The Cost of the Third Contingency

The Defense Department has spent about $550 million to date on Operation Odyssey Dawn, Robert Hale, the Pentagon’s top budget official, told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday. Of that, roughly 60 percent was for munitions, mostly Tomahawk cruise missiles...

When Political and Military Goals Align

Adm. James Stavridis, head of US European Command, said Tuesday the coalition's military goals in Libya are clear, but he acknowledged that they aren't necessarily configured to bring about the stated political goal of the Obama Administration and many world leaders in seeing Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi step down from power. "I don't think the two are directly linked, but they may connect over time," Stavridis told the Senate Armed Services Committee. The coalition's military operations are concentrated on protecting Libyan civilians from violent attack by Qaddafi forces. Even with the present disconnect, Stavridis said the military activities may indeed end up laying the groundwork for Qaddafi's ouster. "[B]y our participation in protecting the people of Libya, we create a safe and secure environment in which the people of Libya can make a determination, and . . . have the ability to undertake the kind of effort that would, in effect, create regime change, as we've seen in other nations in the Middle East." That is particularly the case if the coalition applies additional elements of statecraft such as a "financial squeeze" and travel restrictions, he said. (Stavridis written testimony; caution, exceedlingly large file)

Defining Cyber Roles

The Defense Department—in particular US Strategic Command and US Cyber Command—do not have the Congressional authorities needed to respond to a cyber attack on the nation, Gen. Robert Kehler, STRATCOM boss, told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday. “Our role...

Rollout of First MC-130J

Lockheed Martin on Tuesday rolled out the Air Force’s first new-build MC-130J special-mission aircraft from its assembly plant in Marietta, Ga. The company is under contract to supply 15 of these Combat Shadow II aircraft to Air Force Special Operations...

KC-135 Makes Emergency Landing

A KC-135 tanker with the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 128th Air Refueling Wing had to return to its home station at Mitchell airport in Milwaukee on Tuesday due to engine trouble, according to local Milwaukee press reports citing airport and...

A-10 Attacks Libyan Ships

The A-10, known for its prowess as an attack platform against enemy land forces, took on a different role this week in supporting coalition operations against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s forces. An A-10 engaged two small Libyan watercraft in the...

Expeditionary Squadron Inactivated

The Air Force has inactivated the 766th Air Expeditionary Squadron in Afghanistan. This unit had operated from Sharana Forward Operating Base and was responsible for airmen serving in joint expeditionary taskings and on individual augmentee deployments at 58 FOBs and...

More C-130 Avionics Upgrade Kits Procured

Boeing announced Tuesday that it has received a $31 million Air Force contract to supply two more avionics upgrade kits for legacy C-130 transports. A kit corresponds to one aircraft. This work is part of the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program’s...

Assaulting Fort Sill

C-17 aircrews from Altus AFB, Okla., are practicing assault landings at nearby Fort Sill since the runway at Altus is undergoing construction and isn’t available for training. “We are very appreciative of Fort Sill’s leaders working with our leaders to...

USAF Tops Nunn-McCurdy List

The Air Force had more Nunn-McCurdy breaches in its acquisition programs than any other service between 1997 and 2009, according to the Government Accountability Office. There were 74 Nunn-McCurdy breaches involving 47 major defense acquisition programs during that period, states...