Deborah Lee James

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James

PARIS AIR SHOW: Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James came out swinging today here, forcefully telling reporters that she was here and traveling throughout Europe tp deliver a message of reassurance in the face of a “resurgent Russia.” “I would say, the biggest threat on my mind [is] the activities of Russia,” she said when asked by… Keep reading →

ULA CEO Tory Bruno Unveils Vulcan

WASHINGTON: The still-newish CEO of the United Launch Alliance, Tory Bruno, faces tough questions from his board of directors. He faces tough questions from the House and the Senate about his use of Russian-built RD-180 rocket engines. But his biggest short-term problem — being allowed to use enough RD-180 engines to get his company from here to… Keep reading →

RD-180 engines on Atlas V

CAPITOL HILL: Sen. John McCain came out swinging about the Russian RD-180 rocket engine during a Senate Armed Service strategic forces hearing. McCain began yesterday by asking Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James if she knew that a company called Amross was making millions of dollars of profits from the sale of the Russian rocket engines to the… Keep reading →

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James

UPDATED: Sen. McCain SASC Spox Rejects Air Force Rationale For Retiring A-10 ORLANDO: Sequestration. Base closures. Readiness. Modernization. ISIL. Russia. The list of challenges faced by Air Force leaders is long. But none may be more intractable or politically difficult than retiring the A-10 “Warthog” close air support fleet. The Air Force has never really wanted to… Keep reading →

MQ-9 Reaper drone.

WASHINGTON: Even unmanned aircraft need people to make them fly. Today, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James announced stopgap measures to shore up overworked drone squadrons. At the same press conference, the service’s Chief of Staff pledged to plug another personnel gap, the shortage of skilled maintainers for the manned F-35 — but, Gen. Mark… Keep reading →

Deborah Lee James Atlantic Council acquisition

WASHINGTON: Citing “horrifying” times to let contracts even when their isn’t any competition — 17 months — Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James says the service will try several approaches to cut costs and speed cycle times. As Breaking D readers know, the Air Force has actually driven overall acquisition costs down in the last two years,… Keep reading →

Bob Work deputy defense secretary

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration is reaping what it sowed. Toss out someone without good cause and few people will want to work for you once word gets around. Former defense policy undersecretary Michele Flournoy ducked out last week. Now Jeh Johnson, head of the Department of Homeland Security and former top lawyer at the Pentagon,… Keep reading →

DF-ST-82-03511

NATIONAL HARBOR: Talk about a radioactive issue. Top officials in Air Force, Navy, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense keep talking about how there is no higher priority than the nation’s nuclear deterrent. It’s so crucial, they all say, that someone else should pay for it. “No capability we maintain is more important.… Keep reading →

SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in production.

NATIONAL HARBOR: When will the Air Force certify SpaceX as ready to launch military satellites — if they certify the upstart startup at all? The new chief of Air Force Space Command said this morning that “hopefully” he could certify SpaceX by December 1st. Just hours later, though, the Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah… Keep reading →

General Sarah Zabel @ AFA 2014

NATIONAL HARBOR: The good news is the Air Force has almost finished a new strategy to protect its high-tech gear from hackers. The bad news? The problem is huge, the processes are nascent, and the intimately interrelated issue of electronic warfare is, at the moment, not part of the discussion. Sure, cybersecurity is the scary,… Keep reading →

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