What’s the Plan?

Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) introduced an amendment for the 2010 defense spending bill that would prohibit the Air Force from executing its 2010 fighter aircraft hit list until the service provides lawmakers with “a detailed plan” about the aftermath, according...

Dueling in the Tanker War

It's Alabama vs. Kansas in USAF's KC-X tanker replacement program saga. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has introduced an amendment (SA 2610) for the 2010 defense spending bill, currently still under review by the full Senate, that would force the Air Force to release comparable pricing data from the original KC-X competition to both Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Northrop has complained that USAF already provided its data to Boeing when explaining why Boeing lost out to the Northrop-EADS team. In a statement, Sessions said this "goes directly to the fundamental fairness" of the competition, something the Pentagon has emphasized. Minutes later, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) proposed another amendment (SA 2622) that would instead require the Air Force to assign penalties to a tanker bidder found to have benefitted from development subsidies—hark to the recent preliminary findings in the long-running Boeing-Airbus dispute. (From Congressional Record)

Will There Be Money for Joint STARS Engines?

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) led an effort last week to ensure Congress includes money to continue the re-engine program for USAF's E-8C Joint STARS fleet, introducing a sense of the Senate amendment (SA 2621) during floor debate on the 2010 defense spending bill. The program reportedly has been eyed as the service considers how to meet competing budget needs. Chambliss called Joint STARS "one of the most effective [intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance] assets operating today" and included for the record a Sept. 30 acquisition decision memorandum, in which Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter directs USAF to proceed with the program. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) said he and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, both support the measure. (From Congressional Record)

Getting There Systematically

Air Force Global Strike Command already has a staff of about 160 personnel in its headquarters at Barksdale AFB, La., and continues to build the HQ toward its full strength of about 900 airmen by next summer, Lt. Gen. Frank...

Slimming Down

Eighth Air Force at Barksdale AFB, La., shed its non-bomber wings on Oct. 1 in preparation for its move early next year to Air Force Global Strike Command and its renewed emphasis on the nuclear roles of its B-2A and...

From Fighting to Training

On Oct. 1, the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., formally embraced its new role as the lead joint training wing for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter as it transitioned from Air Combat Command to Air Education...

Get on With It

Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, who heads USAF’s new nuclear-centric major command, on Friday reiterated the Air Force’s need for a new fleet of helicopters to replace the Vietnam War-era UH-1N Hueys that help protect the nation’s ICBM fields. “We need...

Northrop Bests Boeing for KC-10 Work

The Air Force has awarded a $3.8 billion contract to perform contractor logistics services for its KC-10 tankers to Northrop Grumman vice Boeing, which produced the KC-10s and has been performing the workload. Boeing plans to review its options and...

The First Tri-Base Is a Go

On Oct. 1, officials of the newly formed McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Joint Base in New Jersey heralded the arrival of the first tri-service facility. The first commander of the joint base—a BRAC 2005 amalgam of McGuire Air Force Base, Ft. Dix, and...

Electrical Failure Doomed Predator

Air Combat Command announced Oct. 1 that an electrical failure in the primary control module was the culprit in the Feb. 22 crash of an MQ-1B Predator remotely piloted vehicle northeast of Joint Base Balad in Iraq. According to the...

Air Sorties 100509

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, Sept. 30, 2009 Sortie Type OIF OEF OIF/OEF Total YTD ISR 27 30 57 12,340 CAS/Armed Recon 24 83 107 26,484 Airlift 150 150 36,083 Air refueling 50 50 13,085 Total 364 87,992 OIF=Operation Iraqi...