A microphone. Verbatim. Air Force Magazine. Cornelia Schneider-Frank/Pixabay
Photo Caption & Credits


April 27, 2023

Satellite Blitz

Space Development Agency Director Derek M. Tournear, delivers a keynote address at the Mitchell Institute Spacepower Security Forum. Mike Tsukamoto/staff

I’m not worried about any physical threats to the satellites themselves. I’m just not. The way we get around that is by proliferation. So we’ll have hundreds and hundreds of these satellites up there. It will cost more to shoot down a single satellite than it costs to build and launch that satellite. We just completely changed that value equation.

Space Development Agency Director Derek M. Tournear, discussing potential threats to the agency’s satellites in orbit after their first launch in April [Mitchell Institute Spacepower Security Forum, April 5].

Hug It Out

Lt. Col. Adam Schmidt performs a final walk around of MC-130H Combat Talon II, tail number 89-0280. Senior Airman Natalie Fiorilli

There’s special things you do whenever a plane leaves. With the MC-130H, I used to give it a big hug on the nose and tell it goodbye and to keep my friends safe. I did that every single time.

Staff Sgt. Kevin Rutkowski, at an event commemorating the retirement of the Air Force’s last MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft [April 2].

Looks Are Deceiving

If we accept that the A-10s are not a part of the high-end fight, and you accept that F-15Cs are … not really a part of the China fight anyway, we actually have a net gain in procurement … we actually increase by 12 the number of airplanes that will be part of the future fight. So I think there’s a story here, that the effect is not as negative as is being portrayed.

Lt. Gen. Richard Moore, Air Force deputy chief of staff for plans and programs, at a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies “Aerospace Nation” event [April 6].

Air Mail

German Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, left, chief of the German air force, and USAF Lt. Gen. Michael Loh and Maj. Martin Clark. Tech. Sgt. Sarah M. McClanahan/ANG

How do you inform Russia? Well, we won’t write them a letter. I think they get the message when we deploy.

Chief of German Air Force Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz speaking about NATO’s Air Defender exercise to reporters at Joint Base Andrews, Md., [April 5].

Rare Air

An F-16 Fighting Falcon. Senior Airman Brieana Bolfing

If we lose the battle for the skies, the consequences for Ukraine will be very serious. This is not the time to procrastinate. …. [F-16s] would solve many of our issues in protecting the airspace, and it is available in sufficient numbers to make a difference.

Col. Yuri Ihnat, spokesman for Ukrainian Air Force commenting on the need for U.S.-made F-16 fighters for air-to-air defense against Russian air sorties. [Wall Street Journal, April 10].

On Call

Staff Sgt. Cobie Flegler, 25th Air Support Operations Squadron precision strike team supervisor. Airman 1st Class Moses Taylor

You take your cell phone anywhere in the world, and we’d like you to take C2 anywhere in the world, anyway you want to get there.

Maj. Paden Allen, head of the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron’s Tactical command-and-control division, discussing ways to match C2 with distributed operations [Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., April 7].

Cloud Landing

Dr. Lisa Costa, USSF, delivers a keynote address at the Mitchell Institute’s Spacepower Security Forum. Mike Tsukamoto/staff

I fundamentally believe that we will get ahead much quicker if we don’t try to dig ourselves out of tech debt, but we just leap over that and move to software-defined everything and modern systems that keep evolving over time.

Space Force Chief Information and Technology Officer Lisa Costa on why the Space Force shouldn’t waste time and money fixing outdated computer systems, but should instead start fresh in the cloud [Mitchell Institute’s Spacepower Security Forum, April 5].