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Airmen receive Spencer innovation award

When innovative ideas save the Air Force hundreds of thousands of dollars, leadership takes notice. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James presented the Gen. Larry O. Spencer Innovation Award to Master Sgt. Matthew Galinsky, who, in 2015, served as the Air Force fuels equipment manager at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and to the Electro-Chemical Milling Team from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, during a ceremony at the Pentagon Sept. 16.

New faces of the Air Force

As the Air Force turns a year older Sept. 18, some of the newest members of the service were asked earlier this month on their basic training graduation day why they decided to be part of the world’s greatest airpower team. Here’s what they had to say.

Legacy of valor, tradition of excellence: Delivering airpower to the joint warfighter since 1947

At the core of the Air Force, on its 69th birthday, is the diversity of more than 600,000 Airmen. Our success, past, present and future, is tied to the professionalism, dedication, skill and heroism of the total force.

Air Force leaders release birthday message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein, and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody released the following message in honor of the Air Force’s 69th birthday.

AF Week in Photos

This week's photos feature Airmen from around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.

Fiscal stability, readiness key focus of service chiefs testimony

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein testified to the U.S. Senate on Capitol Hill Sept. 15 emphasizing the need for fiscal stability to combat the long-term modernization and readiness challenges facing the Air Force.

AFCENT briefs OIR effort in fight against ISIL

With significant progress and momentum in the U.S.-led coalition’s fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the enemy will try to challenge the coalition in Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria, the commander of Operation Inherent Resolve’s combined force air component told reporters today.<br /> <br /> Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, said a tough fight against an “adaptive enemy” still lies ahead as the coalition hones in on Mosul and Raqqa. But using the complement of coalition airpower, “we will continue to deliver more destruction to (ISIL’s) command and control than they can absorb. We have gathered lessons from Manbij, and we will leverage the coordination with our partner ground forces (to) separate (ISIL) from the civilian populace, allowing us to remove tools of terror from the battlefield,” he said.<br /> <br /> <strong>‘Most precise air campaign’</strong><br /> <br /> In an increasingly complex battlespace, OIR’s airpower remains “the most precise air campaign in history,” Harrigian said. “Our coalition includes various countries and multiple entities operating on land, sea, air, space and cyberspace domains, and all recognize that (ISIL) is an enemy that hides behind the civilian populace.”<br /> <br /> The general said his focus remains on creating an insurmountably tough and complex set of problems for ISIL across Iraq and Syria.<br /> <br /> “We will continue to shape the battlespace, going after their revenue streams, killing their leaders and creating organizational dysfunction,” he said. “We will seek to use the weight of airpower to remove (ISIL’s) legitimacy, shatter their vision and enable taking back the territory and resources they have stolen.” <br /> <br /> <strong>Capitalizing on enemy errors</strong><br /> <br /> The war requires increased persistence and the ability to remain vigilant in efforts to capitalize on ISIL’s tactical errors, the general said.<br /> <br /> As new and evolving ISIL capabilities are discovered, such as small, unmanned aerial systems, “we’ll take it off the battlefield,” Harrigian added.<br /> <br /> “You can be sure we will continue to work closely with our coalition partners to ensure we’re preparing the battlespace, pursuing opportunities and ultimately prevailing,” he said.<br /> <br /> <strong>Potential agreement with Russia</strong><br /> <br /> In addition to the complex air and battlespace in the OIR area of responsibility, there is a lot of activity across U.S. Central Command, such as a possible joint integration center with Russia, Harrigian said.<br /> <br /> “The first step is a cessation of hostilities for seven days, and this is something the Russians and the regime must do, and they must do it properly,” the general said. The intelligence community will continue to monitor the cessation and ensure the U.S. is developing processes to execute the mission, “if we can get that far,” Harrigian added.<br /> <br /> “We are in close coordination with U.S. Central Command, the (combined joint task force) OIR, and our fellow components to work the details,” the general said, adding that in such a complex battlespace, his intent is to not make it more complex.<br /> <br /> “But this will take some work,” he added. “As the terms of reference are finalized, we will take the guidance, review it and build an operational plan that executes the mission precisely while minimizing risk to the coalition team and civilians on the ground.”<br /> <br /> While the process is in its early stages, the U.S. will target specifics and assess resources to be able to execute in accordance with the agreement, Harrigian said.<br /> <br /> “Our intent is to ensure we don’t impact coalition cohesion, our current momentum or the precision effects we demand,” he said. “We’re still working out the details, but these are areas that will be addressed.”<br />

PAR program issues EMD request for proposal

On Sep. 12 the Air Force officially requested a proposal from Boeing to complete detailed design, modification, test and fielding of two aircraft that will provide presidential worldwide airlift support starting in the 2024 timeframe. A third production representative aircraft is still under consideration for future procurement. <br /><br />The request acts upon the authorization received from Frank Kendall, the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, continuing a deliberate step-by-step approach to reduce program and cost risk. By releasing the RFP now, Boeing will be able to apply the results of the ongoing risk reduction activities to the proposal for the contract modification, which will be the preponderance of the acquisition program. <br /><br />“This is a significant step forward for this program, which emphasizes cost control and risk reduction, in balance with system performance, to meet the requirements of the presidential mission,” said Col. Amy McCain, the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program manager. “We are committed to providing the (Executive) Office of the President of the United States with safe, reliable air transportation that provides high levels of security and communication capability.”<br /><br />To help ensure an affordable program, Boeing will modify the Federal Aviation Administration-certified commercial Boeing 747-8 aircraft to meet presidential operational requirements. The modifications to the 747-8 will include electrical power upgrades, a mission communication system, a medical facility, executive interior, a self-defense system, and autonomous ground operations capabilities. <br /> <br />“The results of our ongoing risk reduction efforts are providing data that we can use to make sound decisions regarding the requirements and design trade-offs. These requirements decisions will then be applied to Boeing’s EMD proposal,” McCain said. “We are focused on driving out costs where we can, to ensure this program is affordable.” <br /><br />The PAR program will replace the VC-25A in the 2024 timeframe through a highly tailored acquisition program. Parts obsolescence and diminishing sources for VC-25A replacement parts are driving increased costs and increasing out of service times for heavy maintenance to maintain FAA airworthiness standards. That time has already grown to well over a year per heavy maintenance cycle, significantly limiting availability for presidential support. The PAR program requirements are documented in the capability development document, which was approved in November 2014. The acquisition strategy to replace Air Force One was approved by USD(AT&L) on Sept. 4, 2015.<br />

Caribou Vietnam vets honored at Pentagon

The assistant vice chief of staff of the Air Force unveiled a scale model C-7A Caribou during a ceremony acknowledging the service of Vietnam War Caribou crewmembers and support personnel at the Pentagon Sept. 9.

Yesterday’s Air Force: 9/11 response

It wasn't long after the terror attacks of 9/11 that the Air Force responded in a big way. On Oct. 7, 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom began. In the initial months, Air Force bombers flew night and day, conducting strikes on Taliban and al-Qaida positions across Afghanistan. U.S. air superiority continued with the help of Air Force joint terminal air controllers as they called in strikes from the ground and fought to oust the oppressive Taliban government, as well as destroy the al-Qaida terrorist network.