McKinley: Don’t Gut the National Guard

The United States must avoid the temptation of making severe cuts to the National Guard due to the tough fiscal climate and scheduled completion of large-scale military operations in Afghanistan in several years, after Iraq, the nation’s top citizen soldier...

Rand Tapped to lead 12th Air Force

President Obama has nominated Maj. Gen. Robin Rand for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general for his new assignment as commander of 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. Rand has been special assistant to the...

More than Just Airframes

Lt. Gen. Bud Wyatt, Air National Guard director, last week called for careful deliberation when the Air Force considers stripping Air Guard units of flying missions, since those flying units also possess dual-use equipment, such as firefighting vehicles, that are...

Full-time Readiness, Part-time Cost

The Air Force Reserve remains a highly cost-effective force with some of the most experienced airmen across all of USAF, said Air Force Reserve Chief Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner. Reservists “comprise nearly 14 percent of the total Air Force authorized...

Progress Towards Auditability

The Air Force is steadily making gains towards meeting the statutory deadline of being audit-ready—like the Defense Department overall—by the end of Fiscal 2017, but challenges remain, Jamie Morin, USAF’s comptroller, told lawmakers last week. “The Air Force has made...

F-16 Landing Mishap at Wisconsin Air Show

An F-16C from the Alabama Air National Guard’s 100th Fighter Squadron overran the runway on landing at Whittman Regional Airport, Wisconsin, last week, and incurred damage. The pilot was not seriously injured. He walked away from the aircraft and was...

NORTHCOM Nominee Supports US-Russia Exchange

Fostering military-to-military cooperation with Russia in areas like air defense and ballistic missile defense has merit and is worth pursuing, said Army Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby, President Obama's nominee to head NORAD and US Northern Command. "Finding places and venues and capabilities where we can cooperate with the Russian Federation can contribute not just to both nations' mutual security needs, but regional security needs as well," Jacoby told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing last week. Last August, the United States and Russia staged the first-ever Vigilant Eagle exercise, during which US and Russian fighters passed control of a mock hijacked airliner to one another over the Pacific Ocean near Alaska and the Russian Far East. "I believe Vigilant Eagle was a success," said Jacoby. "There really was benefit in that transparency that took place in the hand off of a hijacked aircraft that really builds trust and confidence in a relationship and contributes to US national security interests." (See also Jacoby's responses to advance questions.)

Second SBIRS Satellite Completes Key Ground Test

The Air Force's second Space Based Infrared Systems geosynchronous satellite, GEO-2, successfully completed its baseline integrated system test recently at prime contractor Lockheed Martin's facility in Sunnyvale, Calif., announced USAF officials. During these tests, engineers evaluated the satellite and its components to ensure that they properly operated as a total system. "The successful completion of this milestone is indicative of the team's increasing level of expertise leveraging our successful GEO-1 integration campaign," said Col. Scott Larrimore, SBIRS space division chief. "We are well on our way to delivering the second SBIRS GEO satellite." GEO-1 is the Air Force's first SBIRS geosynchronous satellite. The Air Force and its industry partners placed it in orbit on May 7. That satellite is now undergoing on-orbit testing. Next up for GEO-2 is environmental testing to determine the flight worthiness of the satellite in the space environment. Its launch is slated for next year.

Unlocking Cooperation’s Mysteries

The 36th Contingency Response Group from Andersen AFB, Guam, and Royal Australian Air Force counterparts jointly rehearsed contingency base set-up and sustainment at Williamson Airfield, Australia. During exercise Talisman Sabre, “Our biggest goal coming out here was to see how...