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May 25, 2015

Posts in "Air Force"

March 2, 2015

AIPAC, DNI and ISIS in the Week Ahead

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah leave Tel Aviv on their way to Washington D.C. on March 1. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah leave Tel Aviv on their way to Washington D.C. on March 1. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Getty Images)

It’s another week of manic budget hearings. The highlights are Ashton B. Carter voyaging to both Senate Armed Services and House Appropriations to talk fiscal 2016 authorization and spending bills, respectively. Other topics of budget hearings this week include all four services, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the F-35.

Here’s the non-budget hearing stuff — Thursday and Friday are light compared to the rest of the week with the exception of the aforementioned budget hearings, so we’ll leave them out: Full story

February 23, 2015

Check Out This F-16 That Flew With a Wing Half Ripped Off

(Photo: Air Force)

(Photo: Air Force)

There was a collision in October on an F-16 training mission where one pilot ejected safely and the other pilot landed with a plane that looked like THAT. After flying for 100 miles.

The Air Force Times has a rundown of the recently-released report about what went wrong in the F-16 mishap. Foxtrot Alpha offers a reminder of other harrowing flights involving damaged aircraft.

By Tim Starks Posted at 12:08 p.m.
Air Force

Budget Hearings, NSA, National Guard in the Week Ahead

Kerry arrives in the Capitol's House chamber before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, Jan. 20. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Kerry arrives in the Capitol’s House chamber before President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, Jan. 20. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There are so many budget-related hearings this week for all the security/foreign policy-related agencies that we’re just going to link to the committees having those hearings and let you sort out which ones you care about, like so: House Appropriations; Senate Appropriations; House Armed Services; House Foreign Affairs; House Veterans Affairs; and Senate Veterans Affairs. Secretary of State John Kerry is among the luminaries making their way to the Hill for those hearings, and some of the subtopics include the Air Force, Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs.

With that out of the way, here’s the rest of the schedule. Full story

February 17, 2015

Violent Extremism, Space, Cyber in the Week Ahead

President Barack Obama walks off Air Force One as it snows at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland upon his return from a four-day trip to California on Feb. 16. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama walks off Air Force One as it snows at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland upon his return from a four-day trip to California on Feb. 16. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Neither rain nor sleet nor gloom of night can stop Washington on a congressional recess week. Full story

January 30, 2015

Pentagon Hardware Budget Fights: Fiscal 2016 Forecast, Fiscal 2015 Review

We’ve seen enough of the fiscal 2016 budget plan for the Pentagon from the Obama administration to get a sense of where it comes down on some of the biggest-ticket hardware. Let’s review some of last year’s biggest fights, and where they might go this year. Full story

January 29, 2015

Fiscal 2016 Budget Preview: Intelligence

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., greets Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odiernoa, before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing titled "Impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and Sequestration on National Security" on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., greets Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odiernoa, before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing titled “Impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and Sequestration on National Security” on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We haven’t seen as much leg on President Obama‘s fiscal 2016 intelligence budget proposal as we have on his defense budget, but then, we hardly ever see much of that classified spy agency spending. We do know a few things, however. Full story

January 27, 2015

Iraq/Afghanistan, Drone Contractors Penalized for Alleged Misbehavior

A man walks past Composite Engineering Inc.'s BQM-167A, a remote controlled aerial target used for air-to-air tests,  at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) annual show in Washington, D.C. in 2011. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

A man walks past Composite Engineering Inc.’s BQM-167A, a remote controlled aerial target used for air-to-air tests, at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) annual show in Washington, D.C. in 2011. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

A pair of national security contractors are taking some serious financial heat from the federal government over some alleged misbehavior. Full story

January 16, 2015

Drone-Related Shortages Abound

Two months ago came news that there was a shortage of military drones. Thursday came news that there’s a shortage of drone pilots, too.

Per Deborah Lee James, secretary of the Air Force…

The number of Air Force pilots needed to fly a growing number of missions worldwide has not kept up with demand. There are currently 988 Predator and Reaper pilots, but the Air Force is supposed to have 244 more drone pilots, James said, and not as many new pilots are coming in annually to replace the 240 who leave the drone force each year.

“This is a force that is under significant stress from what is an unrelenting pace of operations,” said James.

Oh, and “the sensor operators, the maintenance teams and the intelligence analysts” who are part of the drone-related workforce are also under stress, according to the Pentagon.

January 15, 2015

U-2 Spy Plane Lives — Again

A U.S. Air Force U-2 spy plane flies in this undated file photo. (USAF/Getty Images)

A U.S. Air Force U-2 spy plane flies in this undated file photo. (USAF/Getty Images)

The fate of the U-2 spy plane has flipped more often than an Anton Chigurh coin. Now, it looks like it’s back to having Obama administration support. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 10:05 a.m.
Air Force, Intelligence

January 14, 2015

Moving on From the A-10 and B-2

A stealth bomber flies over the parade route during the 124th Rose Parade on Jan, 1, 2013 in Pasadena, Calif. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

A stealth bomber flies over the parade route during the 124th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2013 in Pasadena, Calif. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Tuesday offered its share of news from the Pentagon about its aircraft plans; a spokesman said that the Defense Department still plans to seek retirement of the A-10, and current Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the B-2 bomber needed to be replaced sooner rather than later. Full story

January 12, 2015

North Korea, the Navy & Henry Kissinger in the Week Ahead

Deborah Lee James speaks during the 2014 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center Sept. 15. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Deborah Lee James speaks during the 2014 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center Sept. 15. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The first security legislating of 2015 is on deck in the House this week, with a homeland security funding bill the vehicle for a rollback of President Obama‘s immigration executive order. A congressional GOP retreat after that will slow action on the Hill, leaving the rest of Washington to carry the burden of news events. Full story

January 5, 2015

Another Spate of Bad News for the F-35

A man sits in a model of a Lockhead Martin F-35 on display on day four of the Farnborough International Airshow on July of last year in England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A man sits in a model of a Lockhead Martin F-35 on display on day four of the Farnborough International Airshow in July of last year in England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Just when the news seems to start going right for the F-35, it starts going wrong again. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 11:55 a.m.
Air Force, Marines

November 17, 2014

Helicopters, ISR & NSA in the Week Ahead

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

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

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

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

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Az-X9UmHPLM&list=UUBeWGn3mho4_5Og6D4jHbXw

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.

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