Eight Miles High and Falling Fast

The Air Force is losing its edge and has to warn the nation against being too sanguine about the threat, service acquisition chief William LaPlante said March 17. “Don’t assume benign conditions,” LaPlante said. “We have to innovate and experiment...

Air Superiority Concerns

Air Combat Command boss Gen. Hawk Carlisle said of all the challenges facing the Air Force’s core missions, air superiority is the “one I am most worried about,” and one of the reasons why USAF is pressing forward with “Air...

McCord: OCO Not the Way to Go

A $90 billion boost to the overseas contingency operations—as suggested by Tuesday’s House Republican budget proposal—isn’t the preferred way to fix sequester-driven defense funding shortfalls, the Pentagon’s comptroller said March 17. Speaking at a McAleese Associates/Credit Suisse conference in Washington,...

Rebalancing ISR Cadre

The Air Force is looking to rebalance and reinvest in several mission areas over the next two decades, which will require making some tough calls on whether to extend certain assets, modernize others, or come up with new concepts entirely,...

Easing Restrictions on Russian Engines

House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee leaders and Air Force officials agreed March 17 that the congressionally imposed limit on using Russian-built RD-180 rocket engines could create a multi-year gap in the nation’s ability to put heavier national security payloads...

ULA, SpaceX Battle in Hill Hearing

The intense rivalry between well-established United Launch Alliance and the up-start SpaceX boiled over during a House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces panel March 17, with company executives questioning their rival’s costs and capabilities to provide the critically important assured...

USAF Building “Sixth Generation” Tanker

The Air Force’s KC-46A program is unlike any other aerial refueling aircraft in the US inventory and will be a highly capable air asset when deployed in the fleet, the program’s manager told a McAleese Associates/Credit Suisse conference in Washington,...

A Snapshot of the Deployed Force

Lt. Gen. Tod Wolters, the Air Staff’s director of operations, gave attendees of a March 17 McAleese Associates/Credit Suisse conference in Washington, D.C., a wide-ranging update on current global operations, detailing where airmen are deployed in the world today. In...

Congress’ MC-12 Verdict

Air Force Special Operations Command will continue flying the U-28 as its primary manned intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platform instead of converting to the MC-12W Liberty, AFSOC Commander Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold said. “The Congress was not enamored” with AFSOC’s...

Gunship Mini-Me, Microwave, and Lasers

A gunship-deployed sensor drone may eventually allow the new AC-130J Ghostrider to spot, engage, and destroy targets from above the cloud deck, said Air Force Special Operations Command boss Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold. “It’s awful hard to peer through the...

End of the Petting-Zoo Roadshow

Air Force Special Operations Command is retooling its aviation foreign internal defense efforts to deepen longer-term mentorship efforts with a few, key international partners, AFSOC boss Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold said. “We’re looking for persistent engagement in places, versus episodic,...

The CRH and the Future of Personnel Recovery

Though not in the top three acquisition priorities, the Air Force must think hard about how to rebalance its combat search and rescue forces, Air Combat Command boss Gen. Hawk Carlisle said March 17 in Washington, D.C. Speaking at a...