Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 29, 2014

Posts in "Air Force"

November 17, 2014

Helicopters, ISR & NSA in the Week Ahead

NHPOL14 189 081814 445x334 Helicopters, ISR & NSA in the Week Ahead

Ayotte on the campaign trail in August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s a week that’s loaded up in the middle even more than usual, with less happening on Monday and Friday than Washington, D.C.’s well-established tendency toward slow beginnings and sleepy endings.  Full story

November 6, 2014

In House, (As Many As) 16 New Members With Military Backgrounds

AZPOL14 049 080814 445x377 In House, (As Many As) 16 New Members With Military Backgrounds

Ruben Gallego speaks during a fundraiser at the Pizza People Pub in Phoenix on Aug. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Following up on that tally of new senators with military records: Sixteen House incumbents with military backgrounds will depart as of the next Congress, and a nearly identical number of new House members with military backgrounds are set to replace them. Full story

October 30, 2014

Video: In the Cockpit of a U-2 Spy Plane, Up High and Down Low

We recently wrote how it looked like the storied U-2 spy plane would likely avert retirement yet again this year, as well as about how the plane is difficult to land and flies so very, very high. Watch the video above to see what it looks like from the cockpit when the U-2 gets way, way up there, then check out the view from a chase car during the landing.

If you want to watch another U-2 landing as viewed from a chase car, here’s a taste. Then, for another view from 70,000 feet, try here or here, with the second link offering some testimonials from U-2 pilots.

And if you want to read about the U-2′s competition in the Obama fiscal 2015 budget, McClatchy recently penned a feature on the Global Hawk.

October 6, 2014

Colin Powell, Robots, Bobby Jindal in the Week Ahead

Happy National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This week’s schedule doesn’t feature a ton of cybersecurity events, but there is a big homeland security conference that will discuss it, among many other things on the agenda. Full story

September 22, 2014

Congress Vs. ISIS, National Security and the Elections in the Week Ahead

kaine 230 072214 445x280 Congress Vs. ISIS, National Security and the Elections in the Week Ahead

Kaine speaks with a reporter by the Ohio Clock Corridor in the Capitol in July. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A United Nations climate change summit that President Obama is scheduled to visit this week gives the White House a chance to push its fight against the Islamic State group before other countries. And a U.S. visit next week by new Indian prime minister Narenda Modi is giving think tanks and organizations a lot of reasons to hold India-related events in advance.

Then there are the subjects in the headline. Full story

August 18, 2014

Defense Philanthropy, Ukraine Vs. Russia in the Week Ahead

This is the slowest week event-wise of the August congressional recess so far, at least as it pertains to defense and national security. There are, however, a few items of note. Full story

August 13, 2014

Where National Security Is (and Mainly, Isn’t) in 2014 Elections

IA POL14 063 080714 445x296 Where National Security Is (and Mainly, Isnt) in 2014 Elections

Braley helps out on the grill in the Pork Tent at the 2014 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Aug. 7. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When Iraq popped up this week as an issue in the Iowa Senate race between Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst based on her comments about troop levels in recent years, it marked something rare: an occasion where a national security debate surfaced in the 2014 elections for purely national security reasons.

Despite a whole host of places around the globe where security is a rising topic in the news — Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Russia — defense and foreign policy has largely been on the sidelines in congressional races. Even when it has been debated, it has usually been  for other reasons, such as how it reflects on President Barack Obama’s performance. But because of that, and more, national security could still play a role in the 2014 elections.

Full story

August 12, 2014

Military Remembrances of Robin Williams

107652317 3 445x333 Military Remembrances of Robin Williams

Williams, center, laughs in the back stage during the entertaining 2010 performance of “Holiday Troop Visit” by U.S. celebrities for Christmas at boardwalk stage of the Kandahar Air Field. (Behrouz Mehri /AFP/Getty Images)

Legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams, who was found dead Monday from an apparent suicide, played an airman in “Good Morning Vietnam.” His connections to the military go beyond that, so much so that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and others have remarked upon his passing. Full story

August 1, 2014

Space-Based Nuclear Detonation Detection Program Might Fall Short

The National Nuclear Security Administration dedicated $300 million from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2013 for a space-based Nuclear Detonation Detection Program, used for, among other purposes, monitoring nuclear treaty compliance. (That’s kind of a hot issue with Russia right now.)

A new Energy Department inspector general report isn’t sure it will do what it’s supposed to with its current budget. Full story

July 29, 2014

Pentagon Weather Satellites Raise Hacking Vulnerability, Watchdog Finds

No one has ever done a security assessment of a Defense Department weather satellite program used by the Pentagon to monitor potential battlefield conditions, according to an inspector general report. There might not even ever be a security assessment to make sure it meets DOD’s standards, in fact. And because that system is interwoven with another program by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, it makes that one more vulnerable to hacking. Full story

July 21, 2014

Taxpayer Group Knocks Senate Defense Spending Bill

490421347 445x296 Taxpayer Group Knocks Senate Defense Spending Bill

Pilots in a EA-18G Growler complete a nighttime, touch-and-go landing during Field Carrier Landing Practice for the Carrier Air Wing 5 of U.S. Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan on May 14. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Taxpayers for Common Sense found fault with the House’s fiscal 2015 Defense spending bill, and the group now has its share of gripes with the Senate’s $549.7 billion version, too, for spending money on programs the Defense Department doesn’t want and adding money beyond what the Obama administration requested. Full story

July 11, 2014

Video: Taking Photographs of an F-16 Inside Another F-16

Air Force photographer Sgt. Larry Reid, Jr. has a fascinating, and fascinatingly difficult, job. Imagine having a very narrow window in which to photograph a Thunderbird mid-flight with more than seven G’s pushing on you… Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 11:23 a.m.
Air Force

Official Says Pentagon Wants Satellite Launch Competition; Lawmakers Unsure

The Pentagon’s acquisition boss took some guff at a House hearing over a massive satellite launch contract that has prompted a lawsuit by a company that thinks it got shoved aside unfairly. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 9:58 a.m.
Air Force, Procurement

July 10, 2014

F-35 Fire Looks Like a One-Off So Far, Pentagon Official Says

There’s an ongoing evaluation to get to the bottom of a June F-35 engine fire, but a top Pentagon official said Thursday that “There’s a growing body of evidence this may have been an individual situation, not a systemic one.” Full story

Some ‘Told You So,’ Some Uncertainty on the F-35

451312505 2 445x316 Some Told You So, Some Uncertainty on the F 35

This picture taken Oct. 28, 2013, shows a model of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II during a press day of the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition in Goyang. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)

A mysterious F-35 engine fire, the grounding of the fleet, a visit from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel scheduled for Thursday and the resulting possible pullback from an international debut at a British air show have put the Joint Strike Fighter — the most expensive weapon system ever — in the, well, hot seat. Full story

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