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Daily Report from the Air

Daily Report from the Air

Air Force Eyes Consolidated C2 Training: The Air Force announced Monday that it is mulling the creation of a training campus at Hurlburt Field, Fla., that would bring together its command and control instruction. “Consolidating training in one location will leverage cross-functional expertise and provide a dedicated training venue standardized across the Air Force,” said Maj. Gen. Stanley Kresge, commander of the US Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis AFB, Nev. This integrated campus would include formal C2 training for component-numbered air forces, air and space operations centers, and Air Force forces staffs. Hurlburt is already home to Air Combat Command’s 505th Command and Control Wing. ACC leadership tasked Kresge’s organization to oversee a contractor study exploring the issues associated with creating the campus. Officials expect to have the study’s results available for a senior-level decision briefing in January. (Hurlburt release)

Gates to Step Down in 2011: Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he will step down from his post next year. “I think sometime in 2011 sounds pretty good,” Gates told Foreign Policy in an interview published Monday. His move could come as early as January 2011 or it could be much later in the year, he said. But waiting until 2012 would be too long because it would likely be more difficult for the White House to find and seat his successor due to the charged political climate of a Presidential election year. Gates, the 22nd Defense Secretary, replaced Donald Rumsfeld in December 2006. Come January, he will have been in the post longer than all but four former Defense Secretaries: Robert McNamara, Rumsfeld, Caspar Weinberger, and Charles Wilson. (Gates biographyChina’s Intentions Still Murky, says DOD: Despite “modest improvements” in transparency over the past year, “many uncertainties” remain about how China intends use its expanding military capabilities, states the Defense Department’s 2010 annual report to Congress on the Chinese military. The Asian giant continues its military buildup opposite Taiwan “unabated,” and the balance of forces across the Taiwan Strait continues to shift in its favor, according to the report issued Monday. While China’s ability to sustain military power at a distance “remains limited,” those capabilities are becoming more robust, as are China’s abilities to deny access. For example, China has “one of the largest” inventories of long-range, advanced anti-aircraft missile systems and newer and more advanced combat aircraft “make up a growing percentage” of its inventory. Further, the communist power is “developing the ability to attack an adversary’s space assets, accelerating the militarization of space,” states the report. (China report) (See also AFPS report by Jim Garamone)


Happy Birthday Global Strike Command: Air Force Global Strike Command, headquartered at Barksdale AFB, La., earlier this month celebrated its first birthday. “Let me just state it clearly up front: any success we have had so far helping to reinvigorate the nuclear enterprise is due almost entirely to the tireless, skilled, and dedicated efforts of you, our airmen,” stated Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, AFGSC boss, in a release. He also praised the command’s civilian employees and contractors. The command oversees USAF’s nuclear-capable bomber and ICBM forces. Global Strike Command was activated on Aug. 7, 2009; later this year, it will reach full operational capability. At that time, it will have about 900 headquarters staff and about 23,000 personnel overall spread among the command’s three bomber bases and three operational ICBM bases. “We realize that having pride in our nuclear heritage and mission is critically important to our future success as a command,” said Klotz during a Capitol Hill speech in late July. Aviano F-16s Return from Training in Sweden: More than 250 airmen and a contingent of F-16s from Aviano AB, Italy, have just completed a two-week stint at Kallax AB, Sweden, where they trained with Swedish airmen and Gripen fighters. During the deployment, members of Aviano’s 555th Fighter Squadron and 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron worked side-by-side with their Swedish counterparts of the Norrbotten Wing in conducting more than 180 air-to-air and air-to-ground flying missions at the Vidsel Test Range, located about 50 miles from Kallax. In addition to the opportunity to train with friends, the exercise was important because it gave the USAF airmen “the opportunity to use a scored range, one of the best training areas I’ve ever seen, to conduct practice munitions drops and low-level flying,” said Maj. Travis Swan, 555th FS assistant director of operations. (Kallax report by TSgt. Lindsey Maurice)

 Air Force Looks to Combat Human-Carried IEDs: The Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, Mass., is looking to industry for ways to detect and defeat person-borne improvised explosive devices, more commonly known as suicide bombers. According to a solicitation issued Monday, center officials seek a sensor-based system with a high accuracy rate that can detect IEDs located anywhere on a person’s body. Specifically, the Air Force is looking for a rugged and reliable system with automatic detection capabilities that can visually and/or audibly announce positive detection of a PBIED “without an operator in the loop,” states a request for information on the Federal Business Opportunities website. The system must be easily portable, require minimal operator training, and complete a full scan in less than one minute. Industry is asked to submit their ideas by Oct. 1.

 Air Commando Hall of Fame Inductees Announced: Lt. Gen. Donald Wurster, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla., tops the newly announced list of 2010 selectees for the Air Commando Hall of Fame. Also on the list are (all retired): Col. Richard Brauer, Col. James Connors, Col. Kenneth Poole, Col. Walter Schmidt, CMSgt. Michael Ramos, CMSgt. Eugene Adcock, and CMSgt. Nicolas Kiraly. The two final selectees, both deceased, are: retired Col. Russell Rakip and Maj. William Grosvenor. AFSOC officials said these 10 airmen were chosen for their significant contributions to the success and accomplishments of special operations worldwide. They will be inducted into the hall of fame in October. (Hurlburt release) (For more on Ramos, see Rare Honor from the Daily Report archives.)


Reinventing McClellan: The Air Force has transferred the largest portion yet of the former McClellan Air Force Base to Sacramento County, Calif., for private development. The 560-acre parcel included a variety of industrial facilities, office buildings, a hotel, and housing, according to a USAF release Monday. Sacramento County now intends to handover this piece of property to the McClellan Business Park for redevelopment. McClellan shut down in 2001 following a 1995 base realignment and closure recommendation. The Air Force has been working with the EPA and California environmental agencies to clean up the property ever since. To date, about 1,300 of the former base’s 3,000 acres have been transferred. (For more on McClellan’s transformation, read McClellan Land Relinquished and Gettin’ Clean from the Daily Report archives.) F-35 Sensor Makes First Flight on Test Bed: The sophisticated electro-optical targeting system under development for the F-35 strike fighter has made its first flight aboard a surrogate test aircraft, Lockheed Martin announced Monday. EOTS, as the passive sensor system is known, flew on the F-35′s cooperative avionics test bed, or CATBird, platform, which is a modified 737 aircraft. “The CATBird’s dynamic flight environment provides the first opportunity to test and evaluate how EOTS integrates into the F-35′s fused sensor architecture,” said Rich Hinkle, Lockheed’s EOTS program director. Test flights on CATBird represent the final step prior to EOTS integration on BF-4, an F-35 test aircraft equipped with the full suite of mission systems. Among its functions, EOTS will provide F-35 pilots with high-resolution imagery, automatic target tracking, and laser designation, all at standoff distances. Lockheed develops EOTS and is the F-35 prime contractor. (See EOTS imagery video)

 Oman Buys More C-130Js: Lockheed Martin announced Monday that Oman has signed a contract for the purchase of two additional C-130J transports. Oman ordered its first C-130J in July 2009; that airframe is scheduled for delivery in 2012. Lockheed expects to deliver the two additional aircraft in late 2013 and early 2014. “The C-130J is ideally suited to the operating conditions found in Oman and other areas of the Gulf,” said Jim Grant, Lockheed’s vice president for air mobility and special operations forces programs. While Oman’s first C-130J is in the so-called “stretch” or long-fuselage configuration, the two in the follow-on order are the shorter fuselage variant. Oman already operates three C-130Hs purchased in the early 1980s.

 Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, August 10, 2010

Sortie Type
CAS/Armed Recon
Air refueling  
Rescue  35354,733

OIF=Operation Iraqi Freedom
OEF=Operation Enduring Freedom
YTD = Year to Date
Airlift includes Horn of Africa data
Note: Data for all coalition sorties, except airlift and rescue, which are USAF only

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