More Questions Than Answers

According to an Oct. 22 Reuters report, Boeing and Northrop Grumman posed some 50 questions about the draft KC-X tanker request for proposals officially released Sept. 25 not just the nine to which USAF responded last week. Unnamed industry executives...

Is It Just the F-35

Mayor Michele Kern of the community of El Mirage next to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona complained during an Arizona Republic editorial board last week that the community she represents does not want Luke to close, but the community...

Bring Them North

Another Congressional delegation has its eye on the F-35 prize, with the News Miner reporting Oct. 23 that Sen. Mark Begich (D), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), and Rep. Don Young (R) sent a letter earlier this month to Air Force...

No Change

According to Inside Defense.com, the latest assessment by the Joint Estimate Team of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program has found the same cost and schedule problems it noted in last year’s review. (InsideDefense requires a subscription, but offers readers...

Looking at a “Downward Spiral”

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) was among the Senators who did not endorse the just-passed conference report for the 2010 defense authorization bill because he said, per an Oct. 22 release, that it is "the beginning of a downward spiral in defense spending" that would inevitably "kick the modernization can down the road once more by mortgaging the future to pay for the present." Inhofe said the bill only appears to increase defense spending, while instead it really "reflects the beginning of the Obama Administration’s long-term plan to cut our military." Among investment cuts he criticized were the end of F-22 and C-17 production, but he would not have funded the alternate F-35 engine. (Inhofe floor remarks)

Airpower Concerns

As we reported Friday, the Senate on Oct. 22 approved the conference report for the Fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill, and, since the House had passed the legislation on Oct. 8, the policy bill now goes to President Obama for...

Personnel Highlights

Among the personnel provisions in the just-passed Fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill, the measure would boost military pay by 3.4 percent (0.05 percent higher than Administration request); extend Tricare eligibility for reservists from 90 days to 180 days before they...

Air Commandos Were First In

The first USAF aircraft to provide aid to Indonesia after Padang suffered a 7.0 magnitude earthquake was an MC-130P Combat Shadow loaded with more than six tons of relief supplies and 25 international aid workers. (Pacific Air Forces provided a...

Two More F-16 In-Flight Emergencies

Two more F-16 fighters—one from Hill AFB, Utah, and one from Luke AFB, Ariz.—last week suffered problems that prompted emergency landings. A Vermont Air National Guard F-16 also recently developed a problem that required the pilot to jettison his external...

Cochran Joins Air Force Caucus

Earlier this month, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that he had joined the Air Force Caucus. He said in an Oct. 9 release, “There are a number of mission-related challenges facing Air Force...

Changes on Senate Armed Services

There’s been some shifting of members on and new members added to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) switched from chairman of the strategic forces panel to chairman of the emerging threats and capabilities panel. Replacing him...

Air Sorties in SWA 10-20-09

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, Oct. 20, 2009 Sortie Type OIF OEF OIF/OEF Total YTD ISR 27 29 56 13,484 CAS/Armed Recon 18 80 98 28,533 Airlift 149 149 39,079 Air refueling 49 49 14,097 Total 352 95,193 OIF=Operation Iraqi...