August 2002 Vol. 85, No. 08
By Suzann Chapman,
Eberhart To Head NORTHCOM
The Senate on June 27 confirmed Air Force Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart
to be the first leader of the Pentagon's new homeland defense
unified combatant command, US Northern Command.
Eberhart, who is currently commander in chief of US Space Command
and NORAD, will relinquish only one of those positions on Oct.
1 when NORTHCOM stands up. As head of the new command, he will
retain only his NORAD position.
Under changes to the Unified Command Plan that take effect
Oct. 1, NORAD, the US-Canadian binational command charged with
air defense of North America, will be aligned with NORTHCOM. NORAD
is headquartered at Peterson AFB, Colo.
The day before Eberhart's confirmation, DOD announced plans
to merge US Space Command, currently housed at Peterson, with
US Strategic Command at Offutt AFB, Neb. (See "Unified Command
Plan Change To Merge SPACECOM and STRATCOM," p. 11.) Current
plans call for placing the new entity, reportedly to carry the
Strategic Command moniker, at Offutt and NORTHCOM at Peterson.
USAF Studies New F-22 Test Approach
Senior Air Force officials met with F-22 prime contractor Lockheed
Martin at Edwards AFB, Calif., the second week in July to discuss
the pace of F-22 flight testing.
USAF officials attending the review included Air Force Secretary
James G. Roche, Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper, USAF acquisition
principals Marvin R. Sambur and Darleen A. Druyun, as well as
Air Force Materiel Command head Gen. Lester L. Lyles.
Lyles said the F-22 flight-test program is not where the service
thought it should be. "We wanted to understand what the impediments
are and work together on a game plan to remove any constraints."
The F-22 program director, Brig. Gen. William J. Jabour, told
reporters in late May that the test program is unlikely to make
its scheduled start date of April 2003 for dedicated initial operational
test and evaluation. He projected a six-month slip.
The General Accounting Office has projected the possibility
the program may slip at least 11 months.
As a result of the review, Lyles said USAF leadership gave
Maj. Gen. Wilbert D. Pearson Jr., the Air Force Flight Test Center
commander, "even more responsibility to look at priorities
for test activities and support, to make key decisions and to
support the F-22 test force leadership."
"CINC" Is Out, "Combatant
Commander" Is In
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld has clarified the
Pentagon's use of the term Commander in Chief, or CINC.
The title historically has been applied to the heads of the
unified commands. Today, there are nine: US Central Command,
US European Command, US Joint Forces Command, US Pacific Command,
US Southern Command, US Space Command, US Special Operations
Command, US Strategic Command, and US Transportation Command.
It also, of course, is the title conferred by the Constitution
upon the President, who is Commander in Chief of the armed forces.
Rumsfeld decreed that the recent update to the Unified Command
Plan would change the title of both functional and geographic
heads from CINC to combatant commander. The official title will
be commander, said DOD public affairs.
The change in title takes effect Oct. 1, along with other
changes to the UCP.
AEF Schedules To Stand
USAF decided it would stand by its current Aerospace Expeditionary
Force deployment cycle: five pairs in a 15-month cycle, with most
personnel deployed for 90 days.
In a late June announcement, the Air Force said that to keep
up with current operational demands, it would have to incorporate
into the existing 10 AEFs the resources it had held back for surprise
Service leaders decided to fold the resources of the so-called
911 or on-call wings into the current AEF buckets of capability.
USAF Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper said the Air Staff
is attempting to develop both short- and long-term solutions to
"AEF is not a hobby--it's the system," he said. (See
additional coverage of this issue in "Building Aerospace
Expeditionary Forces for the Long Haul," p. 14.)
Unified Command Plan Change To
SPACECOM and STRATCOM
The Pentagon will merge US Space Command with US Strategic
Command on Oct. 1. The headquarters for the new unified combatant
command, reportedly to be named Strategic Command, will reside
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld announced the much anticipated
merger June 26.
STRATCOM, which is headquartered at Offutt AFB, Neb., controls
US nuclear forces--ICBMs, nuclear submarines, and nuclear-equipped
bombers. SPACECOM, with headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base
in Colorado Springs, Colo., controls military space operations,
information operations, computer network operations, and space
Both commands are charged with countering the proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction.
Rumsfeld said the missions of the two commands "have
evolved to the point where merging the two into a single entity
will eliminate redundancies in the command structure and streamline
the decision-making process."
The new command, he said, will oversee "early warning
of and defense against missile attack as well as long-range conventional
attacks." It will also be responsible for information operations.
Pentagon officials had confirmed the merger was under study
in April when they announced other major changes to the Unified
Command Plan. Those changes included creation of a new unified
command, US Northern Command, to oversee homeland security.
This is not the first time DOD has sought to merge STRATCOM
and SPACECOM. In 1993 the Pentagon made a concerted effort to
eliminate US Space Command and transfer its mission to Strategic
Command. The move failed, though, largely because of Canadian
Canada objected to having NORAD, the US-Canada binational
air defense command, aligned with the command charged with US
nuclear offensive operations. At the time, NORAD was aligned
with SPACECOM, whose Commander in Chief also served as head of
That objection was removed in April when Rumsfeld announced
the Pentagon would align NORAD with US Northern Command. NORAD
will still rely on missile warning data it receives from SPACECOM,
but it will not share commanders.
The current head of SPACECOM, Air Force Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart,
has already received Senate confirmation as the first commander
for NORTHCOM. (See "Eberhart To Head NORTHCOM," p.
Rumsfeld also set the stage for the merger by discussing his
plans with Members of Congress from Nebraska and Colorado before
the official announcement.
Nebraska lawmakers see the move as one that will solidify
a long-standing military presence in that state, insulating Offutt
in any future round of base closures. Indications are that the
new Nebraska command would also oversee the Administration's
proposed national missile defense system.
Although Colorado loses SPACECOM's headquarters function and
its four-star general, the state will retain its central role
in military space activities as host to Air Force Space Command,
which has its headquarters at Peterson. The state already gained
a new four-star general in April when the Pentagon separated
command of AFSPC from SPACECOM and Congress authorized the Air
Force an additional four-star billet. Peterson has also been
designated to host NORTHCOM.
Neither state stands to gain or lose a great number of personnel
as a result of the merger. SPACECOM has about 900 military and
civilian personnel, while STRATCOM has 1,500. Officials said
only a small number of personnel would transfer from Peterson
Proponents of the merger say it will increase the military's
ability to respond swiftly to unexpected attacks and offer a
wider range of strategic options--nuclear and non-nuclear. They
say the new command will have a truly global perspective.
The move allowed Rumsfeld to create the new homeland defense
command, yet he can still limit the overall number of combatant
commanders to nine. Additionally, it allowed him to combine two
commands which, separately, appeared to have limited roles.
Some critics claim, though, that the merger will actually
delay the emergence of a space warfighting doctrine. They say
Rumsfeld has abandoned his desire to see advanced space technologies
integrated throughout the military at the tactical level.
Others say the two cultures represented are not likely to
mesh well and question how the new command will support NORAD
on domestic defense issues.
Fine-tuning of the unified commands may not end here. Defense
officials also have expressed an interest in merging US Southern
Command with NORTHCOM.
However, any decision in that arena will have to wait at least
for a year or so, according to USAF Gen. Richard B. Myers, Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"We have made some very, very big changes in the Unified
Command Plan," said Myers. "We're thinking we probably
ought to let this settle out for a little bit before we tackle
some more big issues."
AFRC May Fall Short of Volunteers
The pace of USAF's expeditionary deployments--more 90-day tours--may
force the Reserves into additional mobilizations, said an Air
Force Reserve Command official.
It is AFRC policy to seek volunteers to fill its AEF commitments,
which prior to last year's Sept. 11 attacks were normally only
two-week tours, said Tony Tassone, AFRC's AEF Cell director.
"However, if the number of 90-day tours, with no intermediate
rotation, remains at the present level, we will not have enough
volunteers to meet the taskings."
He said if AFRC maintains its current level of commitments
for AEF Cycle 3 (March 1, 2002-May 31, 2003), "it will provide
more than 30,000 volunteers in addition to its approximately 13,000
The cycle includes 800 taskings for two-week tours but some
1,500 that require 90-day commitments.
Tallone said if the number of 90-day tours remains at the present
level, "AFRC will be forced to resort to mobilization to
meet its requirements."
"This is not something AFRC will recommend, but that decision
will be made by the gaining major commands if they need Reserve
participation," he said.
Planning has already started for the next AEF cycle, which
will begin in June 2003. For that, Tallone said AFRC plans to
offer capabilities using volunteers in 15-day rotations.
Aerospace Expeditionary Forces for the Long Haul
USAF's 10 rotating Aerospace Expeditionary Forces were designed
with steady-state peacetime operations in mind. They emphatically
were not built to sustain the operational pace demanded
since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
This has happened before. In April 1999--when AEFs were being
organized but before they had come officially into use--Air Force
Secretary F. Whitten Peters said that roughly four AEFs' worth
of assets had been deployed for Operation Allied Force over Kosovo.
That, many noted, was a problem for a deployment concept based
on using only two AEFs at a time.
The problem re-emerged this year under the stress of Operations
Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle, said Air Force officials. With
no end to the war in sight, and with no letup in the Air Force's
pre-existing commitments, the AEF concept could have been headed
toward a breakdown.
However, the Air Force now has decided to strengthen the system
by pumping in more resources. The service wants to make sure
the system holds up in the harsh new post-Sept. 11 world.
"Obviously, with the dynamic situation you have in Afghanistan
right now, requirements will continue to fluctuate," said
Maj. Gen. Timothy A. Peppe, special assistant to the vice chief
of staff for AEFs. "The bottom line is, we are happy with
the way we've been able to do business with AEFs and I don't
see us changing."
He went on, "We've discussed it at length the last couple
of months," and after meeting with top leadership, "the
bottom-line message is that everybody in the Air Force ... has
got to understand that we are expeditionary. That is our business,
and we have got to be ready to go--somewhere--at the drop of
The unexpected demands have severely strained six Air Force
career fields, in particular.
Security forces, the Office of Special Investigations, intelligence
officers, civil engineers, enlisted aircrew members, and communications
officials are considered the "most critical" shortages,
according to service officials.
USAF is working to fill the shortages by constantly evaluating
assignments and sending more new airmen into the stressed fields.
The Air Force must match manpower and equipment with requirements
so that certain airmen in high-demand areas are not deployed
for half the year and so that certain capabilities are always
available to the warfighting commanders.
The Air Force is working toward equal capability in each AEF,
something the service does not yet enjoy because of shortages
of some capabilities.
"There are things we have done in the F-16 community,
for instance, both in the active and the [Guard and Reserve],
to try to increase its capabilities, so that they can give us
and the CINCs more flexibility as we're waging war," said
Peppe. "The bottom line is: We're trying to make the 10
AEFs as equal as possible, across the board--from a capability
point of view--not sheer numbers of people or machines."
Officials said airmen are supposed to deploy for only 90 days
in any single 15-month period, but in some cases, certain Air
Force members have been way from home bases up to 179 days.
The Stated Goal
"Our preference for these High-Demand, Low-Density assets
is to try to not deploy them for more than 120 days," said
Peppe. "That will be the stated goal. If the CINCs demand
and the [Secretary of Defense] concurs, clearly some of those"
might be used more.
For HD/LDs, said Peppe, "we need to make sure the training
pipeline is as full as it can be, so that we man those particular
assets to the authorizations that we've already given them."
"Making sure that the pipeline is open, sending them
the right number of people, making sure that the training is
available" is critical, he added. For some HD/LD assets,
"we've gotten to the point a couple of times where we've
adversely affected the training back home because we've had to
use so many of those assets in their [primary warfighting] roles
that we've not been able to keep the training going."
"As the Guard and Reserve demobilize, ... some of those
numbers will go up even more," Peppe said. "Places
we are going to need some help" include intelligence and
air traffic control, he said, while security forces "clearly
are an issue."
A source of new personnel for regular deployment will be the
Air Force's two Air Expeditionary Wings, based at Mountain Home
AFB, Idaho and Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C. Until now, these two
wings have backed up the regular AEFs, serving as on-call, rapid-reaction
Spreading All the Assets
Now, said Peppe, the assets of these wings "will be spread
out into the 10 AEFs," meaning each AEF will have more aircraft,
airmen, and support. The AEW aircraft and personnel will be fully
allocated to the 10 AEFs as of June 2003.
Combat support units from the AEWs have already been tasked
to support the war on terror, Peppe said, but the units need
to be more fully integrated into the AEF structure because they
have been underutilized to date.
Peppe said about 175,000 airmen are postured for AEF deployments
through unit type codes, which identify airmen by mission. The
goal, he said, is to have "well over" 200,000 people
postured for AEF deployments.
"I don't think that's going to be a problem," he
said, noting that the entire Air Force headquarters staff in
Washington, D.C, should become available for AEF deployment if
Most headquarters officers have skills needed at forward locations,
said Col. John Vrba, chief of competitive sourcing and privatization,
manpower, and organization. "Why can't the Pentagon share
the pain?" asked Vrba. "We are going to make the people
in the building" available for deployments so that the AEFs
are not short-staffed, he said.
Many headquarters career fields have more uniformed officials
than needed. For example, the service may have too many officers
in the communications, personnel, and finance fields--jobs that
civilians or contractors can also perform.
Shortly after Sept. 11, the Air Force took stock of its needs
and identified about 30,000 new manpower requirements. "Almost
half" involved security forces, according to Vrba.
Overall, 17 career fields are short-staffed. In some cases,
said one USAF official, "it will take years to get them
in balance again." The situation has actually improved since
shortly after the terror attacks; force protection requirements
have settled down somewhat.
The security forces shortage is declining and will probably
settle in at "a few thousand," Vrba said. After the
attacks, many Air Force installations went to force protection
condition Charlie, which is a much more rigorous security level
than the peacetime force protection condition Alpha.
The Air Force career fields facing "long-haul" shortages
are security forces, OSI, civil engineering readiness, fuels,
firefighters, command post, power production civil engineering,
liquid fuels civil engineering, transportation, combat control,
intelligence, explosive ordnance detachments, communications,
aerospace control and warning, pilots, air crews, and medical.
The six most critical "functional areas" sometimes
reach across these specific career fields.
Despite the challenges, "the decision was made last month
to stick with 10 AEFs," Peppe said. "We looked at up
to 15 different options, and we find no compelling need to change"
to another construct, such as eight or 12 AEFs.
As of July 8, 9,900 airmen were still deployed to the Afghanistan
region in support of Enduring Freedom, according to service officials.
At home, there are combat air patrols, bases on "strip alert,"
and increased force protection levels.
The AEF construct has "offered predictability for our
people, and hopefully we can make it even more predictable,"
The cycles also allow the service to keep up with maintenance
and repair schedules. According to installations and logistics
officials, Air Force major commands and system program directors
report that aircraft maintenance continues to be performed when
and as required, whether it is at home station or deployed.
-Adam J. Hebert
USAF Issues New Stop-Loss Relief
The Air Force released all but three officer and eight enlisted
career fields from its Stop-Loss restrictions in late June. The
measure applies to active duty and reservists.
USAF implemented blanket Stop-Loss measures, prohibiting all
active duty and reserve members from either separating or retiring,
following the September 2001 terrorist attacks. It released a
few members from those restrictions in January and a few more
The third release encompasses most career fields and is in
line with USAF's exit plan, which called for a gradual drawdown
in the number of specialties affected, said Lt. Col. Jan Middleton
at the Pentagon.
The officers still prohibited from separating or retiring are
those serving as special operations pilots and navigators or in
The enlisted fields still restricted are: flight engineer,
airfield management, operations resource management, air traffic
control, intelligence operations, pararescue, fuels, and security
Pilots Blamed in Canadian Deaths
The coalition investigation board reviewing the April 17 friendly
fire incident near Kandahar, Afghanistan, that left four Canadian
soldiers dead and eight others injured found that two USAF F-16
pilots were at fault.
The pilots failed "to exercise appropriate flight discipline,
which resulted in a violation of the rules of engagement and
an inappropriate use of lethal force," Marine Corps Lt.
Gen. Michael DeLong, Central Command deputy commander, told reporters
He said the board also determined that failings within the
pilots' immediate command structures were contributing factors.
The coalition board was co-chaired by Canadian Brig. Gen.
Marc Dumais and USAF Brig. Gen. Stephen T. Sargeant, a veteran
A separate Canadian board also blamed the two pilots. However,
in findings it released June 28, the Canadian board said the
two pilots were not aware of a planned coalition live-fire exercise.
When asked about that conclusion, DeLong said he could not
talk about the issue "because that's still part of an ongoing
investigation." He added, "I can say that all pilots
are briefed prior to every mission. ... They're briefed on the
areas they fly in. And I'll just leave it like that."
However, the Washington Times reported July 18 that,
just after the bomb struck, an Airborne Warning and Control Systems
aircraft air controller told the pilot, "You're cleared.
The Times quoted what it said was a transcript of the
"Can you confirm they were shooting us?" one of
the pilot's asked the AWACS. The controller responded, "You're
This fact was not disclosed by US Central Command in June
when it briefed reporters on the results of the investigation.
Charles Gittens, a defense attorney for one pilot, said that
the transcript shows a command failure--that "neither the
aircrew nor the AWACS were briefed about [the Canadians]"
exercising in the area.
According to both boards, the Canadian soldiers were participating
in nighttime live-fire training at the Tarnak Farms Range, which
had formerly been used by al Qaeda forces for training. The two
F-16s were returning from a mission when the flight lead noticed
what he described as fireworks. He believed it to be surface-to-air
fire (SAFIRE) and asked permission from an AWACS aircraft to
pinpoint the exact coordinates.
The wingman asked for approval to fire his 20 mm cannon. The
AWACS told him to stand by. Later, the AWACS asked for additional
information on the SAFIRE, again telling him to hold fire. The
wingman relayed the additional information and, at the same time,
told the AWACS he was rolling-in in self-defense. The wingman
released a 500-pound laser guided bomb. The bomb hit a Canadian
The Canadian board also revealed that the Canadian soldiers
were firing a range of weapons, from personal side arms up to
and including shoulder-fired anti-tank munitions. "Though
visible from the air, the armament being employed was of no threat
to the aircraft at their transit altitude," it said.
Press reports identified the F-16 pilots as members of the
Air National Guard. Both pilots were made available to each board.
DeLong said the investigation reports were turned over to
the Air Force "for disciplinary action as may be appropriate."
The coalition board made disciplinary recommendations, but those
were not revealed.
Jumper: Higher Optempo To Stay
In the post-Sept. 11 world, the Air Force no longer experiences
surge operations. Instead it faces a "new, higher standard
of operations tempo," said USAF Chief of Staff Gen. John
"While our operational rhythm will fluctuate with world
events, it is unlikely we will return to a pre-September level,"
he said in a July 10 written statement.
Jumper emphasized USAF's reliance on the Aerospace Expeditionary
Force to meet the new optempo. He said the Air Force must properly
size the deployment units that make up the AEFs. Expanding the
number of members who participate in worldwide commitments, Jumper
said, will help decrease the demand on those "currently carrying
more than their share of our deployment burden."
Expansion of the deployment pool, said Jumper, "will mesh
with our 'burn-down' plan to further reduce the impact of Stop-Loss
and to facilitate the demobilization of our Guard and Reserve
The Defense Department Budget
Bills at Mid-Year
Both Houses of Congress this summer passed authorization bills
that essentially mirror the Bush Administration's $396.8 billion
Fiscal 2003 national defense budget request. (National defense
includes funding for DOD and defense-related activities in the
Department of Energy and several other agencies.)
Bush proposed the largest one-year boost in defense spending
in two decades. It marked a real, after-inflation increase of
more than $41 billion.
The House version of the defense authorization legislation
outlines a spending plan that is about $10 billion less than
the Bush request because it intends to handle funding for future
war-on-terror activities in a separate bill.
The Senate version would authorize $393.4 billion.
At issue during much of the debate in the Senate was $7.8
billion for the Administration's missile defense system. Democrats
wanted to cut $814 million from missile defense and shift it
to shipbuilding and heightened security at nuclear facilities.
Republicans pressed the President's case and won a compromise
that would allow Bush to shift the amount cut from savings in
other programs. Senators recommended that any savings go toward
the war on terror, but they left the door open for Bush to return
$814 million to missile defense.
The House bill had included about $15 million more than the
President's request for the missile defense system. With the
Senate's nod to the Administration, the final version produced
by House and Senate conferees this month is almost certain to
contain at least the figure requested originally by the President.
Another contentious issue--one that greatly concerns Air Force
employees at air logistics centers--is the amount of work DOD
can shift from its own depot workforce to contractors. In a 50-49
vote, Senate Republicans and two Democrats tabled an amendment
from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) that would have made it
more difficult for DOD to contract out work currently done by
federal civilian employees.
The Administration also won the battle over the $11 billion
Crusader cannon. Despite a strong effort by senior Republicans
from Oklahoma, where the Crusader would have been assembled,
the Senate gave Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld approval
to kill the program. The House authorizers left the door open
but requested an analysis of alternatives. (The House defense
appropriations bill, passed in late June, cut funding altogether.)
Both the House and Senate provided for a 4.1 percent military
pay raise across the board, with up to 6.5 percent for certain
Both Houses also increased the request for improvements to
living and working facilities. The House authorized an additional
$425 million, the Senate about $640 million.
The House bill would raise active duty end strength about
12,652 troops overall--10,352 more than the Administration request.
Under the Administration budget, the Air Force would have
gained 200 positions. The House proposed boosting USAF by 1,995.
Although the Senate Armed Services Committee recommended staying
with the Administration's personnel numbers, the full Senate
passed an amendment by Sens. Max Cleland (D-Ga.) and John McCain
(R-Ariz.) that would permit the military services to raise their
manpower ceilings by 12,000. Unlike the House version, the amendment
did not propose a way to actually fund the increase.
The issue of concurrent receipt, which has pitted veterans
groups against the Bush Administration, got a limited boost.
The Senate backed immediate 100 percent restoration of retired
pay to military retirees who draw VA disability compensation,
but it left the measure unfunded. On the other hand, the House
proposed phasing in restoration over five years and then only
for those with disability ratings of 60 percent or higher. It
did fund its plan.
Neither plan may pass. The White House opposes both versions.
To complicate matters further, while defense officials oppose
concurrent receipt, they did not recommend that Bush veto the
bill over the issue, but other Administration officials did.
Both the House and Senate matched the President's request
of about $5.2 billion for the F-22 air dominance fighter and
$3.5 billion for the F-35 strike fighter.
The hot issue of whether the Air Force should lease or buy
new aerial refueling aircraft did not escape attention.
Senators included a provision that would prohibit Secretary
of the Air Force James G. Roche from entering into a lease agreement
for tankers until he produces a report Congress required in last
year's defense legislation. Roche must also obtain authorization
and appropriation of funds. The proposal is for lease of 100
Boeing 767s to be modified as tankers.
Roche has said all along that he would prefer to buy new tankers
outright--the less expensive option according to various analysts--if
he had the money. (See "Aerospace World: The Washington
Tanker Wars," July, p. 15.)
Both Houses matched the President's request for $3.7 billion
to procure C-17 airlifters.
The House and Senate added funds the Administration did not
request for installation of terrain awareness and warning systems
on USAF C-130s. They also boosted the amount requested for upgrades
to F-16s and added funds not requested to upgrade Air National
Guard F-16s. Additionally, the House increased funds to upgrade
The House bill would increase by $49 million the President's
request for B-2 bomber upgrades. The Senate version added $45.2
million for upgrades to both the B-2 and B-52.
In the space arena, the Senate reduced the Space Based Infrared
System High by $100 million because of significant cost and schedule
problems and program restructuring. SBIRS High was one of six
programs Pentagon acquisition chief Edward C. Aldridge certified
in May is necessary to national security and can be kept within
cost controls. It is intended as a replacement for the Defense
Support Program ballistic missile early warning satellites.
The Senate added $17 million to the Evolved Expendable Launch
Vehicle program to reduce the launch integration risk for the
first Wideband Gap-Filler satellite.
Overall, the House added $4.6 billion to the Administration's
request of $68.7 billion for weapons procurement. The Senate
added $4.2 billion. Primarily these increases relate to accounting
matters--placing some equipment purchases in different accounts.
The most significant changes were the House increase for the
Navy's CVN(X) aircraft carrier program ($229 million) and the
Senate increase for the Virginia-class submarines ($415 million)
and the F/A-18E/F programs ($240 million).
House and Senate conferees are working this month on a final
version of the Fiscal 2003 national defense authorization bill.
Northrop, TRW Agree on Buyout
Company officials announced July 1 a merger agreement in which
Northrop Grumman will buy TRW for $7.8 billion in stock.
The move, if approved by DOD and the Justice Department, could
make Northrop Grumman the nation's second largest defense contractor.
After months of wrangling during which TRW turned down two
previous Northrop Grumman offers, Northrop overcame last minute
bids from BAE Systems, Raytheon, and General Dynamics--all pursuing
TRW's government satellite business.
Lockheed Martin, the top defense contractor, is protesting
the Northrop/TRW deal, saying there is not enough government satellite
business to host another major player.
In 1998, Lockheed Martin had attempted to acquire the struggling
Northrop Grumman. That merger was nixed by the Pentagon.
Since then Northrop rebounded, purchasing 10 companies, doubling
its revenue. Over the past decade, the company has moved from
primarily a producer of manned warplanes, such as the B-2 bomber,
to shipbuilding, electronics, information technology, and unmanned
Northrop projects the new company would have annual revenues
of more than $26 billion and 123,000 employees.
Benjamin O. Davis Jr., 1912-2002
In 1954, Davis received his first star, making
him the first black general in the Air Force. Gen. Earle E. Partridge,
Far East Air Forces commander, pins on the stars.
Gen. Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr., leader of the Tuskegee Airmen
during World War II and the first African American general in
the Air Force, died July 4 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
He was 89 and had Alzheimer's disease.
At the time he entered West Point, Davis was the son of one
of only two black combat officers in the Army. The younger Davis
persevered through four years at the US Military Academy, where
no cadet spoke to him other than on official business, and graduated
35th in his class in 1936. He wanted to fly, but segregation
was a barrier. There were no black flying units in the air service.
He commanded a black service company at Ft. Benning, Ga.,
and then taught military science at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee,
Ala. During this time, as a re-election initiative, President
Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the Army to create a black flying
Davis, as the only living black West Point graduate, was selected
to lead the unit. In May 1941 he entered advanced flying training
at nearby Tuskegee Army Air Base, receiving his pilot wings in
He led the 99th Pursuit Squadron from Tuskegee to North Africa
in April 1943 and later to Sicily. After three months in combat,
Davis was called to Washington to defend the 99th against charges
that black pilots did not have the proper reflexes to be fighter
pilots. Davis's testimony saved the 99th and the other black
flying units being formed.
He took charge of the 332nd Fighter Group, leading it to Italy
in January 1944. Throughout the war, the Tuskegee Airmen established
a dazzling record of victories against superior German aircraft.
When they flew escort duty, not one bomber they escorted on some
200 missions was lost to an enemy fighter.
In 1946, as commander at Lockbourne AAB, Ohio, Davis's professionalism
won over the white civil servants working for him there. His
successes at Lockbourne and with the 332nd helped set the stage
for racial integration within the newly formed US Air Force.
Historian Alan Gropman said that Davis performed so well and
led so effectively that the arguments used to prop up segregation
were fatally undermined. (See "Benjamin Davis, American,"
August 1997, p. 70.) In 1949, the Air Force became the first
US armed service to integrate racially.
Davis became the first black officer to attend a war college.
He went on to a key Pentagon assignment and then commanded the
51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing in the Korean War. From there,
he went to Far East Air Forces as director of operations and
training, in which post he was promoted to brigadier general.
His next posting called for him to create from scratch a defensive
air force for Taiwan.
He continued to serve in key operational positions in Europe,
the Pentagon, and Asia, rising to lieutenant general. He retired
from the Air Force in 1970 as deputy commander in chief of US
Davis continued in public service. He became director of public
safety for Cleveland, Ohio, and later served as head of the newly
formed federal sky marshal program and as an assistant secretary
at the US Department of Transportation.
In December 1998, Davis was awarded a fourth star in an exceedingly
rare post-retirement promotion. He was only the third Air Force
pioneer to receive such an honor. The other two were Ira C. Eaker
and Jimmy Doolittle.
Goodrich To Buy TRW Unit
Goodrich announced June 18 it planned to acquire TRW's Aeronautical
Systems businesses for $1.5 billion in cash.
The purchase would expand Goodrich's military and commercial
aerospace systems business to include flight controls, cargo systems,
engine control systems, power and utility systems, and missile
The buyout is subject to approval by US and European regulatory
agencies. It is not affected by Northrop Grumman's proposed acquisition
Administration Cites New Anthrax
Bush Administration officials from the Pentagon and Health
and Human Services announced a new policy in which DOD would
continue vaccinating troops in higher risk areas and stockpile
some of the currently limited quantity of vaccine for domestic
The Pentagon had initiated a plan in 1998 to vaccinate all
military members. Since then the program was reduced several
times as the supply became increasingly scarce.
The sole US supplier, Bioport of Lansing, Mich., closed its
production facility for renovations then had trouble regaining
Food and Drug Administration approval. The FDA recertified the
Bioport facility and its manufacturing processes in January 2002.
At a Pentagon press briefing on June 28, William Winkenwerder
Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said
that the number of DOD personnel receiving vaccinations will
increase from the current level. He would not specify a number.
"Our policy will be to vaccinate service members, essential
civilians, and contractor personnel who are assigned or deployed
for more than 15 days in higher-threat areas of the world, whose
performance is essential for certain mission-critical capabilities,"
said Winkenwerder. The new policy will continue, he said, until
more vaccine is available.
The Administration plans to stockpile about half the current
production for emergency civil use. Winkenwerder said the amount
could change, depending on threat conditions. He said Bioport
is producing hundreds of thousands of doses per month.
He dismissed concerns about the safety of the vaccine. "It
has a not-insignificant set of local reactions associated with
it, but not different from things like typhoid vaccine, or influenza,
or hepatitis A; it's in that same range of side effects."
The local reactions include swelling, redness, and pain at the
injection site. He added that the percentage of serious side
effects "really is quite small."
DOD administered about 2.1 million doses of the vaccine to
525,000 service personnel. Out of those, the services reported
only 441 members who refused vaccination.
Winkenwerder cited a March 6 National Academy of Sciences
study that concluded the vaccine is safe and effective.
"As with any vaccine, there probably are a very, very
small number of people who may have what one would call a serious
reaction," he said.
The current vaccination schedule calls for a six-shot series,
taken at the first day, two weeks, four weeks, six months, 12
months, and 18 months. Winkenwerder said those personnel who
had already received some of the shots in the six-shot regimen
would be able to pick up where they left off. "There is
a level of immunity that's there that can be picked back up with
the resumption of the series."
Service members who must take the vaccine will begin their
shot series 45 days before deployment, so they will receive three
of the six doses. The series would continue during their deployment.
On the civilian side, the Administration intends to use the
stockpile as a post-exposure measure and provide a combination
of vaccination and antibiotics. Once the supply of the vaccine
improves, it might be offered in advance for first responders.
Officials also said DOD, HHS, and other federal agencies are
working on a new generation anthrax vaccine that could potentially
require fewer doses.
US Gains One-Year Shield From
The United Nations Security Council voted 15-0 July 12 to make
US forces engaged in UN peacekeeping missions exempt for one year
from prosecution by the International Criminal Court.
The Bush Administration had threatened to veto such operations
unless the UN granted US forces permanent immunity from the court.
The Administration backed off that demand earlier in the week.
The court officially came into existence on July 1. A 1998
treaty establishing the court was signed by 179 countries, but
only 76 have ratified it.
President Clinton signed, but Congress had not ratified the
treaty. President Bush "unsigned" it. Other countries
that have not ratified the treaty include China and Russia.
Pentagon officials said they are committed to keeping US forces
engaged in UN peacekeeping operations, such as the one in Bosnia.
They said the UN should grant peacekeepers immunity.
A-10 Pilot Killed in Crash
Capt. Robert I. Lopez, 32, was killed June 27 when the A-10
Thunderbolt II he was flying crashed near the French Polygone
Range on the French-German border.
Lopez was with the 81st Fighter Squadron, stationed at Spangdahlem
AB, Germany. He was flying a tactical leadership program training
mission at the time of the accident, said officials.
A board of USAF officials will investigate.
Pentagon Installs Dedication
Nine months after the terrorist-hijacked airliner slammed into
the Pentagon, killing 184 people, officials set a dedication capsule
in place in the restored west wall.
The capsule, which officials said is not meant to be opened,
contains items such as handmade cards and letters from schoolchildren,
medallions from Pentagon leaders, patches from local firefighters
and police, and a plaque listing the names of the 184.
It is a means to remember and memorialize the victims and recognize
the rebuilding effort, said an official.
The niche that holds the capsule was capped with a block of
limestone, one of the stones originally installed 60 years ago.
Scorched by fire in the attack, the block had been retrieved from
the ruins. It is inscribed with the date of the attack.
Pilot Error Caused F-16 Crash
Accident investigation board results released June 17 found
that pilot error caused an F-16 to crash near Spangdahlem AB,
Germany, March 20.
The board said that the pilot, Capt. Luke A. Johnson, failed
to initiate missed-approach procedures as directed by the air
Johnson was killed when his F-16 crashed in a wooded area about
two miles from the runway. He was on final approach following
a night tactical-intercept training mission.
He was with the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem.
Rumsfeld's "Bow Wave"
Chart on the Army's
Top Investment Programs
DOD Seeks Attack Memorial
Defense Department officials announced a design competition
for a memorial to honor those killed in the Sept. 11 Pentagon
The competition closes Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. EDT.
The location for the planned memorial is a two-acre area near
where the hijacked airliner hit the Pentagon. The Army Corps of
Engineers worked with family members of victims to choose the
Competition rules are posted on the Web at http://pentagonmemorial.
nab.usace.army.mil. Entrants may also write to receive the rules:
US Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District, Public Affairs
Office, PO Box 1715, Baltimore, MD 21203.
The competition calls for an artistic idea, not final blueprints.
A panel of six sculptors, architects, and landscape architects
will judge the entries.
Officials expect to dedicate the memorial by Sept. 11, 2003.
No Need To Cross-Train
The Air Force will no longer require its enlisted members who
want to serve as first sergeants to cross-train from their current
career fields. The change takes effect Oct. 1.
USAF initiated the change following a 15-month review, which
found that the current system failed to meet service needs. Under
the old rules, becoming a first sergeant of a unit meant an individual
had to leave his primary career field permanently.
"We have 1,200 active duty first sergeant positions, and
we are currently short 120 people," said SMSgt. Michael Gilbert,
first sergeant career field manager.
Under the new rules, the job of first sergeant will be a special
duty assignment. After a tour of three years, the individual would
return to his functional specialty.
Gilbert said that a major goal of the change is to attract
more senior enlisted members, some of whom may not have wanted
to leave their career field permanently. "The program will
help us deliberately develop some of the top enlisted leaders
we will need in the future," he said.
Would More Than
One-Third Shirk a Draft?
According to a poll released June 20, 37 percent of college
students would evade a military draft if one were reinstituted.
More men than women said they would comply with a draft call.
Men indicated they'd be more willing to serve anywhere, while
women were split on whether they'd serve anywhere or just in
The nationwide survey of 634 students at 96 four-year schools
was conducted by Republican pollster Frank Luntz for the Americans
for Victory Over Terrorism.
SECAF Creates New Medal
Secretary of the Air Force James G. Roche authorized creation
of the Air Force Campaign Medal to recognize significant direct
contributions to wartime operations from outside the geographic
area of operations.
It is meant to compensate for the DOD campaign medal, which
is based on geography to define an area of combat operations.
"In light of the expeditionary aerospace force environment
and the transformation in the way the Air Force carries out its
missions today, such criteria doesn't allow us to appropriately
recognize our people who contribute directly and significantly
to the success of wartime campaigns from outside the area of combat
operations," said Roche.
Roche also announced creation of two new Air Force awards.
The Gallant Unit Citation will recognize units for their significant
combat heroism but at a level below that currently required for
the Presidential Unit Citation.
The Meritorious Unit Award will honor units for outstanding
achievement in direct support of combat operations.
USAF Museum Expands
Construction for a major expansion of the Air Force Museum
began to take shape earlier this summer. The $16.6 million addition
to the Dayton, Ohio, facility is expected to be completed in time
for next spring's centennial of flight celebration, according
The Air Force Museum Foundation is funding the expansion, which
includes as its centerpiece a 200,000-square-foot third building.
Follow-on phases will add a hall of missiles, a space gallery,
and an education center.
Museum officials said the new building will house aircraft
and exhibits from the Cold War to present day. They plan a massive
movement of display aircraft this fall to realign the flow of
exhibits and aircraft into a more chronological format. They said
the museum will remain open during construction and movement of
displays, although some areas may be temporarily closed.
The new building will be called the Eugene W. Kettering Gallery
to honor the first head of the foundation board of trustees.
Senate Wants Speicher Updates
The Senate tacked an amendment onto its Fiscal 2003 defense
authorization bill that requires written reports every three months
on measures taken to locate a Navy pilot shot down during the
Senators unanimously agreed the Bush Administration should
do more to determine the fate of Lt. Cmdr. Michael S. Speicher.
Iraq has said it has no information about Speicher, but it
formally offered earlier this year to allow a US team to investigate.
Administration officials have said they plan to determine Speicher's
true status, but critics say the Pentagon is dragging its feet.
The Pentagon initially reported the Navy pilot was killed in
1991 when his F-18 was shot down. However, last year, the Navy
changed his status to missing in action, based on new information.
Earlier this year, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), member of the
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, wrote to Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld, asking him to change Speicher's classification
once again, this time to prisoner of war, based on intelligence
reports that he might still be alive. Roberts had been instrumental
in getting the pilot's status changed last year.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said defense officials told him July
10 that Secretary of State Colin Powell likely will be responding
to a three-month-old offer from Baghdad via a diplomatic note
to be sent to Iraq through the International Committee of the
Nelson said, "We need to be skeptical of anything Iraq
offers, but confirming whether they have new information about
Commander Speicher is the right thing to do."
Nelson and Roberts were chief sponsors of the budget amendment.
Chinese Flying Close Again
Two Chinese fighters flew within 150 feet of a US Navy P-3
reconnaissance aircraft June 24, reported the Washington Times.
This was the first incident since a collision last year between
a Navy EP-3 and a Chinese F-8. (See "The Last Flight of Wang
Wei," July 2001, p. 51.)
In the June encounter, which occurred in international airspace
near the Chinese coast north of Taiwan, two F-7 interceptors flew
parallel to the P-3. They flew very close for several minutes.
One official called the intercept troubling. Another said intercepts
since last year's collision are being handled with more professionalism
by the Chinese. The June event was described as nonthreatening.
It took place as Peter W. Rodman, assistant defense secretary
for international security affairs, was meeting with Chinese officials
in Beijing. Rodman was there to explore a resumption of military-to-military
Creating a Third Force?
Defense officials have been pondering the right mix of active
and reserve forces for some time, but the issue has been under
sharper scrutiny lately with the heavy use of reserves in the
war on terror.
The Defense Planning Guidance for 2004 has a requirement to
study creation of a third force as a means to bridge the gap between
active and reserve personnel.
Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, the new chief of the Army Reserve,
revealed the initiative in a meeting with reporters in late June.
Helmly said the concept is to create a force that would be
part-time, like present reserves, but would agree to deploy for
a longer block of time, perhaps six months every two years. In
return, the third-force members might receive more benefits and
higher pay than typical reservists.
- Stephen A. Cambone, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's right
hand man, moved from principal deputy undersecretary of defense
for policy to serve as director of program analysis and evaluation.
He will still report directly to Rumsfeld, according to a July
- The Administration proposed to NATO July 2 that the US leave
the position of Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic vacant when
the current commander, Army Gen. William F. Kernan, retires in
October. Kernan holds the SACLANT post as part of his Joint Forces
Command assignment. JFCOM lost its geographic area responsibility
under the Pentagon's Unified Command Plan revision, and NATO
is also reviewing its overall command structure. Vice Adm. Edmund
P. Giambastiani Jr. was nominated to replace Kernan at JFCOM.
- The Chinese government said last month that it will permit
the US to search for the remains of two American pilots who died
nearly 50 years ago when their airplane crashed during a CIA
spy mission. The Pentagon said an eight-member team from the
Army's identification lab in Hawaii would conduct the search.
- In Joint Strike Fighter news, the Pentagon said July 11 that
Turkey had signed a $175 million partnership package, making
it the seventh nation to join the US in development of the JSF.
On June 24, Italy, which plans to invest $1.03 billion, became
the sixth to join and the second largest partner. Norway signed
an agreement June 20, becoming the fifth country to participate.
- BAE Systems announced July 2 that Austria had selected the
Eurofighter for its air force and will purchase 24 of the new
- The White House announced June 27 that retired Air Force
Gen. John A. Gordon replaced retired Army Gen. Wayne A. Downing
on the National Security Council as the President's point man
for combating terrorism.
- World military spending grew by two percent last year, according
to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. They
estimated the total spending at $839 billion.
- USAF officials said June 17 that an Air National Guard F-16
pilot caused his aircraft to crash near Atlantic City, N.J.,
on Jan. 10 by failing to "accurately perform standard flight
procedures while rejoining other aircraft." The pilot, who
ejected and received only minor injuries, also did not have his
life support gear fastened properly. He became spatially disoriented
and could not recover controlled flight. The F-16 was destroyed
- Orbital Sciences announced July 11 that it had won a $7.4
million contract from the Missile Defense Agency to fully integrate
a new liquid propellant booster to be used as a target vehicle
in future missile defense tests.
- USAF officials said July 3 that structural failure caused
an RQ-4A Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to crash Dec. 30,
2001, while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. The culprit
was an improperly installed actuator nut plate bolt.
- In another UAV accident report, USAF determined that a Predator
crashed shortly after takeoff Jan. 22 on an Enduring Freedom
mission because of the crew's failure to complete checklist items
in the proper order.
- A five-person Air Force security forces team beat 20 other
teams in its first appearance at the Energy Department/National
Nuclear Security Administration security police officer training
competition in June. The USAF team: TSgts. Timothy Arnold (Scott
AFB, Ill.) and Joseph Provo (McChord AFB, Wash.) and SSgts. Louis
Buck and Cesar Ochoa (F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.) and Anthony Fleming
(Kirtland AFB, N.M.).
- The 71st Fighter Squadron, Langley AFB, Va., won the 2001
Raytheon Hughes Achievement Award, proclaiming them the best
air defense unit in the Air Force, for the third time in less
than 10 years, stated a USAF release.
- DOD, VA, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced
the launch of a Web site June 18 called Medsearch (www. GulfLINK.
osd.mil/medsearch). It is a central repository of Gulf War-related
- USAF announced the top controllers for 2001 in a Pentagon
ceremony June 17. They were Capt. Matthew Davidson (Pope AFB,
N.C.), MSgt. Bart Decker (Hurlburt Field, Fla.), TSgt. Mario
Marcoccia (Pope), and SrA. Jose Navarez (Hurlburt).
- The Air Force selected 2,175 officers who met the calendar
2002A board for promotion to major. The selection rate for line
officers was 88.6 percent. For the judge advocate general corps,
it was 87.1 percent; nurse corps, 73.6 percent; medical service
corps, 89.7 percent; biomedical sciences corps, 87.8 percent.
- USAF personnel won 11 first-place honors in the 2001 DOD
Thomas Jefferson Awards competition for print and broadcast journalists.
Among the Air Force winners was SSgt. Michael Noel, Air Force
News Agency, San Antonio, named DOD broadcast journalist of the
- Vandenberg AFB, Calif., successfully launched a Titan II
booster June 24. It carried a National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration weather satellite into orbit. Vandenberg now has
only two Titan II launch vehicles remaining; they are scheduled
for launch by January 2003.
- A 4th Special Operations Squadron AC-130 gunship from Hurlburt
Field, Fla., helped local officials find two 19-year-olds stranded
in a bay near Pensacola, Fla., after their jet ski quit working
June 13. It was about 10:30 p.m. when the gunship, which was
already in the air heading for a training range, got the request.
After about 2.5 hours, the infrared sensor operator spotted the
- USAF selected 6,340 out of 19,081 eligible technical sergeants
for promotion to master sergeant, for a selection rate of 33.23
percent. The service selected 11,571 of 34,530 eligible staff
sergeants for promotion to technical sergeant, a 33.51 percent
rate. The master sergeant rate dropped about 5.75 percent from
last year, while the tech sergeant rate was comparable to last
- MSgt. Mike Barber, assigned to NORAD at Peterson AFB, Colo.,
won second place in the Masters National Powerlifting Championships
held in June at Charlottesville, Va. At 5 foot 6 inches and 198
pounds, Barber almost claimed first, but a torn bicep limited
his bench press to 425 pounds. That left his 675-pound squat
and 650-pound dead lift to carry the day.
- Air Force Reserve Command transferred its first sergeant
training from Robins AFB, Ga., to the First Sergeant Academy
at Maxwell AFB, Ala. The academy now trains all Air Force first
sergeants--active, Air National Guard, and AFRC.
- The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile System Program,
led by the Air Force, received the David Packard Excellence in
Acquisition Award June 18 for its innovative teaming arrangements
with industry and government that provided the missile in one-third
the time and at half the unit price of comparable programs, announced
a DOD release.
- The Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program, available to
military members, federal employees, and their spouses, opened
a six-month window July 1 for a streamlined application process.
The insurance is offered by John Hancock and MetLife insurance
companies through a contract with the Office of Personnel Management.
Open season information kits and application instructions are
available on the Web (www.ltcfeds.com) or by calling 1-800-582-3337
- The Air Force selected eight NCOs, all from the communications
and information career field, for master's degree programs starting
this month. Five will study computer science, two will study
electrical engineering, and one will study information systems
management. They were CMSgt. Donald J. Clabaugh; SMSgts. Stephanie
E. Carroll and Francis Szabo; and MSgts. Charlie Cruz, James
B. Kuntzelman, Edward A. Mathews, Duane C. Sorgaard, and Daniel
- USAF announced that the director of manpower and organization
realigned July 1 under the deputy chief of staff for personnel.
The move leads the way for a service-wide merger of the manpower
and personnel career fields.
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