SBIRS Satellite Exceeding Expectations

GEO-1, the first Space Based Infrared Systems geosynchronous satellite, already is meeting more than 90 percent of Air Force Space Command’s performance requirements for operational use, said service space officials on Monday. That’s the case even though US Strategic Command...

Air Combat Command Issues 2012 Strategic Plan

Air Combat Command boss Gen. Mike Hostage on Monday released "Securing the High Ground: Dominant Combat Airpower for America," the command's 2012 strategic plan. The document stresses four priorities for the combat air forces leadership: balance recapitalization and modernization within given resources; develop, retain, and care for innovative, motivated, combat-focused airmen and their families; focus organizations, training, and education to improve combat capability across the entire spectrum of conflict; and improve operational effectiveness and increase integration of Air Force, joint, allied, and coalition capabilities in advanced threat environments. "The men and women of Air Combat Command are the most sophisticated and precious resource we possess," said Hostage in a release unveiling the plan. He added, "Our sacred bond to our airmen is ensuring they are provided the proper equipment, training, and skills required to achieve success in the missions our nation has asked them to accomplish." (ACC's 2012 strategic plan; caution, large-sized file.)

Industry Frozen by Sequestration Threat

Lockheed Martin Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Stevens urged members of the Senate Aerospace Caucus to take action before the steep across-the-board spending cuts of the Budget Control Act’s sequestration clause are applied next January. “The very prospect of...

National Day of Honor

President Obama on Monday declared “a National Day of Honor” to remember the service, success, and sacrifice of the countless US military personnel who took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. “Nine years ago, members of the...

Broken Propeller Component Doomed Predator

Air Combat Command investigators determined that a broken variable-pitch propeller quill shaft caused the crash of an MQ-1B Predator remotely piloted aircraft last August in Afghanistan, announced command officials. The broken quill shaft forced the aircraft's propeller to an abnormal angle, generating increased drag and causing the aircraft to rapidly descend, according to ACC's accident investigation board report, released last week. Since the aircraft lost too much altitude, it was unable it reach its forward operating base, so operators attempted to bring it down in a rural, unpopulated area. However, due to its rapid descent rate, it ended up crashing in a civilian residential area, damaging two structures, states the report. The board president also determined that the lack of Air Force maintenance guidance on the quill shaft resulted in it exceeding the manufacturer's defined serviceable life. The loss of the Predator on Aug. 20, 2011, along with one Hellfire missile and one missile rail, is estimated at about $3.9 million, according to the report. (AIB report; caution, large-sized file.)

Speed Matters

The Air Force intends to move forward next fiscal year with two missile-related technology demonstrations: one with a future conventional weapon in mind and the other supporting a next-generation nuclear cruise missile, said Steven Walker, science, technology, and engineering lead...

Antarctic Season Debrief

Airmen of the 62nd Airlift Wing and associate Air Force Reserve Command 446th AW at JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., flew more Antarctic support flights during Operation Deep Freeze 2011-12 than during any previous season, according to officials from the units. Detached...

Launch Pad in a Hangar

Airmen of the 4th Space Launch Squadron constructed a mock space launch complex at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., to train service technicians to oversee launch contractors there. Since Vandenberg’s actual launch pads are in such high operational demand, “technicians didn’t have...

Australia Orders Sixth C-17

The Royal Australian Air Force will acquire an additional C-17 airlifter—its sixth—under a $297 million (some $280 million Australian) foreign military sale with the US government, announced Australia’s defense ministry on Monday. The additional aircraft will greatly enhance Australia’s humanitarian...