Unsurging

The United States next month will begin withdrawing the first of 10,000 troops that will leave Afghanistan by year’s end and 33,000 in total that will come home from there by mid 2012, President Obama told the nation Wednesday evening...

Setting the Bar

The successful KC-46A tanker contract is proof that the Air Force has cleaned up its source-selection process, said Gen. Donald Hoffman, commander of Air Force Materiel Command. “We’ve turned a corner with source selection,” said Hoffman Wednesday during an Air...

Near Perfect Not Good Enough

The Air Force achieved a 99.9 percent success rate in its most recent semi-annual nuclear-related inventory, and though the number shows significant progress in the nuclear enterprise, it’s still not good enough. “We’ll keep working at it until we reach...

B-2’s Stealthy MOP-Up

The Air Force completed testing and integration of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator on the B-2 stealth bomber, stated Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, head of Air Force Global Strike Command, Wednesday. With the 30,000-pound MOP, the B-2 is “our nation’s only...

Post Adolescent, But Still Often Grounded

In addition to not meeting the speed, payload, and range requirements for the Air Force’s missile field security mission, USAF’s Vietnam War-era UH-1 fleet suffers frequent groundings. “UH-1’s advanced age is shown in groundings due to cracks in rotor hubs,...

Helo, How Are You?

Le Bourget, France —The Air Force expects to move out shortly on its Common Vertical Lift Support Platform helicopter replacement effort, David Van Buren, USAF acquisition executive, said here Tuesday at the Paris Air Show. He noted that there are...

Tanker Lineup

Le Bourget, France —Boeing was “getting calls within minutes of the announcement” that it had won the KC-X contract about possible foreign sales of the airplane, said Chris Chadwick, Boeing Military Aircraft president. Speaking with reporters here Tuesday at the...

Bomber Partners Separated, not Divorced

Le Bourget, France —There’s still some sort of partnership between Boeing and Lockheed Martin on long-range strike, Boeing Military Aircraft President Chris Chadwick said Tuesday, but it seems to be in suspension. Clearly wanting to avoid saying much about it,...

Minuteman Flies from Vandenberg

Airmen with the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., on Wednesday successfully launched an unarmed Minuteman III ICBM out over the Pacific Ocean during an operational test of the weapon system. The missile’s single reentry test vehicle traveled approximately...

Still in the Fire Fight

Four specially equipped C-130s deployed to Kirtland AFB, N.M., continue to help fight wildfires in Arizona and New Mexico. Through Tuesday, the four Modular Airborne Firefighting System-carrying C-130s had flown a total of 24 sorties since this mission began on...

Norwegian Lightning

Le Bourget, France —Norway’s parliament authorized the purchase of four F-35s to be used as trainers, Norwegian Adm. Arne Roksand, head of the country’s defense policy, announced here Tuesday at the Paris Air Show. He said the order, which the...