Archive for the ‘US Air Force’ Category

US Military Cyber Defense

January 19, 2011

The US military is preparing for 21st Century electronic warfare and cyber terrorism. A joint US Cyber Command and four service cyber commands have been set up.

Their mission is to defend American military networks and civilian American infrastructure from cyber terrorism and from foreign government hackers.

More info at http://www.teamultimedia.com/cyber-defense.html

Advertisements

Overhauling the KC-135 Tanker

March 8, 2009

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

OR

Find this and other exciting images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

It’s looking like the KC-135 fleet will need an expensive re-skinning circa 2018, says Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Art Lichte. The projection was actually made in 2000 by an independent study of airlifter longevity, but the study has proved remarkably prescient, he noted and added that the prediction still looks valid. As it is, the KC-135s need a $7 million depot maintenance every five years, but the cost and complexity of each visit is growing significantly, Air Force Magazine quotes Lichte. The re-skinning would be a “major re-build” and wouldn’t buy very much in terms of extra years of use, since other aspects of the aircraft would still be Eisenhower vintage. Stepping up the pace at which the new KC-X tanker is bought would diminish the number of re-skins necessary, but Lichte restated the Pentagon’s position that buying two different tankers at once—the only way to skip the re-skins entirely since the more aircraft would be available sooner—is unaffordable, reports Air Force Magazine.

Air Force Perils

March 8, 2009

Find exciting military images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

OR

Find exciting military images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.
The perils of flying aging aircraft was an issue at last February’s Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., and it remained on the mind of Gen. John Corley, Air Combat Command head, at this year’s event. During his presentation Friday, Corley reminded attendees that, this time last year, the Air Force was still in the midst of ascertaining what caused an F-15C to break apart in flight over Missouri in November 2007, and numerous F-15s remain grounded. This year, the rigors of age are continuing to plague the A-10 fleet, Air Force Magazine quotes the general. Corley said 108 A-10s—in a fleet of roughly 350—remain on the ground due to a systemic issue with wing cracks in the thinner winged variant of the aircraft. And, 53 more have yet to be inspected; probably 10 of those will end up grounded, too, he said.

First Woman Commands Special Operations Squadron

March 3, 2009

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

OR

Find this and other exciting images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

An Airman from the 4th Special Operations Squadron became the first female flying squadron commander in Air Force Special Operations Command during a ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Florida on Feb. 20.

Lt. Col. Brenda Cartier assumed command of the 4th SOS, which employs the AC-130U Spooky gunship, from Lt. Col. Jim Rodriguez in a hangar packed with family, friends and colleagues.

“It’s a historic moment for us in AFSOC,” said Col. Dennis Pannell, 1st Special Operations Group commander, who officiated the ceremony.

Colonel Cartier is a fire control officer on the gunship with more than 4,000 flying hours, and previously served as the squadron’s operations officer under Colonel Rodriguez.

“She’s well prepared and well trained to take on this task, and we really look forward to her ability to lead this squadron in combat,” Colonel Pannell said.

Women at the front lines are no longer rare. For the story of some realy tough ladies, readThe Few. The Proud.: Women Marines in Harm’s Way

Colonel Rodriguez called the new commander his friend and confidant.

“She has tremendous patience, intellect and unending energy,” he said. “She will take this squadron on to new and greater things.”

Colonel Rodriguez served as commander for 22 months, during which time the squadron was constantly deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, added four operational aircraft and was named best flying squadron in AFSOC for 2007.

“Your leadership is clearly evident,” Colonel Pannell said. “While there is tremendous talent in the 4th [SOS], it takes steady and mature leadership to develop it. You’ve laid the foundation for many leaders of Spooky lineage.”

Colonel Rodriguez’s family members traveled from as far as Honduras to witness the ceremony. He received the Meritorious Service Medal for his tenure as squadron commander and operations officer.

Colonel Cartier said she was “very blessed” to take command of a squadron with such a rich history and such a relevant mission.

“When I arrived 12 years ago, the gunships were the newest weapons system, unproven in combat, but ready for action,” she said. “Today we are the longest continuously deployed AFSOC weapons system, and one of the most combat-experienced squadrons in Air Commando history.”

The 4th SOS has been deployed in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom since Sept. 11, 2001, logging more than 1,800 accident-free combat sorties.

“We will continue to be challenged and called upon to support our nation’s efforts,” Colonel Cartier said. “I assure you I will give you the full measure of my commitment to ensure the 4th SOS remains the most feared and revered weapons system platform on the battlefield.”

Lauren Johnson

C-17 Aircraft Secures 30,000 Jobs

March 2, 2009

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

OR

Find this and other exciting images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

Defense spending is a major contributor ro economic stimulus — and always has been. The C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft is a case in point.

The Air Force is now on contract to buy 15 more C-17s, bringing the planned inventory up to 205 airplanes. That means the new “last day” of C-17 production, barring further USAF orders, will be in late 2010, according to Jean Chamberlin, Boeing’s vice president for mobility programs.

Read the history of the Globemaster aircraft family
The company continues to spend its own money to “preserve an option” for the Air Force to buy more, based on the stated wishes of Congress, Chamberlin said at a Boeing briefing Feb. 17 in Arlington, Va.. Joining the defense-stimulus bandwagon, she said the C-17 is a good jobs program, employing 30,000 people in 43 states, mostly clustered in California, Texas, Missouri, and Connecticut. It puts $8 billion into the national economy and employs 650 supplier companies.

Continued USAF production is essential to keep the airplane attractive for export; 15 a year is the minimum economic quantity, Chamberlin noted. Countries that have expressed interest in buying the C-17, apart from those that have already acquired or ordered (Australia, Britain, Canada, Qatar, and a NATO consortium) include India, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.

F-22 Raptor — Major Acquisition Unlikely

February 25, 2009

According to Air Force Magazine, US Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz is noncommital on continued F-22 Raptor fighter jet acquisition, but his words sound bearish. Here’s what Air Force Magazine writes:

The Air Force’s new acquisition objective for the F-22 likely won’t be officially announced until President Obama decides whether to certify the airplane as a critical defense program that must be kept going, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told Washington-based defense reporters Feb. 17.

See the F-22 Raptor in action: History – Modern Marvels : F/A-22 Raptor

Lawmakers in both houses have urged the President to continue Raptor production in the short term, pending another review of the necessary total number. Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen has publicly stated the Air Force is looking at perhaps an additional 60 Raptors. Rumor has it that Mullen will make the final call.

Schwartz said the new number has been run through “an analysis which I feel is credible” and was arrived at “objectively.” He added that the Air Force is not afraid to revisit old assumptions and react to changes.

However, he dodged saying just what strategic considerations have changed that would make the F-22 less important in the future. The new number will be a “moderate risk” inventory, Schwartz said, and “I will be happy to defend the numbers when they become public.” However, he said there was “considerable skepticism about the validity” of the old Air Force target of 381 F-22s. “Maybe there will be equal skepticism of the new number,” he continued, “but it is my number and that is what we will use.”

F-22 Raptor’s Proud Record

February 17, 2009

Find the F-22 Raptor on posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

Late last year, the F-22 was verbally trashed by Pentagon acquisition chief John Young, who charged that the Raptor wasn’t meeting key performance parameters and was turning in mission capable rates of only about 60 percent.

Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin’s F-22 program manager, declined to rebut those remarks directly during an interview with Air Force Magazine. However, he displayed a chart showing that the F-22 meets all KPPs and exceeds about half of them, including range, top speed, acceleration, and radar detection range.

The aircraft’s mission capable rates are coming in around 70 percent—which is the Air Force’s overall fighter average—but they don’t have to meet that level until the aircraft reaches “maturity,” which is around 100,000 flight hours.

Young dinged the F-22 for needing too much maintenance, but the program is on track to meet a specification that calls for three hours mean time between maintenance at maturity in 2010; it’s at 1.8 hours now.

In exercises and simulations, the Raptor racks up a 30:1 kill ratio, vs. 3:1 for the F-35, and slightly better than 1:1 for the F-15. All other fourth-generation fighters in US service score a tossup against foreign fighters.

Lawson also noted that the F-22 program received two performance awards from the Pentagon in 2008—the Secretary of Defense Performance-Based Logistics Award, and Collaborator of the Year.

See the F-22 Raptor in action: History – Modern Marvels : F/A-22 Raptor

Extending F-22 Production Would Save 90,000 Jobs

February 16, 2009

Keeping the F-22 going will preserve about 90,000 to 95,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly, Lockheed Martin program manager Larry Lawson said in an interview with Air Force Magazine. It’s a great stimulus package, he said: The money takes effect immediately, and there’s no uncertainty about how many jobs will be affected, or how much it will cost. The F-22’s parts are made in 44 states, with big clusters of employers in Texas, Georgia, Missouri, Washington state, and California. Although final assembly is in Marietta, Ga., the majority of F-22 jobs are in California, Lawson noted.
Worried about where America’s going? Read Jack Cafferty’s newest book Now or Never: Getting Down to the Business of Saving Our American Dream

US Airspace Vulnerable, Warns GAO

February 12, 2009

Air Sovereignty Alert at Risk: Eleven of the 18 sites across the nation at which the Air Force maintains fighter aircraft on 24-hour alert to protect US airspace “could be without viable aircraft by 2020,” if their legacy F-15s and F-16s are not replaced within the next few years, the GAO warns in a new report.

Also disconcerting is GAO’s assessment that the Air National Guard and active duty units at 14 of these sites will have to suspend ASA operations for some time between 2010 and 2020 as their legacy aircraft reach the end of their service life or as they transition to new fighters, writes Air Force Magazine.

While it may not solve the issue, GAO says formally elevating ASA to a steady-state mission may help to alleviate some of the personnel and equipment issues facing the units that are consistently executing the mission today in addition to their expeditionary rotations. This is something the Air Force tells GAO it hasn’t done yet because it is focused on other priorities such as overseas military operations, writes Air Force Magazine.

GAO also calls on NORAD to conduct routine risk assessment to determine ASA operational requirements. The fate of some Air Guard fighter units is a major looming issue for the Air Force as the service mulls phasing out many of its legacy fighters more quickly and questions still surround the ultimate size of the F-22 fleet and the production rates of the F-35. (For more, read The Hill’s report.)

See the F-22-Raptor’s power in action with the History – Modern Marvels : F/A-22 Raptor

Bottom Line: USAF Needs 250 F-22 Raptors, Minimum

February 12, 2009

Not Less Than 250: That’s how many F-22s the United States needs “for the good of the nation and the world” to shore up its conventional deterrence capabilities for the next 20 years, writes Rebecca Grant in a new study she authored for the Lexington Institute.

Air Force Magazine quotes Grant as saying that the F-22 is crucial for conventional deterrence because it gives the US the ability to conduct tailored, proportional air strikes in the face of evolving threats and also to gather valuable intelligence information over defended areas that otherwise “lock out” other airborne assets.

The US would be taking a risk by halting F-22 production now and could see its policy options cramped in coming decades by the limits of its own military power, Grant says. “If the F-22 fleet remains stuck at 183 aircraft, it will put future conventional deterrence abilities at risk,” quotes Air Force Magazine.

Commanders may not have enough of them to defeat threats with confidence and “the overall life of the fleet would be used up years before it should be, due to heavy tasking,” she states.

The Obama Administration has until March 1 by law to inform Congress whether it intends to keep Raptor production going beyond 183 aircraft.

Learn all about the F-22 Raptor via a breathtaking multimedia view: 21st Century U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, Next-Generation USAF Fighter Aircraft (CD-ROM)