Daily Report

Nov. 4, 2009

Long-Range Planning

While the Pentagon vacillates on acquiring a new bomber, Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) and Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) are trying to focus attention on the issue by establishing a new bipartisan Congressional Caucus on the Long Range Strike Bomber. The new group will be “dedicated to maintaining and strengthening” the bomber force and “educating other members” on the need for a new generation of bombers “as an intrinsic part of the national defense apparatus,” they wrote in an Oct. 26 letter registering the caucus. Guam hosts Andersen Air Force Base, a major bomber hub in the Pacific. And Fleming’s district in Louisiana includes Barksdale Air Force Base, home to a B-52 wing and 8th Air Force, which oversees the nuclear-capable bomber force. Bordallo and Fleming are now beginning to reach out to other House members to join the group, Fleming spokesperson Amy Jones told the Daily Report Tuesday.

KC-X Appeal

A bipartisan group of 39 House members sent a letter to President Obama on Monday urging him to factor the “illegal” launch subsidies that Airbus has reportedly received from European governments for its A330 aircraft into deliberations over USAF’s KC-X tanker competition. Otherwise, they warn, Airbus’ parent company EADS, which is paired with Northrop Grumman in bidding for KC-X, would be able to submit “a reduced bid price” for its A330-based tanker that “would not otherwise be economically viable.” Without saying so explicitly, they imply that this would place rival Boeing’s tanker offering at a disadvantage. It would also be “injurious” to the US economy and national security industrial base, they argue. The group is led by Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), and Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), in whose states Boeing has a significant presence. Continue

B-2 Unit Passes Inspection

Air Combat Command inspectors gave the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo., an “excellent” rating after a 12-day nuclear operational readiness inspection that concluded Oct. 23. The rating means that the wing, USAF’s sole B-2 bomber unit, remains certified...

An Air Guard First

Fielding the C-27J transport is significant for the Air National Guard because it represents the first time that a new airframe will be “solely owned, operated, and maintained” by Air Guard aircrews, says Lt. Col. Chris Beckman, ANG aviation planning...

Bayou Kudos

More than 400 airmen from Barksdale AFB, La., worked tirelessly around the clock starting Oct. 31 to help local officials in northern Bossier Parish reinforce a levee meant to contain the Red Chute Bayou against rising waters that had surged nearly 10 feet above normal levels after severe storms ravaged northwest Louisiana. The airmen filled sandbags and hauled them to the affected areas along the bayou to prevent the floodwaters from overtaking local residences. “I want to extend my sincere gratitude [to the airmen] for their dedication and work during this natural disaster,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), in whose district Bossier Parish and Barksdale lie, in a floor speech Monday. He said their efforts prove “once again, why the United States military is the greatest assemblage of outstanding men and women in the world.” (Includes Bossier City report by Maj. Carie A. Parker)

Warthog Goes Synthetic

The Air Force has completed test flights of the A-10 operating with the synthetic fuel blend that it wants its entire aircraft inventory cleared to use by early next decade. Derek Kaufman, spokesman for Air Force Materiel Command, confirmed this...

End of an Era at Ramstein

The last C-130E transport assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein AB, Germany, left the base for good on Monday, marking a historic step in the unit’s transition to the new C-130J model. This C-130E, with tail number 1299,...

Seeking More RPV Pilots

USAF wants combat systems officers—lieutenants through majors—to fly remotely piloted vehicles. Those airmen who qualify have until Nov. 20 to volunteer. Those who are selected will be notified in December and begin training in January. Once trained, they “will possess...

For Authorized Listeners Only

Boeing announced Tuesday that it has delivered upgraded cryptography devices for the nation’s Minuteman III ICBMs. This equipment, which will be installed at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., Malmstrom AFB, Mont., and Minot AFB, N.D., will provide enhanced communications security between...

No Deal

The Air Force announced Tuesday that it has terminated negotiations with a private commercial developer to build a waste-water treatment facility at Beale AFB, Calif., under the Defense Department’s enhanced use lease initiative. “Business developments and market conditions” occurring after Beale Community Partners, LLC, was selected in March for this leasing opportunity “caused steep reductions in the returns the Air Force was to realize from the project,” the service said in a release. Those reductions, it noted, coupled with “other aspects” of the proposed development, drove the decision. Air Force spokesman Gary Strasbourg told the Daily Report Tuesday that “at this point, there are no known plans for any future development,” when asked if the service would seek another potential leasing partner. The Air Force began the talks with BCP in June. The treatment facility would have serviced the communities surrounding Beale.

Air Sorties in SWA 10-27-09

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, Oct. 27, 2009 Sortie Type OIF OEF OIF/OEF Total YTD ISR 27 28 55 13,879 CAS/Armed Recon 10 62 72 29,178 Airlift 140 140 40,125 Air refueling 42 42 14,398 Total 309 97,580 OIF=Operation Iraqi...