Launch Costs Up

“The price of launch is going to go up,” warned Bruce Carlson, head of the National Reconnaissance Office. In a speech Monday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference, Carlson said that the government-mandated joint venture teaming of Lockheed Martin and...

Give Me the Authority

National Reconnaissance Office director Bruce Carlson said his agency’s new charter, expected out in a couple of weeks, will probably give him milestone decision authority over NRO programs. “I think that’s appropriate because, when we hit the [launch] button, I...

Getting Back Credibility

NRO director Bruce Carlson refuses to ask the Defense Department or the Air Force for money to bail out broken space programs. Years ago, as the Air Force programmer, he said, he advocated raiding NRO coffers because their programs never...

Give ‘Em What They Want

National Reconnaissance Office director Bruce Carlson said most consumers of intel today want one thing: “a map or a picture with a dot” indicating where someone is to be killed or rescued, or where cargo is to be dropped. He’s...

Back to the Future

When Bruce Carlson came to the NRO 14 months ago, it was spending three percent less than its historical average on research and development. “Within the FYDP,” or future years defense plan, Carlson said the R&D level will be back...

No to Space Milestone Authority

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said he’s not seeking a return of milestone decision authority for space programs from the Defense Department. Speaking with reporters Monday, Donley said that last week’s announced restructure of the Air Force headquarters space enterprise...

SABR Rattling

Northrop Grumman radar officials anticipate that the Air Force will move out in the next year or so to acquire an advanced electronically scanned array radar system for up to several hundred F-16s that are being considered for a structural...

Conventional First

The first iteration of the Air Force’s next bomber-like aircraft will be oriented toward conventional warfare, top Air Force leaders said Monday. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, addressing the Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference, said, “This time around...

“Still Raging”

Don’t expect a quick resolution to the Pentagon’s internal Long Range Strike discussions, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told the Daily Report. Schwartz said the “debate is still raging” about the specific requirements such an aircraft will...

New Cost Triad

An “end-to-end review is underway” to find the right balance in requirements, cost of depot maintenance, and supply chain, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said Monday. “Effectiveness and efficiency must go hand in hand,” in program longevity, he said. Both...

Air Force Sniper Pods Get Upgrade

Lockheed Martin has received a $13 million contract from the Air Force to upgrade approximately 200 Sniper targeting pods with a more-capable digital data link. Called the Compact Multi-band Data Link, this upgrade will enable digital transmission of high-definition imagery...

Changing Tempo

The Air Force has revised the rotational baseline of the air and space expeditionary force, changing it from 120 to 179 days for active duty airmen. Back in May 2008, the Air Force introduced five rotational bands for the AEF—”A”...

Air and Sea Exercise Under Way Near Guam

US Pacific Command’s Valiant Shield 2010 exercise kicked off Sunday, bringing together more than 150 US combat aircraft, along with Marine and Navy at-sea elements to practice joint counterair and countersea concepts near Guam. “It is a rare opportunity to...

Gates Reassures Senators on New START

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has sent a letter to Sen. John Kerry. (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reassuring Senators on the panel that US national security would not be placed at great risk if Russia did not...

ISR Group Activated at Ft. Meade

The Air Force has activated the 659th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group at Ft. Meade, Md., to support 24th Air Force, USAF’s cyber operations arm at Lackland AFB, Tex. The group falls under the command of the Air Force ISR...

Alternative Fuels Initiatives Advance

More than 85 percent of the Air Force’s fleet is now certified to operate unconstrained with a 50-50 blend of regular JP-8 jet fuel and synthetic paraffinic kerosene, according to service officials. USAF’s goal is to have the entire fleet...

Feest Takes Over Air Force Safety Center

Maj. Gen. Gregory Feest has assumed command of the Air Force Safety Center at Kirtland AFB, N.M., succeeding Maj. Gen. Frederick Roggero, who led the center since December 2008. Roggero is officially retiring on Oct. 1 after 33 years of...

Reducing the Red Tape

The Obama Administration has revamped the nation’s export control system to streamline the oversight process. The aim is to more effectively control the most sensitive military and dual-use technologies, while also enhancing US competitiveness in certain manufacturing and technology sectors....

Volunteer or be “Voluntold”

Airmen in certain Air Force specialty codes, such as financial management or health services management, have until Sept. 17 to volunteer for retraining in a new career field. After that, the Air Force will choose for them. Under the 2011...

Canada Announces F-35 Bases

Canada will bed down its combat-ready F-35 strike fighters at bases in Alberta and Quebec, according to Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay. Speaking last week at Canadian Forces Base Bagotville in Quebec, MacKay said the base would receive 24 of...

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia

Sept. 2, 2010 Sortie Type OND OEF OND/OEF Total YTD ISR 22 66 88 17,590 CAS/Armed Recon 16 102 118 23,616 Airlift 167 167 42,540 Air refueling 59 59 11,592 Rescue 29 29 5,396 Total 461 100,734 OND=Operation New Dawn...