Daily Report

Nov. 9, 2011

Investigating Mortuary Affairs

The Air Force Inspector General has completed a year-long investigation into the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations based at Dover AFB, Del., which was initiated after several whistleblowers reported, among several allegations, that the body parts of service members killed...

Counterfeit Crackdown

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is on a mission to prevent fake parts from making their way into the defense supply chain. SASC has been conducting its own investigation into counterfeit electronic parts, some...

Counterfeits Endanger Lives of US Troops

The Government Accountability Office has set up a fake company with fictitious owners and employers in an effort to gain access to Internet platforms that sell military-grade electronics, Richard Hillman, managing director of the GAO's forensic audits and investigative service, told members of the Senate Armed Service Committee Tuesday. Hillman said the "company" is part of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the GAO into the availability of such counterfeit parts. So far, the audit team has purchased 13 "rare or obsolete parts" and has completed testing on seven of those parts—all of which are "suspect counterfeit" and all of which were purchased and received from vendors in China, said Hillman. In one instance, the vendor "misrepresented" the part, claiming it was nine years newer than it actually was. "Counterfeit parts—generally those whose sources knowingly misrepresent the parts' identity or pedigree—have the potential to seriously disrupt the Department of Defense supply chain, delay missions, affect the integrity of weapon systems, and ultimately endanger the lives of our troops," states the preliminary report.

Rebalancing the Rated Pipeline

The Air Force needs to boost fighter pilot production to 278 pilots a year as it works to rebalance the rated training pipeline, wrote Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz in a letter to Air Force major commands and members of the Air Staff. Schwartz said this will be accomplished primarily through the new active associations with reserve fighter squadrons. Specifically, the Arizona Air National Guard at Tucson will support "significantly more" B-course students each year and reduce the number of foreign military sales students. Air Combat Command will reduce the F-16 flight training unit syllabus. The A-10 crew ratio will increase and more aircraft will be added to the FTU in an effort to produce more pilots, wrote Schwartz in the Nov. 2 letter. Also, the F-15C aggressor squadron will be converted to an FTU at a location still to be determined, and F-22 FTU throughput will be increased significantly. Schwartz requested the major command take the lead and "rapidly implement" the specific decisions made at a recent Rated Summit. The Air Staff's Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans, and Requirements function will lead a working group charged with tracking and synchronizing the staffing and codifying a new program action directive, which must be submitted to Schwartz by Dec. 1 for signature."

Synchronized Rebalance

In addition to increasing fighter pilot production, the Air Force also intends to "normalize the MC-12", maintain mobility pilot inventory at sustainable levels, and "scrub" rated requirements based on "inventory realities," wrote Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz in a Nov. 2 letter to major commands and the Air Staff outlining decisions made at a recent Rated Summit. "Your continued candor and willingness to make the tough calls will help to ensure the viability and sustainability of our rated force as we work to rebalance the rated training pipeline," wrote Schwartz (See above). "We must move quickly on these decisions in order to synchronize with other major programmatic efforts." Future summits, which Schwartz said should be conducted on a more regular basis, will look at how force structure changes are impacting the health of the rated force, he wrote. (Schwartz letter)

Refuelers Return from Libya

Four days after the official end of Operation Unified Protector over Libya, KC-135 tankers from the 22nd Air Refueling Wing returned to McConnell AFB, Kan. The tankers deployed to Europe in less than 24 hours for the US-led operation Odyssey...

AFMC’s Risky Business Case

The Air Force is risking the future of aircraft sustainment with a move to centralize management of its three air logistics centers and remove managers from the bases, according to Rep. Robert Bishop (R-Utah.) Air Force Materiel Command announced it...

Flurry over the Baltic

Danish F-16s intercepted a string of four Russian reconnaissance aircraft skirting NATO airspace in quick succession over the Baltic on Monday. Several unannounced flights per month are not uncommon, but a Lithuanian defense ministry spokeswoman, Ugne Naujokaityte, expressed consternation at...