Daily Report

Sept. 20, 2011

Or Die Trying

The US is going to have less of an Air Force, but what there is will not be “hollow,” Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said Tuesday. In his headliner speech at AFA’s Air & Space Conference, Schwartz said that...

Expect to Pay More

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz warned Tuesday that personnel costs are “simply … not sustainable,” and the service is having to carefully weigh changes in compensation and benefits as part of its cost-cutting program. In his speech...

Do You Have Protection?

Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force Chief of Staff, said that in figuring out what must be protected in the budget-cutting now underway, four areas will be fenced off from large-scale elimination. They are: control of air, space, and cyberspace; global...

ACC Lifts F-22 Flight Restrictions

Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command, has formally lifted the flying ban for the F-22 fleet. We reported Monday that implementation of a return-to-flight plan was imminent. Hostage said in a release posted late Monday by ACC, “I’m...

Air Commando to Receive Air Force Cross

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley has approved the Air Force Cross for SSgt. Robert Gutierrez’s “extraordinary valor in the face of a determined enemy” in Afghanistan in 2009, announced Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz at AFA’s Air & Space...

Air Guard Steps Up When Needed

Air National Guard units provide an incredible amount of experience and capability for a fraction of the cost of comparable active duty organizations, something which needs to be reemphasized in the upcoming budget cutting and restructuring, ANG Director Lt. Gen....

Need Savings? Let’s Tweak Some Things

Air Guard Director Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt told the crowd Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference there are a few areas of policy that could be tweaked to make the Guard better able to respond to federal responsibilities. Air...

When Less is Not Just Less

As the nation weighs the future composition of its nuclear deterrent force, it’s important to remember that reductions in numbers of warheads and platforms can change the whole decision calculus of potential adversaries, Maj. Gen. William Chambers, assistant chief of...

Industrial Policy Needed

Given the “draconian” cuts that seem to be in the offing for aerospace research and production alike, a national defense industrial base policy is urgently needed, according to Fred Downey of the Aerospace Industries Association. “We’re not well postured” for...

Temporal Disconnect

The cycles of obtaining and fielding defense capabilities are out of sync, and this is one of the challenges in creating relevant and affordable new programs, according to Neal Kacena of Lockheed’s Skunkworks. In an industry panel discussion at AFA’s...

The “Chasm of Death”

Neal Kacena of Lockheed’s Skunk Works warns that huge cuts in aerospace research and development falls hardest on programs—and their designers—working in areas midway between “good idea” and fielded capability, or technology readiness levels 5 to 7. Spending only on...

Where Boeing’s Investing

James Dodd, VP of Boeing’s advanced military aircraft, said the company is concentrating its research and development money in seven areas. They are data fusion, electronic warfare and cyber capabilities, precision navigation, directed energy, multiple autonomous vehicle operations, hypersonics, and...

Seamless Integration

Finding the balance among the three components of the Air Force—active duty, Reserve, and Air National Guard—will be critical as the service continues looking for new efficiencies and ways to trim its overall budget, said Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner, head...

Advocating Airpower

Airpower offers one of the most flexible and appropriate capabilities to cope with rising world threats, David Ochmanek, deputy assistant secretary of defense for force development, said Monday during a panel discussion at AFA’s Air & Space Conference at National...

Better Airdrop Accuracy and Delivery Tools Sought

Through numerous contingency operations over the last few years, Air Mobility Command airmen have come across some areas to improve—particularly in the many airdrop and relief operations they’ve been tasked with. One new concept under development is the so-called “hope...

Demand for Air Mobility “Insatiable”

A busy 2010 that featured redeployment of thousands of forces from Iraq to Afghanistan, the Haiti relief operation, and more morphed into an equally busy 2011 as new contingencies created an “insatiable” demand for air mobility, said Air Mobility Command’s...

Airdrop Explosion Making the Difference

Air Mobility Command’s airlifters have been busy in Southwest Asia, and there appears to be no letup to the demand for airdrop in Afghanistan, Gen. Raymond Johns, commander of Air Mobility Command, told attendees at AFA’s Air & Space Conference...

Neighborhood Watch

The Air Force is moving forward with plans to assess the utility of placing sensors on satellites in order to help operators gauge what’s going on around the spacecraft, Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, Space and Missile Systems Center commander, told...

Almost There

The first Advanced High Frequency Satellite is nearing completion of its journey to its intended operational orbit, said Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, Space and Missile Systems Center commander. “We are getting very, very close at this point,” she told reporters...

No Down Time for Air Commandos

Operational tempo and personnel numbers remain the two biggest problems facing Air Force Special Operations Command, said CMSgt. Bill Turner, AFSOC command chief. “There is no relief in sight for ops temp,” said Turner Monday during AFA’s Air & Space...

It’s Not Your Grandfather’s Air Force Reserve

The Air Force Reserve is not the same garrisoned force that existed during World War II and the command’s senior leadership wants to make sure it stays that way. The Reserve is no longer the old strategic reserve that surged...

Getting Boomers off their Bellies

Far from prostrate in the bowels of a KC-135, boom operators on next generation KC-46A tankers will work from the comfort of a highly realistic simulated workstation near the cockpit, Mike Jones, Rockwell Collins’ transport and tanker director told the...

A Tanker’s View of the World

A cockpit flight-display on USAF’s future KC-46 tanker will simultaneously show aircrew vital data from other aircraft, command centers on the ground, and sensors—painting a complete picture of the mission and airspace around the aircraft. The Tactical Situational Awareness display...

Free Ride

The Air Force will have a role in setting requirements for NASA’s new Space Launch System—the newly unveiled massive rocket intended to serve as the ride for future human exploration of deep space—but won’t have to pony up any money...

Sooner Than You Think

The lag in having a US launch system able to deliver cargo and crew to the International Space Station won’t be as long as is generally thought, NASA Director Charles Bolden told attendees at AFA’s Air & Space Conference at...

The Glow of Success

The success of operation Unified Protector in Libya will probably have mixed results in terms of steering the debate over funding and modernization of airpower among NATO partners, according to panelists at AFA’s Air & Space Conference speaking on the...

Telling the Air Force Story

The Air Force needs to do a better job of promoting itself, said the Air National Guard’s Command CMSgt. Chris Muncy. “The vast majority of the public doesn’t focus on the war front,” said Muncy during a command chiefs forum...

DADT Repeal Takes Effect

: A Pentagon spokesman said the Defense Department is ready for the Sept. 20 repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law. “This is something that has been known for a long time,” said Pentagon press secretary George Little, and...

USAF Sets Civilian Release Programs

The Air Force Monday announced implementation of programs to help it hold civilian manning at 2010 levels, which reduces previously planned growth in its civilian workforce by about nine percent. According to USAF, reduced funding levels will support some 180,000...

Back to Back

Some 60 airmen of the 56th Rescue Squadron, assigned to RAF Lakenheath, UK, returned to home station last week after serving back-to-back deployments—first three months in Afghanistan and then six months supporting Operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector. They did...