Not Good Enough

: Members of Congress seem to agree that the Defense Department’s offer to retain more Air National Guard personnel and assets than originally planned in Fiscal 2013 is a positive step forward, though the indications are that they want even...

HASC Starts Mark-ups

The chairmen of four House Armed Services Committee panels on Wednesday released their mark-ups of the Pentagon's Fiscal 2013 budget request. Each panel—emerging threats and capabilities; personnel; seapower and projection forces; and strategic forces—will hold a mark-up hearing on Thursday, April 26. Among Air Force-related items of note, the personnel mark would retain 560 of the 3,900 Active Duty airmen that the Air Force has proposed cutting, thereby leaving an Active Duty end strength of 329,460 vice 328,900. The mark justifies keeping these extra billets to fill the "manpower requirements to maintain" 18 RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 aircraft that the service wants to divest. The mark also calls for establishment of a unified medical command across the Defense Department, something the Air Force has resisted. The seapower and projection forces mark would require the Air Force's future bomber—primarily envisioned for conventional missions—to be certified for nuclear weapons as well by the time it is declared ready for operations. The strategic forces mark would allow the Air Force to buy two Space Based Infrared System satellites using a fixed-price contract and incremental funding, but without advanced appropriations authority.

Mark-up documents (caution, all are large-sized files)Emerging Threat and Capabilities mark-up

Personnel mark-up

Seapower and Projection Forces mark-up

Strategic Forces mark-up

End of the Advanced Cruise Missile

Without fanfare, an excavator recently severed the fuselage of the Air Force’s last AGM-129A Advanced Cruise Missile during a ceremony at Hill AFB, Utah. Destruction of this AGM-129 completed the demilitarization of this cruise missile type and associated trainers, components,...

An Enduring Pacific Partnership

The relationship between Australia and the United States is undergoing an evolution today, but it is an alliance rooted in more than 100 years of history, said Australian Foreign Minister Robert Carr. The alliance goes back to President Teddy Roosevelt’s...

Many Narratives in Asia

The economic power of the globe is shifting to nations like China and India, but the rise of those nations is beneficial to Australia as well as the United States, said Australian Foreign Minister Robert Carr Wednesday. “China has every...

Crunch Time

Unless Pakistan reopens its over-land supply routes to the United States, it’s going to be difficult to meet President Obama’s 2014 timeline for withdrawal from Afghanistan, said Marine Corps Maj. Gen. John Toolan, former commander of Afghanistan’s Regional Command-Southwest. Roughly...

Africa Air Component Shift

US Air Forces in Europe assumed the role of Air Forces Africa, the air component for US Africa Command, with the inactivation of 17th Air Force during a ceremony at Ramstein AB, Germany. “As we get ready to case the...

Minot Missile Sites Fit and Ready

Missileers successfully launched six simulated Minuteman III ICBMs recently from Minot AFB, N.D., proving 91st Missile Wing launch-control readiness, announced base officials. This Simulated Electronic Launch-Minuteman event, dubbed Giant Pace 12-1M, was one in the series of live annual tests...

Good Neighbors, Good Fences

Officials at Minot Air Force Base are concerned that increasing petroleum and natural gas drilling in North Dakota is encroaching on the base’s missile sites, reported the Minot Daily News. As a result, 91st Missile Wing officials are reaching out...

Unmanned Helo Proving Invaluable in Afghanistan

The Lockheed Martin/Kaman K-MAX unmanned helicopter is proving invaluable to ground troops in Afghanistan, said Marine Corps Maj. Gen. John Toolan, former commander of Regional Command-Southwest, who’s just returned from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan. The helicopter, which can haul...