US Officials Condemn Benghazi Attack

President Obama, congressional leadership, and senior Pentagon and State Department officials condemned the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The attack killed US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith—who was an Air Force...

Spotlight: SMSgt. Luke W. Thompson

One of the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2012, SMSgt. Luke W. Thompson is a combat controller with the Oregon Air National Guard’s 125th Special Tactics Squadron at Portland Airport. Thompson led an expeditionary special tactics...

BAE Systems, EADS Talking Merger

BAE Systems and Airbus-parent EADS are in discussions about a possible merger, confirmed the companies on Sept. 12. The parties envision that EADS shareholders would own 60 percent and BAE Systems shareholders would own 40 percent of the new entity, states an EADS release with information from both companies. There would be a unified board and management system, it states. The two companies "have a long history of collaboration" and are currently partnered in projects like the Eurofighter, states a separate BAE Systems release. It adds, "The potential combination would create a world-leading international aerospace, defense, and security group with substantial centers of manufacturing and technology excellence" worldwide. Boeing Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney said Boeing did not feel threatened by the proposed merger, reported Reuters on Sept. 12. EADS last year lost out to Boeing for the rights to build the Air Force's KC-46A tanker and remains an archrival of Boeing in the commercial airliner market. "I have a pretty deep and abiding faith in our company's strength, so I don't see this as something that is going to threaten us fundamentally," said McNerney.

C-17 on Display at Berlin Air Show

A C-17 from JB Charleston, S.C., is among the US military aircraft on display at this week’s Berlin Air Show, according to officials with Air Force Reserve Command’s 315th Airlift Wing at Charleston. “I love showing people our C-17,” said...

Airmen Finish Azerbaijan Training Mission

Airmen from the 435th Contingency Response Group at Ramstein AB, Germany, wrapped up a mission in Baku, Azerbaijan, where they mentored members of the Azeri military in airfield and airspace management and base communications. The 10-member building-partnership-capacity cell concluded the...

Veterans Jobs Bill Advances

The Senate approved a measure allowing S. 3457, the Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012, to proceed to floor debate. The bill would establish a veterans jobs corps that employs veterans as firefighters and law enforcement officers; on conservation, resource...

Deep Freeze’s Winter Flying Season Concludes

Members of the 62nd Airlift Wing and Air Force Reserve Command’s 446th AW at JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., recently wrapped up the winter flying season in Antarctica in support of US scientific research on the barren continent. A McChord C-17 transport...

Midcourse is the Way

The United States must upgrade its Ground-based Midcourse Defense system to have a more realistic chance of stopping a long-range ballistic missile attack from Iran or North Korea, according to a newly issued National Research Council report. The current GMD system, built around ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California, represents an "early, but fragile" defensive capability that the United States should bolster via a third interceptor site in the northeastern United States, smaller interceptors based on proven technology, and more X-band radars to track the threat missiles, states a Sept. 11 NRC release on the report. Otherwise, GMD "will not be able to work against any but the most primitive attacks," it reads. Moreover, boost-phase missile defenses are not "practical or feasible" because of the short intercept timelines, states the release. Therefore, the United States should concentrate, instead, on defensive systems that intercept during the midcourse phase of the threat missile's trajectory, it states. David Montague, former Lockheed Martin executive, and Walter Slocombe, former undersecretary of defense for policy, co-chaired the report, which the Missile Defense Agency chartered to meet a congressional mandate. (NRC report; caution, large-sized file.) (See also Bloomberg report.)