Daily Report

Aug. 1, 2012

We Now Have an Explanation

Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, Air Combat Command’s director of operations, said July 31 he is confident the Air Force has finally figured out what has been causing hypoxia-like symptoms among some F-22 pilots. “We determined with confidence the source of...

Project Constant Peg

From 1985 to 1987, Jack Manclark, the Air Force’s former test and evaluation director, oversaw a special-access program dubbed “Constant Peg.” Under this then-secret initiative, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy fighter pilots trained in the skies northwest of Las...

SAC-D Halts Fiscal 2013 Force Structure Adjustments

The Senate Appropriations Committee's defense panel recommended on July 31 that the Air Force take a "strategic pause" in making force structure adjustments next fiscal year. Instead, the panel added "more than $800 million to sustain current force structure, including equipment, personnel, and operations," according to the summary of its mark-up of the Pentagon's Fiscal 2013 spending proposal (see below). Further, panel members want the Air Force to use "existing funds" next fiscal year to procure the C-27J transports and RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 remotely piloted aircraft that the service intended not to buy since it proposed divesting both of those aircraft types. Like the Senate Armed Services Committee before it, the Senate defense appropriators want the Air Force to wait on retiring or divesting more aircraft "until a national commission reports to the Congress" on the appropriate makeup of the service, stated Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), panel chairman, in a statement on the mark-up. It was the SASC that first proposed this commission. (See also Miller Sheds Light on Costs of Keeping Air Guard Airplanes.)

Senate Defense Appropriators Mark Up Defense Spending Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee's defense panel provided $604.5 billion for the Defense Department next fiscal year in its July 31 mark-up of the President's Fiscal 2013 defense spending proposal. That total allocation includes $511.2 billion for the Pentagon's base activities and $93.3 billion to fund overseas contingency operations like the war in Afghanistan, according to the panel's mark-up summary. Those numbers are "equivalent" to the Defense Department's requests, stated Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), panel chairman, in his mark-up statement. By comparison, House appropriators in May approved $519.2 billion in Pentagon base funding and $88.5 billion for OCO. Among the Air Force-related highlights, the Senate panel supported the request for 19 F-35A strike fighters; "fully" funded next-generation bomber and prompt global strike development; added $260 million for Air National Guard weapons systems sustainment; restored $100 million for the Operationally Responsive Space program and $35 million for the Space Test Program; bumped up C-130J procurement funding by $180 million for "efficient production"; and "fully" funded MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft procurement, including two combat loss replacements.

Virginia’s Message on Sequestration

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) called on Congress to forgo its annual August recess in order to work on new legislation that would prevent budget sequestration. “For the sake of our country, can we not come together, give up our respective...

Some Outside Perspective

The Defense Department needs to do a better job explaining its new Asia-Pacific-focused strategy, states a newly released report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "DOD has not adequately articulated the strategy behind its force posture planning, nor aligned the strategy with resources in a way that reflects current budget realities," states the 110-page report, publicly released on July 27. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Senate Armed Services Committee chairman; Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), SASC ranking member; and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) welcomed the findings in a joint statement that same day. "The report helps to frame the many issues associated with the reposturing of US forces in the Asia-Pacific," they wrote. The CSIS study is the independent assessment that Congress called for in the Fiscal 2012 defense authorization act to examine topics like the proposed shift of US forces at Okinawa and Guam. Last year, the three senators criticized the Pentagon's realignment plan as being "unrealistic, unworkable, and unaffordable." (CSIS report; caution, large-sized file.) (See also McCain Demands R-E-S-P-E-C-T.)

Trial by Sea Salt

A-10 pilots from Air Force Reserve Command’s 47th Fighter Squadron at Barksdale AFB, La., tested a new helmet-mounted situation display and a new survival radio in simulated combat during the RIMPAC maritime exercise off the coast of Hawaii. Known as...

Air Advisor Memorial Dedicated

The Air Advisor Academy at JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., unveiled the new Air Advisor Memorial during a dedication ceremony at the joint base. While the memorial is dedicated to all advisors who have lost their lives in service, the July 27...

Air Force Wins Conservation Awards

The Energy Department has given the Air Force six Federal Energy Management Program awards, recognizing the service’s important contributions to the efficient use of energy and water resources. This year’s winning Air Force organizations are: Air Mobility Command at Scott...