Daily Report

Feb. 26, 2016

It’s Going to be Ugly

The long preoccupation with counterinsurgency in the Middle East and Southwest Asia—attended by long under-investment in full-spectrum readiness and modernization—has exacted a price on the Air Force, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh said in his speech at AWS16....

USAF: Spelled, “LDHD”

Although it used to be that only certain missions in the Air Force were “low density, high demand”—notably combat rescue, special operations, remotely piloted aircraft operators, etc.—now it’s the whole service, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said during his...

Checking Off F-35A IOC Boxes

Lockheed Martin’s in the home stretch of providing the assets needed for the Air Force to declare initial operational capability with the F-35A in the August-December timeframe, company program manager Jeff Babione told reporters at AWS16. “They do need a...

The Homeless Mission

The Air Force needs to find a proper home for electronic warfare, said retired Gen. Larry Welch during AWS16 on Thursday. “One of the biggest problems with electronic warfare is that we don’t know who owns it, where it fits....

Fighter Escort Services

Air Combat Command is looking at unmanned “escort” platforms as well as the “arsenal plane” concept and smaller, more effective munitions to put more firepower in the hands of fifth generation pilots operating deep behind enemy lines, Air Combat Command...

Legacy C-130s Ready to Re-AMP

The cancelled C-130 Avionics Modernization Program is relaunching as a two-phase upgrade to bring legacy C-130Hs in compliance with airspace regulations, followed by later cockpit enhancements. “We’ve got the plans and money already programed” to begin AMP I, Air Mobility...

LRS-B Drives New Bomber Roadmap

Global Strike Command boss Gen. Robin Rand will brief an updated bomber roadmap to Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh and the heads of the other major commands within a month, Rand said in a press conference at AWS16. The...

Ghostrider Testing Takes a Knee

Developmental testing of the next generation AC-130J Ghostrider gunship has been suspended until the first 105 mm gun-armed aircraft is delivered, Air Force Materiel Command boss Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski said. After reviewing the original C-130J flight test data after the...

Re-engining, the Future of Airlift

C-5M Super Galaxy upgrades have proven so successful at enhancing the airlifter’s reach, reliability, and efficiency that Air Mobility Command is considering similar, future upgrades to aircraft such as the C-17 and C-130. “We’re looking at all aspects … fuel...

B-52s to the AOR

The Air Force will deploy B-52 Stratofortresses to take the fight to ISIS in the spring, placing bombers back in the US Central Command area of responsibility, service officials said. B-52s will deploy in April to take part in Operation...

Increasing Airstrikes in Afghanistan

The new rules of engagement in Afghanistan have led to a dramatic increase in US airstrikes in Afghanistan, targeting ISIS on a regular basis and putting up sortie numbers higher than recent years in that country. President Obama in December...

Russia Wanted US CSAR

While the memorandum of understanding between the US and Russia was debated and agreed on for flight safety between the two countries during the operation in Syria, Russia has pressed for more. The country asked the US to assist with...

‘Mutual Respect’ Over Syria

While Russia’s operations in Syria have largely avoided their stated goal of attacking ISIS and the country has served largely as a “distraction,” both it and the US have been able to stay professional and keep a “mutual respect” to...

Just Say No to Cost-Plus Contracts

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that he will staunchly oppose a cost-plus contract for the Long-Range Strike Bomber, despite the fact that the Air Force has already awarded Northop Grumman the bomber contract, and the Government Accountability Office has...

Tracking Airpower in the AOR

Lt. Gen. Charles Q. Brown, commander of US Air Forces Central Command, keeps a chart in his office at al Udeid AB, Qatar, that he calls an EKG chart. The lines go up and down, like a heart monitor, tracking...

Compensation Concerns

The Air Force has had to make “resource-constrained decisions” rather than desirable decisions on compensation, CMSAF James Cody said Thursday at AWS16. When Cody visits airmen throughout the force, compensation is always a topic of discussion and concern, he said,...

F-16 AESA Upgrade Recompetes

The Air Force is reopening competition to replace the F-16’s legacy radar with a new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, Air Combat Command boss Gen. Hawk Carlisle said Wednesday. The FY17 budget request supports NORAD and US Northern Command...

Transparency for T-X

The Air Force has responded to about 300 questions from industry on the design for the next-generation T-X fighter, an unprecedented level of communication between the Air Force and contractors even before a formal request is submitted, Air Education and...

The Mobility Red Flag

Air Mobility Command will hold its new, highest-level training exercise in August 2017. It’s planned to be a large-scale, international, scenario-driven event that aims to become the Red Flag for mobility crews. AMC decided to redesign its main training event...

Laser Focused on National Defense

Lt. Gen. William Etter, commander of 1st Air Force (Air Force North), has challenged the directed energy community to demonstrate a new laser-assisted imaging system that will extend the range and shorten the timelines for positive identification of potential threats...

Digging Deep

The Air Force wants to make sure it maintains its close air support capability and culture well into the future even as it transitions more aircraft and units to a multi-purpose mission set, said Maj. Gen. Thomas Deale, director of...

A New Way to Do Close Air Support

The F-35 strike fighter “is going to be incredible” in the close air support role, but it won’t do it the same way as the A-10, said Maj. Gen. Thomas Deale, director of operations at Air Combat Command Headquarters, during...

Sensor to Trigger in One Challenging Step

Turning data into targets must become quicker to sustain the Air Force’s advantage in future combat, Air Combat Command boss Gen. Hawk Carlisle said, speaking at AWS16 on Wednesday. “A future? that I could see would be automatically generated air...

Northrop Demonstrates Global Hawk Payload Adapter

Northrop Grumman in February demonstrated its Universal Payload Adapter by flying two flights with a Senior Year Electro-Optical Reconnaissance System (SYERS)-2 intelligence gathering sensor strapped to a Block 30 Global Hawk, a move toward creating one fleet of the unmanned...

Afghan Air Force On Right Path

The air training mission in Afghanistan is going well despite some “fits and starts,” the commander of US Air Forces Central Command said Thursday at AWS16. The effort to build the Afghan air force started late, but “right now I...

Filling the Need for RPA Pilots

The Air Force has doubled the number of pilots training to fly remotely piloted aircraft and is on track to graduate 290 students by the end of 2016 with a goal of graduating 384 RPA pilots by the end of...

Spreading RPA Understanding

The Air Force is still fighting a lack of understanding of remotely piloted aircraft, including safety and capabilities inside host nations across US Central Command, an issue that has impacted operations at times. The biggest issue facing the deployed remotely...

Targeting ISIS Morale

ISIL has changed the way it operates since the beginning of Operation Inherent Resolve as a result of coalition strikes against it, the commander of US Air Forces Central Command said Thursday. “Before, I don’t think they understood airpower. Now...