All Eyes on Gorgon Stare

Despite the desire to get Gorgon Stare sensor pods to Afghanistan to support combat operations there, Air Force officials said they won’t deploy them until they have ironed the bugs out of this sophisticated airborne surveillance system. "This is a very advanced technology the Air Force is developing rapidly to meet warfighter requirements," USAF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Johnson told the Daily Report Tuesday. He added, "Gorgon Stare will not be fielded until the theater commander accepts it." Johnson's comments came in the wake of news coming to light on Monday that Air Force operational testers found Gorgon Stare to be "not operationally effective and not operationally suitable," during extensive trials last fall at Eglin AFB, Fla. Among the shortcomings, Gorgon Stare's electro-optical and infrared cameras "had trouble tracking humans during the day and larger objects, such as vehicles, at night," reports the Los Angeles Times, citing a leaked memo from Eglin's 53rd Wing, dated Dec. 30 and marked "draft/predecisional." As a result, the testers opposed fielding Gorgon Stare until USAF and industry officials resolved the issues. Johnson explained that the leaked memo was later revised in January to reflect that program officials have identified several fixes that are now in place. MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft will carry Gorgon Stare. Fitted to a single MQ-9, one Gorgon Stare pod set will be able to provide persistent surveillance over a city-size area. (USAF's full statement) (See also DOD Buzz report and Washington Post report)

An Unlikely Success

The Air Force has successfully transformed the KC-135 tanker into an effective platform for aeromedical evacuation, but the journey hasn’t been without its challenges. “There’s been a huge investment of time, energy to make those planes adequate airframes to carry...

Wurster to Retire, Fiel Tapped for AFSOC

The Air Force announced Monday that Lt. Gen. Donald Wurster, Air Force Special Operations Command boss, intends to retire after 38 years in uniform. The 1973 graduate of the Air Force Academy has led AFSOC since November 2007. USAF provided...

Nuclear Center Reaches Full Maturity

The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Kirtland AFB, N.M., has reached full operational status. The center is responsible for the cradle-to-grave sustainment of USAF’s nuclear weapons. To reach this milestone, AFNWC staff accomplished these tasks: increasing and stabilizing weapon...

Strike Eagle Flies with AESA Radar

An Air Force F-15E flew for the first time with the Raytheon APG-82(V)1 active electronically scanned array radar that is planned for the Strike Eagle fleet. “From what we saw in this flight, we’re heading in the right direction,” said...

Defining the New HASC

The Republican-led House Armed Services Committee for the new 112th Congress has adjusted the jurisdiction of several of its subcommittees heading into this year’s season of oversight hearings. Among the changes (see new HASC rules) affecting the Air Force, the...

Kandahar Shuffle

Airmen with the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, have begun repositioning the wing’s assets in order to consolidate wing operations and free up space for the Afghan air force’s Kandahar Air Wing. “[The move] allows us to...

Alaska Airmen Come Together

Airmen of the newly formed 537th Aircraft Maintenance Unit at JB Elmendorf, Alaska, have begun working with Air National Guardsmen of the 176th Wing in order to maintain the C-130s that will be operating out of the Alaskan base. As...

Former AFMC Command Chief Pleads Guilty

The former command chief of Air Force Materiel Command pleaded guilty Monday to 13 counts of wrongdoing, including sexual misconduct for extramarital affairs he had with female subordinates. CMSgt. William Gurney told a military judge that he got “caught up...

Virtual Space Development

Lockheed Martin intends to use a new virtual-reality facility known as the Collaborative Human Immersive Laboratory, or CHIL, to help control development costs and improve efficiency on space programs such as Global Positioning System Block III satellite system. This lab,...