Adm. James Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outlined three common misconceptions regarding ballistic missile defense during a recent speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. The first, “and most obvious,” he said, is that the United States’ defense system can’t “hit-to-kill.” He cited the successful June 2014 test interception of an intermediate-range ballistic missile launched from the Army’s Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands as an example. “Overall, the ground-based missile defense system is four for seven, and there’s nothing like having your most recent shot a success,” Winnefeld said during the May 19 speech. He also cited the US’s “excellent track record with our regional systems,” noting that “THAAD is 11 for 11; AEGIS BMD is 21 for 25; and the Patriot PAC-3 is 21 for 25.” He added, “That’s not bad, but we’re determined to make it even better.” Second, Winnefeld said it’s not “as easy as it might look on paper” for an adversary to employ ballistic missile defense countermeasures. And, finally, he said, “It would be hubris” to think that “missile defense needs to be 100-percent effective in order to be successful.” Though he said that will always be the goal, Winnefeld acknowledged that, “No system can achieve perfection even though we always strive for it.” (Winnefeld transcript.) (See also A Pain and No Gain Approach to Missile Defense.)
Feb. 28, 2021
In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, Air Force Magazine is posting daily recollections from the six-week war, which expelled Iraq from occupied Kuwait.
Feb. 26, 2021
Acting Secretary of the Air Force Roth, NORAD’s Gen. VanHerck, U.S. Space Command’s Gen. Dickinson, Spark Tank, and more from Day 3 of the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.
Feb. 26, 2021
A crew chief and production superintendent from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., took home the 3D-printed trophy in the Department of the Air Force’s Spark Tank innovation contest for a simple idea he predicts could “solve a lot of issues across the aircraft community.” Master Sgt. Justin Bauer pitched his…
The first flight of the AGM-183A hypersonic missile will happen within a week, experts reported Feb. 26 at AFA's virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium. The Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon will fly soon after a failed attempt, which was apparently due to technical and procedural glitches not related to the missile's design.
Air Combat Command is trying to move forward with an experiment it hopes will pave the way for a larger overhaul of fighter pilot training, despite pandemic-era complications. The command is working through the contracting process for the resources it needs to test the “Reforge” idea, ACC boss Gen. Mark…
Feb. 26, 2021
Nearly 140 Air National Guard personnel from Texas and Kentucky have responded to parts of Texas that were devastated by Winter Storm Uri, ANG Director Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh told reporters Feb. 26. The polar vortex ravaged Texas’ power grid and deprived many citizens of running water.
The head of Air Combat Command isn't sure the cost of operating the F-35 will hit the desired $25,000 per hour by 2025, and he's headed out to meetings to see what can be done to make it happen. He's also concerned that China will beat the U.S. to 6th-generation…
The Pentagon’s new Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military has 90 days to find ways to combat the problem within the ranks, and the group will consider all options to address an issue that has “shattered the dreams” of many service members who joined with optimism about…
Feb. 26, 2021
Air Education and Training Command has incorporated a focus on human performance optimization—which includes personal resilience, health, fitness, diet, and mental performance—into its Undergraduate Pilot Training 2.5 program, 19th Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Craig D. Wills said at the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.