Ryan Is New Chief of Staff
The Senate on Sept. 24 confirmed Gen. Michael E. Ryan as USAF’s new Chief of Staff. With his Oct. 6 swearing in, he became the 16th officer to serve in that post since the Air Force became a separate service in 1947.
Until he was approved for the Chief’s job, Ryan had been commander, US Air Forces in Europe. He now replaces retired Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman as the senior military leader in the Air Force.
Among other achievements, Ryan flew 149 combat missions in Southeast Asia, including 100 missions over North Vietnam.
In his Sept. 16 confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Ryan emphasized the need for USAF to take care of the troops and to pay close attention to quality-of-life issues. He said he approved of current DoD and Air Force policy on the B-2 bomber—that is, he does not favor buying more than the 21 currently on order, given current budget pressures.
Ryan is the first person to follow in his father’s footsteps as senior military leader of any US military service. Gen. John D. Ryan served as Air Force Chief of Staff from 1969 to 1973.
Cohen Orders Stand-Down
On Sept. 17, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen ordered a 24-hour halt in US military training flights so that aircrews could focus on safety.
The stand-down came in the wake of five major crashes in a four-day period. “Perfection is impossible, but that is our goal for aviation safety,” said Cohen.
Notwithstanding the accidents, the Pentagon’s flight safety record has been steadily improving in recent years, pointed out defense officials. In 1975, the US Air Force had 6.52 major Class A crashes per 100,000 flying hours. So far in 1997, the DoD rate is running at 1.4 Class A mishaps per 100,000 hours.
Improved equipment and greater emphasis on safety training may be the major reason for the improvement. “Fiscal Year 1996 was the safest on record,” said Cohen. “We expect Fiscal Year 1997 to be a very safe year as well.”
Much of the Air Force observed the stand-down on Sept. 26. Air Combat Command moved its safety day to Sept. 22, after the loss of a B-1B bomber on Sept. 19 in Montana.
Throughout the day, ACC personnel reviewed air and ground accidents from the past year and looked for ways they could have been prevented. Commanders led small-group training sessions to identify hazards in daily operations and find ways to eliminate them. Each wing will eventually forward a list of action items to the ACC Office of Safety.
“Somewhere in every … sequence of events that leads up to an accident, you can find mistakes that were made that, if you could have avoided them, would have prevented the accident,” said ACC’s commander, Gen. Richard E. Hawley.
Robins Wins C-5 Depot Work
Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins AFB, Ga., won an Air Force public–private source selection contest and will gain the C-5 aircraft depot maintenance work currently performed by the San Antonio ALC, Kelly AFB, Texas.
The award was announced by outgoing Secretary of the Air Force Sheila E. Widnall at a Washington press conference Sept. 4. It is worth an estimated $434 million over a seven-year period. The Air Force will save $190 million over the life of the program due to the cost-honing pressures of the competition, said Widnall.
The first C-5s began arriving at Robins last month. They will subsequently flow through the base at a rate of around 20 per year. There are 126 C-5A and B airlifters in the Air Force inventory.
Robins won because they submitted the lowest bid. Competitors Boeing and Lockheed Martin were close, with cost bids within six and seven percent of the Georgia depot, according to Air Force officials.
Robins will need about 725 workers to be able to perform C-5 tasks. Union leaders in San Antonio said that they estimated that about 400 workers from the Texas base are interested in relocating to Georgia.
Winning the bid was the easy part, insisted Warner Robins officials. They have a lot of hard work ahead to prepare for their new workload.
Current workers must be retrained on C-5 repair techniques. Tools, technical data, and materials must be acquired. The base must acquire mobile tail enclosures—a sort of portable garage extension that’s necessary because the huge C-5 tail will not fit in Warner Robins’ hangars.
“It’s not over because we won it,” said Jackie Cleghorn, C-5 bid team deputy. “The worst thing that could happen would be to win it and not execute it.”
Cause of F-117 Crash
Structural failure apparently caused the crash of an F-117 stealth fighter at an air show near Baltimore on Sept. 14, as its left wing came off during flight, said Gen. Michael E. Ryan during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to be USAF Chief of Staff.
Ryan noted that in the past there have been problems with fluttering elevons on F-117s but that these controls had already been redesigned and strengthened.
The stealth fighter’s limited natural gliding ability helped prevent extensive damage to the residential neighborhood where it fell, according to crash observers. The plane came straight down, like a falling leaf, and debris was limited to a relatively small area.
Subsequent to Ryan’s testimony, the Air Force found that the F-117 involved in the incident, tail #810793, had a significant defect in a support structure in the left wing. The service, along with engineers from Lockheed Martin, the F-117 manufacturer, began conducting a fleetwide inspection of every F-117 to determine if any other aircraft had that same defect or any other defects. By mid– October, 33 of USAF’s 53 F-117s had been inspected without finding a defect similar to the one in the mishap aircraft.
Air Combat Command on Oct. 2 returned to flying operations with cleared F-117s.
USAF Initiates B-2 Fixes
During his Sept. 16 confirmation hearing, Ryan said that the Air Force has initiated an aggressive plan to attack the issue of B-2 bomber low-observable maintenance problems.
The plan includes improvements in low-observable materials, new designs, and the beefing up of low-observable maintenance teams with contractor technicians. The Air Force has set up a program to track the radar of every B-2 in its inventory on a regular basis, in an attempt to determine the impact of continued operations on the scope of the problem.
Block 20 B-2 models have a mission capable rate of about 33 percent, primarily because of the low- observable problem, said Ryan. New Block 30s should significantly reduce maintenance man-hours per flying hour, he added.
Eight of the nine B-2s at the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo., are Block 20s. The remaining aircraft is a Block 30.
USAF, Boeing Roll Out Space Maneuver Vehicle
The US Air Force and Boeing unveiled a 90-percent scale model of a proposed Space Maneuver Vehicle at Boeing’s Seal Beach, Calif., facility on Sept. 3.
Production SMVs would be, in essence, small pickup trucks in space, used for quick reaction launches or in conjunction with a larger-capacity military spaceplane the Air Force is developing in a separate effort. The unpowered model will be used for the first part of a three-phase SMV ground and flight-test demonstration project.
In its first test, the model was to be dropped from a UH-60 helicopter at 10,000 feet. During the first part of its fall the model will be stabilized by a parachute. Then the chute will release and the graphite–epoxy and aluminum vehicle will perform a controlled glide, mimicking the final approach and landing phases of an SMV returning from orbit.
One mission SMVs might fulfill would be rapid deployment of tactical satellites for military missions. “The vehicle’s reusability would allow it to be used over and over again with a variety of payloads tailored to specific needs,” said Military Spaceplane Program Office head Capt. John Anttonen.
Missile Wings Change to Space Wings
Three missile wings will be redesignated space wings by the end of the year, according to Air Force Space Command officials.
The name change reflects the next logistical step in incorporating the entire spectrum of space operations as an integral element of air- and spacepower, said the Air Force.
Units involved are the 90th Missile Wing, Warren AFB, Wyo., the 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB, N.D., and the 341st Missile Wing, Malmstrom AFB, Mont.
“This makes sense because we’ve already combined the space and missile career fields, management positions, and training functions,” said former Air Force Secretary Sheila E. Widnall. “This action says we have truly integrated missiles into the space mission.”
ABL Component Advances
The Boeing–TRW–Lockheed Martin team developing the Air Force’s Airborne Laser (ABL) system has demonstrated that the laser’s most critical component can meet its mission requirement.
The component—the singlet oxygen generator—is the site of chemical reactions that largely determine the overall power and performance of the ABL system’s laser beam. In essence, the SOG uses a carefully controlled liquid/gas reaction to release the chemical energy stored in basic hydrogen peroxide.
A TRW engineering facility in Redondo Beach, Calif., completed successful SOG tests in late summer. The tests showed that a single batch of basic hydrogen peroxide chemicals can produce enough energy to “fire” a laser 16 times.
The tests “moved Team ABL another step closer to meeting the requirements of the Air Force’s first ATP [Authority to Proceed] milestone,” said Paul Shennum, Boeing vice president and director of Team ABL’s joint program office.
The ABL weapon system will use a high-energy chemical oxygen iodine laser mounted on a 747-400F aircraft to shoot down ballistic missiles in their boost phase. It will protect civilian and key military assets from attack by missiles such as the Scuds used by Iraq during the Persian Gulf War.
Missile Defense Gets More Money
The Pentagon’s Ballistic Missile Defense Organization is getting a $2.1 billion windfall, per the Quadrennial Defense Review. BMDO intends to use the funds to add tests, reducing the program’s risk, National Missile Defense Joint program manager Army Brig. Gen. Joseph Cosumano Jr. said Sept. 16.
The extra testing is necessary because ballistic missile defense is being developed on a crash schedule. “I have been charged to do in six years what most programs do in 12 to 16 years,” said Cosumano.
The BMDO is supposed to develop a national missile defense capable of defending the US against limited attack by Fiscal 2000. If national command authorities give the go-ahead, the organization will then have three years to deploy the system.
Added dollars will allow the addition of two integrated flight tests per year, according to BMDO officials. It is already too late to bolster the 1998 testing regimen, as the targets and exoatmospheric kill vehicles used in the experiments take 24–30 months to build. The 1999 schedule can be bolstered by money received in Fiscal 1998, however.
Air Force Adjusts Pilot Service Commitments
The Air Force has adjusted the service commitments for a number of advanced flying training courses.
The changes took effect on Aug. 3, 1997. Among them: a reduction from five to three years in the service commitment for pilots who cross train from one nonfighter aircraft to another.
Equity was the reason for this move, said Air Force officials. Cross-trained fighter pilots already faced a three-year commitment. Yet KC-135 pilots who cross trained to a KC-10 faced a five-year hitch, even though the tanker training is shorter and costs the Air Force much less.
The commitment for U-2 pilots who have undergone initial qualification training was similarly reduced from five to three years, despite the general rule that all pilots incur a five-year commitment after completing initial training. Pilot recruiting for the U-2 spy aircraft has suffered in recent years, and Air Combat Command officials believe the commitment change will improve the situation.
“Although this change may have a slight negative effect by allowing some pilots to separate sooner,” said ACC chief Gen. Richard E. Hawley, “I am convinced that the overall effect of increased recruiting outweighs that, particularly since low recruiting threatens our vital student pipeline.”
On the other hand, newly trained helicopter pilots now have five-year instead of three-year service commitments, in line with other newly qualified pilots.
C-141 Goes Down off Africa
The international search and rescue operation which followed the tragic Sept. 13 collision of a US Air Force C-141 Starlifter and a German Air Force TU-154 off the coast of Namibia was the largest ever conducted in that area of the world. It was called off Sept. 26.
Coalition aircraft which took part included USAF MC-130 Combat Talons, Navy P-3 Orions, German AF C-160 Transalls, German Navy Atlantiques, French and South African helicopters, and South African C-130s. Ships from several nations also participated.
The search teams did recover a portion of the C-141’s right wing in the same vicinity where wreckage from the TU-154 had been found.
However, after two weeks, US Atlantic Command officials concluded there were no survivors among the nine US airmen or the 24 passengers and crew of the German aircraft.
The nine crew members aboard the USAF C-141 from the 305th Air Mobility Wing, McGuire AFB, N.J., were SSgt. Stacy D. Bryant, loadmaster; SSgt. Gary Bucknam, flight engineer; Capt. Gregory M. Cindrich, pilot; A1C Justin R. Drager, loadmaster; SSgt. Robert K. Evans, flight engineer; Capt. Jason S. Ramsey, pilot; SSgt. Scott N. Roberts, flight engineer; Capt. Peter C. Vallejo, pilot; and SrA. Frankie L. Walker, crew chief.
The C-141 was en route to Ascension island after a mission to drop off US soldiers and mine-clearing equipment in Namibia, when it disappeared.
B-1B Crash Claims Four
A B-1B from Ellsworth AFB, S.D., crashed near Alzada, Mont., on Sept. 19, killing all four airmen aboard. The crash came just days before the Air Force initiated a DoD–wide flying stand-down the Pentagon had imposed following a series of unrelated US military aircraft crashes.
The airmen killed were Col. Anthony Beat, 28th Bomb Wing vice commander; Majs. Kirk Cakerice and Clay Culver, both 37th Bomb Squadron assistant operations officers; and Capt. Gary Everett, a 37th BS weapons systems officer.
The 28th BW aircraft was on a routine training mission. According to Air Force officials, the weather was good, and the bomber had no maintenance problems. It was the first B-1B crash since 1992.
USAFE Reaffirms Civilian Rotation Schedule
US Air Forces in Europe officials have recently reaffirmed an existing Department of Defense policy that limits overseas tours for civilian employees to no more than five years.
During the European drawdown of the early 1990s, tour extensions for civilians were liberally approved. This improved stability and continuity at a time of upheaval, but that approach will no longer be the case, said officials.
The rotation policy gives stateside DoD employees the opportunity to gain overseas job experience and widens the job market for family members.
USAFE currently employs more than 2,200 appropriated-fund DoD civilians. About 1,000 are subject to the limit. Of those, about 270 people are past the five-year point.
The command’s goal is to have no more than five percent of these employees extended beyond the five-year mark and to have no extensions over seven years. USAFE expects to achieve this goal by the end of Fiscal 1999.
B-2 Money, but No More B-2s
Lawmakers increased B-2 funds but did not mandate production of additional stealth bomber aircraft as the defense appropriations bill cleared Congress Sept. 25.
The B-2 compromise appeared to end one of the most hard-fought aerospace legislative issues of the year. Supporters of the B-2 had added $331 million to the House version of the annual military money bill, arguing that B-2s provide cost-effective power projection and that the nation needed a larger fleet of the aircraft. The House funds were intended to reconstitute the program’s manufacturing base and to begin buying components to be used in additional planes.
The Pentagon and the Clinton Administration strenuously opposed the move, saying other defense priorities needed the money. Clinton officials warned that the President would either veto the whole bill, or use his new line-item veto power to strike all B-2 funding, if the plane’s proponents persisted in their efforts to add nine more planes to the planned 21-bomber fleet.
Still, the appropriations bill boosted the Administration’s $174 million B-2 procurement request to $331 million. In the past, Air Force officials have indicated they would use such a windfall to upgrade battlefield communications programs for the stealth bomber.
A new display and Link-16 data-link capability are the Air Force’s top B-2 equipment priorities, Brig. Gen. Bruce A. Carlson, Air Force director for global power programs, told reporters Sept. 12.
Full Funding for F-22
The final version of the defense money bill also fully funded the F-22 fighter program at $2.2 billion. The Senate had sought to cut more than $200 million from the program as a sign of dissatisfaction with cost overruns in development of the new fighter.
Lawmakers reduced funds for the competition between the Navy/Air Force Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile and the Navy Standoff Land Attack–Extended Range missile to $172 million, from the Administration’s $203 million request.
The House, in its version of the bill, included no money for JASSM. The Air Force has said it would need about $175 million in the program to maintain its planned JASSM schedule, with a choice between competitors Boeing and Lockheed Martin next July.
National missile defense was a big winner in the appropriations bill, gaining a $474 million increase over and above Clinton’s budget request.
On Sept. 17 the Senate unanimously confirmed Army Gen. Henry H. Shelton to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Shelton, a Green Beret paratrooper who led US forces in Haiti, replaces Gen. John M. Shalikashvili. Shelton is the third Army general in a row to fill the post.
The first annual Air Force marathon was held on Sept. 20 at Wright–Patterson AFB, Ohio. Andre R. Herr of Latrobe, Pa., won the 26.2-mile race with a time of 2:28:34.
Two Air Force firefighters and an Air Force base fire department were named tops in their field at the Department of Defense Fire and Emergency Services Training Conference in Dallas. SSgt. Michael L. Rosser, Rhein-Main AB, Germany, was named military firefighter for 1997. Bret D. Stohr, McChord AFB, Wash., won the civilian firefighter of the year award. The Yokota AB, Japan, fire department earned best department distinction.
Singapore has asked to base 80 personnel at McConnell AFB, Kan., so they can learn KC-135 refueling techniques from US crews. Singapore’s air force is purchasing four KC-135R aircraft from the US through the Foreign Military Sales program.
USAF will not get its first C-130J transport aircraft as early as it had planned. Lockheed Martin has delayed delivery of the new models from January 1998, until the middle of the year.
On Sept. 4 Air Mobility Command declared Fiscal 1998 the “Year of the Enlisted Force.” Proposed AMC enlisted-oriented initiatives include tuition assistance and recognition programs.
The last operational USAF T-33 trainer was formally retired Aug. 14 in a public ceremony at the US Air Force Museum at Wright–Patterson AFB. Designated the NT-33A In-Flight Simulator, this specially modified “T-Bird” had fulfilled many key R&D goals during its almost 50 years of active duty.
A four-member Aeronautical Systems Center team at Wright–Patterson AFB created an all-fiberglass bridge for testing by the state of Ohio. The two-lane span, now installed in Butler County, could last 150 years without major repairs.
MSgt. Porfiro O. Castillo of Lack- land AFB, Texas, won the Air Force Sergeants Association Pitsenbarger Award for saving a handicapped man from a burning home. The award honors an enlisted member who performs a heroic act; Castillo was commuting to work when he noticed smoke pouring from a nearby home and rushed in to save the man without regard for his own safety.
Michael A. Parker, a research scientist with the Surveillance and Photonics Directorate at Rome Laboratory, Rome, N.Y., won the 1997 Air Force Basic Research Award. Parker was cited for his prolific contributions to research in integrated optical circuits and interconnects and their application to signal processing.
Patients gave Air Mobility Command medical clinics the highest satisfaction scores in a recent Department of Defense survey. The poll measured opinions about overall quality, ease of access, and attention from personnel for both DoD and civilian medical facilities.
The new Lockheed Martin Launch Vehicle boosted a NASA Earth-observing satellite into orbit on Aug. 23. The launch overcame a setback the LMLV suffered two years ago when the program’s first booster began oscillating and was destroyed near the end of its first-stage burn.
Two F-16s from the 177th Fighter Wing (ANG), Atlantic City Airport, N.J., collided about 60 miles southeast of Atlantic City on Sept. 16. The accident occurred during a night recertification training flight. One of the aircraft involved, a two-seat F-16D, crashed into the Atlantic. Both pilots ejected safely. The other plane, a single-seat F-16C, returned safely to base despite extensive damage.
Top medical services officers from the Reserve and Guard visited Charleston AFB, S.C., in August to assess the use of C-17 airlifters as an aeromedical evacuation aircraft. “I see this airplane spanning the strategic and tactical missions so we don’t have to change aircraft en route,” said AFRC Maj. Gen. Walter John Giller Jr., mobilization augmentee to the Air Force surgeon general. “We can plan a mission directly and seamlessly.”
As a result of retention concerns, the Air Force Chief of Staff has authorized adjutants for small fighter squadrons with 18 single-seat aircraft. Nineteen ACC squadrons, 10 Pacific Air Forces squadrons, and seven USAFE squadrons will receive the new positions. The adjutants will be personnel officers who will handle squadron duties, such as resource management, flight scheduling, disaster preparedness, and other related functions.
US Transportation Command’s Rodeo competition will move to Pope AFB, N.C., in 2000. Rodeo provides an opportunity for aerial refuelers and airlifters to demonstrate their abilities, improve procedures, and standardize operations. Its current home is McChord AFB, Wash.
Greenham Common, a former US air base in southern England where cruise missiles were deployed at the height of the Cold War, is reverting to pasture. Fences around the base were torn down on Sept. 14 to let cattle and other animals graze on its grass.
The 1st Fighter Wing, Langley AFB, Va., is the first ACC unit to integrate the new additive JP8+100 into its fuel inventory. JP8+100 is similar to the detergents used in gasoline. It cleans the aircraft fueling system and allows components to operate more efficiently and at higher temperatures.
The 729th Air Control Squadron is fighting illegal drugs in Peru. Twenty airmen from the Hill AFB, Utah, unit are now usually on site in the Peruvian Amazon region, operating radar and satellite systems to detect suspected drug traffickers flying in the area. The troops are living in a nearby town until construction of living quarters at their forward site is complete.
|The Battle of Arlington Ridge
Washington, Oct. 3—In ceremonies at high noon on Sept. 18—the 50th anniversary of the US Air Force as a separate service—a plot on Arlington Ridge, overlooking the Potomac River, was dedicated as the future site of the Air Force Memorial.
A day earlier, the US District Court in Alexandria, Va., had turned down the request of Rep. Gerald B.H. Solomon (R–N.Y.) and a group calling itself “Friends of Iwo Jima” for an injunction to stop the dedication. Solomon, a former Marine and the powerful chairman of the House Rules Committee, says the Air Force Memorial will encroach upon the “hallowed, sacred ground” of the Marine Corps Memorial, which is also located on Arlington Ridge.
The claim of encroachment was a mystery to those who gathered on the grassy slope for the dedication ceremony. From where they stood, they could not see any part of the Iwo Jima Memorial. It is located up the hill, more than 500 feet away, and behind a screen of tall trees.
Several hundred active duty airmen and veterans attended the dedication, along with a contingent of government leaders that included two Air Force veterans now serving in Congress, Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska and Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas, then–Secretary of the Air Force Sheila Widnall, Gen. Joseph Ralston, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart, acting Air Force Chief of Staff at the time.
Present in the crowd was Clayton Depue, chairman of “Friends of Iwo Jima,” who told Air Force Magazine his group will continue its efforts to “relocate” the Air Force Memorial by legal means and through a bill introduced in Congress by Solomon to block construction. The “Friends of Iwo Jima” continue to work the crowds at the Marine Corps Memorial and say they have collected 10,000 signatures on their petition to bar the Air Force from Arlington Ridge.
Spokesmen for the group say they did not know about the project until recently. They do not say how they missed the major coverage by the Washington Post when the design concept for the memorial was approved in March 1996.
The project to build an Air Force Memorial began in 1992 with the formation of an independent Air Force Memorial Foundation by the Air Force Association and the Air Force Sergeants Association. Since then, the foundation has followed the elaborate process prescribed for proposed monuments by Congress in 1986. It has satisfied all of the requirements imposed by the National Park Service, the National Capital Memorial Commission, the National Capital Planning Commission, and the Commission of Fine Arts. The Marine Corps was informed of the plan in 1994, before approval for the Arlington Ridge site was obtained.
Contrary to what opponents of the Air Force Memorial say, it does not “dwarf” or overshadow the Iwo Jima Memorial in the 25-acre section of parkland adjacent to Arlington Cemetery. Seven acres are occupied by the Marine Corps War Memorial. The Air Force Memorial site is two acres, within which the memorial takes only 6,500 square feet. The Iwo Jima Memorial is 78 feet high. The Air Force Memorial will be 50 feet high. The two memorials are separated by trees and distance. Also, the Iwo Jima Memorial is positioned at a higher elevation.
The controversy began in April 1997 with the formation of “Friends of Iwo Jima,” a neighborhood group, whose concerns center on an increase in cars and visitors to the area and the loss of open land. By midsummer, Marine Corps veterans were rallying to the group’s alarm in significant numbers. On July 30, Solomon introduced his bill to keep the Air Force off Arlington Ridge. The Marine Corps took an open position Aug. 7, saying the Air Force Memorial should be somewhere else.
Sen. Craig Thomas (R–Wyo.)—another former Marine and chairman of the subcommittee on Parks, Historic Preservation, and Recreation—held a hearing Sept. 11 to ask questions about how memorials are placed on public land.
The leadoff witness was Solomon who said “the Air Force Memorial Foundation was misled and told that building their proposed memorial at the Iwo Jima Park would be acceptable.” Solomon said Congress should reimburse the Air Force Memorial Foundation for a million dollars or more in recognition of what it has spent on design and site work. He said he would also help find another site, perhaps on the nearby Ft. Myer Army post.
Gen. Carl Mundy Jr., former commandant of the Marine Corps, told the committee that he would rather not see another monument on Arlington Ridge, but if there was to be one, he could think of none preferable to the Air Force Memorial. He also said that when he was commandant in 1994, “we were aware” of the plans for the Air Force Memorial and “did not impose any objection.”
Robert D. Springer, president of the Air Force Memorial Foundation, and John A. Shaud, executive director of the Air Force Association, testified that the Air Force Memorial will complement rather than detract from the Iwo Jima Memorial and that it will preserve the solemnity of Arlington Ridge.
The Air Force Memorial Foundation has now invested five years of effort in the project. Some $13 million of the $25 million needed has been raised from individuals and groups who pledged their support with the understanding it was for an approved memorial design on an approved site.
The Air Force Memorial design is based on a five-pointed star. The structure will be open to the elements and lightly tethered to the points of the star, capturing the impression of space and air. It was designed by James Ingo Freed, who was also the architect for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The Washington Post said in 1996 that “Freed’s imaginative design will add dignity and drama to this splendid spot.” More recently, in August 1997, a Post editorial said the Air Force Memorial Foundation “clearly jumped through the necessary hoops” and that the memorial ought to proceed. Striking a similar note, the Baltimore Sun said that “The Air Force, too, has done deeds worth remembering, and there is room enough to remember them on Arlington Ridge.”
Doyle E. Larson, president of the Air Force Association, said that “It is generally forgotten that when the Marine Corps was seeking a site for its war memorial some 40 years ago, many objections had to be overcome. Among them were the accusations that the Iwo Jima Memorial would overwhelm the view, deprive the community of parkland, cause parking problems, and disrupt the skyline. The right to situate the memorial at its present location was disputed by supporters of other monuments, who felt they had better and previous claim.”
Barring any changes ordered by the courts or Congress, all that remains for the Air Force Memorial project is final design approval of the architectural plans, acquiring building permits, and the completion of the fund-raising.
Rep. James V. Hansen (R–Utah) has announced that the House subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Lands, which he chairs, will hold hearings in October on the Arlington Ridge controversy.
Former CINCMAC Dies
Retired Gen. Robert E. “Dutch” Huyser, commander in chief of Military Airlift Command from 1979 to 1981, died on Sept. 22 at the David Grant Medical Center, Travis AFB, Calif. The cause was heart failure. Huyser was 73.
Huyser, who flew heavy bombers in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, also became a legendary figure in the development of US airlift capabilities and had been inducted into the Airlift/Tanker Association Hall of Fame.
Toward the end of his career (he retired in 1981), Huyser became a key figure in the CX airlifter program that eventually produced the Air Force’s advanced C-17 transport. He recently said, “I started the CX program. I’m very happy with the way it turned out. The C-17 is a fantastic airplane.”
Huyser’s long career began when he was drafted in 1943, after which he entered the Aviation Cadet program. He was the first draftee to become a four-star general in the Air Force.
In 1979, shortly before he assumed command of MAC, Huyser went to Iran as President Jimmy Carter’s personal envoy in an attempt to stabilize the government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. However, he said he knew it would be impossible to keep the pro–US monarch in power, which proved to be correct.
|Air Force Ends A-10 Search
The Air Force announced Sept. 16 it has ceased military recovery efforts related to the wayward A-10 that crashed on Gold Dust Peak in Colorado last April.
PRC Environmental Management Inc., hired to assist the Air Force with recovery and salvage operations, will continue working on the mountain until unsafe weather conditions settle in or until completing operations, whichever comes first.
The pullout ends the Air Force’s mission to sift through tons of wreckage, scattered around the mountain, for the aircraft’s munitions, the pilot’s remains, and items pertinent to the Accident Investigation Board. By early fall searchers had recovered 70 percent of the aircraft’s munitions and wreckage equal to nearly nine tons of the 13-ton aircraft.
Three hundred eighty-one 30 mm training rounds out of the plane’s total 575 rounds, and 31 of its 60 magnesium flares, were among the recovered items. No trace was found of the A-10’s Mk. 82 bombs.
“We have not located any parts of bombs, such as tail fins, fuses, or arming wires. I assure you that we have searched this area to the best of our ability and with the best technology we could bring to bear, and we did not find any conclusive evidence that the bombs are in the vicinity of the crash site,” said Brig. Gen. Donald A. Streater, who led the Air Force’s recovery efforts.
|Senior Staff Changes
RETIREMENT: Maj. Gen. George W. Norwood.
PROMOTION: To be General: John A. Gordon.
CHANGES: Brig. Gen. Walter E.L. Buchanan III, from Cmdr., AF Recruiting Svc., AETC, Randolph AFB, Texas, to Dep. Dir., Allied Command Europe Reaction Force Air Staff, NATO, Kalkar, Germany, replacing Brig. Gen. Ralph Pasini … Gen. (sel.) John A. Gordon, from Assoc. Dir., Central Intelligence for Mil. Spt., CIA, Langley AFB, Va., to Dep. Dir., CIA, Langley AFB, Va. … Maj. Gen. Charles R. Henderson, from Dir., Cmd. and Ctrl., DCS Air and Space Ops., USAF, Pentagon, to Dir., Ops. and Tng., DCS Air and Space Ops., USAF, Pentagon, replacing retired Brig. Gen. Terryl J. Schwalier … Brig. Gen. Theodore W. Lay II, from Cmdr., 1st FW, ACC, Langley AFB, Va., to Cmdr., 57th Wing, ACC, Nellis AFB, Nev., replacing Brig. Gen. T. Michael Moseley.
Brig. Gen. T. Michael Moseley, from Cmdr., 57th Wing, ACC, Nellis AFB, Nev., to Dep. Dir., Politico–Military Affairs, JCS, Pentagon, replacing Lt. Gen. (sel.) Robert H. Foglesong … Brig. Gen. James E. Sandstrom, from Dep. Dir., Cmd. and Ctrl., DCS Air and Space Ops., USAF, Pentagon, to Dir., Cmd. and Ctrl., DCS Air and Space Ops., USAF, Pentagon, replacing Maj. Gen. Charles R. Henderson.
SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE (SES) RETIREMENTS: Ronald L. Haas, Richard R. Hildebrand.
SES CHANGES: Daniel F. McMillinn, to Dep. Dir. for Plans and Policy, USTRANSCOM, Scott AFB, Ill. … James A. Papa, to Exec. Dir., AF Flight Test Ctr., Edwards AFB, Calif.
|50 Years Ago in Air Force Magazine
On the cover: Bell’s 47-B, the first helicopter to rate Civilian Aeronautics Administration approval for night flying.
¦ Senior officers and distinguished visitors were thick on the ground when AFA held its first annual convention in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 15–16. Not present, however, was the founding father, Gen. of the Army H.H. “Hap” Arnold, who sent his greetings from his home in California, along with regrets that he could not attend on the advice of his “medicos.”
¦ AFA officers elected at the convention were: Jimmy Doolittle, chairman of the board; Tom Lanphier Jr., president; James Stewart, first vice president; Meryll M. Frost, second vice president; C.R. Smith, third vice president; Julian B. Rosenthal, secretary; and G. Warfield Hobbs III, treasurer.
¦ Speaking to the 1,502 members who came to the convention, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Chief of Staff, US Army, said: “Our first defense is air defense.”
¦ Gen. Carl A. Spaatz, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, told the AFA audience the Air Force “looks to your organization as a major link with the people of the United States, through which it will be possible to ensure that the roots of airpower are firmly established and maintained.”
¦ Chairman of the Board Doolittle told the delegates that the record turnout for a local AFA meeting was held by the Milwaukee, Wis., squadron, where 882 members showed up for a single meeting. Size, however, isn’t everything, he said. The Beckley, W.Va., chapter had only 75 members, but “on Air Force Day, the show they put on in Beckley was so good the city fathers declared a half holiday and closed the stores and schools.”
¦ Annual AFA dues went up from $3 to $4.