Shake It Up

Preoccupied with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Air Force may have become too complacent about its structure and methods, said outgoing Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. In a mid July exit interview, Schwartz said the Air Force,...

The F-22 and Clout Deficit

The Air Force lobbied former Defense Secretary Robert Gates for more than the 187 F-22s it ultimately was allowed to buy, but service leaders chose to give up the fight rather than expend all their clout to save a single...

Schwartz: Back to Talkin’ Blue

The Air Force needs to resume advocating for its unique role and capabilities, especially now that the new national defense strategy demands such weapons systems and expertise, said outgoing Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz in a mid July exit...

Legacies

Reinvigorating the nuclear enterprise, mainstreaming remotely piloted aircraft, focusing on families, and validating the Air Force’s “warrior spirit” are the principal legacies outgoing Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz sees from his tenure. Schwartz, who departs the CSAF office on...

Acquisition TLC Needed

Outgoing Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz thinks he didn’t “apply enough attention” in the acquisition realm during his tenure. In a mid July interview, he said he hopes that the new Chief of Staff will “lead the uniformed part...

Welsh Excited About F-35, but Still Has Concerns

While the F-35 strike fighter remains a cornerstone of the Air Force’s modernization portfolio, the program’s cost and development timeline remain points of concern, Air Force Chief of Staff nominee Gen. Mark Welsh told the Senate Armed Services Committee on...

SOUTHCOM Nominee Weighs in on Drug War

Demand for cocaine in the United States is the "real problem" in the war on that illegal drug, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Kelly, nominee to command US Southern Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 19. The demand is "huge, it's astronomical," said Kelly during his confirmation hearing. He said "huge amounts" of cocaine—some 1,000 tons or so—leave South America each year and work their way via land and sea routes on the northward journey to the United States. "Only 500 or 600 tons get through, but that 500 or 600 tons [are] spread across America to every community, every city, and it costs us dearly. The human capital alone is outrageous," explained Kelly. He estimated that cocaine use costs the United States nearly $200 billion per year in lost productivity, law enforcement, and rehabilitation. While demand "is where the problem starts," Kelly also thinks addressing the demand is "where the solution is." Included in SOUTHCOM's portfolio of activities are counternarcotics efforts with partner nations in Latin America. (Kelly's responses to advance questions)

First International F-35 Delivered

British defense minister Phillip Hammond accepted delivery of his country’s first F-35 strike fighter in a July 19 ceremony at manufacturer Lockheed Martin’s aircraft facility in Fort Worth, Tex. Designated BK-1, Britain’s F-35B short-takeoff and vertical-landing aircraft is the first...

Little Rock’s Upgraded C-130 Fleet Grows

Little Rock AFB, Ark., received its fifth C-130H updated with modern avionics, announced contractor Boeing on July 19. Arriving at Little Rock on July 17, this C-130H is the second aircraft that technicians at Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex in...

Scratch One for the Bantam Bomb

A GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II scored a direct hit against a moving target for the first time in a test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., announced manufacturer Raytheon on July 19. An F-15E flying from Holloman AFB, N.M.,...

Testing Reshuffle at Eglin

Air Force Material Command, as part of its command-wide reorganization, inactivated the Air Armament Center at Eglin AFB, Fla., consolidating Eglin’s 46th Test Wing and 96th Air Base Wing. Redesignated the 96th Test Wing during a ceremony on July 18,...

Schriever Will Host Missile Defense Liaisons

Construction is under way on a new work area at Schriever AFB, Colo., for the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, announced 50th Space Wing officials. As part of this construction, the base will bed down two foreign...