Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Spy planes help detect roadside bombs in Afghanistan

July 16, 2012

 

Images from spy planes and sensors that detect wires that trigger explosives have helped to mitigate the No. 1 threat to U.S. troops in Afghanistan — roadside bombs — over the past year.

The Pentagon has filled the skies over Afghanistan with high-tech sensors, and the effect has been measurable. From March through May, troops in vehicles found 64 percent of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) before they blew up, an 11 percentage-point increase over the previous quarter. Troops on foot patrol discovered 81 percent, a 4 percentage-point increase, according to the Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO).

The rate of discovery before bombs exploded hovered around 50 percent for years. The most important measure of progress: IEDs caused less than half of troop deaths for the first time in five years.

“We are, in terms of detection of all types of IEDs, vastly better than we were a year ago,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told USA Today in an interview. He credited airborne surveillance with driving progress against IEDs

.http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/afghanistan/spy-planes-help-detect-roadside-bombs-in-afghanistan-1.183054

Defense News in Brief – 5 March 2010

March 5, 2010

New Army Black Hawk succeeds in combat

The Army’s new high-tech UH-60 Black Hawk M-model helicopter — equipped with a stronger engine, a digital cockpit and composite rotor blades — performed exceptionally well in Afghanistan during its first major combat deployment, according to a recently completed After Action Review at Fort Campbell, Ky., service officials said.

“The M-model Black Hawks were in Afghanistan for 12 months. The aircraft performed exceptionally well,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Davis, product manager for UH-60 Modernization. “We got great reaction from pilots. They experienced a higher than average operational readiness rate with those aircraft in theater and they loved the technologies on-board.”

The year-long deployment was the first for the M-model Black Hawks, which entered full-rate production in June, 2007. So far, 154 M-models have been delivered, Davis said.

C-130 low-cost, low-altitude combat airdrops now operational

A C-130 Hercules aircrew conducted a new method of airdrop that makes deliveries more accurate and flexible for resupply of small, mobile forces Feb. 6, in Afghanistan. The C-130 aircrew from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, performed the first-ever low-cost, low-altitude combat airdrop to re-supply soldiers at a forward operating base in Afghanistan. The airdrop concept became operational March 1.

A C-130 low-cost, low-altitude combat airdrop is accomplished by dropping bundles weighing 80 to 500 pounds, with pre-packed expendable parachutes, in groups of up to four bundles per pass. The drops are termed “low-cost” to reflect the relative expense of the expendable parachutes compared to their more durable, but pricier, nylon counterparts. “Low-altitude” alludes to the relative height from which bundles are released from the aircraft.

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dam Neck Hosts Anti-Piracy Conference

An international group of 50 leading scientists, engineers and technologists convened at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dam Neck Feb. 23 to explore new technological concepts and collaboration initiatives to defeat piracy. Participants from U.S. and international navies, U.S. Naval Warfare Centers, industry and academia shared their insight and expertise to gain a better understanding of the issue and develop improved ways to combat piracy.

“We are thankful that all of the participants brought us their perspectives, especially the coalition viewpoint,” said Ray Campfield, workshop organizer. “Anti-piracy solutions are neither nation nor Navy specific. We must continue to work together and include our commercial shipping partners to achieve interoperable, integrated solutions for Navy, coalition and joint forces worldwide.”

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July 15, 2009


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Pentagon Brief Has a New Web Address

March 13, 2009

The Pentagon Brief blog has moved to www.pentagonbrief.blogspot.com

USAF Selects First F-35 Pilots

February 2, 2009

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Two Airmen of Luke Air Force Base’s F-16 Fighting Falcon family were selected Jan. 9 to become the initial cadre for the F-35 Lightning II. 

Lt. Col. Stephen Pieper, 310th Fighter Squadron director of operations, was selected to be a squadron commander and Maj. Chad Lewis, 56th Operations Support Squadron assistant director of operations in weapons and tactics, was selected to be one of the first instructor pilots for the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft. 

Since only a handful of test pilots currently fly the F-35, the Falcon duo will need to learn to fly the aircraft from them, Major Lewis said. 

“This initial qualification training will take approximately two to three months,” he said. “Once we’re qualified, we’ll be responsible for training the next pilot in line. The United States Air Force plans to buy more than 1,700 of these aircraft, so we have a lot of pilots to train.” 

The two aviators will be part of the 10 initial instructors in the F-35 training program and will be responsible for training all the subsequent instructors. Along with FTU instructor responsibilities, the initial cadre will develop tactics and assist with systems development in future F-35 variants. They will also be developing methods of force application that will revolutionize warfare, the major said. 

To find suitable applicants to become initial cadre, the Air Force sought pilots with A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-16, F-22 Raptor and F-15E Strike Eagle experience. Colonel Pieper and Major Lewis submitted applications through their chain of command to be assigned a rank order number. Once the applications left the base, they were reviewed by a selection board chaired by Maj. Gen. Anthony Przybyslawski, Air Education and Training Command vice commander. 

The selection board evaluated multiple criteria including flying hours and fighter experience. Major Lewis believes these areas gave him an advantage above other applicants. 

“I am a weapons instructor course graduate with more than 1,500 F-16 Fighting Falcon and 500 instructor pilot hours,” he said. “I also have combat experience in Operations Northern Watch and Iraqi Freedom. I think these are some of the biggest things that helped me get selected.” 

Along with Major Lewis’ background, Colonel Pieper and the others bring similar combat experiences as well to benefit future Lightning II pilots they take under their wing. 

“The combat experience that a number of us have will prove valuable as we attempt to marry the additional capabilities the aircraft bring and the tasking the Air Force has for us to fill and uphold,” Colonel Pieper said. 

Though Colonel Pieper will be filling a different position than his current job, he is confident his experience will transition well as an F-35 squadron commander. 

“As director of operations, I have gained experience balancing schedule priorities with aircraft and airspace availability, which will be of great benefit in bringing the Air Force’s newest fighter into service.” he said. “The leadership development opportunities in my current position will pay dividends in the F-35 program.” 

For Major Lewis the opportunity the new assignment provides is two-fold. 

“One is to be among the first pilots to fly the F-35,” he said. “Number two is to be involved in the development of a program that will have a long lasting impact on future airpower application.” 

Along with the opportunities are the challenges associated with any new weapon system, he said. 

“This aircraft and weapons system is drastically different than any other in the Air Force,” Major Lewis said.

(Tong Duong)

Former Air Force Secretary Accuses China

January 8, 2009

 

Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

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 Former Air Force Secretary Thomas Reed has co-authored a new book that makes the case that China has intentionally proliferated nuclear technology to dangerous regimes such as Pakistan and North Korea since the 1980s and is still debating internally whether to continue the flow of materials and know-how abroad. US News and World Report reported Jan. 2 that Reed’s work, The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and Its Proliferation, claims that China even tested the first Pakistani bomb in 1990 for the Pakistani regime of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. This test and additional Chinese help, Reed told the magazine, enabled the Pakistanis to respond within three weeks of India’s nuclear test in 1998 with their own underground nuclear test.

C-17 Aircrew Training System Goes Into Operation at Dover

December 13, 2008

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Boeing and the U.S. Air Force held a ceremony Dec. 5 to mark delivery of the new C-17 Aircrew Training System (ATS) to Dover Air Force Base (AFB), Del. The ATS began operation on Nov. 21 — more than four months ahead of schedule. It provides training to C-17 Globemaster III airlifter crews from Air Mobility Command and Air Force Reserve Command.

“In the past, aircrews at Dover had to travel to McGuire AFB [N.J.] and the Air National Guard base at Jackson [Miss.] to meet their training requirements,” said Mark McGraw, Boeing vice president for Training Systems and Services. “By delivering this capability to Dover, we are able to save the customer time, money and aircrew availability.”

“It’s great to just walk across the street to do the training. Finally, it feels like we are at a C-17 base,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jess Windsor, Evaluator Loadmaster, 326th Airlift Squadron.

Boeing has developed, operates and supports 10 U.S. C-17 ATS sites and expects to expand to three more within and outside the United States by 2010. With a tradition of successfully delivering C-17 aircrew training to the U.S. Air Force since 1992, Boeing has also become the C-17 training provider of choice for customers from the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

The key elements in the ATS are the Weapons Systems Trainer (WST) — a highly realistic, full-motion simulator used for pilot training — and the loadmaster station, which is a training device used by loadmaster students to perform preflight operations, operate aircraft systems and practice emergency procedures. The WST in Dover’s ATS is the 20th to be delivered to the U.S. Air Force.

Boeing’s C-17 training contract with the Air Force also includes an option for an additional WST to be delivered to Charleston AFB, S.C. If that option is exercised, it will be the fourth WST Boeing has delivered to Charleston.

“The Charleston WST will be the first Air Force trainer we deliver that has simulated avionics instead of physical aircraft avionics,” said Tracy Mead, C-17 ATS program manager for Boeing. “We plan to upgrade all of the existing WSTs with this technology, which means that we will be able to return the physical avionics to the C-17 aircraft program, allowing it to increase its spares inventory.”

The C-17 ATS provides instruction to more than 1,500 new pilot, co-pilot and loadmaster students each year while maintaining continuation training for more than 8,000 active, reserve and Air National Guard aircrew.

When Will Obama Reveal National Security Strategy?

December 12, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

Pentagon observers disagree on how soon President-elect Barack Obama’s team will develop its new national security strategy and whether his administration will have time to conduct a new, sweeping national security review before completing the Pentagon’s 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, reports Inside Defense.

By law, Obama is required to submit a comprehensive national security strategy report within 150 days of taking office. A Defense Department briefing slide reviewed by Inside the Pentagon suggests the new team might develop high-level planning guidance next spring, followed by a new national security strategy next summer. In early 2010, the Obama team’s first QDR report would be issued, along with a National Defense Strategy and National Military Strategy, according to the slide.

Full report at Inside Defense (paid subscription required)

Military Preps for Afghanistan “Surge”

December 12, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

President-elect Obama has called Afghanistan the central front in the war on terror. As the government conducts three strategy reviews of the conflict there, unanswered questions remain — such as whether to negotiate with the Taliban and how Afghan troops might be called on to defend their country.

But even without the answers to those questions, the buildup in U.S. forces is already under way. At least 20,000 more American troops are expected to be sent to Afghanistan in 2009. Read the full NPR Report

America: Still the Essential Power

November 29, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

Our Naval Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US Navy and allied naval forces in action. Buy the Naval Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

Peter Brookes wrote a great essay on why the world still needs America, and especially the United States military. It begins like this:

Sometimes you don’t miss something until it’s gone. While this old chestnut is most often rolled out when referring to a lost but seemingly troubled love, or a trying but departed friend, it might be said for American military might as well.Indeed, many are predicting that we’re entering the twilight of American power–American preemi ­nence. This notion is no doubt reinforced by the cur ­rent economic troubles, a contagion that seemingly began in the United States and has since spread around the world.

While it might be true that American power has peaked in a comprehensive way, certainly in relative terms, especially with the rise of China, Russia, India, and Brazil, I would suggest that American power, particularly its military dominance, might be sorely missed in the years to come if America is indeed on the wane–a refrain, I’ll remind you, that we’ve heard before.

For those who may greet a decline in American power with glee, I admonish you: Be careful what you wish for. You’ll be sorry when it’s gone. Let’s conjure up for a moment what a world without American mil ­itary power might look like.

Read the entire essay at The Heritage Foundation