DOE PANEL CALLS FOR STRATEGIC PLAN TO ADDRESS PROLIFERATION THREATS
The Air Force will ask Congress for permission to reprogram $38 million into the Airborne Laser program for fiscal year 2001 to counter technical challenges involving "air worthiness testing, laser segment and beam control design," ABL Program Manager Col. Ellen Pawlikowski said last week. In addition, each of the three ABL contractors have agreed to "loan" the Air Force $20 million during FY-01, with the expectation that the service will repay the money next year, she said.
The future of a new aircraft radar system that has been praised by test pilots and lawmakers remains in doubt because of budget concerns, according to service officials.
The General Accounting Office, in a decision released this week, says the Air Force improperly canceled a contract for air traffic control logistical support and directs the service to recompete the program.
Officials overseeing the system that will provide Link-16 capability to most U.S. and NATO fighter aircraft say the program is now well on its way to providing secure communications links for F-15, F-16, Navy F/A-18 and European aircraft -- despite past schedule problems and accusations of an ineffective management format.
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, OH -- The Air Force's Aging Systems Office will become a full system program office and receive a hefty resource boost during the next year, according to senior service officials here.
The Air Force is hoping recent revisions to the Aviation Continuation Pay program installed for fiscal year 2001 will provide enough financial incentive to keep additional experienced pilots away from the high-paying airlines and in service cockpits, remedying pilot shortages.
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, OH -- The Air Force's C-17 system program director said this week that his office's efforts to embrace commercial management practices will not result in the exclusion of the airlifter from the traditional processes used to determine sources of repair -- contractor or organic facilities -- for military systems.
Air Force Materiel Command chief Gen. Lester Lyles plans to deliver a detailed strategic plan for the Air Force's air logistics centers to Congress by the end of the month, a step he hopes will mollify depot advocates who are disappointed in the service's maintenance management practices.
Defense Secretary William Cohen, in one of his last speeches before leaving the Pentagon, said this week that the threat posed by asymmetric attacks upon areas of U.S. weakness will present a "major challenge" for years to come because of U.S. supremacy in nearly every aspect of conventional military power.
Defense Secretary William Cohen this week announced a major increase in Defense Department spending over the next six years.
The Air Force announced this week that it has passed a significant milestone in its efforts to upgrade the Airborne Warning and Control System's sensors and processors. The "required assets available" goal was achieved when the required aircraft, technical orders, training and spares are ready to be tested for combat suitability, the service announced. The $1.2 billion Radar System Improvement Program promises a "huge leap forward" for the Air Force's "ability to detect and track smaller targets from greater distances, akin to giving the radar a set of binoculars," said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Reimer, program executive officer for command and control programs. The service plans to upgrade 32 AWACS with RSIP by February 2005.
The Defense Science Board, in a new study of radio spectrum allocation issues within the Defense Department, urges major changes to DOD's approach to spectrum use for the modern warfighter.
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, OH -- Air Force Materiel Command chief Gen. Lester Lyles said this week that his top acquisition priority is better organizing his command for its missions, and to that end he plans to introduce to the Air Force leadership in the next sixty days a new "enterprise management" approach to overseeing key issues.
The Air Force met one remaining criterion for F-22 production approval last Friday, but its inability to perform required radar cross-section (RCS) testing meant the Defense Acquisition Board could not meet as hoped on Jan. 11 to assess the program's readiness for low-rate initial production, which may mean the review will be conducted by the Bush administration.
An independent commission charged with reviewing the status of the intelligence community's National Imagery and Mapping Agency issued a report this week detailing a long list of problems with the office and suggesting ways to mitigate them.
Senate Armed Services Committee member Bob Smith (R-NH) said last week that he expects the just-released report of a high-profile space commission will lead to positive changes in the way the nation approaches the issue of space policy.
The formation of a new major force program for Defense Department space efforts is among the senior-level organizational and management changes suggested in the just-released report of a high-level space commission.
A high-level space commission set up by Congress to evaluate U.S. space management issues has recommended separating the position of Air Force Space Command chief from the head of U.S. Space Command and NORAD, which would nullify the Air Force's historical hold over the influential position as chief of the unified space command and give the Army and Navy a shot at the top uniformed space slot.