Daily Report

Oct. 8, 2009

Moseley Disciplined Over TAPS

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley Thursday morning issued a letter of admonishment to retired Gen. Michael Moseley, former Chief of Staff, for his alleged role in the terminated $50 million Thunderbird Airshow Production Services (TAPS) contract. Donley acted after reviewing a DOD Inspector General report released in July that claimed Moseley had violated ethics regulations. Moseley will continue to be retired at the four-star pay grade and not lose any other retirement benefits. At a press conference, Donley said the Navy is conducting an impartial review of whether Moseley can conduct business with the government. In a USAF release, Donley said, “Moseley’s years of dedicated service temper, but do not excuse, his failure in this case to live up to the well-established standards of conduct expected of all airmen." In a Sept. 28 memorandum to Donley, Moseley continued to reject the IG findings, saying that Air Force lawyers had vetted his actions throughout and found no violations of ethics rules. And, he emphasized, "The only guidance I gave anyone during the evolution of this endeavor was to 'do this right.' " (For more read, Moseley Admonished, Rejects Conclusion of Wrongdoing)

The TacAir Question

The Senate on Tuesday expressed its mostly collective frustration when lawmakers voted 91 to 7 to pass an amendment to the 2010 defense spending bill that would temporarily prohibit USAF from retiring legacy fighters next year until it tells Congress how it will sustain the air sovereignty alert mission. Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), who along with fellow National Guard Caucus chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sponsored the measure, asserted in a brief floor debate that the retirement plan would "result in a lack of aircraft to meet the vital ASA mission," for which the Air National Guard maintains 16 of the 18 nationwide alert sites. Leahy said that he and Bond had "for months … repeatedly questioned" USAF and DOD leadership about "a concrete plan" to "address a looming shortfall in available aircraft." He continued, "But, after numerous requests, … we still do not have a plan."

About That Alternate Engine

Senate appropriators did not include funding for the General Electric-Rolls Royce F136 engine in the just-passed Senate version of the 2010 defense spending bill, but Appropriations Committee chairman Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has long favored continuing the F136, the so-called alternate engine to the Pratt & Whitney F135 that powers the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Inouye, reports The Hill, hopes to garner F136 funding during conference negotiations. And, on that, Government Executive reports that the House and Senate have been working "quietly for weeks" to reconcile their versions of the 2010 spending bill, which means the actual conference could be over in a few days. Meanwhile, as expected, Senate and House authorizers agreed in conference to authorize its funding, according to an Oct. 7 statement from Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), who said, "Complete reliance on one-type engine would not be wise."

Communications Difference

WGS-2, the Air Force’s second Wideband Global Satellite Communications spacecraft, is now fully operational and supporting ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq by relaying data and imagery across the battlespace at unprecedented high rates of speed, according to Boeing. Launched...

Cyber Family Adds Communications Wing

Air Force officials activated the service’s first combat communications wing, the 689th CCW, during a ceremony Oct. 5 at Robins AFB, Ga. The unit, which provides expeditionary and specialized communications, air traffic control, and landing systems to enable US and...

Gearing Up

The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, headquartered at Kirtland AFB, N.M., on Oct. 2 stood up a detachment at Edwards AFB, Calif., to lead the operational test and evaluation of the F-35 stealth fighter. Det. 1, as it...

Sheppard Launches Nuclear Course

Air Force officials with the 82nd Training Wing at Sheppard AFB, Tex., launched the new four-week nuclear accountability course on Oct 5 that will provide hands-on, realistic instruction for squadron-level munitions officers and noncommissioned officers responsible for the day-to-day tracking...

Pursuing Other ATLs

Senators signaled their support for the Advanced Tactical Laser concept Tuesday during the vote on the 2010 defense spending bill when they agreed to an amendment that would set aside $5 million in RDT&E funding for the Air Force to expand evaluations and analyses. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), and Sen. Tom Udall (D-Utah) sponsored the legislation, which calls for USAF to carry out additional evaluations on a variety of targets and to work with an independent federally funded R&D center to review the feasibility of integrating a solid state laser system on B-1, C-130, and F-35 aircraft for use in a close air support role. In August, Boeing demonstrated the use of a high-energy chemical laser aboard a C-130 ATL demonstrator to strike a ground vehicle.

Sunny Outlook

Lockheed Martin announced Wednesday that the latest Defense Meteorological Satellite Program spacecraft is undergoing final preparations in anticipation of its scheduled launch into orbit on Oct. 18 from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will carry...

Air Sorties 100809

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, Oct. 4, 2009 Sortie Type OIF OEF OIF/OEF Total YTD ISR 26 31 57 12,570 CAS/Armed Recon 24 85 109 26,893 Airlift 150 150 36,687 Air refueling 52 52 13,297 Total 361 89,445 OIF=Operation Iraqi...