Wilson Points to Personnel Gains, Acquisition Strategies in Era of Change
Air Force Didn’t Ask for New F-15s, But Needs to Bolster Fighter Buy
The Air Force’s fiscal 2020 budget is likely to include a request for new F-15 fighters, but the service didn’t ask for them, Secretary Heather Wilson revealed Thursday. The move was an add from other budget entities seeking to help the Air Force achieve an annual fighter buy of 72 jets per year, which Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said was necessary to bring the fighter fleet age down and achieve the capacity necessary to meet the National Defense Strategy with “moderate” risk. Buying all F-35s was seen as unaffordable, service leaders said, because even though the stealth fighter has a low unit cost, the sustainment cost is high. Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Holmes said the F-35s also impose military construction and training expenses the F-15s could avoid. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.
USAF Pauses KC-46 Acceptance After FOD Found on Aircraft
The Air Force temporarily stopped accepting new KC-46 aircraft this week after foreign object debris was found in several tankers, though service officials are expected to make a decision soon on whether to resume flights, USAF’s acquisition chief said Thursday. Boeing said it is working with the Air Force and the Defense Contract Management Agency to finalize a plan to ensure FOD stays off the production line, but the company said, “There is no change to the current tanker delivery plan.” Read the full story by Amy McCullough.
PACAF, USAFE Lack Resources and “Perfect” Posture for Major Wars
ACC Planning Integrated Cyber, ISR Ops As AFCYBER Evolves
Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Holmes told reporters today the service will figure out how to mesh cyber and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance forces over the next few months and make a final decision this summer, one year after ACC took over responsibility for Air Forces Cyber. Those planning changes promise to shape how cyber operators interact with warfighters in other domains, as AFCYBER builds out its own capabilities. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.
USAF Needs to Shift Its Reliance Away from Just Live Flying for High-End Training
The improved capability of fifth generation aircraft and the need to replicate modern threats has outgrown the current size of the Air Force’s training ranges, so the service needs to respond by improving its infrastructure for live-virtual training. Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten, the commander of the Air Force Warfare Center, said Thursday the limited size of the ranges means aircraft can’t properly stretch their legs in training, and open-air flight also brings with it security problems from orbital surveillance and cyber attacks. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.
Renewable Energy for Chemical Weapon Detector Wins 2019 Spark Tank Contest
Raytheon Investing in JPALS Software Upgrades
Raytheon is spending its own money to upgrade the Joint Precision Approach and Landing Systems (or JPALS), said retired US Navy Rear Adm. CJ Jaynes, executive technical advisor for precision landing systems at Raytheon Intelligence, Information, and Services. The upgrades, which it hopes to complete in time for a possible F-35A landing test at Edwards AFB, Calif., in the fall of 2019, aim to give the aircraft multi-runway, multi-aircraft, multi-touchdown-point capability, and to allow them to land up to 20 nautical miles away from a ground station. Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.
An article in the Feb. 28 Daily Report included the wrong title for Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.). She is the ranking member of the House Armed Services intelligence, emerging threats, and capabilities subcommittee. We have corrected the original story.
President Donald Trump showered praised on troops and touted the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling when Air Force One made a refueling stop Thursday in Alaska as the president returned from Asia. Associated Press via Anchorage Daily News
First Female TACP Could Graduate This Spring
The Air Force could see its first female airman graduate from tactical air control party training this spring, the service’s personnel chief told Congress Wednesday. Air Force Times
Senate Bill Seeks Extension of the Space Station
A bill introduced by a bipartisan pair of senators Feb. 27 would authorize an extension of the International Space Station to 2030 and also make permanent human settlement of space a national goal. Space News
Boeing Unveils ‘Loyal Wingman’ Drone
Boeing introduced its Airpower Teaming System at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon on Wednesday. Defense News
How Climate Change Is Affecting Alaska’s Military Radar Stations
Perched on a craggy rise along the western-most edge of the continent a few thousand feet above the Bering Strait sits a sophisticated piece of military technology, ensconced in ice. NPR
Opinion: I Ran the Air War Over Gaddafi. Here’s Why The US Should Stop Backing the Yemen War
One hopes Jared Kushner said it in Saudi Arabia, but Congress should curtail the Pentagon’s participation in this war. Defense One
One More Thing …
RAF Smashes Gender Stereotypes in a Recruiting Ad Gone Viral. Watch it Here.