchases. He had hoped they would revive the independent base closure commission process which picked nearly 100 facilities for shuttering in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The issue could still come up for debate on the floor of the House or Senate later in the year, but without the backing of the key Senate panel its passage seems remote.
Retired Generals Seek More Joint STARS
Senior retired officers have banded together to press the Pentagon to keep buying the Air Force’s E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft.
“Both the Air Force Association and the Association of the United States Army believe that the scaled-back buy of 13 Joint STARS falls dangerously short when measured by the current requirements of our national military strategy,” wrote AFA Executive Director retired USAF Gen. John A. Shaud and AUSA President retired Army Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan in an April 29 letter to Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen.
Other retired officers who have signed similar missives to the Pentagon chief include retired Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman (former Air Force Chief of Staff); USAF Gen. Charles A. Horner (the Desert Storm air boss and former commander in chief, US Space Command); and Army Gen. Gary Luck (former commander of allied forces in Korea).
When the Joint STARS program began in the early 1980s, the Air Force originally planned to buy 30 of the farseeing radar airplanes. Budget constraints reduced that plan to 19 by earlier this decade. In 1997, the Quadrennial Defense Review concluded that the US only needed 13 Joint STARS since NATO was planning to buy six for general Alliance use.
But the NATO buy has yet to materialize. US Allies have balked at the cost of the Joint STARS purchase, saying the airplane costs too much to buy and operate.
Thus the retired officers-as well as a number of other experts outside the services-think the US should resume its purchase of the aircraft, which have shown their value in conflicts from Kuwait to Kosovo.
Air Force officials have said they would like to have more Joint STARS, but other programs are currently higher on their funding priority list.
“We urge the Clinton Administration to rethink plans to halt Joint STARS production at a number below what is required to meet our warfighters’ needs,” wrote Gens. Fogleman, Horner, and others, in their Cohen letter.
The plea to keep the production line open may receive a sympathetic reception in Congress.
Lawmakers last year approved advance procurement funds for a 14th Joint STARS airplane. The House Armed Services Committee, for its part, is recommending this year that Congress fully fund the 14th aircraft, as the Air Force has requested. The House panel would then go further and provide advance procurement for a 15th in 2001 rather than shut down the Joint STARS production line for good at this time.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles did well in a Fiscal 2000 Intelligence authorization bill passed by the House on May 13. Lawmakers approved the addition of $25 million to the Global Hawk High Endurance UAV budget. The Predator UAV received $20 million more than the Administration had originally requested.
The Predator has logged more than 11,000 hours over 3.5 years on support missions in the Balkans, noted a House Intelligence Committee report. “A solid Predator production base must be continued,” it concluded.
The $20 million add-on would give the Predator a total budget of $58 million. The extra money would go for two more UAVs, laser designator kits, and increased communications ability.
The bill added $25 million to the $71 million Global Hawk request. Much of this money represents a shift in endurance UAV funds from the now-canceled
The committee report urged resumption of Global Hawk testing, which has been interrupted due to a test vehicle crash.
The overall intelligence budget figure is classified but is thought to be around $30 billion.
Guardian Challenge Honors Best in Space Command
Air Force Space Command on May 5 announced the winners of Guardian Challenge ’99 following three days of competition at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
The Blanchard Trophy for best missile operations went to the 341st Space Wing, Malmstrom AFB, Mont.
The Aldridge Trophy for best space operations was won by the 50th Space Wing, Schriever AFB, Colo.
The Schriever Trophy-awarded to the wing with the best spacelift team-ended up with the home team, the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg.
In other awards, the 21st Space Wing, Peterson AFB, Colo., was named best security forces team; and the 91st Space Wing, Minot AFB, N.D., took the honors for best missile communications team.
Thunderbirds Resume Demonstrations
The US Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration squadron resumed flight training during the second week in May following a decision by service officials to postpone team exhibitions from April 28 to May 29. The team got the OK to resume its demonstration schedule June 2.
The month-long pause came in the wake of an incident that occurred during an April 25 air show at Patrick AFB, Fla. Two Thunderbird F-16s made contact with each other during a four-ship diamond formation takeoff. Both airplanes landed safely with only minor damage, and neither pilot was injured.
Following a thorough review, Brig. Gen. William W. Lay II, commander of the 57th Wing, the parent organization for the Thunderbirds, decided to recall a former, experienced Thunderbird pilot to replace Capt. Russell Mack, one of the pilots involved in the mishap.
Maj. Mark R. Arlinghaus, a soloist for the Thunderbirds in 1997 and 1998, returned to fill the right-wing position on the team.
The Air Force has limited the flight maneuvers of its two test F-22s at Edwards AFB, Calif., in late April until contractor Lockheed Martin can strengthen their aft fuselage.
Static tests revealed that two panels in the forward part of the F-22’s tail boom assembly might buckle before design load limits are reached. As a result, officials restricted F-22 pilots from putting more than 50 percent of load-limit stress on the aircraft.
That means they are not allowed to perform such maneuvers as sharp turns and rolls.
Air Force and contractor spokesman reported the problem was a minor one and would not affect the overall cost of the F-22 program. The repair will involve installation of 80 stiffeners on the two flight-test aircraft and those in assembly. Lot 1 production F-22s will have thicker panel walls to repair the defect.
Lockheed Martin reportedly discovered the problem. Company officials expected to make the repairs by mid-summer.
After a tornado ripped through the vicinity of Tinker AFB, Okla., on May 3, more than 350 personnel from the base leapt into action to assist local residents whose lives and property were devastated by the powerful storm.
Within minutes of the passage of the funnel cloud, Reservists from Air Force Reserve Command’s 507th Air Refueling Wing had pulled a unit KC-135 out of its hangar to make room for survivors. Volunteers began to set up food lines and more than 300 cots.
Tinker personnel joined with local fire and police in search and rescue efforts. SrA. Scott Branscum of the 970th Airborne Air Control Squadron stopped by a housing complex for the elderly near his own home shortly after the disaster. He heard screams from a woman buried under 5 feet of rubble after a wall had collapsed on top of her.
“But by some miracle her walker, which had fallen on top of her, saved the woman. It formed a brace and kept everything from crushing her,” said Branscum.
The base itself suffered minor losses, considering the scale of the damage in surrounding neighborhoods. Four Tinker buildings-three stables and a running-track bathroom-were destroyed.
President Clinton on May 21 signed the Fiscal 1999 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, critical to relieving pressures on the armed services.
The bill includes more than $10 billion in new budget authority for the Department of Defense for costs resulting from ongoing contingency operations in Southwest Asia and Kosovo, as well as other urgent high-priority military readiness matters.
These include $1.8 billion for a 4.4 percent military pay raise and retirement reform.
President Clinton nominated Gen. Henry H. “Hugh” Shelton to serve a second term as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The nomination was announced May 20.
“It has been an honor to serve as the principal military advisor to the President and Secretary of Defense for the past 20 months,” said Shelton. “I appreciate their confidence in my ability to continue that service to our country for another term as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
Shelton succeeded Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, also an Army officer, in the post.
|The Battle of Arlington Ridge
Circuit Court Upholds Air Force Memorial
Arlington, Va., May 25–The Air Force Memorial Foundation keeps on winning in court-and its opponents keep on finding new ways to package their challenge.
Last summer, a federal district judge dismissed “with prejudice” a lawsuit seeking to stop construction of the Air Force Memorial on Arlington Ridge, overlooking the Potomac River. That ruling was affirmed May 7 by the US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., in a thumping 13-page judgment which essentially said those challenging the Air Force Memorial had no case.
The suit had been brought by an Arlington neighborhood group, “Friends of Iwo Jima,” and Gerald B.H. Solomon, formerly chairman of the Rules Committee in the House of Representatives and a former Marine. It was one of numerous efforts over the past two years to block the Air Force Memorial. Solomon and his colleagues claim it would encroach on the “hallowed ground” of the Iwo Jima Memorial, situated up the hill on eight of the 25 acres of Arlington Ridge.
After the Court of Appeals ruling, Air Force Memorial Foundation President Charles D. Link said, “Our Air Force Memorial has now been approved by an act of Congress, by four different government agencies, and has twice won judgments in federal courts. It is time to move forward.”
In the lengthy process established by Congress for memorials, the project had to be approved by the National Park Service, the National Capital Planning Commission, the US Commission of Fine Arts, and the National Capital Memorial Commission.
In a May 18 newspaper column, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) said, “After months of legal uncertainty, Congressional challenges, federal inspections, and agency approvals, the path is now clear for construction of an Air Force Memorial in its fitting and proper location-the serene solemnity of Arlington Ridge, near the site of the Wright brothers’ first military flight and adjacent to the last resting place for generations of airmen in Arlington National Cemetery.”
On May 19, however, Friends of Iwo Jima announced that it would be joined by two other groups, “Iwo Jima Preservation Committee” and “Combat Veterans of Iwo Jima,” in yet another challenge to the Air Force Memorial. The new groups are headed, respectively, by Lt. Gen. Charles G. Cooper, USMC (Ret.), and Maj. Gen. Fred Haynes, USMC (Ret.), both of whom were involved prominently in the previous challenges.
The three groups said they were “set to battle the National Park Service over environmental issues” and announced the hiring of a law firm, Covington & Burling, which was successful recently in freezing temporarily, on environmental grounds, the federal project to replace the Woodrow Wilson Bridge across the Potomac River south of Washington, D.C., with a 12-lane span.
As Stearns and Johnson noted in their newspaper column, the Air Force Memorial would occupy a quarter as much space as the Iwo Jima monument and stand less than two-thirds as tall. Link told a reporter in early May, “The Marines have eight acres of very sacred ground, … but they want to declare more ground sacred.”
The truly hallowed ground, Link said, was Arlington Cemetery, “where the remains of brave soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen lie in quiet repose.”
Later this summer, the Air Force Memorial must gain approval of its preliminary design and acceptance of the environmental assessment by the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission. Final design approval will then be sought from those bodies around the end of the year.
More than half of the $30 million needed to build the Air Force Memorial has been raised. The plan is to have the project fully funded by early 2000 and to complete its construction in 2002.
|USAF, Civil Air Patrol Clash on Control
Washington, June 1–The dispute between the Air Force and its civilian auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol, has escalated to Congress. Each side has won a preliminary round, but the final outcome is far from settled.
The rift grew out of a 1996 Air Force audit, which the service says found significant problems in CAP financial management and accountability, flying safety, professionalism, and standards of conduct. CAP says that internal reviews and audits have revealed “only minor discrepancies” and that the Air Force is trying to “take over” CAP, which is “a private, nonprofit corporation.”
The Air Force got strong backing from the Senate Armed Services Committee. Its May 14 markup of the defense authorization bill would have empowered the Secretary of the Air Force to appoint a new national board of directors for CAP and establish the regulations that govern its operation.
At present, the CAP board consists of 67 members, only one of which is an Air Force representative. The other 66 are all CAP officials, either elected or appointed by other CAP officials on the board.
The Senate authorization bill prescribed that a majority of members on the new board be active or retired general officers or other people from the Air Force. A minority of members would be appointed from the Civil Air Patrol. The senior active duty member was designated to be chairman of the board. The report accompanying the authorization bill cited “a number of allegations raised regarding the inappropriate use of appropriated funds by the CAP’s corporate leadership.”
The bill would also have created an executive director, a safety officer, and an inspector general to be appointed by the board and reporting directly to the Secretary through the board. The language in the bill was drafted by the Air Force.
However, the Air Force and the Armed Services Committee were stopped in their tracks for almost a year by an amendment to the authorization bill that passed the Senate by voice vote on May 27. That amendment, sponsored by Sens. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), said: “It is the sense of Congress that no major change to the governance structure of the Civil Air Patrol should be mandated by Congress until a review of potential improvements in the management and oversight of Civil Air Patrol operations is conducted.”
The amendment called for studies by the General Accounting Office and the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, due to the Congressional defense committees by Feb. 15, 2000.
In a press release May 15, CAP headquarters at Maxwell AFB, Ala., said that if the Armed Services Committee bill were to pass, the Civil Air Patrol “will cease to exist in its present form. In the legislative language written by the Air Force, many of the civilian paid staff and all of the volunteer leadership would be replaced by active duty Air Force officers. All private assets of the private corporation would be seized and placed under control of the US Air Force.” The news release also said the Armed Services Committee’s action was the result of “biased, erroneous, and misleading reports generated by Air Force leadership.”
A House version of the Senate bill was introduced May 17 by Rep. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). It was referred to the Armed Services and Judiciary Committees.
James Wolffe, special assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, said in an Air Force News service report May 12 that “the bottom line is that there’s $30 million of taxpayers’ money involved and a lot of CAPowned airplanes flying with the Air Force name. We have to have the level of accountability that goes along with the use of millions of federal dollars.”
While some CAP activities are paid for by member dues, the organization this year received $28.3 million in appropriated funds through the Air Force, which also is ultimately responsible for safety within the organization and liable for damages and deaths caused by flying accidents.
Prior to 1995, CAP headquarters was staffed by Air Force personnel. A reorganization ordered by Congress put CAP employees in charge, assisted by about 25 Air Force advisors and liaison people. Also in 1995, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) led an effort to remove Civil Air Patrol funding from the Air Force budget and move CAP to the Department of Transportation or some other federal agency. Among those opposing that idea, which was subsequently defeated, were the Air Force, CAP, and the Air Force Association.
The 1996 audit set off a series of increasingly tense exchanges between the Air Force and CAP. In April of this year, an Air Force special project team visited CAP headquarters and reported continuing problems. Among other things, it said that CAP wings cannot account for large portions of their supplies and equipment. In one wing, 77 percent of the inventory was missing. In another wing, 70 percent was missing.
The Air Force proposed two big changes. It wanted CAP to implement standard federal fiscal management controls–and it wanted a new board of directors.
On April 24, after eight hours of deliberation, the CAP board voted to accept the Air Force’s proposal on financial controls, but said this provision would not go into effect until Fiscal 2001. The board offered to “negotiate in good faith to develop a permanent organizational mechanism” to resolve its differences with the Air Force, adding that “the mechanism to accomplish this will be in addition to the existing CAP governance structure.”
The Air Force found that unacceptable and sent the Armed Services Committee the legislative proposal that was incorporated in the authorization bill.
Brig. Gen. James C. Bobick, the CAP national commander, wrote to all members of the Civil Air Patrol asking them to contact their representatives in Congress in opposing this legislation which “would impose top-down control, from the Secretary of the Air Force, essentially making CAP a subordinate unit of the Air Force.”
Bobick expressed “concerns about the Air Force’s real agenda in taking over a private, nonprofit corporation” and suggested that once in control, the Air Force would “eliminate more than half of our aircraft.” He said that “the Air Force has publicly supported growth in the cadet program but has denied the funding of the growth.”
An Air Force spokesman, Maj. Chester R. Curtis, said the allegation about eliminating aircraft was “false” and that in the matter of funding, the Air Force passes on to CAP the total amount appropriated by Congress for that organization.
The Air Force emphasizes that its difficulties are with the headquarters–the Civil Air Patrol corporation–rather than with the volunteer CAP membership or the field activities.
The Civil Air Patrol was chartered by Congress in 1946 as a private, nonprofit corporation. In 1948, Congress made CAP a civilian auxiliary of the Air Force. The organization has about 34,500 senior members and 25,800 cadet members. Both categories of members wear Air Force uniforms with CAP insignia and markings. The CAP fleet consists of 530 aircraft. In Fiscal 1998, its volunteers flew 3,153 search and rescue missions and were credited with saving 116 lives.
-John T. Correll
During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Gen. George Lee Butler headed Strategic Air Command and had responsibility for much of the nation’s nuclear deterrent force. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, published May 23, he had this to say:
“I was the planner and had to think through the question of, ‘What if Saddam [Hussein] has a so-called weapon of mass destruction?’ …
“If he’d employed chemicals, there is no circumstance I can imagine under which the United States should or would have replied with a nuclear weapon, or biological, for that matter. Those are terrible weapons, but we’ve faced chemical weapons for years. And biological weapons, when you look at them from a battlefield perspective, which I’ve done much of my years as a planner, they’re pretty difficult to even think about how you use them without threatening yourself as much as anybody else.
“And as far as a nuke is concerned, my sense was that, even if he’d had a nuclear weapon, I cannot imagine he would have employed it except in extremis, which means that we were going to occupy his country and either kill him or put him on trial as a war criminal.
“In which case, I suspect, where he would have employed the weapon, presuming it actually worked, would not have been against us or Saudi Arabia but probably in Israel. In which case there is nothing we could have done to stop that; it would have been an extraordinary catastrophe.
“But in terms of using a nuclear weapon in retaliation, the political and military and economic consequences or obstacles were just overwhelming.”
|Outsourcing Looms as Growth Area
The Air Force will contract out many more support and service jobs in the immediate future, Brig. Gen. Richard B. Bundy, USAF’s director of manpower, organization, and quality, told an Air Force Association conference May 18.
This push for increased outsourcing could improve quality while saving the service upwards of $4 billion by 2005, he said.
Pressure for more outsourcing in the US military comes from many directions. The Defense Science Board and General Accounting Office are among the organizations which have weighed in with the conclusion that DoD’s infrastructure is too heavy and that the private sector might be able to carry some of the load.
The dollar dilemma for the Air Force is a stark one. Money is limited, and the choice is whether to keep paying for the upkeep and maintenance on an outdated base structure or free up as many resources as possible for modernization and readiness.
The goal in turning support and service roles over to contractors will be to free the uniformed service to focus on what it does best-warfighting. Competition for the work should also lead to lower costs, freeing up billions.
Full privatization of some services will be part of this trend. Privatization, in this sense, means the government will transfer control of land, a power plant, or other asset, to a private company. “The goal will be to get out of the business, as long as … it makes economic sense and there is no readiness impact,” said Bundy.
The Air Force plans to privatize 444 utility systems by 2003, for instance. Officials have already committed $80 million in up-front money to fund this changeover.
Family housing is an obvious privatization candidate. Four such projects are already under way, involving 420 units at Lackland AFB, Texas, 670 units at Robins AFB, Ga., and two US Air Forces in Europe build/lease projects that will contain over 1,000 units.
For areas where the service wants to maintain more control, competitive sourcing will allow the government to transfer a particular function while keeping official ownership.
The Air Force plans to have 54,000 competitive sourcing candidates identified by 2003. Targets will be nonmilitary functions that are nonetheless essential to the warfighting effort, such as some aircraft maintenance, hospital maintenance, traffic management, and food services.
Taken together, privatization and competitive source contracts accounted for 13.5 percent of Air Force resources in Fiscal 1997, according to Bundy. That will rise to 20.5 percent in Fiscal 2005. The trend should result in an 8 percent cut in Air Force personnel, said Bundy.
“We are reducing the number of people, but not through [the] massive reductions of the past,” Bundy reported.
|Congressional News: Defense Bills Advance
Many members of Congress say they are concerned about the frayed state of the United States military-and they are moving to do something about it.
The big annual defense bills now proceeding through the Senate and House would both add over $8 billion to the Clinton Administration’s Fiscal 2000 request for Department of Defense and Department of Energy national security funds.
If the bills passed in their current form, the Pentagon would receive a 2.2 percent real increase in funds, compared to the Fiscal 1999 level. The national security line in the budget would come in at $288.8 billion.
Moreover, the emergency supplemental spending bill which passed Congress this spring contains $1.8 billion to pay for increases in military pay and pensions for Fiscal 2000. That means the total increase over what the Administration asked for is likely to surpass $10 billion.
Such hikes are vital steps “in enhancing military readiness, modernizing our forces, and improving the quality of life for our servicemen and -women and their families,” said Sen. John Warner (RVa.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Warner’s panel approved its defense authorization draft May 14. The House Armed Services Committee voted out its companion measure May 19.
Both bills call for a 4.8 military pay raise, effective Jan. 1, 2000. Both call for armed services salaries to at least keep pace with rising inflation.
Both would allow members of the armed forces greater choice in choosing retirement options. Service personnel who opt to stay in the current Redux retirement system would be eligible for a one-time $30,000 bonus after 15 years. Personnel who pass up the bonus would be allowed to change to the so-called High-3 retirement option, which provides a more generous pension.
Senate and House panel members both voted to add significant sums to readiness accounts. The Senate Armed Services Committee voted an additional $1.2 billion spread over general readiness, for instance. The House added $534 million to increase stocks of precision guided bombs and long-range missiles.
Important Air Force procurement programs would face little change under either bill. The F-22 would receive its full $3 billion budget request in both panels’ plans. Members of Congress remain worried about the concurrent nature of the program, under which procurement begins before development is finished, however. It appears likely that some form of certification request, under which the Pentagon would have to vow in writing that test goals were being met and cost caps seemed reachable, will become law.
“The committee is concerned by significant increases in F-22 budget and is disturbed by the prospect of higher costs and increased program risks,” concluded the House Armed Services Committee bill report
Both chambers increase money for F-16 modifications and fully fund the Airborne Laser program. The JSF faces no cuts; however, the House says it “continues to believe in the importance of alternate engine development for the JSF fleet” and allocates an extra $265.4 million accordingly.
The B-2 also looks like it will get more money, since both bills would plus-up the Administration’s stealth bomber request with cash for add-ons. The House bill adds $152 million, which would bring the total funds for B-2 modernization to $353.8 million. “The additional funds will be used to further reduce the aircraft’s radar cross section and to integrate Link 16 [data links] … into the aircraft,” said the committee report.
For its part, the Senate Armed Services panel called for a new national emphasis on emerging threats such as biochemical terrorism. Among other things, it called for the creation of 17 new National Guard Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection teams, which would respond to domestic attacks involving weapons of mass destruction. The Clinton Administration had proposed formation of three such teams.
“We must prepare now for nontraditional threats to our national security,” said Warner.
“Meanwhile, Back in Bosnia”
The Dayton accord of late 1995 brought a fragile peace to war-torn Bosnia. By this October, the cost to the US military of maintaining that peace will soar to $8.5 billion [Fig. 1], with no letup in sight.
The Clinton Administration disclosed costs of the operation on May 12 in a summary report required by Congress.
In the first three post-Dayton years, Washington’s peacekeeping costs came to $6.7 billion. The White House projects that expenditures in Fiscal 1999 will hit $1.8 billion [Fig. 2].
Deliberate Forge maintains the no-fly zone over Bosnia; Joint Forge and IFOR entail troops carrying out Dayton mandates; Provide Promise was a humanitarian airlift and airdrop; and Sharp Guard enforced a UN embargo against Yugoslavia.
|Mission||Fiscal 1996||Fiscal 1997||
|Total||$2,488,60 0,000||$2,280,80 0,000||
|Who’s Affected by Air Force Stop-Loss
The following Air Force Specialty Codes are covered under the Stop-Loss order that the Air Force issued May 26:
|Fully qualified or awarded AFSC or aero rating (including all UAV operators). Where an officer is multiqualified, practical utility will determine Stop-Loss applicability:
11XX (pilots, except “slick” C-130 pilots [11AXK] not assigned to AETC undergraduate flying training instructor duty, EA-6B, and OSA [C-9, C-12, C-20, C-21, VC-25, C-32, C-37, C-135, and C-137])
12XX (navigators, except “slick” C-130 navigators [12AXC] not assigned to AETC undergraduate flying training instructor duty, EA-6B, and OSA [VC-25, C-32, C-135, and C-137])
13BX (air battle managers)
13MX (air traffic control)
21AX (aircraft maintenancemunitions)
21GX (logistics plans)
21LX (logistician: only lieutenant colonels with core AFSC of 21AX or 21GX)
33SX (communications and information)
71SX (Office of Special Investigations)
Enlisted Control AFSCs
|Unless specifically identified, all prefixes and suffixes to the AFSCs listed below apply, except “slick” C-130 flight engineers (1A1XX) and “slick” C-130 loadmasters (1A2XX)
1A0XX (in-flight refueling)
1A000 (chief enlisted manager in-flight refueling)
1A1X1B and 1A1X1C (flight engineer)
1A100 (chief enlisted manager flight engineer)
1A2XX (aircraft loadmaster)
1A200(chief enlisted manager loadmaster)
1A3XX (airborne communications system, except those assigned to C-9, C-20, VC-25, C-32, C-135, or C-137)
1A300 (chief enlisted manager airborne communication system)
1A4X1 and 1A4X1D (airborne battle management systems)
1A400 (chief enlisted manager airborne battle management systems)
1A5XX (airborne missions systems)
1A500(chief enlisted manager airborne missions systems)
1CXXX (command control systems operations)
1N0X1 (intelligence applications)
1N000 (chief enlisted manager intelligence applications)
1N1X1 (imagery analysis)
1N2X1 (signals intelligence production)
1N200 (chief enlisted manager signals intelligence production)
1N3X0 (cryptological linguist)
1N3X3A, 1N3X3D, 1N3X3E, 1N3X3K, 1N3X3L, and 1N3X3M (Slavic cryptolinguist)
1N4X1 (signals intelligence analysis)
1N5X1 (electronic signals intelligence exploitation)
1N500 (chief enlisted manager electronic signals intelligence)
1N6X1 (electronic systems security assessment)
1N600 (chief enlisted manager electronic systems security)
1T0X1 (survival, evasion, resistance, and escape training)
1T1X1 (life support)
1T100 (chief enlisted manager life support)
1T200 (chief enlisted manager pararescue)
1W000 (chief enlisted manager weather)
2A0X1 (avionics test station and components)
|2A1X1 (avionics sensors maintenance)
2A1X2 (avionics guidance and control systems)
2A1X3 (communications and navigation systems)
2A1X4 (airborne surveillance radar systems)
2A1X7 and X2A1X7 (electronic warfare systems)
2A3X1 (F-15/F-111 avionic systems)
2A3X2 (F-16 avionic systems)
2A3X3 (tactical aircraft maintenance)
2A4X1 (aircraft guidance and control systems)
2A4X2 (aircraft communication and navigation systems)
2A4X3 (aircraft command, control, and communications and navigation systems)
2A5X1 (aerospace maintenance)
2A5X2 (helicopter maintenance)
2A5X3 (bomber avionics systems)
2A6X1 (aerospace propulsion, except senior master sergeant)
2A6X2 (aerospace ground equipment, except senior master sergeant)
2A6X3 (aircrew egress systems)
2A6X4 (aircraft fuel systems)
2A6X5 (aircraft hydraulic systems)
2A6X6 (aircraft electrical and environmental systems)
2A7X1 (aircraft metals technology)
2A7X2 (nondestructive inspection)
2A7X3 (aircraft structural maintenance)
2A7X4 (survival equipment)
2E1X1 (satellite and wideband communications equipment)
2P0X1 (precision measurement equipment laboratory)
2R0X1 (maintenance data systems analysis)
2R1X1 (maintenance scheduling)
2T2XX (air transportation)
2W0X1 (munitions systems)
2W1X1, K2W1X1, Q2W1X1, and X2W1X1 (aircraft armament systems)
3C0X1 (communications/computer systems operations)
3C0X2 (communications/computer systems programmer)
3C1X2 (electromagnetic spectrum management)
3C2X1 (communications/computer systems control, except senior master sergeant)
3P0X1 (security forces)
5R0X1 (chaplain service support, except senior and chief master sergeant)
7S000 (chief enlisted manager OSI)
8S100 (sensor operator)
9S100 (applied geophysics)
|Remember Pearl Harbor
In a surprise move, the Senate voted May 25 to exonerate two US military commanders who played key roles in the Pearl Harbor debacle Dec. 7, 1941.
The two were Navy Adm. Husband Kimmel and Army Gen. Walter Short. They were the two senior commanders of US military forces in the Pacific at the time of the raid.
Both had been accused of dereliction of duty.
The Senate, by a vote of 52–47, approved an effort by Sen. William V. Roth Jr. (R–Del.) to restore the reputations of the two men.
The vote followed a heated debate between members of the Senate’s small band of World War II veterans. The move was in the form of an amendment to the defense authorization bill.
Here are the views of Roth, the main proponent, and Sen. John Warner (R–Va.), the primary opponent:
Roth: “For 58 years, two distinguished commanders, Admiral Kimmel and General Short, have been unjustly scapegoated for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Numerous studies have made it unambiguously clear that Short and Kimmel were denied vital intelligence that was available in Washington. Investigations by military boards found Kimmel and Short had properly disposed their forces in light of the intelligence and resources they had available.
“Investigations found the failure of their superiors to properly manage intelligence and to fulfill command responsibilities contributed significantly, if not predominantly, to the disaster. Yet, they alone remain singled out for responsibility.
“This amendment calls upon the President to correct this injustice by advancing them on the retired list, as was done for all their peers.”
Warner: “We vigorously oppose this amendment. Right here on this desk is perhaps the most dramatic reason not to grant the request. This [a document] represents a hearing held by a joint committee of the Senate and House of the Congress of the United States in 1946.
“They had before them live witnesses, all of the documents, and it is clear from this and their findings that these two officers were then and remain today accused of serious errors in judgment which contributed to perhaps the greatest disaster in this century against the people of the United States of America.
“There are absolutely no new facts beyond those deduced in this record brought out by my distinguished good friend, the senior senator from Delaware. For that reason, we oppose it.”
- The electronic countermeasures system of the B-1B Lancer worked remarkably well when it was targeted precisely by SA-6 surface-to-air missiles on the first night of airstrikes over Yugoslavia, according to Gen. John P. Jumper, commander of US Air Forces in Europe. The aircraft’s AN/ALQ-161A defensive avionics suite had problems when first installed and its full potential was not reached for a number of years.
- On April 22 the Air Force took delivery of its 49th Boeing C-17 Globemaster III at a ceremony in Long Beach, Calif. The aircraft marked the 37th consecutive C-17 delivered ahead of schedule.
- It used to be Bergstrom AFB, Texas. Now it is AustinBergstrom IAP. Acting Air Force Secretary F. Whitten Peters recently made one of the first takeoffs from the new Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial Runway at the Austin air hub. The area expects to have 16,000 new jobs associated with the former military base, which was transferred to civilian use via a 1991 base closing commission decision.
- The Jan. 20 crash of an Air National Guard OA-10 Thunderbolt near Syracuse, N.Y., was caused when the pilot accidentally placed the flight control switch into manual reversion flight control mode, according to an accident report released April 30. The pilot ejected safely in the incident.
- The Jan. 28 midair collision of two F-15Cs from Eglin AFB, Fla., was caused when one of the pilots misperceived the direction of the other and did not realize they were on a collision course, according to an accident report released May 3.
- On June 1, re-enrollment into the military’s medical system became easier when the process became automatic. Unless they specifically decline, Tricare Prime enrollees are now continued into the next year.
- The Air Force men’s volleyball team won the 1999 Armed Forces Championships, held at Lackland AFB, Texas, May 27. The team won the double round-robin tournament with a 5-1 record, losing only to Navy in the first round.
- The commander of the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis AFB, Calif., and his wife have been named the best wing commander and spouse team in the service. Brig. Gen. Steven A. Roser and his wife, Linda, won the annual Gen. and Mrs. Jerome F. O’Malley Award because of their efforts to provide a quality workplace and lifestyle for troops while supporting community projects, said the Air Force.
- The crew of an AC-130H Spectre gunship from the 16th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., helped rescue a stranded pleasure boat in the Gulf of Mexico on April 19. Pilot Lt. Col. Andy Hamilton spotted the reflection from a signaling mirror aimed by the boat’s occupants and then helped direct a Coast Guard cutter to the scene.
- On Dec. 1, the grade of chief master sergeant will be 40 years old. To commemorate the event, active and retired chiefs at Barksdale AFB, La., are sponsoring a dinner at the enlisted club on the anniversary date. All chiefs who were on the original promotion lists of Dec. 1, 1959, are invited.
- The Air Force got its first look at its latest combat search and rescue helicopter when Sikorsky Aircraft unveiled an upgraded HH-60G Pave Hawk at its Stratford, Conn., facility recently. The Block 152 upgrade is the craft’s most significant modification to date and includes an enhanced communication and navigation system and electronic warfare suite.
- Reservists can no longer become “honorary retirees,” under recently issued Department of Defense regulations. In the past, Reservists who did not complete 20 years of active service because of medical or other reasons could qualify for such status, which entitled them to join the open mess and wear their uniform at official functions.
- The Air Force won the 1999 Armed Forces Triathlon, held at Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 59. The victory by the three-man, five-woman team ended a two-year Navy winning streak.
- The Nov. 19 crash of an F-16CJ from the 55th Fighter Squadron at Shaw AFB, S.C., was caused by failure of the AC generator assembly and faulty logic within the digital engine control, according to an accident report released May 11. These glitches caused a momentary shutoff of fuel to the engine and a rapid loss of power.
- On May 12, Lt. Col. Rich Vanderburgh became the first USAF pilot to log more than 1,000 hours in the B-2. He has been with the program since June 1991 and currently serves as chief of safety for the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
- Three Air Force captains are going to get a chance to study overseas following their selection as Olmsted Scholar finalists. Capt. Leonard J. Kosinski, 344th Air Refueling Squadron, McConnell AFB, Kan., will spend two years in a program of advanced college courses in Japan. Capt. Dagvin R.M. Anderson, 91st Air Refueling Squadron, MacDill AFB, Fla., will undertake a similar effort in the Czech Republic. Capt. Stacy L. Yike, Air Force Element of Space/Technology, will spend her two years of study in Portugal.