Newest GPS Slated for Launch Tonight

USAF plans to launch the Boeing-built GPS IIF satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., May 21 shortly before midnight—the window is 11:25 p.m. to 11:43 p.m. EDT. A problem with some ground support equipment delayed by a day the launch of this first Block IIF, one of 12 Boeing is building that includes stronger and more precise signals and a more jam-resistant military signal than earlier GPS satellites. Col. Dave Madden, GPS Wing commander at the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles, said last week that the second IIF would launch later this year, with two to three launched each year until all are on orbit. According to ULA, which notes this is first GPS to launch aboard a Delta IV, if tonight's mission is scrubbed, the next launch opportunity would be May 22. (Boeing release; ULA release; 45th Space Wing release) (Also read: First GPS IIF Satellite Accepted; Precision Signal; New on the Block)

Precipice at Hand?

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) doesn’t believe USAF has a viable plan to sustain the Air National Guard fighter fleet. In remarks during the House Armed Services Committee’s 2011 defense bill markup Wednesday, she maintained that “under current plans, the Air...

F-35 Program Skeptics

The House Armed Services Committee wants to limit F-35 funding beyond 30 aircraft until DOD certifies that its recent restructure has borne fruit. During the 2011 defense bill markup Wednesday, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said his air and land subcommittee...

Make It Quick

According to a DOD Buzz report, Pentagon acquisition boss Ash Carter has given the Air Force 30 days to offer its solution—with a cost estimate—to replace the now-defunct NPOESS weather satellite program. The Administration revealed the dissolution of the tri-agency—USAF,...

Growing List of Possible Crash Causes

A report this week in the Line of Departure blog says pilot error caused the April 8 fatal crash of a CV-22 Osprey in Afghanistan and attributes that news to “a source who has been briefed on the [accident investigation...

Taking a Look See

Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, commander of USAF’s newest major command, the Air Force Global Strike Command, headquartered at Barksdale AFB, La., last week traveled to Andersen AFB, Guam, to get a first-hand look at rotational bomber operations in the Pacific...

Leaving a Legacy

According to a release detailing probably the last change of command for the 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron in Iraq as US forces drawdown this year, the unit has completed 3,000 mounted and 140 dismounted outside-the-wire missions over some 79,000...

Preparing Vandy for X-37

The 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., earlier this month quickly completed refurbishment of the runway at the California facility in case the experimental X-37 must make an emergency landing there. USAF late last month launched the first X-37...

Combat Advisor Receives Bronze, Army Medal

The Air Force has awarded a Bronze Star Medal and the Army a Combat Action Badge to Capt. Joel Pittman for his actions while deployed to Afghanistan. It is the second Bronze Star for Pittman, who now serves as Civil...

And, Now the Book

The Government Printing Office has released a 64-page book highlighting National Guard support following devastating Hurricane Katrina that struck the Gulf Coast in 2005. National Guard historians Bill Boehm and Renee Hylton and Army Maj. Thomas Mehl collaborated on the...

Air Sorties from SWA 051410

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, May 14, 2010 Sortie Type OIF OEF OIF/OEF Total YTD ISR 25 55 80 8,393 CAS/Armed Recon 10 72 82 12,495 Airlift 173 173 22,910 Air refueling 47 47 5,781 Rescue 21 21 2,100 Total...