Nuclear Munitions Squadrons’ Oversight Shifts

Air Force Global Strike Command will soon take responsibility for the munitions squadrons that support the service’s nuclear mission, announced service officials Monday. Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz signed the program action directive on Nov. 20 that codifies this...

Schwartz Thanks Airmen in Iraq

Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz thanked airmen serving in Iraq for their role in helping to rebuild the Iraqi air force, which has grown from just 748 airmen and 28 aircraft in 2006 to more than 6,000 airmen and...

Wait a Minute, Man

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) called on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to ensure that the Minuteman III ICBM force is not eliminated as one of the moves that Pentagon officials might feel compelled to make to deal with potential budget cuts up to $100 billion annually over the next 10 years. Conrad wrote Panetta after Panetta told lawmakers earlier this month that such steep budget reductions might force DOD to "eliminate [the] ICBM leg of triad," among the many drastic actions that might be unavoidable. Getting rid of the ICBMs would provide an estimated $8 billion in savings, said Panetta. But such thinking is alarming, asserted Conrad. "It's a shock to hear the Pentagon say that the ICBM is a good place to find short-term savings," he wrote in his Nov. 18 letter to Panetta. "This total reversal of our long-held and successful nuclear deterrent strategy would create unnecessary strategic danger; moreover, it does not make fiscal sense," stated Conrad. Accordingly, "I ask that you protect the 420-missile and 450-silo ICBM force from cuts outside the arms control process, and refrain from considering our nation’s most cost-effective and stabilizing nuclear deterrent," he underscored.

Extreme Airlifter

Experimenting with futuristic airlifter designs, Air Force Research Lab engineers recently began testing Lockheed Martin’s jet-powered short takeoff and landing model at the National Full Scale Aerodynamics Complex, the world’s largest wind tunnel, at Moffett Field, Calif. The company’s model...

Second Stage of Afghanistan Security Transition Announced

Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, welcomed the Afghan government’s release of a second round of sites that will transition back to Afghan security forces starting early next year. “There is no doubt that...

Acquisition and Sequestration

Under the Budget Control Act’s sequestration clause, the Pentagon’s budget would drop from a projected $530 billion in Fiscal 2013 to about $472 billion, said Todd Harrison, defense budget expert with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. That’s roughly...

Allied Negotiation 101

Following rave reviews by officers attending courses stateside at Maxwell AFB, Ala., Air University offered its first international negotiation course in Brussels, Belgium, for US military officers assigned to NATO and the US mission to the European Union as well...

Study Highlights Growing Military-Civilian Gap

A new Pew Research Center study finds that fewer younger Americans have a direct family connection to the military than older Americans. According to Pew, just one-half of one percent of Americans served in the armed forces at any given...

And Then There were Two

The Navy’s second X-47B unmanned combat air system carrier demonstrator took to the skies on its maiden flight, announced prime contractor Northrop Grumman Monday. During the roughly 30-minute hop on Nov. 22, the new UCAS-D airframe, designated AV-2, ascended to...