Status Quo Equals Failure

The status quo in USAF’s space capabilities—“fragile” satellites launched on a just-in-time schedule—won’t work going forward, given the number of adversaries who openly threaten them, Air Force Space Command chief Gen. William Shelton said Friday. Speaking at AFA’s Global Warfare...

Not So Responsive

The idea behind “operationally responsive space” isn’t sound, according to Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command. Speaking Friday at AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles, Shelton said it makes little sense to have rockets “sitting around...

Love the Record

Air Force Space Command is contemplating what to do about the space launch industrial base, its commander, Gen. William Shelton, said Friday. Speaking to AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles, Shelton said, “We love the operational record” racked up...

Innovation in Difficult Times

The Air Force and the entire US military face one of the most difficult periods of transition in recent memory, a longtime veteran of various military and intelligence advisory boards said Thursday at AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles....

USAF Must Embrace Role in Grand Strategy

Talking about the future of US grand strategy in relation to the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, Adam Grissom—a RAND Corp. senior political scientist—said the future holds good news and bad news. USAF has unique capabilities—projecting power and influence “in...

The Fifth Element

Space accounts for 20 percent of the Air Force’s planned investment spending for Fiscal 2013, a reflection that the service is in the midst of a significant modernization of its on-orbit assets, said Jamie Morin, the Air Force’s acting undersecretary....

Erosion Control

The US lead in military space is “eroding,” according to Air Force Acting Undersecretary Jamie Morin. Maintaining an edge will require both smarter operations and ensuring the health of the space industrial base, he told attendees of AFA’s Global Warfare...

F-22 Crashes at Tyndall

On Thursday, the same day that the Air Force released the details on the cause of an F-22 mishap at Tyndall AFB, Fla., back in May (see entry below), another Raptor crashed at the northwest Florida base, announced officials there....

Pilot Error Caused F-22 Accident at Tyndall

An F-22 was forced to make a belly landing during a training sortie on May 31 at Tyndall AFB, Fla., due to the student pilot's failure to advance the aircraft's engines to military power before he initiated landing gear retraction, Air Education and Training Command officials announced Thursday. The incident occurred during a touch-and-go landing at the northwest Florida base, which is home to the Air Force's F-22 schoolhouse. "Without sufficient thrust, the aircraft settled back to the runway, landing on its underside," skidding along the runway to a stop, states the AETC release, dated Nov. 14, that cites the findings of the command's accident investigation board. The pilot, assigned to Tyndall's 43rd Fighter Squadron, "was able to safely exit the aircraft, suffering only minor injuries," states the release. However, the Raptor suffered damage that will take an estimated $35 million to repair. A Tyndall spokesman previously told the Daily Report that the student pilot was on only his second solo F-22 flight when the mishap occurred.

MAFFS Crash Ruled Pilot Error

The aircrew's failure to properly identify dangerous weather conditions and abort was the key factor in the fatal North Carolina Air National Guard C-130 crash during July 1 firefighting operations in South Dakota, Air Mobility Command investigators determined. Despite an impending thunderstorm, the crew elected to continue dropping retardant on wildfires in the area. The Modular Airborne Firefighting System-equipped Hercules flew through a "microburst," causing the aircraft to strike the ground, according to a Nov. 14 release summarizing the report. "If you add all the pieces up, it was very clear they shouldn't have attempted the second drop," said Brig. Gen. Randall Guthrie who led the investigation, quoted by Stars and Stripes. Investigators said that poor communication with the spotter aircraft and conflicting storm avoidance guidelines also contributed to the mishap. The aircraft and crew were assigned to ANG's 145th Airlift Wing at Charlotte, N.C. The full Accident Investigation Board report has not yet been cleared for public release, AMC spokesman Capt. Neil Samson told the Daily Report.

Panetta Orders Review of Senior Military Stewardship

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has directed Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey to work with the other JCS members “to review how to better foster a culture of stewardship” among the nation’s most senior military officers, announced Pentagon...

US, Australia Eye WGS Comm Gateway

Building upon this week’s news that the United States and Australia would establish two space-surveillance sites on Australian soil, US and Australian officials also announced plans to stand up a combined satellite communications gateway in Western Australia. The gateway would...

AEHF-2 Shifts to Operators’ Control

After a three-month journey to its intended operational perch and many hours of subsequent on-orbit testing, AEHF-2, the Air Force’s second Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite, is now under the control authority of the 4th Space Operations Squadron at Schriever...

“Exhaustive Look” at BMT Environment

The Air Force’s two top leaders—Secretary Michael B. Donley and Gen. Mark A. Welsh— reiterated the position that “sexual assault is a crime and there is absolutely no place for it in our Air Force” in a statement they issued...

F-35 Schoolhouse Clears Eval Run

The F-35 schoolhouse completed a test run of its pilot training pipeline, completing its Operational Utility Evaluation at Eglin AFB, Fla., Nov. 15. The OUE was the last major hurdle before the 33rd Fighter Wing is cleared to begin full-up...

Cybersecurity Act Stalled Again

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is "disappointed" that the Senate failed to advance the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, according to a Nov. 14 statement from Pentagon press secretary George Little. Despite bipartisan efforts to craft the legislation, the measure continues to face obstacles—it was the subject of a filibuster in July; it failed to advance during an August floor vote; and it failed again Wednesday in another floor vote (51-47) that was again short of the 60 votes necessary to finally end debate. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reportedly said after the Wednesday vote, "Cybersecurity is dead for this Congress." However, the Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.), said Thursday that he expects to see the measure resurface in December after floor debate on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013, reports The Hill. Defense Secretary Panetta has warned of the potential for a "cyber Pearl Harbor" and believes this new cybersecurity legislation is needed to support greater investments in cybersecurity measures. (CRS summary and status for S.3414)

International C-17 Wing Fully Operational

The multi-national Strategic Airlift Capability Heavy Airlift Wing declared full operational capability Nov. 14 with its fleet of C-17s at Pápa AB, Hungary, according to a wing release. “We have forged a great example of pooling and sharing, smart defense,...

Edwards Shines under Solar Energy Deal

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will design and develop a 200-kilowatt high-concentration photovoltaic solar-power field on one acre of land at Edwards AFB, Calif., announced the company. HCPV is “revolutionary technology” that will contribute to “greater energy independence and energy security”...