Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Despite grave concerns being expressed about impending budget cuts, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz urged attendees at the Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference at National Harbor, Md., near Washington, D.C., not to be too downbeat....

Just Say No

The Air Force has a tendency to accept new missions even when it is overtasked and lacking in manpower or resources to take on more missions. “We’ve … got to start saying no; enough’s enough,” said Air Force Gen. William...

Staying Focused on Training

CMSAF James Roy said training is the one thing that keeps him up at night. “This one concerns me the most,” said Roy Wednesday during AFA’s Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. As DOD works through efficiency initiatives...

Staying Motivated

The majority of the force entered the Air Force after Sept. 11, 2001, which means they’ve never experienced an Air Force that wasn’t at war. As operations in Iraq draw to a close later this year, senior leaders are trying...

A Clear Signal without Political Machinations

There’ve been rumblings that some White House officials pressured Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, to alter his testimony before going before a House oversight committee in a classified session earlier this month to discuss LightSquared’s proposed...

No Room to Coexist

The best likely solution for LightSquared of Reston, Va., to operate its proposed wireless broadband network without interfering with the GPS signal in the United States is for the company’s network to occupy a different portion of the frequency spectrum...

Star-Crossed Missile Defense

The changeover of US Air Forces in Europe from a four-star command to a three-star billet probably means that the creation of an integrated US/NATO missile defense “won’t happen,” at least not quickly, USAFE chief Gen. Mark Welsh said Tuesday...

Reworking the AEF

Air Force leaders will examine a new Air and Space Expeditionary Force at the next Corona senior leaders session that if approved will mean airmen, their leadership, their unit, and equipment will deploy together as one comprehensive package rather than...

Life After 65

The Air Force might have to field more than 65 remotely piloted aircraft orbits, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz hinted on Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. In a press conference, Schwartz said, “We’re at 59 orbits today....

Walking the Line

Air Force leaders aren’t quite sure what the 21st century Total Force will look like, but they know it will play a vital role in the future operating environment. Speaking at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Tuesday afternoon, National Guard...

Pretty Much Fully Staffed

Air Force Global Strike Command headquarters at Barksdale AFB, La., now has about 860 to 870 personnel, still shy of the 1,000 goal, but probably at a level that command officials can reasonably expect it to hover around from now...

Today’s Slate and Paper

The nation must maintain a minimum level of space and cyberspace capability if it wants to remain a global power, Gen. William Shelton, Air Force Space Command boss, told attendees Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in National Harbor,...

Air Guard Mission Scrub

The Air National Guard is a lean and effective fighting force, but it should carefully choose which missions to expand in—and the upcoming round of budget deliberations is a very good time to examine what the ANG can and can’t...

AirSea Battle a “Natural Evolution”

AirSea Battle has moved off the front pages, thanks in part to the burgeoning budget debate in Washington, but the leadership of the Air Force and Navy are going over the first set of the documents and consulting the regional...

South Korea Eyes Additional Military Changes

South Korea is moving toward assuming operational wartime control of military forces on the peninsula by 2015 and have very effectively modernized their military forces leading up to the milestone, according to the top US airman in the Pacific. “Korea...

Creating Opportunities in the Guard

The Air National Guard has taken on a significant amount of responsibility since Sept. 11, 2001, that has allowed it to maintain its dual-hat role, but future budget constraints may force leaders to question exactly how much air sovereignty is...

Airmen Will Play Vital Role in the Future Fight

Airmen will continue to play a critical role that is essential to the joint fight and the Defense Department’s emerging strategy, despite looming budget cuts, said Erin Conaton, Air Force undersecretary. “We are a central part of any high-end, anti-access/area...

Energetic Savings

Diversifying the Air Force’s energy portfolio and reducing energy consumption will remain top priorities for Air Force leaders. Speaking at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Tuesday afternoon, Undersecretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton said Air Force installations cover an...

The Triad Must Go On

Especially in light of the New START arms reduction treaty, the Air Force—with stewardship of both ICBMs and nuclear bombers—must continually underscore the need to sustain the nuclear Triad. “As we implement New START and reduce the number of deployed...

Snapshot of New Space Capabilities

So far, the data from GEO-1, the first Space Based Infrared Systems geosynchronous satellite, have been “truly amazing,” said Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, Tuesday. Speaking at AFA’s Air & Space Conference just outside of Washington,...

X-37B on Chopping Block?

The X-37B reusable spaceplane is a “very flexible platform” and a “wonderful capability,” said Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, in his address Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference just outside of Washington, D.C. But X-37...

Libya—a Stern Lesson on Interest

Libya highlighted the danger of NATO’s European members regarding the alliance as a replacement for indispensable national capability. “It is a very nice concept but one that doesn’t work at the country level,” said French Air Force Gen. Stephane Abrial,...

AFSPC Pressing on Cyber Normalization

Cyber operations have expanded rapidly for Air Force Space Command, Vice Commander Lt. Gen. Michael J. Basla told attendees at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Tuesday afternoon, and the next big challenge is to institutionalize and normalize cyber operations across...

Cooperating Overhead from Down Under

The sixth Wideband Global satellite currently in production will join USAF’s satellite communications constellation—this time purchased by Australia. With WGS-6, “We increased our overall capabilities at zero additional cost … while Australia was able to realize 100 percent of their...

New Telescope for Space-Monitoring Quiver

The DARPA-developed Space Surveillance Telescope in New Mexico will shift to Air Force ownership “in about the next month or so,” Gen. William Shelton, Air Force Space Command head, said Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in National Harbor,...

Efficiently Delivering Worldwide

The US Air Force is the government’s largest energy consumer, predominantly driven by fueling some 900 daily air mobility sorties. “We buy about 2.5 billion gallons of fuel every year” and 37 percent is used by Air Mobility Command, Kevin...

Stepping Up to the Plate

Funding for the Defense Department is about 30 percent higher than it was in 1985 at the height of the Cold War, but that funding boost hasn’t been distributed equally across the services, said Under Secretary of the Air Force...

Eye Toward Affordability

Thanks to the $33 billion efficiency effort that Air Force announced last year, the service has been able to move “critically needed dollars” from support activities into other programs, such as upgrades to the F-15 radars, increased space launch investments,...

It’s Not All Bad News in Space

Former Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force for Space Programs Gary Payton cast a little bit of sunlight on Tuesday’s panel discussion on the future of the space industrial base, by noting that it still attracts talent—but the nation should...

No Life Support

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz is worried about sustaining the industrial base for advanced aeronautical systems, but doesn’t expect it will get any life support funding outside of vetted programs. Asked during a press conference Tuesday at...

Not At Any Cost

Although “there is no alternative” to the F-35, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said he doesn’t believe it must be acquired “at any cost.” In a press conference, Schwartz said “I don’t believe in anything ‘at any...

The Development Problem With Space

The United States spent decades building a deep knowledge and manufacturing base for space and satellite systems, but now is faced with some troubling trend lines in the industry, a panel of senior space executives said at AFA’s Air &...

Meet the New OSC—the KC-135

A real-world event with a KC-135 tanker acting as impromptu on-scene commander for the rescue of survivors of an aircraft crash in Afghanistan prompted 92nd Air Refueling Wing airmen at Fairchild AFB, Wash., to develop a training scenario for just...