The director of the Air National Guard and the Air Force chief of staff are disputing allegations of a growing rift between the Guard and the Air Force following a tumultuous year in which budget cuts associated with the service's new force-structure strategy fell heavily on the Guard, prompting a group of governors to push back.
The next program executive officer of the Joint Strike
Fighter program this week presented a harsh assessment of the major changes
that need to be made to the way the F-35 is managed -- primary among them a
reset of the relationship between manufacturer Lockheed Martin and the program
office that he termed "the worst I've ever seen."1231 words
A high-ranking commander will be meeting with the Air Force chief of staff soon to discuss what to do about an Air Force study that has ruffled the feathers of Alaska's senior senator.
The Air Force announced this week it is in final negotiations with two companies to contract propulsion technology work on an engine program designed to increase efficiency and strengthen the combat capabilities of its aircraft.
The Air Force's first and only Space Based Space Surveillance
satellite reached initial operational capability last month, but that may be as
far as the service ever gets with SBSS. Air Force Space Command spokeswoman
Auburn Davis told Inside the Air Force this week that SBSS full
operational capability is based on a four-satellite constellation. However, the
Air Force has not set aside funding to buy a second vehicle, much less the
third and fourth satellites. "Although fiscal constraints thus far have
precluded more SBSS satellites, we will continue to advocate for SBSS
capability," she said.100 words
The Air Force could be left with no choice but to renegotiate its favorable, fixed-price contract with Boeing on the KC-46 tanker if sequestration goes into effect, according to a senior Air Force official.
There is still some contention circulating among Defense Department personnel regarding the relatively new position that the chief of the National Guard Bureau has as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to the director of the Air National Guard.
The Boeing official in charge of the company's Family of Beyond-Line-of-Sight Terminals development work this week expressed confidence that the company would complete its final sets of qualification testing by next summer as scheduled, while casting some doubt on rival Raytheon's ability to threaten Boeing's future on FAB-T.
The Air Force and Northrop Grumman have completed a series of baseline and interim reviews and are ready to move into the design phase on the service's Air Operations Center modernization project.
Air Force officials have determined they need more time to evaluate and negotiate the possible pricing for a block buy of Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles this year, thus pushing the block buy contract into 2013, according to Air Force Space Command's senior official.
Despite congressional pushback, Air Force leaders maintain that the Operationally Responsive Space program would function better as a service-wide concept than an isolated program office.
Air Force officials are finding the civilian expertise some reservists bring to the service to be invaluable -- particularly in the areas of space and cyber.
As the role of cyber becomes more pervasive, Air Force officials are noting the importance of communicating clearly the mission and implications of a realm that is for many -- including, by his own admission, the service's new chief -- somewhat obscure.
Air Force Special Operations Command's CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft will be permanently deployed to the United Kingdom in the summer of 2013, a year later than planned, and to the Asia-Pacific theater by summer 2014, a time line that has been pushed back because of consistent demand in Afghanistan.
Two of the Air Force's unmanned aircraft, which were equipped with Airborne Cueing and Exploitation System Hyperspectral sensors last year, are being used to track ground targets in the Middle East, and the Air Force will decide whether it will put additional hyperspectral sensors on its aircraft in the coming years as its commitment in Afghanistan winds down.
Boeing officials revealed this week that the company will bid on multiple subsystem contracts under the Air Force's future intercontinental ballistic missile sustainment strategy, but the company will stay out of the competition for the "integration support" contractor the service is also looking for.
Lockheed Martin and F-35 Joint Program Office officials agree that they have uncovered an engineering fix for the Joint Strike Fighter carrier variant's faulty tailhook, although a production version of that hook remains to be tested.
The Pentagon, in conjunction with the State and Commerce
departments, must continue to seek a better export-control system despite
inaction from members of Congress, according to Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton
A National Academies report urging the Defense Department to
emulate private industry in order to increase the science, technology,
engineering and mathematics workforce was "spot on," according to the Air
Force's chief scientist.418 words
The United States could face a "Sputnik moment" that reveals
how far it lags behind other countries in U.S. cyber capabilities unless it
does more to address the issue, according to a retired general focused on
motivating students to embrace the cyberdefense mission.559 words
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
says a Government Accountability Office report warning drone exports are not
sufficiently monitored is surprising given the extent of current regulations.779 words
The Defense Department is still evaluating recommendations
from a missile defense study that called for avoiding investment in space-based
interceptors and canceling the Precision Tracking and Surveillance System,
according to Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall.576 words
The Defense Department will review major weapons programs
with slower-than-normal spending rates to ensure effective acquisition
practices while shifting money as needed to meet its top priorities, according
to new internal guidance.830 words