Lawmakers in both the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to grant President Bush the authority to use force against Iraq, as he deems necessary, and destroy Iraq’s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
The vote in the Senate, taken Oct. 10, was 77 to 23. The day before, the House voted 296 to 133 in favor of the measure.
A joint resolution, titled “Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq,” listed Saddam Hussein’s continued violations of United Nation’s sanctions since their inception following the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi forces in 1991. The resolution continued, “The President is authorized to use the armed forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq.”
After the House vote, President Bush said, “The days of Iraq acting as an outlaw state are coming to an end.”
Calling the number “remarkable,” a Joint Staff spokesman said Iraqi forces, since Sept. 16, had fired 122 times on coalition aircraft enforcing UN sanctions.
“Of those 122 firings, 33 were against aircraft flying in Operation Northern Watch, and 89 were against Operation Southern Watch coalition aircraft,” Rear Adm. David Gove told reporters Oct. 11.
Sept. 16 was the day Saddam Hussein sent a letter to the UN promising to allow weapons inspectors back into Iraq “without conditions.”
Gove noted the Iraqi attacks on coalition aircraft over the past three years have been relatively consistent, except “there’s been a remarkable number since Sept. 16 in terms of near continuous engagements.”
“Within hours of the arrival of [Saddam’s] letter, Iraq was again firing at US and coalition aircraft,” Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Sept. 30. Those aircraft, he said, in addition to patrolling the northern and southern no-fly zones, “conduct aerial surveillance to help determine compliance with … bans [on] nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.”
The Pentagon reported that Iraq started firing on coalition aircraft in 1992. During the past three years, Iraqi forces have targeted coalition aircraft with anti-aircraft artillery more than 1,000 times, launched 600 AAA rockets, and fired nearly 60 surface-to-air missiles.
On Oct. 2, Iraqi forces fired AAA and SAMs at an Air Force A-10 dropping warning leaflets in the southern no-fly zone, according to DOD officials. The leaflets advised Iraqi air defense operators not to fire on coalition aircraft or risk being targeted themselves.
It marked the first leaflet drop since last year.
The leaflets, in Arabic, say: “The destruction experienced by your colleagues in other air defense locations is a response to your continuing aggression toward planes of the coalition forces. No tracking or firing on these aircraft will be tolerated. You could be next.”
On Oct. 3, in retaliation for the Oct. 2 attack, coalition forces struck an Iraqi air defense center about 160 miles southeast of Baghdad.
Out of 14,000 airmen working outside the Air Force, the service expects to return some 4,000 to the fold. The plan is to use those personnel to help relieve the critical workload stress occurring in some career fields.
“We have an end strength ceiling of approximately 360,000 people, and we have requirements that far exceed that,” said William H. Booth Sr., USAF Manpower and Organization Directorate senior advisor. “The goal of this process is to reduce the stress on our people.”
The 14,000 USAF personnel fill about 37 percent of the requirements levied by unified commands and defense agencies, while the service only makes up some 26 percent of DOD’s active duty strength. Air Force leaders want to reduce the service’s share of joint personnel requirements to just 26 percent–about 10,000 personnel.
The goal will be to use Air Force personnel only where they are critical, which means each joint entity would not necessarily have exactly 26 percent of its manpower filled by Air Force personnel.
“There are certain commands, based on mission, that would require our contributions to probably be higher,” said Booth.
The personnel shifts will not happen overnight. “This will be something we will work in phases over a three-to-four-year period,” said Booth.
The service is working on an implementation plan with affected commands and agencies.
The director of the Air National Guard said his force has become an “always-say-yes kind of force.”
Lt. Gen. Daniel James III told reporters that the Air Guard is utilized more than ever. So much so, he said, “The Secretary of the Air Force is looking at that very closely.”
Service leaders are worried that the high level of activity for the Guard will have a negative impact on retention and on equipment, James said. “We’ve figured out a way to get the job done, and one of the ways we’ve figured out to get the job done was to involve the Guard and Reserve more,” he said.
James said the high operations tempo has affected not only pilots and aircraft maintainers but also firefighters, security forces, civil engineers, and intelligence analysts. After the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the peak number of Guard personnel mobilized was about 25,000. Some 16,000 remain on active duty.
The ANG director said Guard members are being asked to complete a survey to show how many times they deployed in the last year and whether there was a negative impact on either their family or civilian work. The goal is to help ANG leaders determine the break point before the Fiscal 2004 budget is complete.
“We’re very concerned about where … we’ve gone far enough,” said James.
The Air Force announced Oct. 11 that the service plans to ask more airmen to take anthrax shots. It will expand the program from Priority 1 personnel to include Priority 2, as well.
Personnel in the Priority 2 category are military members, emergency-essential DOD civilians, and specified contractors assigned or deployed to designated higher-threat areas for more than 15 consecutive days. The higher-threat areas include countries primarily in Southwest Asia, said Maj. Linda Bonnel with the Air Force Medical Operations Agency, Bolling AFB, D.C.
Priority 1 personnel, who had already been receiving shots, include those in designated special mission units.
Bonnel said Priority 2 individuals will be notified when to appear for immunization.
The Pentagon had initiated a plan in 1998 to vaccinate all military members. Since then, the program was reduced several times as the supply became increasingly scarce.
The sole US supplier, Bioport of Lansing, Mich., closed its production facility for renovations then had trouble regaining Food and Drug Administration approval. The FDA recertified the Bioport facility and its manufacturing processes last January.
DOD announced in June that the number of personnel receiving the vaccinations would begin to increase. Officials said then that the Pentagon previously had vaccinated about 525,000 of its 2.3 million military personnel.
The Air Force has reduced the number of security forces personnel it needs to deploy by about 10 percent, according to an Oct. 10 news release. The move will ease the workload on one of the service’s most stressed career fields.
It enables some 200 airmen to return to their home station earlier than expected. Most of those are Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command personnel.
A manpower assessment also concluded the service could reduce another 300 security forces positions from future deployments. The reductions are the result primarily of technological advances and the findings of an operations review, said Lt. Col. Troy Robinett, US Central Command Air Forces chief of force protection operations.
On Oct. 3, Air Force missile maintainers pulled a Peacekeeper ICBM from its launch facility in Wyoming, starting a three-year process during which the service will dismantle all 50 of its Peacekeeper ballistic missiles.
“It’s a momentous point in history,” said Air Force Secretary James G. Roche at the deactivation ceremony. “It’s a reflection of how the world has changed and how we are adapting to a new era.”
Last May 24, President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the Treaty of Moscow, agreeing to reduce their respective nuclear arsenals. Each country will go down to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads by Dec. 13, 2012.
The 90th Missile Wing, at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., was the only unit to operate USAF’s largest and newest ICBM. The Peacekeeper, capable of delivering up to 10 independently targetable warheads, reached initial operational capability in December 1986.
“This is the most accurate ballistic missile that was ever designed and fielded,” said Roche. “And it did its job.”
The Air National Guard should field the Joint Strike Fighter, or F-35, at the same time as the active duty Air Force, according to its director, Lt. Gen. Daniel James III. The current plan is to equip the active force first.
The Air Force plans to purchase more than 1,700 of the new fighters as replacements for F-16s. The F-35 is slated for initial delivery in 2008.
James told reporters in late September that the plan needs to be changed to ensure the Guard can handle its operational load.
He noted that the tradition of moving, or cascading, older equipment from the active force to the Guard is under review because of the extraordinary stress placed on ANG aircraft by current operations in the war on terror.
“Cascading alone is not the answer,” he said. “If we’re really going to be full partners in transformation, just as we’re full partners in the warfight, we need to have modernized weapons systems.”
Two New Commands Stand Up
DOD officially launched its newest unified command and reinvented an older one on Oct. 1. The US Northern Command was activated, while US Space Command and US Strategic Command were disestablished, only to be reborn as the new US Strategic Command.
The activation of Northern Command, headquartered at Colorado Springs, Colo., was termed “historic,” by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz at the activation ceremony. It is the first unified command with responsibility for defense of the US homeland. (See “Aerospace World: Pentagon Establishes New Combatant Command,” June 2002, p. 13.)
Officials stood down US Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs and US Strategic Command at Offutt AFB, Nebraska, followed by activation of the new US Strategic Command at Offutt by Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“This new command is going to have all the responsibilities of its predecessors but an entirely new mission focus, greatly expanded forces, and you might even say several infinite areas of responsibility,” said Myers.
The command will retain primary responsibility for nuclear forces, while at the same time define, plan, develop, and conduct space operations, Myers said. “We’re even looking at new global missions, … including taking the lead for missile defense worldwide,” he added.
USAFE Gains Two Units
US Air Forces in Europe assumed responsibility for two Air Combat Command units Oct. 1, as part of the new Unified Command Plan.
USAFE will now oversee the 65th Air Base Wing at Lajes Field, Azores, and the 85th Group at NAS Keflavik, Iceland.
The missions of the two units will not change, said USAFE officials. The 65th ABW provides support for intertheater and transient aircraft, while the 85th Group supports air defense and air rescue missions.
The two new USAFE units will fall under 3rd Air Force, headquartered at RAF Mildenhall, UK.
USAFE is the air component of US European Command, which received greatly expanded responsibilities in the new UCP. In addition to Europe, European Command’s area of responsibility now includes most of Russia and the Caspian Sea.
“The change will increase our military-to-military relations with Russia and the scope of our cooperation,” said Lt. Col. Colleen Ryan, bases branch chief in USAFE’s Directorate of Plans.
The Air Force announced in late September that investigators had not been able to determine the cause of the Dec. 12, 2001, crash of a B-1B bomber into the Indian Ocean.
The four-member crew, which ejected safely, was flying a mission for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. (See “Aerospace World: B-1B Crashes in Indian Ocean,” January, p. 8.) The aircraft was destroyed on impact and sank. It has not been found, said service officials.
Investigators speculated that aircraft malfunctions might have affected the reliability of the attitude information and, consequently, might have made it difficult for the pilots to maintain control.
The Navy sent the first of three fast-attack submarines it plans to base in Guam to the Pacific island last month, according to a service news release.
The first of the subs to call Guam home is the Los Angeles-class City of Corpus Christi. The other two are scheduled to arrive by Fiscal 2004.
The Navy believes the move will help alleviate the critical shortage it has in attack subs. By homeporting the subs in Guam’s central Pacific location, it expects to increase overall the attack sub days of operations. However, the Congressional Budget Office does not think three will be enough to provide sufficient mission days without having to build additional subs.
According to a CBO study released earlier this year, the Navy must base more than three subs in Guam to offset its shortage. If it does that, the service could meet its requirements with a fleet of 55 subs. (See “Aerospace World: CBO Claims Navy Can Meet Goals With Fewer Subs,” May, p. 30.)
The Navy considers the Guam basing a temporary measure. It would like to field 68 attack subs by 2015 and 76 by 2025.
The 42nd Airborne Command and Control Squadron at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., inactivated Sept. 30, after more than 34 years of service.
The unit’s mission is now being handled by E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, E-8 Joint STARS surveillance aircraft, and ground systems, said Lt. Col. Norm Potter, 42nd ACCS commander.
The unit flew EC-130E Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center aircraft. The Air Force will distribute those aircraft and the unit’s 300 personnel to other units.
USAF plans to modify four of the aircraft into HC-130s for combat search and rescue. Two will go to the 41st and 43rd Electronic Combat Squadrons at Davis-Monthan. One will retire to the base’s Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center.
NATO Ministers Back US Rapid Reaction Force Plan
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld met with NATO Secretary-General George Robertson Sept. 24 in Warsaw to urge NATO to develop lean, agile forces to deploy within days instead of months and to create a rapid reaction force that could deploy outside the alliance’s traditional European area of operations.
These changes are needed to respond to the asymmetrical threats of today and tomorrow, said a senior DOD official.
Robertson and, later, the NATO defense ministers voiced their support for the proposals.
As envisioned, the rapid reaction force would include air, land, and sea forces and could perform traditional military missions or noncombatant evacuations. The force, which could take years to build, would have about 21,000 troops from across the 19-member alliance, on a rotating basis to minimize cost to any one nation.
Without such a force, said Rumsfeld, NATO could become irrelevant in light of 21st century threats.
Air Force officials plan a $10.4 million test facility upgrade at Arnold AFB, Tenn. The upgrade would give Arnold Engineering and Development Center a Mach 8 capability, greatly enhancing its aerodynamic and propulsion test operation.
The Mach 8 milestone would nearly double the center’s test capabilities, according to 1st Lt. Tim Budke, an AEDC project manager.
“AEDC’s [aerodynamic and propulsion test unit] will be the only free jet test facility in the world that can test advanced hypersonic air-breathing propulsion systems over the entire flight range from subsonic to Mach 8 for extended periods of time,” said Budke.
Other facilities can reach Mach 8, but they can only hold the speed–about 6,000 mph–for about 15 seconds, he said.
Customers are already lining up, said officials, for the projected spring 2004 upgrade completion date.
|USAF Awards Eight Bronze Star Medals
The Air Force has awarded Bronze Star Medals over the past few months to a number of airmen for their actions during Operation Enduring Freedom. The medal recognizes valor or meritorious service.
The service recognized two airmen from the 66th Rescue Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nev. They were Lt. Col. Lee dePalo and Maj. Lee Harvis. They each received the Bronze Star Medals for their leadership of rescue operations while deployed to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan.
CMSgt. David Whitaker of the 99th Supply Squadron at Nellis received a Bronze Star. He was stationed in Bahrain, where he organized a team of 37 fuels specialists from 18 bases to maintain fuel support for aircraft flying OEF missions.
Air National Guard Lt. Col. Sandra Duiker, a medical crew director with the 167th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Martinsburg, W.Va., received a Bronze Star for ensuring the rapid evacuation of combat casualties. She commanded all US aeromedical personnel in Oman, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.
The Air Force awarded a Bronze Star to Lt. Col. Kimberly Cochran from Tinker AFB, Okla., for her leadership of an E-3 AWACS battle management aircraft squadron that flew 284 missions over Afghanistan.
TSgt. John Travis, noncommissioned officer in charge of 437th Fuels Management Flight Support at Charleston AFB, S.C., received the medal for his actions on March 5 at Gardez airfield in Afghanistan. He helped get a USAF MC-130E out of the mud where it had sunk after landing on an abandoned runway. The airfield came under enemy attack as Travis was organizing Afghan helpers, despite the language barrier, to use a truck to drag a concrete slab out of the aircraft’s path. The team finished digging and pulling the aircraft out as the enemy mortars grew closer.
A USAF air traffic controller from Hickam AFB, Hawaii, MSgt. Jeffrey Haynes, received a Bronze Star for managing the combat airspace cell in Uzbekistan that helped maintain the flow of coalition aircraft and personnel from there into Afghanistan. He also deployed to locations within Afghanistan, where he came under fire, to assist air control operations.
The Air Force awarded Lt. Col. Kevin Wooton, 25th Information Operations Squadron commander at Hurlburt Field, Fla., a Bronze Star for leading an intelligence team, operating from two locations, that provided critical intelligence for a number of combat missions.
|“Some Assets in Short Supply”
Questioned by Congress about the adequacy of military forces and equipment to meet the Pentagon’s growing list of commitments, including a potential war with Iraq, the nation’s top military officer said that while some assets have shortages, the military can carry out its missions.
“There are some assets that are in short supply,” Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“Intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance assets have historically been in short supply,” he said in mid-September. “We tried to fix this through our budget requests in recent years, and in ’02 we have made some headway there. You’ll see more requests for those types of assets.”
Myers emphasized, “Any major combat operation will, of course, require us to prioritize the tasks given to such units.” He added, “We have to prioritize them today. We have to prioritize them in peacetime, for that matter. … And, we will have to prioritize them if we are asked to do something else.”
|After Leaving USAF Out of Anaconda Planning,
Army General Blasts Air Support
|The commander of the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division failed to bring the Air Force into planning for Operation Anaconda until the 11th hour and then complained about lack of effective air support.
Maj. Gen. Franklin L. “Buster” Hagenbeck, in remarks to Field Artillery Magazine, grudgingly conceded that the Air Force achieved success in striking fixed targets in the Afghan operation last March. However, he groused that USAF jets took too long to mount attacks on “fleeting” targets.
Hagenbeck went on to add this claim: What success the Air Force managed to achieve stemmed from the work of Army troops who pinned down al Qaeda fighters with mortars and small-arms fire.
Field Artillery, published at Ft. Sill, Okla., bills itself as the “professional bulletin for Redlegs.” Redleg is a nickname for artillerymen.
Hagenbeck’s comments stirred a controversy after they were repeated and amplified in a Sept. 30 Army Times article.
Hagenbeck planned and commanded the 17-day operation to destroy al Qaeda forces hiding in the caves of Afghanistan’s Shah-e-Kot Valley. He emphasized the role of ground troops in the action, calling it a success. It was a vindication of the role of “boots on the ground,” Hagenbeck suggested. In his opinion, airpower played a marginal role.
The remarks didn’t sit well with Gen. John P. Jumper, the Air Force Chief of Staff. Upon hearing them, Jumper contacted his Army colleagues and was told that Hagenbeck’s comments don’t represent “the consensus of the leadership of the United States Army,” Jumper told Inside the Pentagon.
Jumper went on, “I’m in charge of making sure that these sorts of things are not the opinion of our Army people on the ground that we serve. It’s our job to make sure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen.”
Jumper announced that, in response to Hagenbeck’s statements, he had launched a high-level review of the Air Force performance in Anaconda.
“If people really believe this, I want to talk to them,” Jumper told Inside the Pentagon.
Privately, however, the Air Force leader was furious about the criticism, mainly because the Army commander had not bothered to coordinate Anaconda with the Air Force or the joint air component of US Central Command. Though Anaconda had been in the works for weeks, the Air Force got its first notice just 24 hours before the start of the operation. (See “The Airpower of Anaconda,” by Rebecca Grant, September, p. 60.)
Hagenbeck, who commanded Coalition Joint Task Force Mountain in Afghanistan during Anaconda, had many complaints about USAF.
He thought it took too long to program satellite-guided bombs used against fleeting targets. “It took anywhere from 26 minutes to hours (on occasion) for the precision munitions to hit the targets,” he said. “That’s OK if you’re not being shot at or the targets aren’t fleeting.”
The enemy could foil high-tech airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance simply by running under cover or hiding under a blanket, Hagenbeck said. He claimed airborne ISR assets had trouble finding cave complexes, and it took “boots on the ground” to do the job.
However, he allowed that he had specifically not wanted a bombing effort prior to ground operations. “Air campaigns are most effective against ‘fixed’ targets,” he explained.
Success stemmed mostly from Army actions, he suggested.
“We got a number of kills with close air support,” said Hagenbeck, “primarily because our mortars and machine guns kept the al Qaeda from getting up and running back into the caves.”
The Air Force effort did have some value, according to Hagenbeck. A-10 fighters by day and AC-130 gunships by night “were great,” he said.
USAF officials noted Hagenbeck could have avoided some problems by letting the Air Force know he was about to go into action. The Army, making its own calculations, underestimated how long it would take to bring in squadrons based 1,600 miles away.
Hagenbeck gave the Air Force one day’s notice that he would need massive C-130 transport assistance to deploy and sustain his forces. He got it, despite the lack of forewarning.
Hagenbeck said organic fire support was “indispensable” to Anaconda’s success. (Airpower is “inorganic” support.) However, the general acknowledged he did not bring in big 105 mm howitzers because doing so would be “very difficult and dangerous.”
Hagenbeck seemed to be saying that, while the air support wasn’t all that good, he wanted more of it. He complained that USAF won’t drop a precision guided munition unless the strike has been called in by an Air Force controller. The Army needs its own troops to be qualified to do the controller job, he said.
The general also took a swing at those who point out the large number of Air Force support sorties.
“A ground force commander does not care about the number of sorties being flown or the number and types of bombs being dropped and their tonnage,” said Hagenbeck. “Those statistics mean nothing to ground forces in combat.”
By contrast, the Army’s AH-64 attack helicopter won high Hagenbeck praise–sort of. “The most effective close air support asset we had was the Apache, hands down,” Hagenbeck said. “The Apaches were extraordinary. They were lethal and survivable.” Then, he added, “We had six in the fight, with two left flying at the end of the first day. They were so full of holes. … I don’t know how they flew.”
Jumper was not pleased to learn of the criticism via the medium of a press interview. “I’m a little surprised it comes out in the newspaper before it comes to me,” he told Inside the Pentagon reporter Elaine Grossman.
Jumper went on to say that he had spoken to troops who actually had fought in Anaconda. “I don’t think you’ll get any of them to bad-mouth any of those great Navy or Air Force aviators that came in there and saved the day,” said the Chief.
The timing of the interview may have been significant. Sean Naylor, author of the Army Times report, noted: “The comments come at a time when Army leaders are fighting a rear-guard action in Washington against what they see as the Defense Department’s trend toward overreliance on precision guided munitions in shaping the future US military.”
-Adam J. Hebert
|USAF Forecasts Changes in AEFs
The Air Force said it plans to make changes in its Aerospace Expeditionary Force beginning with Cycle 4 in June 2003. Service officials, in a Sept. 23 news release, outlined three major changes:
The personnel and equipment from the service’s two on-call wings will be distributed among the 10 AEFs.
The draw of Expeditionary Combat Support assets from throughout USAF will be equalized.
Some Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command AEF contributions will be realigned.
A senior Air Force official said the changes would enable the service to handle both steady-state requirements and surge support for contingencies.
“The thing that everyone needs to understand is [the AEF construct] has worked pretty well,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy A. Peppe, special assistant to the Chief of Staff for air and space expeditionary forces. However, he added, “We know there are issues out there, and leadership is committed to fixing those issues.”
One of those issues is that, while the AEF assumes personnel will have three-month deployments in a 15-month window, about 15 percent of those deployed have faced longer tours, especially since the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Some of those on longer tours have been reservists.
The service realized it needed to fold all combat assets into the normal AEF rotation and get all deployable personnel positions into its AEF library, now numbering more than 175,000. The goal is 250,000 out of nearly 360,000.
The on-call wings, which were reserved for pop-up operations, are the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, S.C., and the 366th Wing at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. Each will have its elements aligned within the 10 AEFs, and each will be a lead combat wing. Peppe said their change in status will not require people or equipment to move from their current bases.
The leveling process for Expeditionary Combat Support assets, said Peppe, will make some airmen vulnerable to deployment sooner than they expected, while others will see extended cycles.
“Instead of having 15 months between cycles, they will have 12,” he said. “Some are going to move backward, having 18 months vs. 15 months, because the AEF Center is trying to match ECS assets, where possible, to where the iron is moved.”
The third major change will move some reserve assets across AEFs to stablize the workload for the Guard and Reserve.
“If you look at how they’re postured right now, you’ll see that they’re heavily weighted in AEFs 7, 8, 9, and 10,” said Peppe. The goal is to provide “a more ideal mix throughout the AEF cycle.”
He said the service will realign ANG fighter aircraft by block type and geography.
“The bottom line is, we’re making changes to maximize capability available across the board,” said Peppe. “We want to smooth-flow capabilities across the AEFs and minimize the hills and valleys.”
|Army Plans To Drop Some Guard Tank Units
To Make Way for Light Infantry
The Army National Guard will have two new types of organizations–mobile light brigades and multifunctional divisions–to make it “more deployable, more mobile, and more flexible,” said Army Secretary Thomas E. White.
These units will be able to respond rapidly to hot spots at home or abroad, he said at the National Guard Association of the United States conference in Long Beach, Calif., in early September.
The Army Guard will have to reduce its tracked vehicle fleet by one-third–approximately 2,400 vehicles–to create the new light brigades.
Army officials had already briefed the adjutants general on the plan, dubbed the Army National Guard Restructuring Initiative. However, it still must pass muster with Congress.
Work on the plan continues, so White did not announce which units the Army expects to convert. He did say that implementation would begin in Fiscal 2008 and the process would be completed by 2012.
Lt. Gen. Roger C. Schultz, Army National Guard director, believes the changes will prepare “the Guard for the future and those missions emerging in the new defense strategy.”
|Blair Publicizes British Dossier on Iraq
British Prime Minister Tony Blair declared that Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction program is “active, detailed, and growing.”
“The policy of containment is not working,” he said in a statement accompanying the release of the British intelligence dossier on Iraq on Sept. 24. “The WMD program is not shut down. It is up and running.”
Blair said that normally the work of the British Joint Intelligence Committee is secret. In this case, he said in a foreword to the 50-page dossier, it was released because “I believe this issue to be a current and serious threat to the UK national interest.”
The dossier details the history of Iraq’s WMD program, its breach of UN resolutions, and its current attempts to rebuild its illegal WMD program.
Blair related some of that history in his remarks, “because occasionally debate on this issue seems to treat it almost as if it had suddenly arisen, coming out of nowhere on a whim, in the last few months of 2002.” Instead, he said, “It is an 11-year history … of UN will flouted, lies told, … obstruction, defiance, and denial.”
The intelligence picture represented in the dossier, said Blair, was accumulated over the past four years. He called it “extensive, detailed, and authoritative.”
Among the dossier’s findings:
Blair said that some will dismiss this intelligence and others will claim it will be years before Saddam acquires a usable nuclear weapon.
“With what we know and what we can reasonably speculate: Would the world be wise to leave the present situation undisturbed, to say, despite 14 separate UN demands on this issue, all of which Saddam is in breach of, we should do nothing?” asked Blair.
He continued, “Why now? … I cannot say that this month or next, even this year or next, he will use his weapons. But I can say that if the international community, having made the call for his disarmament, … shrugs its shoulders and walks away, he will draw the conclusion dictators, faced with a weakening will, always draw. That the international community will talk but not act.”
“There is no way that this man … could begin a conflict using such weapons and the consequences not engulf the whole world,” said Blair.
|The Iraq Situation
In an early October survey, Americans told pollsters the national issue Americans discussed most often was the possibility of war with Iraq.
The Pew Research Center found that six out of 10 Americans were following the issue very closely. That number had grown from 48 percent in September.
The survey also showed that more than half of those Americans polled discussed the issue frequently in their personal conversations, and nearly as many often talked about terrorist attacks. The next closest topic of conversation was health insurance and HMOs.
At the heart of public opinion, according to the PRC poll analysis, were perceptions about Saddam Hussein’s capabilities. The key perception was that Saddam either has or is close to having nuclear weapons–a view shared by 79 percent of Americans.
Surprisingly, seven out of 10 persons who oppose war with Iraq believed Saddam possesses nuclear weapons, or will soon. Two-thirds of those opposed to war with Iraq believed he must be removed not just disarmed. Overall, 85 percent said they thought Iraq must have a regime change.
At the same time, a majority of Americans felt there was still the possibility of a peaceful solution.
|North Korea Stuns US With Nuke Claim
In a diplomatic bombshell, North Korea acknowledged it has for years been secretly developing nuclear arms, thereby making a mockery of a 1994 agreement brokered by ex-President and Nobel laureate Jimmy Carter.
Some US officials called the disclosure “a jaw-dropper.”
The Stalinist regime, which President Bush has named as part of the “axis of evil,” told US officials about their nuclear weapons program during talks in Pyongyang in early October. The US, in turn, made the admission public Oct. 16.
Pyongyang said its action nullifies the 1994 deal, known as “the Agreed Framework.” It called for North Korea to halt its nuclear-weapon-development effort in return for economic and political assistance.
The US said the project is a “very serious material breach” of the accord.
Before it was revealed to be an empty gesture, the Agreed Framework stood as a proud achievement for Carter, who was in the White House in the period 1977-81. Though out of office in 1994, Carter took a lead role in diplomacy that opened the way for the Clinton Administration to produce the accord.
Completing his mission to North Korea on June 18, 1994, Carter hugged dictator Kim Il Sung and called his trip “a good omen.” On his return to Washington, D.C., Carter declared, “The crisis is over,” a claim that left Clinton officials aghast.
Carter offered a strikingly uncritical assessment of the brutal communist dictatorship. “People were very friendly and open,” he said, adding that Pyongyang, one of the world’s most destitute cities, was a bustling place that reminded him of Times Square.
“I don’t think that they are an outlaw nation,” Carter opined. “Obviously they’ve done some things in the past that we condemn. They have their own justification for them and I won’t go into that. … This is something that’s not for me to judge.”
He added, “I don’t feel as if I have been duped.”
Former Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger said he was “horrified” to hear Carter “taking the word of this murderer who runs North Korea.” The Washington Post noted, “Mr. Carter seems to take at face value much of the stated position of North Korea and its ‘Great Leader,’ dictator, aggressor, and terrorist Kim Il Sung, whom he found a rather reasonable and pleasant fellow.”
The 78-year-old ex-President on Oct. 11 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for devoting his life, since being turned out of office, to freelance peace efforts and ventures such as the North Korean diplomacy.
More recently, Carter has criticized President Bush’s determination to use force, if necessary, to remove the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. In fact, Nobel Committee Chairman Gunnar Berge declared Carter’s selection “should be interpreted as a criticism of the line that the current Administration has taken. It’s a kick in the leg to all that follow the same line as the United States.” The statement did not draw a response from Carter.
|Comments of Top Marine Spur Senators
To Review Roles of Joint Chiefs of Staff
Outgoing Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James L. Jones Jr. told Senators that the Joint Chiefs of Staff spend too much time on individual service responsibilities and not enough on providing military advice.
Asked to explain, Jones said that the role of the Chairman and the Vice Chairman were “crystallized more effectively” by implementation of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, but “the service chiefs have found themselves occupied in the majority of their time with the organize, train, and equip function.” They have spent “a corresponding less amount of time dedicated to participating in the day-to-day dialogue of worldwide operations, emerging problems that should require a more focused attention,” he said. “It’s a question of devoting time to the issues.”
Jones made his comments at the Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to head US European Command and serve as Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
He went on to say that part of the solution to the problem requires each Chief to adjust his own schedule. “I see some self-adjustment being done right now in the JCS,” said Jones. “The JCS is now into a more balanced division of time and labor on the more substantive issues.”
“It is very easy to take your eye off the ball sometimes because there’s so much to do,” Jones added. “I am simply suggesting, not that anything is broken, but that we need to make sure that the contribution the Joint Chiefs can make as a body is still something that is valued and necessary and expected.”
However, both Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), committee chairman, and Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), ranking minority member, indicated they believe there could be more fundamental problems.
Levin told Jones, “You’re being very candid … and balanced, … but I think we should really dig deeper.”
Warner said he and Levin had been considering what reviews should be made of Goldwater-Nichols, now more than 15 years old. He agreed with Levin that the division of responsibilities for the service chiefs should be one of those reviews.
“Possibly some statutory emphasis on what we see as the need for greater balance between these two responsibilities may be needed,” said Warner.
|Yale Opens Doors to Military Recruiters,
Vowing To Challenge Pentagon
Yale University agreed to allow military recruiters to attend a law school career day when it faced the loss of $350 million in federal funds. Unlike Harvard and several other prestigious schools that have also grudgingly opened their doors recently, Yale said the move is only temporary.
Yale announced it intends to challenge the Pentagon’s interpretation of the 1996 federal law, called the Solomon Amendment. The law links federal research funds to open access for military recruiters.
In an official statement Oct. 1, Yale University President Richard C. Levin said, “The university is committed to complying with the law, but we intend to pursue a determination of whether the law school’s current policy satisfies the legal requirements.”
Levin said the school provides names, addresses, and other student information to military recruiters and allows them to come to the law school to meet with students. He believes that policy satisfies the federal law. However, Yale did not allow military recruiters to participate in career day unless they submitted a nondiscrimination certificate.
At issue is the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy governing homosexuals in the military.
The Pentagon earlier this year began cracking down on universities that had been skirting the Solomon Amendment. (See “Aerospace World: Harvard Law Finally Gives Up Military Recruiting Ban,” October, p. 16.) The services notified various universities that they would forfeit their federal research funds if they did not open their doors completely to military recruiters.
The universities have complied in fact, if not spirit.
- USAF awarded a $63.8 million contract to Northrop Grumman in late September to build the Global Transportation Network 21, which will improve an existing tracking system that the Air Force said reviews people and materiel on the move about two million times per day.
- Pakistan test-fired a new surface-to-surface missile in early October. Pakistan notified India ahead of time. Tensions have run high between the two countries, each of which say they have increased their arsenals of nuclear weapons, for some time over the disputed Kashmir area.
- The Air Force and Boeing may be near an agreement on the lease of up to 100 767 transports to be modified for use as aerial refueling aircraft. The price tag would be “significantly” lower than has been suggested by the General Accounting Office, USAF’s top acquisition official, Marvin R. Sambur, told Bloomberg.com last month. (See “Aerospace World: Tanker Wars Continue,” September, p. 23.)
- The Pentagon extended USAF’s permit to operate the PAVE PAWS radar station at Camp Edwards, Mass., for another 20 years. The previous permit would have expired in 2006. Local residents have long considered the radar a health hazard; however, Air Force officials maintain the station is safe.
- The Air Force announced Oct. 1 that a fatigue crack in a high-pressure turbine blade caused catastrophic engine failure and resulted in the April 15 crash of an F-16 from Misawa AB, Japan, into the Sea of Japan. The pilot ejected, sustaining only minor injuries.
- On Oct. 3, USAF announced that pilot error caused an A-10 to crash June 27 in a rural area in France. The pilot, Capt. Robert I. Lopez, from Spangdahlem AB, Germany, was killed. (See “Aerospace World: A-10 Pilot Killed in Crash,” August, p. 14.) According to the investigation board, Lopez misprioritized his tasks, failing to properly execute a descent to 500 feet about ground level during a training mission. His attempt to recover came too late.
- The Civil Air Patrol, USAF’s auxiliary, opened a new national operations center Oct. 1 at Maxwell AFB, Ala.
- Sierra Military Health Services said Oct. 7 that DOD had extended Sierra’s five-year contract to manage 13 states and the District of Columbia. This is an interim move as the Pentagon seeks to overhaul the Tricare system, reducing the number of regions from 12 to three.
- On Oct. 1 the Air Force announced selection of a new name tag for the service dress uniform. Officials had decided last year that it would return to the wear of a name tag on the service dress and reviewed several proposed types. The new tag has a brushed satin finish and blue letters. The previous name tag was blue with white letters.
- Tricare awarded Express Scripts of Maryland Heights, Mo., a new mail order pharmacy contract in September. The new Tricare Mail Order Pharmacy contract, which covers a five-year period, replaces the existing National Mail Order Pharmacy contract. The NMOP expires in February. The TMOP begins in March and will provide a worldwide, full-service mail order pharmacy program to all Tricare-eligible beneficiaries.