Gates Identifies 22 USAF General Officer Positions for Elimination

The Air Force is losing 22 general officer authorizations as part of Defense Secretary Robert Gates' efficiency initiative to shed Pentagon overhead. They are among the 102 total general officer/flag officer positions that Gates is eliminating across DOD as part of the latest round of efficiency decisions he's just announced in a memorandum. Most of these reductions are in the joint realm, affecting the services equally, at least in theory. As for the service-specific cuts, the Air Force fared the worst: the Army is losing half as many positions (11), as is the Navy, while the Marine Corps sheds none. Set for elimination are USAF's GO billets for the commanders of 19th Air Force, the Air Force Institute of Technology, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, 55th Wing, 76th Maintenance Wing, 309th MXW, 325th Fighter Wing, and 402nd MXW; and for the vice commanders of 12th AF and 17th AF. Also going away are GO positions for the: AFCENT assistant deputy commander, AMC deputy director of operations, AFSOC special assistant, AFSPC special assistant, Air Force Secretariat director of cyberspace operations, military deputy director in the Air Staff's studies and analyses (A9) office, assistant surgeon general for strategic medical plans and programs, and USAF's DADT review working group director. Rounding out the eliminations are the ACC staff judge advocate, AFMC SJA, AMC SJA, and USAF's deputy legislative liaison. The final four positions are among the nine to which the services did not agree, but Gates imposed. These 22 GO positions will disappear as the incumbents complete their current tours.

Obama: ‘Absolutely’ No US Boots on the Ground in Libya

Senior US officials have spent the last week dodging questions about whether the United States will participate in some type of military action in Libya beyond the UN-sanctioned no-fly zone, if Muammar Qaddafi’s regime continues violence against Libyan citizens. On...

What Drove AirSea Battle?

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead said recent developments in Chinese stealth aircraft and China’s anti-aircraft carrier capabilities are not the only reasons that the Navy joined forces with the Air Force to establish the new AirSea Battle concept....

Intelligent Design

The military is on the cusp of a fundamental change in the intelligence realm, said Adm. Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations. After many years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, combatant commanders now have access to nearly real-time intelligence,...

New Rescue Tanker Completes Developmental Testing

The Air Force’s new HC-130J rescue tanker has successfully finished developmental testing, prime contractor Lockheed Martin announced. The aircraft last week accomplished the final test objective when it mated with a KC-135 tanker in flight to receive fuel. Entering the...

First AFNet Increment Suitable for Service

The first increment of the Air Force’s new centralized Web and e-mail management system is “suitable, effective, and mission capable,” according to the results of the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center’s utility evaluation. The Air Force Intranet, or...

Andrews Dedicates Building to MOH Recipient

Officials at JB Andrews, Md., have dedicated a new administrative building in memory of Medal of Honor recipient Col. William Atkinson Jones. The William A. Jones III building will be home to 2,300 military and civilian personnel in the National...

Iraqi Helos Get Defensive

Air Force advisors aided Iraq’s Army Aviation Command in procuring defensive armament for the command’s Mi-17 helicopters that are based at Taji Airfield. Since helicopters cannot fly outside secure zones unprotected, the delivery of 30 US-built M240 machine guns from...

Efficiency Drive Reaches Fourth Estate

Say goodbye to hard-copy versions of Airman Magazine and, for that matter, the other services' flagship magazines: All Hands, Marines, and Soldiers. These publications will appear only in online format by Fiscal 2012 based on the latest round of decisions tied to Defense Secretary Robert Gates' efficiency initiative that aims to shed Pentagon duplication, overhead, and excess. "An online-only version would increase the magazines' reach in the target audience (18-to-24-year-old, digitally oriented demographic), improve the immediacy of content, and provide the capability to update content more frequently," reads Gates' recent memorandum outlining these "track four" efficiency initiative decisions. Publication of "a limited number of hard copies" of the annual service almanacs for specific target audiences will still occur, states the memo. These changes will reap an estimated $4 million in savings in Fiscal 2012. (Gates memorandum)

Too-Low Flyover Draws Referee’s Flag

Maj. Christopher Kopacek, a 25th Flying Training Squadron pilot at Vance, AFB, Okla., has received nonjudicial punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for violating altitude and speed restrictions when he led a four-ship of T-38s that overflew a University of Iowa football game in Iowa City last November. Kopacek is separating from the Air Force of his own accord, according to a release Wednesday from Vance's 71st Flying Training Wing. "While I understand that fans attending the game enjoyed the flyover, rules are in place to ensure everyone's safety," said Col. Russell Mack, 71st FTW commander. He added, "[T]his was a serious breach of flight discipline and it was necessary to take administrative action." Among the violations, the wing's command-directed investigation found that the pilots flew only 16 feet above the stadium's press box when the minimum height difference for a flyover is supposed to be 1,000 feet.