Bring Them to Elmendorf

Alaska Sen. Mark Begich (D) wants USAF to increase the number of F-22 fighters stationed in his state at Joint Base Elmendorf. Currently Elmendorf hosts 40 Raptors. Begich contends that this total isn't enough to meet mission demands, including air sovereignty alert. "Nowhere is the need for additional [F-22 primary assigned aircraft] more evident and deliberate than Elmendorf," he wrote in a letter last week to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. In addition to Elmendorf, Raptors are already stationed at Langley AFB, Va., and Holloman AFB, N.M., and are being bed down at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. However, Holloman is also a candidate to host the F-35 fighter, and Air Force officials have said the F-22s would be moved if F-35s end up going there. Virginia lawmakers have previously called for more F-22s at Langley.

Panel Targets Nearly $1 Trillion in Defense Cuts

The Pentagon should cancel the F-35 and V-22 programs, and delay the KC-X tanker for five years, the Congressionally chartered Sustainable Defense Task Force recently recommended. Lawmakers led by Rep. Barney Franks (D-Mass.) chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, created the task force to explore how DOD could help reduce the federal deficit. Making these moves, along with a bevy of additional cuts, could save up to $960 billion from Fiscal 2011-20, states the 14-member panel. The panel itself is non-partisan, but is loaded with well-known critics of defense spending including Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives, Lawrence Korb of the Center for American Progress, and Winslow Wheeler of the Center for Defense Information. Among its recommendations, the panel calls for reducing the US nuclear arsenal to 1,000 warheads deployed on 160 Minuteman ICBMs and seven nuclear submarines (thereby eliminating the bomber leg of the nuclear triad), trimming the US military presence in Europe and Asia by one-third, eliminating three Air Force fighter wings, and cutting the Navy fleet from 286 ships to 230. (SDTF report; caution, large file.)

Malmstrom Hosts Nuclear Response Exercise

Air Force Global Strike Command held its first-ever response task force exercise at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., June 1-4. The RTF is made up of first responders such as firefighters and public affairs officials who would rapidly engage following an incident...

Whiteman Airmen Back From Guam

An expeditionary contingent of more than 200 airmen and several B-2 bombers returned home to Whiteman AFB, Mo., in early June after a four-month deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam. The 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, as it was known, completed about...

In a First, Air Guardsman Leads OTS

For the first time ever, a member of the Air National Guard now commands the Air Force’s Officer Training School at Maxwell AFB, Ala. The milestone occurred on June 8 when Col. Timothy O’Brien took over OTS. He had been...

EADS Tanker Team will Move to Alabama

After submitting its KC-X tanker proposal to the Air Force sometime before the July 9 deadline, EADS North American intends for its entire tanker capture team to set up shop in Mobile Ala. “Assembling our KC-45 tanker team in Mobile...

STOVL F-35 Goes Supersonic

Lockheed Martin announced Monday that the F-35B, the short takeoff/vertical landing variant of the F-35 strike fighter, reached supersonic speeds for the first time during a June 10 test flight at NAS Patuxent River, Md. Test aircraft BF-2 accelerated to...

Thirty Years of Ridley Center at Edwards

The Ridley Mission Control Center, the heart of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, Calif., turned 30 on June 12. Named for Col. Jackie Ridley, a former test pilot, engineer, and architect of modern flight testing, the...

Afghan Air Arm Is Now an Air Force

It’s official: the Afghan National Army Air Corps is now called the Afghan National Army Air Force. “This is another step forward in response to Afghanistan’s air power growth,” stated officials with the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, the USAF organization...

Barksdale Museum Receive POW’s Journal

The 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale AFB, La., on June 9 took possession of the journal of the late Stanley Bolesta, a World War II airman who chronicled his experiences in a German POW camp. Bolesta’s widow Joy donated...

Air Sorties from Southwest Asia

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, May 31, 2010 Sortie Type OIF OEF OIF/OEF Total YTD ISR 26 57 83 9,668 CAS/Armed Recon 20 85 105 14,180 Airlift 177 177 25,895 Air refueling 47 47 6,643 Rescue 33 33 2,685 Total...