The F-22 went supersonic for the first time Oct. 10, 51 years to the week after the sound barrier was broken for the first time in the skies over Edwards AFB, Calif.
Lockheed Martin test pilot Jon Beesley flew Raptor 4001, one of two F-22s now at Edwards, to Mach 1.1 at 29,000 feet, while using the afterburner. From takeoff to landing, the flight took about three hours.
“From all indications, the Raptor flew past the sound barrier with ease,” said Lt. Col. C.D. Moore, commander of the F-22 Combined Test Force. “This is just one step of many for the program.”
The next step for the F-22 program is supercruise flight: breaking the sound barrier without use of the fuel-gulping afterburner.
The Air Force wants to start F-22 production late this year with release of money for two representative production test vehicles. Congress has decreed that the Raptor has to complete at least 4 percent of its test program hours before this purchase, however.
That would require an acceleration of the current flying schedule.
On Retired Pay, Wait’ll Next Year
Congressional leaders deferred a last-minute effort to include a boost in military retired pay in the Fiscal 1999 budget deal that was struck in mid-October.
However, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that such an increase is one of its top priorities, and it will likely receive serious consideration on Capitol Hill next year.
The desire for change stems from the fact that the current system has three levels of generosity.
Service members who joined the military prior to a 1980 congressionally mandated cut, and who serve 20 years, receive 50 percent of their last year’s base pay as their retired pay.
Twenty-year veterans who joined between that point in 1980 and another in 1986, when a second reduction went into effect, will receive 50 percent of the average of their three highest years of salary.
Those who joined after July 31, 1986, get only 40 percent of their highest-three-years average.
In a surprise move that occurred during final budget negotiations, the White House supported a proposal by Rep. John P. Murtha (D–Pa.) to raise pensions back to the 50 percent level.
Republican leaders demurred, however, saying they wanted to study the issue at length via hearings next year. They also cited expense: The move could cost up to $3 billion over the next five years, depending on how cost-of-living increases are handled.
The disparities in retired pay are a major contributor to unrest in the ranks and poor retention levels, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The JCS Chairman, Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, recently told Congress about surveys showing that perceived inequity in retirement is one of the top three reasons people are leaving the service.
USAF Has New Operational Doctrine
The Air Force on Oct. 6 released a new operational doctrine for the Expeditionary Aerospace Force of the 21st century.
“Just as technology, world threats, and opportunities change, so must our doctrine,” wrote Chief of Staff Gen. Michael E. Ryan in the forward to Air Force Doctrine Document 2, “Organization and Employment of Aerospace Power.”
AFDD 2 follows release of AFDD 1, “Basic Air Force Doctrine,” in September 1997. It takes the aerospace power discussion to the next level of detail, said officials, describing how the service organizes and employs its forces at the operational level of war.
“This publication also outlines how to set up, plan, and execute Air Expeditionary Forces,” said Lt. Col. Bob Poyner, chief of the Aerospace Power Division at the Air Force Doctrine Center at Maxwell AFB, Ala.
AFDD 2 can be understood on its own, said officials, though reading AFDD 1 gives an understanding of terms used and a larger conceptual framework.
The effort to develop a new doctrine began at the behest of former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman after his long-range planning summit in 1996.
AEF Bombers Complete Mission
Three B-2s and three B-52s from the 2d Air Expeditionary Group completed a month-long training deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam, on Oct. 6. The Spirits returned to their home base of Whiteman AFB, Mo., while the Stratofortresses flew back to Barksdale AFB, La.
During their weeks on Guam, the 2d AEG aircraft flew 34 training missions and logged more than 350 flying hours. The bombers flew as far north as South Korea and as far east as Wake Island.
Repairs made to the B-2s during the AEF operation showed that stealth bombers can indeed be properly maintained away from home, said officials.
One B-2 suffered damage to some of its low observable tiles, while the other sustained relatively minor damage to its wing leading edge because of a static discharge.
Georges Hits Keesler
On Sept. 28, Hurricane Georges slammed squarely into Keesler AFB, Miss., after a destructive 10-day rampage across the Caribbean islands and the tip of Florida.
The base weather station recorded winds of 112 knots, with gusts over 149 knots. The slow pace of the storm—about five miles per hour—caused it to stall over Keesler, flooding the base and blocking area roadways.
No deaths or serious injuries were reported at the installation or nearby along the Gulf Coast.
Approximately 250 base housing units were rendered uninhabitable by wind and water damage, said Keesler officials. Base and community marina docks were destroyed, and electrical power was knocked out. Eight on-base shelters, including the Keesler Medical Center, protected evacuated personnel as the powerful storm passed by.
The unpredictable path of Georges caused the Air Force to move its military aircraft to safe havens across the southeastern United States.
At Keesler, Hurricane Hunters of Air Force Reserve Command’s 403d Wing were forced to fly nine of their 10 WC-130 storm tracking aircraft to Ellington Field, Texas. They also sent seven of the wing’s C-130Es to Little Rock AFB, Ark.
At Duke Field, near Eglin AFB, Fla., the 919th Special Operations Wing (AFRC) flew six MC-130s to Ft. Knox, Ky.
At NAS JRB New Orleans, La., the 926th Fighter Wing (AFRC) sent eight O/A-10s to Barksdale AFB.
At Homestead ARB, Fla., the 482d Fighter Wing (AFRC) sent its F-16s to Dobbins ARB, Ga. Also at Homestead, Det. 1 of the Air National Guard’s 125th Fighter Wing evacuated three F-16s to Jacksonville, Fla.
At MacDill AFB, Fla., four KC-135Rs were flown to McConnell AFB, Kan., and another one to Shaw AFB, S.C.
In the storm’s wake Air Force airlifters flew at least 150 missions delivering ice, generators, plastic sheeting, and other relief supplies throughout the affected area. Active, Guard, and Reserve airlifters also ferried medical personnel and supplies. Two North Carolina ANG C-130s transported nearly 100 patients from facilities in Key West and Marathon, Fla.
Phoenix Aviator 20 Takes Off
Oct. 1 marked the launch of a test program intended to keep pilots in the Air Force by making them more attractive to airlines at the end of their military careers.
The new Phoenix Aviator 20 effort will guarantee enrollees eligible to retire in 2001 a flying spot in the last two years of their career. In addition, it will provide up to $1,900 to pay for commercial pilot licenses, written tests, physicals, and other requirements for the transition from the military to the civilian world.
Behind PA20 lay the idea that the US pilot force is a national resource, not a focus of competition between airlines and the military, and should be managed as such.
“Revolutionary ideas are required to ensure the high standards of safety and security are preserved in our nation’s skies as America struggles to meet this pilot demand,” said USAF’s Chief of Staff, Gen. Michael E. Ryan.
A new PA20 office at the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph AFB, Texas, will serve as an information bridge between major airlines and retiring Air Force pilots.
Some pilots eligible to retire in 1999 or 2000 will also receive some transition assistance.
Modernization a Must, Chief Warns
The Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Michael E. Ryan, said that the Air Force has a balanced, time-phased modernization plan but that any further delays will boost costs and hurt readiness.
In written responses to readiness questions posed by Sen. John McCain (R–Ariz.), the Chief said that, in the near term of 1999, modernization priorities will be the C-17 and space launch ranges. From 2000 to 2002, bomber upgrades and precision guided missiles will be the emphasis. In 2004 and 2005, the F-22 and the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle will be among the priorities. Beyond that, the Airborne Laser and Joint Strike Fighter are scheduled to take up modernization money.
“Further delays in these modernization programs will continue to drive up the cost of supporting our current, aging weapons systems—jeopardizing readiness as costs rise within the constraints of topline funding,” wrote Ryan.
EELV Contracts Unveiled
On Oct. 16 the Air Force announced that it has picked two contractors to develop and build a new series of large rockets, the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle.
Boeing and Lockheed Martin were the EELV winners. Each will receive a $500 million contract for engineering and manufacturing development. Boeing will then conduct 19 launches, and Lockheed will have nine, said acting Secretary of the Air Force F. Whitten Peters.
“Having two domestic sources will reduce risk and provide assured access to space for both government and commercial payloads,” said an Air Force spokesman.
Launch sites will be both Cape Canaveral AS, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Launch activity is scheduled to begin in 2002.
The objective of the EELV program is to produce cutting-edge expendable launch systems cheaply after the turn of the century. It is meant to replace the current Delta, Atlas, and Titan fleet of medium and heavy launch rockets.
Standardization will be the EELV watchword, with a standard payload interface, standardized launchpads, and standard off-pad processing all helping shave an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion in costs over the life of the program, according to a senior DoD official.
DoD Opens Threat Reduction Agency
Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen announced Oct. 1 the establishment of a new arm of the federal government dedicated to protecting the US and its allies from weapons of mass destruction.
The new organization will be called the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
The new organization is composed of various old ones rolled together. The On-Site Inspection Agency, Defense Technology Security Administration, Defense Special Weapons Agency, and elements of the Secretary of Defense’s staff were all combined to produce DTRA.
DTRA will have about 2,100 employees and a budget of around $2 billion.
Though the idea for the agency came from a defense reform initiative that looked for ways to eliminate duplication and save money, funds for the agency are likely to increase in coming years, said officials.
“This is likely to be, and I’m sorry to say it, a growth industry in the Department of Defense—finding ways to mitigate the spread of dangerous technologies, finding ways to contain the proliferation of weapons to other countries, finding ways to lower the threat to the United States and to our allies” said Deputy Secretary of Defense John J. Hamre.
USAF Wants Weapon to Hit Chem, Bio Plants
The Air Force plans to spend $16 million over nearly four years to develop a conventional warhead tailored to destroy chemical and biological warfare production facilities.
The program could eventually lead to the production of 10 weapons for operational use, said a notice in the Sept. 9 Commerce Business Daily.
Air Force officials said that they want the new warhead to be compatible with a wide range of existing munitions, from the AGM-130 standoff weapon to the GBU-24 bomb. It is intended to create widespread physical damage to factories, said the CBD notice, while limiting collateral damage from released agents.
Neutralizing chemicals or high heat from incendiary blasts might be ways of reaching this goal, according to the Air Force, although several techniques may have to be combined before a satisfactory result is achieved.
USAF Announces Promotion Policy Change
The Air Force leadership has approved two changes in the Below-the-Promotion-Zone program for officers.
For majors, below-the-zone promotions will be eliminated. For lieutenant colonels, BPZ opportunities will be increased, beginning with 1999 boards.
The reason for the change is that too many young officers were spending too much time focusing on and worrying about BPZ chances.
Said Lt. Gen. Donald L. Peterson, USAF deputy chief of staff for personnel: “The problem is that even though the number of officers who get promoted BPZ to major each year is less than 2 percent of the eligibles, many officers have concluded, quite erroneously, that success as an Air Force officer can only be measured by BPZ promotion—and the earlier the better. … We need to refocus on what’s really important: development as officers in a career field.”
Before the change, up to 5 percent of the total positions available on the majors’ boards could go to Below-the-Promotion-Zone fast burners. Now the whole promotion quota will go to those in and above the promotion zone.
Up to 7.5 percent of the slots open to lieutenant colonel boards previously went to BPZ. That will now increase to 10 percent. The Below-the-Promotion-Zone allocation for colonel will remain at 15 percent.
THAAD Safe—For Now
Despite its string of test failures the Theater High Altitude Area Defense missile is not going to be killed—at least, not yet.
That is what Deputy Defense Secretary John J. Hamre told lawmakers who support the program in a meeting on THAAD’s future this fall.
The US indisputably has to have something with THAAD’s capability, said Hamre. The question is, what is the best way to obtain it
Defense officials are now studying three options for THAAD, Hamre said.
The first is to go ahead with the test program as planned and hope that more stringent ground examinations will prevent the glitches that have dogged past launches. The second is to build a new batch of test missiles, under more exacting quality control conditions. The third option is to meld THAAD with a Navy Theater Wide program, a seaborne high altitude missile defense effort, by developing a common interceptor.
Iran and Nuclear Weapons
Iran could be able to deliver nuclear weapons within five years, according to Marine Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, the senior US commander in the Persian Gulf region.
“If I were a betting man, I would say they are on track, [and] within five years they would have the capability,” said Zinni, who is commander in chief of US Central Command.
Zinni called worrisome Iran’s program to develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, particularly given India’s and Pakistan’s move into the nuclear club this year.
In addition, Iranians have learned from the Gulf War and developed an “asymmetrical” naval force that might be difficult for the US fleet to deal with, said Zinni. The revamped Iranian navy depends on fast-attack patrol boats, accurate anti-ship missiles, and mine-laying submarines.
In the long run Iran “will be a more significant problem than Iraq,” said Zinni.
While there are moderate elements in Iran, such as President Mohammad Khatami, hard-line elements in government continue to resist reforms, said Zinni in an Oct. 21 session with reporters.
“If hard-liners stay in charge, we’re going to see … a country that has weapon-of-mass-destruction capability, a country that still supports terrorism, a country with hard-liners and extremists in charge. That would be difficult,” said the USCENTCOM chief at a meeting with reporters.
On reported congressional plans to spend almost $100 million on military efforts by Iraqi exile groups, Zinni was less than enthusiastic. “I don’t see a lot of viability in the [Iraqi] opposition groups,” he said.
Two Die in F-15E Crash
Two officers from the 366th Wing, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, were killed Oct. 21 when the F-15E they were flying crashed near McDermitt, Nev., 80 miles southwest of the base.
They were Lt. Col. William E. Morel III and Capt. Jeffrey K. Fahnlander.
The aircraft was assigned to the 391st Fighter Squadron at Mountain Home. The officers were on a night flying training mission at the time.
A safety board is investigating the accident.
Lax Accounting Costs DoD
Loose accounting controls are costing the Pentagon millions in fraud and theft, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R–Iowa) said Sept. 27.
“It’s a story about the complete and utter breakdown of financial controls within the Department of Defense,” said Grassley.
Releasing a series of General Accounting Office studies on the subject, Grassley highlighted a case in which a low-level accountant at an Air Force base in Texas set up a dummy company, forged vouchers and certifications, and stole $2 million. Neighbors noticed his lavish lifestyle and turned him in.
Solutions, said Grassley, might include revising vendor payment system access levels and reducing the number of employees with access to the vendor payment system.
• On Oct. 1 the Confederate Air Force inducted the second set of honorees for the new American Combat Airman Hall of Fame. Inductees were Maj. Gen. John R. Alison, USAF (Ret.); Col. Rex T. Barber, USAF (Ret.); Brig. Gen. Robert E. Galer, USMC (Ret.); Maj. Jack Ilfrey, USAAF; Col. Walker “Bud” Mahurin, USAF (Ret.); Col. Robert K. Morgan, AFRES (Ret.); and Torpedo Squadron Eight Crew of TBF Avenger BuNo 00380. Unit recognition went to the American Volunteer Group.
• NASA turned 40 this year. Congress and President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Oct. 1, 1958, largely as a Cold War response to Soviet spaceflight progress.
• Vance AFB, Okla., recently played host to an Air Force first when the 71st Flying Training Wing became the service’s first wing to lease computers. The leased equipment, which includes laptops, servers, printers, and software, will provide greater standardization and more power than equipment purchased piecemeal, said officials.
• Nominee Richard Danzig was scheduled to take over as Secretary of the Navy from John H. Dalton at a Nov. 16 ceremony.
• A congressional cut of $25 million from the Airborne Laser’s requested budget of $292 million will result in delays of six months to a year in some parts of the weapon’s development, Col. Michael W. Booen, program director, said Oct. 1.
• On Oct. 5, Whiteman AFB personnel and the US Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services began efforts to move a roost of more than 100,000 blackbirds which threaten flying operations safety at the Missouri installation. The effort uses various nonlethal harassment efforts, such as propane cannons, pyrotechnics, sirens, horns, and distress-call tapes.
• The Defense Courier Service, which delivers highly classified material under physical escort, was reassigned to Air Mobility Command on Sept. 30. DCS had been under the wing of US Transportation Command since 1994.
• The Congressional Budget Office recommended canceling the DarkStar stealthy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and investing more money in Global Hawk long-range UAVs in a report released during the first week of October.
• Firebee drones, outfitted with sensors and other equipment already in the Air Force inventory, could be an effective in-theater defense against attacks by cruise missiles, according a study done for the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
• The May 13 crash of an F-16C from the 185th Fighter Wing (ANG), Sioux City MAP, Iowa, was caused when five American White Pelicans struck the aircraft, according to a newly released accident report. The plane’s pilot, Lt. Col. David E. Lundquist, ejected safely but sustained major injuries from the impact of the birds.
• Two F-4Fs from Holloman AFB, N.M., collided in midair while on a training mission Oct. 14. Aircrew from one aircraft ejected safely. The other aircraft landed safely at Holloman.
• On Oct. 19, the Supreme Court declined to hear arguments against the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on homosexuals. It was the fourth time the nation’s highest court has rejected such a request.
• The Air Force has determined that several 55th Wing support functions at Offutt AFB, Neb., qualify for conversion to all-civilian workforces. The wing is studying 1,609 positions in civil engineering, transportation, and supply, among other work centers, with a conversion goal of early 2001.
• On Sept. 29, 30 House members sent President Clinton a letter urging him to remove the “acting” from acting Air Force Secretary F. Whitten Peters’ job title. “Mr. President, our Air Force needs a leader. In acting Secretary Peters they already have a good one. We respectfully request you nominate him quickly to serve as Secretary of the Air Force,” said the letter.
• Due to declining costs, the cash clothing replacement allowance used by enlisted personnel to defray uniform expenses has been lowered. The basic allowance (for members with three years of service or less) is now $187.20 annually for men and $212.40 for women.
• The US military does not need all the C-130s that Congress forces it to buy, said Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen in a letter to Congress this fall. Seven such planes were added to the budget this year, over DoD objections, at a cost of some $400 million.
Clark M. Clifford, Secretary of Defense at height of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, died Oct. 10 at his Bethesda, Md., home. He was 91.
Born in Kansas and educated in St. Louis, the smooth power lawyer virtually defined the role of Washington insider for more than four decades. He began his long association with power as a young White House naval aide in 1944. He became a speechwriter and later special counsel for President Harry S. Truman and helped articulate the Truman Doctrine of resistance to communist expansion in Greece and Turkey. He later served as personal lawyer to President John F. Kennedy, defense chief to President Lyndon B. Johnson, and trusted advisor to President Jimmy Carter.
He said he was proudest of his efforts to extricate the US from Vietnam when he ran DoD after Robert S. McNamara’s departure in late 1968 and until Johnson left office in early 1969.
Retired Col. Glenn E. Duncan, a World War II Army Air Forces ace, died in Niceville, Fla., July 14.
During World War II, Duncan served as commander of 353d Fighter Group, based in Britain. He is credited with 19.5 kills of airborne German aircraft and destruction of nine planes on the ground. Shot down over Germany during a low-level attack, he made it to Holland and safety without being captured.
|On Gulf Duty
When he declared, on Nov. 11, that the United States “must be prepared to act” against defiant Iraq, President Clinton authorized a new Persian Gulf buildup that was conspicuously top-heavy with airpower.
Defense Secretary William S. Cohen signed a deployment order sending 98 land-based warplanes—70 of them USAF aircraft—to the Gulf. There, the Air Force aircraft would join an already large USAF force bedded down in a number of Gulf states.
Sent as a unit was an entire USAF Air Expeditionary Force. It comprised six B-1B heavy long-range bombers; 12 F-16CJ defense suppression aircraft; 12 F-15C/D air superiority fighters; and 12 F-16C multirole fighters.
Also sent to bulk up the USAF presence were:
¦ 12 F-117 stealth fighters.
¦ 12 B-52H long-range, heavy bombers.
¦ Four F-16CJ defense suppression craft.
Included in this wave of deploying aircraft were two Navy EA-6B jammers and 12 Marine F/A-18 multirole fighters. Additionally, 41 support aircraft—37 fixed-wing and four rotary-wing—deployed.
Some 3,000 additional Army soldiers went to the region, as did an additional Navy aircraft carrier and Marine amphibious group. New Patriot air-defense units and personnel and a light infantry battalion also went.
Addressing a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Clinton explained the deployments in this way:
“A failure to respond could embolden [Saddam] Hussein to act recklessly, signaling to him that he can, with impunity, develop these weapons of mass destruction or threaten his neighbors. … [And it] would permanently damage the credibility of the UN Security Council to act as a force for promoting international peace and security.”
Ritter vs. Albright
The years-long effort by the international community to strip Iraq of its capability to make weapons of mass destruction foundered and was no longer effective, according to Scott Ritter, the former UN official entrusted with the job.
A desire by US officials to placate allies who did not wish to confront Iraq was just one major reason why UN weapons inspection teams lost their edge, said Ritter, former weapons inspector for the UN Special Commission, at a meeting with reporters Sept. 16. Ritter resigned his position in August rather than continue to take part in activities he deemed a charade.
US and allied officials said they “want to achieve disarmament of Iraq,” said Ritter. “What [they] are doing is not achieving this.”
Ritter’s resignation sparked a debate which, among other things, highlighted the Clinton Administration’s unannounced change in policy toward Saddam Hussein.
Earlier this year, the White House threatened Iraq with attack when it blocked UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) inspectors from full and free access to suspected weapon sites. Dozens of US aircraft and thousands of troops were diverted to the Gulf region to back up that threat.
Saddam backed down and agreed to access demands—or at least said he would. But the crisis showed both him and the US that France, Germany, Russia, and other key nations were weary of confrontation and had no desire to see cruise missiles fly over the Iraqi desert again.
Rather than convince its friends of the need to back up threats with force, the US adopted an unannounced policy of avoiding brinkmanship. On a number of occasions, intervention from Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright or other top US aides scuttled UNSCOM surprise inspections, charged Ritter.
In response, Iraq started blocking inspector work. On Sept. 1, Iraqi officials barred inspectors from a location where they have previously tagged missile parts and stored them for observation. Baghdad then halted all cooperation with UNSCOM on Oct. 30.
UNSCOM was “hobbled by unfettered Iraqi obstruction and nonexistent Security Council enforcement of its own resolutions,” said Ritter.
Albright and defenders of the Administration, clearly stung by the charges, attempted to respond. Ritter, they said, was a low-level worker who did not understand all the dynamics policy-makers had to face. In the words of Albright, Ritter didn’t “have a clue about what our overall policy has been.”
Top officials had more to consider than whether “old Scotty-boy didn’t get in” to a suspected weapon site, said Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D–Del.) in one memorable comment.
The White House, however, acknowledged the shift in Iraqi policy—what one high official called a “tactical” alteration in approach. They admitted attempts to influence the pace of UNSCOM inspections.
“We did it in order to have the greatest chance of overcoming Iraqi efforts at deception,” said Martin S. Indyk, Albright’s top Mideast deputy.
Ritter said his resignation from UNSCOM and subsequent public appearances were meant to spark discussion about the implications of the UN’s new approach to Iraq.
New details emerged from his efforts, including intelligence information indicating that Iraq built three or four nuclear implosion devices which lacked only a core of fissile material to become atomic weapons—and that Iraq used vehicles painted as Baghdad ice cream trucks to move weapon contraband during the day.
Ritter also said that Saddam Hussein had some success in rebuilding his air force.
They flew more sorties in late 1998 than they did prior to the Gulf War, the former inspector told reporters.
All the fixed-wing aircraft in the Iraqi inventory—such as MiG-29s, Mirage F-1s, SU-27s—were flying, he said. Sorties were limited to takeoffs and landings, with a few maneuvers in the middle, and did not venture beyond central Iraq.
“They have spare parts and maintenance and they’ve got these planes at the point where they can take off and land. Does that say the sanctions are working? I say it’s a failure of sanctions,” said Ritter.
|New Defense Review Panel Gets Started
The Pentagon announced Oct. 13 the formation of the new National Security Study Group. Headed by former US Sens. David Boren (D–Okla.) and Warren Rudman (R–N.H.), and known informally as the Boren–Rudman Commission, the panel will aim to develop an appropriate US national security strategy for the first quarter of the 21st century.
The effort is expected to take two and a half years. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen announced the formation and first meeting of the panel.
Plans call for the Boren–Rudman panel to submit three reports. They are to:
¦Determine the global security environment of the first quarter of the 21st century.
¦Analyze the character of the nation during that period and develop an appropriate national security strategy.
¦Recommend alternatives to the current national security apparatus and processes to implement the new strategy.
Invited to participate as members of the Boren–Rudman Commission are:
Stephen Ambrose, historian.
Anne Armstrong, former US ambassador to Britain and head of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
Norman Augustine, former chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin.
Lynne Cheney, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Bud Dancy, former NBC White House and diplomatic correspondent.
John Galvin, retired US Army general and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
Leslie Gelb, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Gary Hart, former senator from Colorado.
Lee Hamilton, retiring congressman from Indiana.
Lionel Olmer, former undersecretary of commerce and member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
Donald Rice, former Secretary of the Air Force.
Henry Schacht, director and senior advisor to Lucent Technologies.
James Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense and former CIA director.
Harry Train, retired US Navy admiral and former commander of NATO Atlantic forces.
Pete Wilson, retiring governor of California.
Andrew Young, former US ambassador to the United Nations.
Executive director is Gen. Chuck Boyd, USAF (Ret.).
Slow Down to Speed Up
The following comes from Air Force Doctrine Document 2-2, “Space Operations,” released Aug. 23, 1998.
“It sounds odd, but it is true for a satellite in orbit. How quickly a satellite circles the Earth is determined only by its altitude—high altitude circuits take longer to complete than low ones. Any attempt to ‘speed up’ a satellite by applying more thrust will only push the spacecraft out to a higher orbit, thus increasing the orbital period (the time it takes to circumnavigate the globe).
“To shorten the orbital period, the satellite must be allowed to fall into a lower orbit, which requires braking (usually by firing a propulsion motor in the direction of flight). Satellites in Low Earth Orbit will complete more frequent revolutions around the Earth but cannot ‘linger’ over any particular point. To cause a satellite to appear to stand still when seen from the Earth requires pushing the craft out to Geostationary Earth Orbit—a geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles directly above the equator (a difficult proposition in terms of fuel costs).
“Satellites that orbit at that altitude but are not directly above the equator will appear to make figure eights from center lines over the equator. The 24-hour orbital period of any geosynchronous orbit corresponds precisely with the time it takes the Earth to rotate once on its axis.”
Trouble Time in the Tank
The fall of 1998 was not an easy time for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Powerful members of Congress all but accused the top uniformed officials of the US military of lying to them about the state of armed forces readiness earlier this year. Meanwhile, reports that the service chiefs were not in the loop when it came to picking potential strike targets in Afghanistan and Sudan raised painful memories of the White House–directed bombing campaigns of the Vietnam War.
The furor over US readiness centered on the relatively upbeat reports the chiefs gave to Congress in testimony earlier this year. At that time, JCS Chairman Army Gen. Hugh Shelton said, “We are fundamentally healthy.” Gen. Michael E. Ryan, head of the Air Force, told a Senate panel that “we think we have the right balance” between readiness, modernization, and operations spending. The other chiefs gave similar assessments.
This fall, only a few months later, the chiefs were telling a different story. After a summit with Administration officials to lay out readiness concerns, Shelton spoke for all of them when he testified that “our forces are showing increasing signs of serious wear.”
Several senators complained that the chiefs must have known that readiness was a problem in the spring, and that by waiting to announce that fact they had made it impossible to fix it within the normal budget process.
“This is an almost Orwellian experience for me,” said Sen. John McCain (R–Ariz.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a leader of the critical lawmaker group. “Last February … you came before this committee and gave a dramatically different view of readiness and the requirements that the military needs to maintain our capabilities.”
The nation’s military leaders, for their part, denied that they had kept quiet about developing problems. Readiness trend lines worsened considerably during 1998, said JCS chief Shelton. He said that the fundamental conclusion presented earlier in the year—that the military remains fully capable of executing the national military strategy—still stands.
“With an acceptable risk,” added Shelton, “the risk having gone up.”
With respect to Afghanistan and Sudan, the service chiefs appeared to have been deprived of any substantial role, informal or otherwise, in the choice of possible bombing targets or the weapons and tactics to be used in the attacks, according to news reports.
Traditionally, top defense officials would present a range of target options for the White House to choose from, but this procedure has been circumvented. Pentagon officials complain that this has led to some poor decisions, such as mismatches between the type of warheads assigned to some targets and the type of blast necessary to destroy them.
On this issue, former naval aviator McCain weighed in on the side of the uniformed military. “If it’s true, it’s very disturbing,” he said.
|Senior Staff Changes
CHANGES: Brig. Gen. Craig R. Cooning, from Dir., Contracting, AFMC, Wright–Patterson AFB, Ohio, to Prgm. Dir., MILSATCOM Jt. Prgm. Office, AF Prgm. Executive Office, Asst. SECAF for Acq., Los Angeles AFB, Calif. … Brig. Gen. Paul W. Essex, from Cmdr., 92d ARW, AMC, Fairchild AFB, Wash., to Dep. Dir., Reaction Force, Allied Central Europe, NATO, Kalkar, Germany … Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Sovey, from Prgm. Dir., MILSATCOM Jt. Prgm. Office, Asst. SECAF for Acq., Los Angeles AFB, Calif., to Dir., Special Projects, SECAF, Pentagon … Brig. Gen. Bruce A. Wright, from Cmdr., 35th FW, PACAF, Misawa AB, Japan, to Dep. Dir., Info. Ops., Pentagon.
SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE CHANGES: Lawrence B. Henry Jr., to Dep. Administrative Asst., Office of the Administrative Asst., Pentagon … Patricia Kirk–McAlpine, to Dir., Contracting, SMC, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.