Daily Report

June 4, 2008

Desert Touchdown

Holloman AFB, N.M., received the first two of its 40 planned F-22s on June 2. “It’s a big day. We’re very proud to have the aircraft finally here,” said Lt. Col. Mike Hernandez, commander of Holloman’s 7th Fighter Squadron, who...

Is 2018 Still in Play for New Bomber?

The Air Force has concluded that “more money and possibly a little more time is required” to field its next bomber aircraft, Pentagon acquisition czar John Young told the Senate Armed Services Committee June 3. This doesn’t mean that the...

No “Active Duty Lite”

The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve continue to provide indispensible contributions to the nation, and remain a fantastic return on investment, say Heritage Foundation policy analyst Mackenzie Eaglen and Col. Samuel Mahaney, a Reserve pilot and national security fellow at Harvard. In a Heritage release issued on June 2, they call on the White House to refrain from making “dramatic and disproportionate” cuts to the Guard and Reserve budgets in the next federal budget round (i.e, Fiscal 2010). If anything, reserve component funding should be boosted, they argue. The last thing the country needs is a diminution of USAF's reserve components into an “active duty lite,” they write. Yet that may be exactly how some policymakers are interpreting the January recommendations of the Commission on the National Guard and Reserve, they warn.

Predator Crash

An MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle crashed approximately two kilometers north of Balad AB, Iraq, on June 2, the Air Force reported June 3. The aircraft went down around 10:40 p.m. local time. An investigation is being launched to determine...

Thunderbirds Milestones

Included in the newly issued list of officer selections for the Thunderbirds 2009 season are the first Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve pilots to join the elite air demonstration group. Maj. Derek Routt, a Guard F-15C pilot stationed at Nellis AFB, Nev., will become the Thunderbirds operations officer, serving as second in command, flying in aircraft No. 7. And Maj. Sean Gustafson, a Reserve F-16 pilot stationed at Homestead ARB, Fla., will take over as the team’s slot pilot in Thunderbird No. 4 during next year’s flying season, which begins in March 2009. “We've had ANG members on the team for about 10 years serving in non-flying roles,” Thunderbirds spokesman SSgt. Russ Martin, told the Daily Report June 3. “But Maj. Routt is the first ANG pilot for the team.” Similarly, Gustafson is the squadron’s first Reserve pilot, he confirmed. For the full list of 2009 officer selections, click here. The Thunderbirds are currently in the midst of their 2008 demonstration season, the 55th year that the team has performed at air shows around the country.

Going Expeditionary

Air Combat Command officials in May designated the 432nd Wing, USAF’s sole unmanned aerial vehicle wing, as an air expeditionary unit. This means that the wing, which is headquartered at Creech AFB, Nev., and flies MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper...

Strike Eagles All Around

F-15Es struck enemy combatant fighting positions June 1 in the vicinity of Nangalam, Afghanistan, with 500-pound joint direct attack munitions and one 2,000-pound JDAM, Air Forces Central announced June 2. A joint terminal attack controller confirmed the success of these...

Possible Data Breach at Walter Reed

Unauthorized sharing of a data file may have disclosed personal identifier information on approximately 1,000 military patients, Walter Reed Army Medical Center announced June 2. The hospital’s public affairs office said an investigation continues into the breach, with preliminary findings having identified a computer from which the data were apparently compromised. The Associated Press reported June 3 that the data include names, social security numbers, birth dates and other information. But the hospital said they did not include “protected health information,” such as medical records, diagnosis or prognosis for patients. Still, medical center officials are working to notify each individual named in the file and are offering credit monitoring assistance and advice on protection against identity theft. The AP said the persons impacted include patients from Walter Reed and additional military hospitals. The issue came to the attention of Walter Reed officials May 21, when an outside company alerted them of the possible exposure.

B-17 Crash Commemoration

A dedication ceremony is planned June 13 for a historical marker that commemorates the 11 airmen who died 65 years earlier on that day in a B-17 crash over southeast South Dakota. The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls reported June...

Staying Ahead

Pentagon acquisition czar John Young has tasked the Defense Science Board to conduct a summer study that explores how to mitigate the chances of the US being victim to a “capability surprise” by a clever adversary. At the same time, he wants to panel also to examine how the US itself might impose surprise on its adversaries “in rapid, cost effective, and unique ways,” according to the study’s terms of reference issued in May. No due date for feedback is given. Young also commissioned the DSB in May to review the Department of Defense’s policies and procedures for the acquisition of information technology per a Congressional mandate in the Fiscal 2008 defense authorization act. This study is meant to see if the current systems in place are an effective model. Young specifies, in this case, that he wants a report to be submitted both to the Secretary of Defense and the Congress not later than Jan. 28, 2009.

Air Sorties from SWA

Air Sorties in War on Terrorism, Southwest AsiaJune 1, 2008 Sortie Type OIF OEF OIF/OEF Total YTD ISR 27 13 40 4,540 CAS/Armed Recon 69 52 121 13,565 Airlift 135 135 19,393 Air refueling 49 49 6,255 Total 345 43,753...