UPDATED: Sen. Leahy, 12 Other Senators, Decry Planned Guard Cuts To Hagel (6:20 PM Monday) PENTAGON: Congress and the Pentagon are likely to battle for most of the rest of this year over the administration’s budget plans: to retire the U-2 (again); to retire half the Navy’s current cruiser fleet; to trim and consolidate pay… Keep reading →
She’s baaack! After having the temerity to give birth to a child and thus deprive us of her insights for several months, Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute has penned an op-ed on the 2015 budget. She casts it in a fairly gloomy light, pointing to the haunting possibility of a hollow force in the… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: The A-10 Warthog is ugly, tough, lethal, and fairly flexible. Its famous 30mm gun can destroy tanks or other armored vehicles with remarkable efficiency, not to mention enemy troops. Its titanium tub of a cockpit protects the plane’s pilot from most ground fire. Its pilots are trained to fly low and slow and to… Keep reading →
Budget cuts won’t make the Air Force give up any of its current missions, the service’s Chief of Staff promised today. But, Gen. Mark Welsh acknowledged, the cuts will force it to do those missions with different and perhaps not optimal aircraft. Yes, the famous A-10 “Warthog” is “the best at close air support” –… Keep reading →
UPDATE: NDAA Bill Would Block Retirement of A-10s AND Global Hawks WASHINGTON: Some members of Congress won’t like this, no matter how compelling the numbers are. But Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said this morning that mothballing the beloved A-10 Warthog fleet could save the service a substantial $3.7 billion, a compelling… Keep reading →
CAPITOL HILL: While the federal government remains supine and Congress fails to pass appropriations bills, at least one lawmaker is engaged in a classic use of senatorial privilege: placing a hold on the nomination of a senior administration official. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who has made clear her unease with what appears to be the Air… Keep reading →
CAPITOL HILL: Even the cameras stopped clicking in a hushed Armed Services hearing room today as Rep. Jim Cooper told the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his colleagues on the biggest committee in Congress today that America’s lawmakers had failed the country. “You gentlemen make life and death decisions in the Tank almost every day,”… Keep reading →
ARLINGTON: As if Syria and sequestration weren’t complicated enough on their own, the combat training cutbacks required by the sequester are cutting into the military’s readiness to intervene, the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Welsh, told reporters this morning. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno has expressed similar concerns about his service’s… Keep reading →
Sitting in the cockpit of her A-10 Warthog somewhere over Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base on Jan. 10, Maj. Olivia Elliott flipped a switch. In an instant her blunt, twin-engine warplane with the 30-millimeter cannon in the nose was transformed. No longer just the Air Force’s most heavily-armed attack jet, now the A-10 was also a flying wireless router, providing Internet connectivity to anyone in range — and with the right password.
The final test of the Network-Tactical, or Net-T, upgrade to the Northrop Grumman LITENING and Lockheed Martin Sniper targeting pods, carried by A-10s and other warplanes, is the latest in a long chain of communications breakthroughs by the U.S. military and the defense industry. Keep reading →
The Air Force provides the essential capabilities that make America’s joint operations possible and has been involved in nearly every military operation overseas since 1991. As the Pentagon delves into the details of the 2014 budget, getting the Air Force budget right is critical to ensure that the nation can count on its indispensable role in a time of shrinking resources.
Our adherence to the idea of a joint force has led to a roughly equal cut of spending among the services. This is not the optimum allocation of scarce resources in coming years if our national strategy is to maintain global presence and communications, as well as to fight cost-effectively and be capable of defeating modernized militaries. Keep reading →