Daily Report

Sept. 19, 2011

What Are the Choices?

The Air Force can’t really give up any of its core missions, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told reporters Monday. Although it is definitely looking to make some vertical budget cuts, “we need to be prepared to do all” the...

Safe … and Out?:

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley outlined the boundaries of what capabilities and programs are off limits to wholesale budget cuts in his keynote address Monday. Those that USAF will “safeguard” include the F-35, the KC-46 tanker, the nuclear TRIAD, the...

Everything Is on the Table

Ever single line item under the budget remains under heavy review, as the Defense Department and the rest of the federal government look to shave costs and reduce the nation’s debt, said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley at AFA’s Air...

Protecting Airmen and USAF Core Capabilities

The next few years are going to be tough, but Air Force and Defense Department leadership are committed to protecting airmen, their families, and the service’s core capabilities, said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. To achieve the reductions outlined in...

F-22 Coming Back

The F-22’s oxygen-generating problems continue to defy a massive scientific assault, but the Scientific Advisory Board, which is exploring the issue, is proposing a return-to-flight plan likely to be implemented in the coming week or two, sources told the Daily...

AETC Boss Says T-X a Matter of Balance

Competitors are already unveiling offers for the anticipated T-X competition, but Air Education and Training Command’s Gen. Edward Rice told reporters at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Monday that although USAF does need a T-38 trainer replacement, there will have...

Rice on Austerity and Flying Hours

In light of cost curbs and efficiencies first put forward under former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Air Education and Training Command has made several adjustments to operations, trimming funds for recruiting advertising and marketing, combining certain developmental education efforts,...

Changing the Space Composition

Military space capability of the future likely will rely less on constellations of sophisticated military-specific satellites and more on some level of simplified military spacecraft coupled with supplemental on-orbit capability like payloads hosted on commercial satellites, said Lt. Gen. Ellen...

Transition to Producibility

The Space and Missile Systems Center, USAF’s space acquisition organization, has shifted its focus from developing new satellites, to producing them efficiently and filling out planned constellations of new capability, said Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, SMC commander, Monday at AFA’s...

F-35 Completes Static Structural Testing

The F-35 program office has completed static structural testing—conducted over the last two years by Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, and the F-35 Joint Program Office—as a means to verify the structural integrity of the airframe and to ensure...

Grand Forks Brings Home the BACN

The Air Force is shifting remote-ground control of Global Hawk battlefield airborne communication nodes to Grand Forks AFB, N.D. “The ground segment shelters have actually been relocated … [and] the first couple of missions [have flown] already out of Grand...

Radar Sharing

Northrop Grumman has begun incorporating software modes from the F-35 strike fighter’s APG-81 AESA radar into its Scaleable Agile Beam Radar design, said Dave Wallace, head of the company’s F-16 program development. Briefing reporters Monday at AFA’s Air & Space...

And What About R&D?:

The Air Force is going to have to get “a lot more disciplined about what we transition from basic science and R&D to development,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told the Daily Report following Secretary Michael Donley’s...

SAC-D Weighs In

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel said it remains concerned that the concurrency in the developmental testing and production of the F-35 strike fighter could necessitate costly upgrades to early production aircraft later on, and ultimately might jeopardize the future...

Maintaining the Total Force

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said the Total Force will continue to remain a priority even as the service moves into a contentious budget environment. Today, 58 percent of combat forces are on active duty, but 42 percent are Air...

Dealing With China

Dealing with China: The F-35 will be the linchpin in deterring China, said defense consultant Edward Timperlake, speaking at AFA’s Air & Space Conference at National Harbor, Md., Monday afternoon. The F-35’s intel sharing capability will provide the “glue” that...

LightSquaring a Circle?

LightSquared’s proposed terrestrial broadband wireless network threatens the viability of the Global Positioning System signal for military, civil, and commercial users in the United States, said Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, last week. “Based on the...

Grand Forks Receives Its First Global Hawk

The Air Force’s first operational RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 40 remotely piloted aircraft touched down at Grand Forks AFB, N.D., its new home. “The arrival of the first operational Global Hawk to Grand Forks is great news, and reaffirms the...

Too Much Thrust?

The second test flight of the Air Force’s X-51A hypersonic test vehicle was hampered by too much pressure inside the combustion chamber, said program manager Charlie Brink. Speaking at a House Aerospace Caucus lunch last week on Capitol Hill, Brink...

Preserving Science and Technology

The National Reconnaissance Office launched six satellites in the last seven months, said Bruce Carlson, who heads the organization. “Though that’s not a record by any means, they were pretty complex satellites and that’s the best we’ve done in about...

Fraser Inducted in Order of the Sword

Air Combat Command’s enlisted corps inducted Gen. William Fraser into the Order of the Sword, recognizing his outstanding leadership and support of enlisted members during the two years that he led the command at JB Langley-Eustis, Va. “Tonight, I really...

Twenty Candles on a Palletized Cake

Boeing’s C-17 prototype, T-1, last week re-created its maiden flight in a ceremony at the company’ production plant in Long Beach Calif., 20 years to the day of its first sortie. “The first flight of T-1 ushered in a new...

An Even-Greater Giant Leap

NASA unveiled plans for its next-generation manned launch system that would be capable of propelling humans into deep space to explore Mars and the expanse beyond. Dubbed Space Launch System, the prototype launch vehicle would be the largest and most...

AFRL Eyes Boosted Bunker Buster

The Air Force Research Lab has reached out to industry to come up with ideas for a new bunker buster bomb. AFRL officials describe the High Velocity Penetrating Weapon Flagship Capability Concept as a 2,000-pound-class air-delivered weapon that the F-35...

How Big Safari Armed Predator

AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies has released Predator’s Big Safari (caution, large-sized file), a paper that charts the vision and creativity that ultimately transformed the Predator remotely piloted aircraft from “an ISR platform of limited utility into a revolutionary...

Record Number of Athletes Compete in Air Force Marathon

Lt. Col. Mark Cucuzzella, an Air Force Reserve medical officer in Shepherdstown, W.V., won the 2011 Air Force marathon, held Saturday in Dayton, Ohio, with a time of two hours, 38 minutes, and 48 seconds. Capt. Sarah Thomas of Fairview...