F-22 Fleet Grounded Indefinitely

Air Combat Command boss Gen. William Fraser issued the order to stand-down the entire fleet of F-22s Tuesday after reports surfaced of potential malfunctions with the aircraft’s onboard oxygen-generation system. It provides the pilot with breathable air in flight; without...

On Their Own Dime

General Electric and Rolls Royce announced Thursday that they will "bear all costs for continued development" of the F136 engine for the F-35 strike fighter through the end of Fiscal 2012. "We believe so strongly in our engine and the need for competition in defense procurement that we have committed to self-fund F136 development costs for this fiscal year and next," said GE CEO Jeff Immelt in the companies' joint statement. Previously they had committed to funding the engine's development on their own dime through the end of this fiscal year. GE Aviation spokesman Rick Kennedy told the Daily Report Thursday that the two companies estimate spending "more than $100 million" to keep F136 engine work going through the end of next fiscal year. "The [engine's] development program is being stretched out, especially given that the [F-35] aircraft program is also moving to the right," he said. "The objective is to develop the engine at a pace to be ready to compete in 2016." Continue

Off to a Good New START

There were no major surprises during the United States' first inspection of a Russian nuclear weapons facility under the terms of the New START arms reduction treaty, said James Miller, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy. US inspectors on April 16 concluded a visit to a Russian SS-19 ICBM base. "I can say that the inspection went about as expected. I think in an open session, given our expectations about what's discussed in inspections, that's about all I should say," Miller told lawmakers during Wednesday's hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee's strategic forces panel. He said the Russians are expected to conduct their first inspection of a US site soon. The two countries also have exchanged databases on their respective nuclear forces and held the first meeting of the Bilateral Consultative Commission that is responsible for resolving treaty-related issues that arise. The United States also exhibited a B-1B for the Russians in March, displaying the bomber's conversion to a non-nuclear platform. The Russians exhibited their RS-24 road-mobile ICBM, also in March, and US officials exhibited the B-2A bomber in early April, according to Miller's testimony. (Miller's prepared statement)

More TACP/ALO Training Capacity Sought

The Air Force intends to identify new basing for tactical air control party and air liaison officer training since the current schoolhouse at Hurlburt Field, Fla., lacks the facilities to accommodate the increased demand for the specialties. Under the basing...

Think Twice, Taliban

While the raid against Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan was a phenomenal success, a more substantial victory was the trove of intelligence gained from the devices and hard drives that the special operators gathered from bin Laden’s compound, said...

Eyes on Helmand for Gauging NATO Gains

With the Taliban ramping up for its spring fighting season, the coming months will be a critical test of gains made by NATO and US troops across the southern portion of Afghanistan in the last 18 months, US defense officials...

Air Power on Display

Forty-two aircraft from across the Air Force and the sister services flew strike missions and practiced air-to-air refueling this week during a phase-two operational readiness exercise, dubbed Sea Lion 11-05, based out of Shaw AFB, S.C. “We are in a...

Installations Recognized for Excellence

Pentagon acquisition executive Ash Carter presented awards to five US military installations for their excellence despite the demands of war and recent natural disasters. Among them were Spangdahlem AB, Germany, and JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. “The installations that we recognize...

DOD Report: Afghan Situation Improving

Last year's surge of 40,000 US and coalition troops into Afghanistan has led to "tangible progress" toward peace there, states a new biannual Pentagon report. Among the findings, the influx of those forces allowed the coalition to expand the districts that now have a local Afghan police presence—a stabilizing factor—from just eight last September to 34 now, states the Report on Progress Toward Security, Governance, and the Economy of Afghanistan, dated April. The report assessed the situation in Afghanistan from Oct. 1, 2010, through March 31. Roughly 75 percent of Afghans indicated that it would "be bad for the country" if the Taliban returned to power, up seven percent from the last reporting period. The report also notes increased friction between extremist leaders operating out of Pakistan and the rank-and-file insurgents in Afghanistan. (AFPS report by Lisa Daniel) (full report; caution, large file.)

Iraqi Pilots Move Toward Self-Sufficiency

Instructor pilots with the Iraq Army Aviation Command successfully flew their first T-407 helicopter mission without US advisors. The mission, conducted at Camp Taji on April 28, was a significant step toward the Iraqis’ self-sufficiency. The first Iraqi T-407 instructor...