Oh, Happy Day

The Air Force woke up on Friday possessing something it hasn’t had since August 2007: an undersecretary. Erin Conaton on Thursday evening finally received the Senate’s nod to fill the service’s No. 2 civilian post, thus ending a four-month saga...

Hello NewGen Tanker

Boeing on Thursday unveiled the “NewGen Tanker” design that it will offer the Air Force in the KC-X tanker competition. The multi-mission aircraft is based on the company’s 767 commercial airliner, but updated with a digital flight deck that features...

From 30 to 13

The sweeping restructure of the F-35 strike fighter program will turn what might have been a 30-month schedule slip into just 13 months, Pentagon acquisition czar Ash Carter confirmed Thursday during a media telecon. Carter said prime contractor Lockheed Martin...

Crowley Keeps His Job

Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin’s general manager for the F-35 strike fighter, will stay on in his job, company CEO Robert Stevens said Thursday, thereby settling weeks of speculation ever since the Pentagon fired its F-35 program manager over schedule slips...

Can’t be BUFFed Away

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday that he does not anticipate the nation moving to a smaller sized B-52H bomber fleet as a consequence of the START follow-on agreement with Russia....

Make KC-X a Jobs Engine

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) went on the House floor Tuesday to urge President Obama to buy new KC-X tanker aircraft from both Boeing and Northrop Grumman and not just from one of them. Rogers, in whose state Northrop's team would build its tankers, called on the President to transfer funds from economic stimulus legislation to the Air Force's budget, thereby allowing the service to buy 12 tankers from each company annually as opposed to 15 from a single supplier each year. This dual-buy strategy would quickly act as "an economic engine," providing "a bigger injection" of jobs than would be possible with one supplier. It would also get the new tankers into the fleet "more rapidly," Rogers said. Some lawmakers have championed the dual buy at various times over the past few years, but Air Force and senior Pentagon officials have consistently opposed it.

New Airdrop Method

The Air Force now has at its disposal a new means of airdrop to resupply ground troops operating from small-sized forward bases in Afghanistan. This low-cost, low-altitude (LCLA) combat airdrop concept was tested in early February with a C-130 transport...

Still Evolving

Air Force Space Command says it is making another software upgrade to the Global Positioning System ground control segment. This new software release, known as architecture evolution plan 5.5D, builds upon the AEP 5.5C update made back in January, and...

Palmdale Milestone

Northrop Grumman announced Monday that an RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft built for the Air Force completed the first-ever roundtrip flight from the company’s manufacturing facility in Palmdale, Calif., back in February. “This was the first time ever that...

First ANAAC Flight Surgeons Graduate

The Afghan National Army Air Corps in February took another important step towards fielding a professional, self-sufficient force when its first class of doctors—six in all—graduated from their nine-month flight surgeon course that was taught by medical advisors of the...

Air Sorties from SWA 022810

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, Feb. 28, 2010 Sortie Type OIF OEF OIF/OEF Total YTD ISR 23 26 49 3,374 CAS/Armed Recon 12 57 69 5,172 Airlift 180 180 9,416 Air refueling 44 44 2,428 Rescue 12 12 61 Total...