AFSOC Releases CV-22 Accident Investigation Findings

After an "exhaustive investigation," Air Force officials still don't have "clear and convincing evidence" as to what exactly caused a CV-22 to crash April 9 near Qalat, Afghanistan, killing four and injuring the remaining 16 on board. The aircraft's flight incident recorder and the vibration structural life and engine diagnostics control unit—collectively known as the "black box"—and its right engine were destroyed by precision guided bombs sent to ensure sensitive information in the wreckage did not fall into enemy hands, according to Air Force Special Operation Command's release on the newly issued findings of the accident investigation board (AIB report; caution large file). Without that information, officials were unable to determine an exact cause, but the board did determine 10 factors that "substantially contributed to the mishap," including poor weather conditions, human error, and an "unanticipated high rate of decent and engine power loss." They did rule out loss due to enemy action, environmental brownout conditions, and vortex ring state. For more, continue to Unanswered Questions.

Tanker Unit Completes First Mission

The recently reactivated 96th Air Refueling Squadron at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, has completed its first operational mission. Airmen of this active duty KC-135 tanker unit were crewmembers aboard a tanker that refueled a B-52H bomber Tuesday over the Pacific...

Everyone is Accountable

The Air Force leadership recently took administrative action against five generals after a lengthy Defense Department comptroller investigation concluded that they had a role in obligating $87 million too much for Air Force permanent-change-of-station moves when they managed the account...

Say Goodbye to the Omnibus

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) late Thursday announced that he was dropping his plans to push a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package for Fiscal 2011 through the Senate that included $667.7 billion in appropriations for the Defense Department. Reid's move came after Republican Senators withdrew their support for the bill. Instead, Reid said he'd focus for the remainder of the lame-duck session on winning approval for another continuing resolution to keep the flow of money going to DOD and additional federal government agencies in this fiscal year. Reid's move came despite appeals this week by Defense Secretary Robert Gates for Congress to approve the omnibus legislation instead of settling on a continuing resolution. For more, see The Worst of All Possible Worlds.

Big Guns Champion New START Anew

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Joint Chiefs vice chairman Gen. James Cartwright on Thursday reiterated their unequivocal support for prompt Senate ratification of the New START arms control accord. “[W]e need START and we need...

New Boss at 13th Air Force

Lt. Gen. Hawk Carlisle has relinquished command of 13th Air Force at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, to Lt. Gen. Ted Kresge. Kresge, a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours in the cockpits of trainers and F-15s, comes to the...

Production Contract for AEHF-4

The Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.3 billion contract for production of the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite and associated equipment and services. “This production contract reflects the Air Force’s strong commitment to providing superior protected communications...

Expeditionary Airlift Unit Expands Portfolio

The 737th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, a C-130 unit, recently added another accomplishment to its resume: delivering supplies via airdrop to ground troops in Afghanistan. “By accomplishing this task, we validated a concept that increases the airdrop capability throughout the entire...

Make that Four C-130Js for Dyess

The 317th Airlift Group at Dyess AFB, Tex., has received its fourth new-build C-130J transport. The unit is building toward having a fleet of 28 C-130Js by 2013. The new airlifters are replacing the group’s aging C-130Hs. Dyess received its...

Phantom Ray Arrives at Edwards

Boeing’s Phantom Ray uninhabited aircraft test bed has arrived at Edwards AFB, Calif., for flight testing. The aircraft did not make the 1,800 mile journey to Edwards from St. Louis on its own power, but rather carried in a special...

A Regular Guy Retires

Maj. Yonel Dorelis, who considers himself “just a regular guy doing a job,” has retired, ending a not-so-ordinary 28-year military flying career that saw him serve in all four US military branches, deploy to combat multiple times, and save more...

Air Sorties from SWA 120910

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, Dec. 9-10, 2010 Sortie Type OND OEF OND/OEF Total YTD ISR 46 143 189 26,743 CAS/Armed Recon 30 163 193 33,882 Airlift 363 363 59,660 Air refueling 94 94 16,684 Rescue 50 50 7,857 Total...