F-16 Pilot Identified in Fatal Nevada Crash

Capt. Eric Ziegler, 30, an operational test and evaluation instructor pilot with the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nev., is the airman who died last week when his F-16C crashed in the desert near Caliente, Nev., during...

Schwartz Calls for Renewed Focus on Unit Readiness

Pressure will only intensify in the coming years to reduce defense spending due to a budget climate "unlike anything we have encountered in decades," writes Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff, in his CSAF Vector 2011, dated Monday, that lays out his vision for the service. This pressure comes at a time when the Air Force needs to modernize many capabilities—like fielding the F-35 strike fighter, a new tanker, and the future bomber—to provide the global power-projection capabilities that the nation requires. "But without a trained and ready force, these capabilities will be of little use," writes Schwartz. "For this reason," he continues, "in the coming year, I want to actively guard against becoming a hollow force . . . by renewing our focus on unit readiness." In fact, he adds, "My pledge for the coming year is to strengthen unit readiness and avoid a creeping hollow force that provides only the illusion of global vigilance, reach, and power." (See also SAF/PA report by SSgt. J. Paul Croxon)

Panetta Takes Over at Pentagon

Leon Panetta last week became the 23rd Defense Secretary during a swearing-in ceremony at the Pentagon. “As Secretary of Defense, I will do whatever is necessary to protect America and to meet the needs of the men and women who...

New EOD Screening Course Yields First Graduates

Six airmen last week became the first graduates of the Air Force’s new explosive ordnance disposal preliminary screening course, held at Sheppard AFB, Tex. The 20-day academic program is designed to challenge airmen mentally and physically and filter out the...

A Comfortable Home Away

The 315th Training Squadron at Goodfellow AFB, Tex., officially opened a new 200-room dormitory in a ribbon cutting at the base. The three-story, 110,000-square-foot building will provide comfortable, modern accommodations for up to 400 airmen at any time. “This is...

F-15E Pilot Earns Top Safety Award

Capt. Hans Buckwalter, chief of standardization and evaluations with the 391st Fighter Squadron at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, has received the 2010 Koren Kolligian Jr. Trophy, the Air Force’s top flight safety award. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley presented Buckwalter...

Enhanced JPADS Made Combat Debut

The Air Force and Army demonstrated a new variant of the Joint Precision Airdrop System in Afghanistan that is able to deliver supplies to ground troops with dramatically improved accuracy. Draper Lab of Cambridge, Mass., developed the guidance, navigation, and control software for JPADS 2K, a 2,000-pound payload system that operates completely autonomously upon release from a C-130 or C-17. The Army recently deployed an initial increment of JPADS 2K; it made its operational debut in May, according to a Draper release. JPADS 2K development began in February 2010. The goal was to improve the ability to resupply troops accurately from overhead in the face of difficult ground terrain like mountains and steep valleys. Employing JPADS reduces the need for truck convoys that are vulnerable to enemy fire.

GPS Satellite Reaches 20 Years in Space

The second Global Positioning System Block IIA satellite on Monday reached 20 years on orbit. It’s still functioning as part of the current 31-satellite GPS constellation. The Air Force and its industry partners launched GPS Block IIA-11 (SVN-24) into space...

Air Force Tests Campus-Style Dining

Six Air Force installations will begin this summer to offer airmen more meal choices via campus-style dining under the Air Force Food Transformation Initiative. On Tuesday, campus-style dining is expected to begin at MacDill, AFB, Fla., and Patrick AFB, Fla.,...

Robins Museum Adds Scale Model of C-17

Along with a $20,000 donation, Boeing enhanced the Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB, Ga., with a large-scale model of the C-17 transport. Mounted prominently on a plinth outside the museum’s south entrance, the 10-foot-wingspan C-17 “represents the work Robins...