Ryan Selected for Top Post
Gen. Michael E. Ryan, USAF’s top commander in Europe, was tapped to become the Air Force’s 17th Chief of Staff, the service’s highest uniformed position. The plan called for Ryan to swiftly succeed Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, who on July 28 abruptly announced his retirement, effective Sept. 1.
In his 32-year career, Ryan had flown combat missions in Vietnam, commanded at the squadron, wing, and numbered air force levels, built up extensive Pentagon experience, and played key roles in planning air operations.
When President Clinton announced the selection on July 31, the general was holding two posts—as the service’s commander, US Air Forces in Europe, and as NATO’s commander, Allied Air Forces Central Europe. The Pentagon expected that, barring unexpected troubles, Ryan would assume the duties of Chief of Staff early in the fall. The nomination required Senate confirmation.
For Ryan, 55, occupation of the Chief of Staff’s office would be just carrying on a family tradition. A generation ago, in 1969–73, Ryan’s father, Gen. John D. Ryan, served as the Air Force’s top uniformed leader. Never has a son followed a father as chief of a US military service, the Pentagon said.
DoD Hails Ryan’s Record
Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen told reporters that he recommended Ryan to the President for three reasons: "Number one, he has combat experience and he understands the risks and the pressure of warfare. ... Secondly, he served with distinction on the Joint Staff. ... Third, he has operational experience as an allied commander in Europe."
Ryan, a 1965 graduate of the Air Force Academy, is a former fighter pilot with 100 missions over North Vietnam to his credit. He had flown the F-4 Phantom during the war.
Ryan was prominent in two major Air Force combat operations of recent years. As a brigadier in the early 1990s, he was chief of operations for Tactical Air Command and, as such, was the key figure in charge of providing Air Force aircraft, crews, and equipment to the Desert Storm effort.
In August and September 1995, as commander of Allied Air Forces Southern Europe, he directed Operation Deliberate Force, a highly successful month-long series of air strikes in Bosnia that forced the breakaway Bosnian Serbs to seek peace.
In between these two operations, Ryan served on the Joint Staff in Washington, as vice director for strategic plans and policy and then as an assistant to Gen. John Shalikashvili, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He became USAFE commander in April 1996.
Air Force Secretary Sheila Widnall called Ryan "a remarkable officer" who "has my absolute trust and confidence."
B-2 Stages Longest-Ever Mission
One of USAF’s newest combat aircraft, the B-2 Spirit of Nebraska, flew 15,000 miles nonstop on July 6–7. The 37.6-hour-long sortie marked the longest-ever Air Force global power projection mission, according to service officials.
Hot dogs, pudding, and bottled water helped the two crew members, Maj. Chris Inman and Maj. Steve Moulton, make it through the flight—along with five in-flight refuelings. Their route took them from Whiteman AFB, Mo., to San Francisco, Honolulu, Wake Island, and Guam, where they practiced a night global positioning system–aided munitions drop.
Moulton, the mission commander, prepared himself for the ordeal by putting himself through a 44.4-hour-long training "flight" in a B-2 flight simulator. "Much learning can take place when you have a lot of time in the jet," he said.
Shelton Picked to Head JCS
President Clinton on July 17 announced that his choice for the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is Army Gen. Henry Hugh Shelton. The President’s plan called for Shelton to replace the current Chairman, Army Gen. John Shalikashvili, following the latter’s retirement this month.
Shelton, head of US Special Operations Command, won the nomination for the nation’s top military post after Air Force Gen. Joseph W. Ralston withdrew from consideration following reports that he had an adulterous affair a decade ago.
Shelton was born in Tarboro, N.C., and graduated from North Carolina State University. He served two active-duty tours in Vietnam during the war and earned a Purple Heart after he was wounded stepping on a sharpened punji stick.
Shelton’s previous commands include the Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps and one of its major elements, the 82d Airborne Division, both at Ft. Bragg, N.C. Colleagues described the general as a courtly, soft-spoken man with a passion for jogging and Corvettes.
JCS Move Departs From Norm
In selecting Shelton to be JCS Chairman, President Clinton and Defense Secretary Cohen departed from standard practice in that politically sensitive appointment.
Political leaders traditionally have selected officers with extensive Washington experience.
Shelton, a career paratrooper and special operations officer, has spent little time in Washington—far less than any of his immediate predecessors in the JCS post. His only previous high-level Pentagon post was that of deputy director for operations, Joint Staff, in the period 1988–89.
However, the extent of Shelton’s command experience more than made up for this, according to Administration officials.
As leader of the peaceful US invasion of Haiti in 1994, Shelton helped negotiate the departure of Haitian military leaders without violence. At Special Operations Command, he was in charge of units from all the military services that specialize in small-scale operations, counterinsurgencies, and antiterrorism.
ACC Launches No-Notice AEF
Air Combat Command on July 9 conducted the first no-notice exercise of its new Air Expeditionary Force capabilities. Thirty aircraft, with their crews and support, deployed to Alaska to support Cope Thunder 1997.
Five previous AEF deployments were all launched with ample warning and time to prepare. The cold-start nature of the July exercise was intended to validate the Air Force’s capability to rapidly reinforce in-place forces.
The July AEF also was the first that was Joint-service in nature, as participants included Navy EA-6B jammer aircraft, which are now flown by Navy and Air Force crews. Other aircraft in the AEF included F-15s from the 33d Fighter Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla.; B-52s from the 2d Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB, La.; and F-16s from the 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa AB, Japan.
NATO Takes in Three More
NATO took a historic step on July 8 and invited Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic to join the US-led Alliance. Now US officials will begin a protracted battle for Senate approval of the move, while arguing with allies about how the costs of expansion should be shared.
Cost-sharing has long been a sensitive issue within NATO, as was apparent before the end of the Madrid summit, where expansion was approved. [See related box, above.]
French President Jacques Chirac emitted his view that France would not raise its Alliance contribution by a single cent to pay for expansion. France, a second-rank power, took this position despite its frequent complaints that the US should permit NATO to invite even more nations to become new members.
President Clinton will submit NATO expansion to a Senate vote next year.
Administration officials admit that expansion is free of neither costs nor risks, but they argue that extending the allied defense perimeter eastward to the gates of Ukraine and Belarus would stabilize a historically unstable area of the world.
President Clinton said in Madrid, "For the American people, clearly the cost will be far less in lives and money to expand the bounds of democracy and security than it would be if we had to involve our people in another conflict in Europe."
B-1s Engage in Biggest Deployment
When 10 Air Force B-1Bs were gathered in June at RAF Fairford, UK, it marked the largest deployment of the bombers yet in their relatively young operational life. It represented the first time that aircraft from two B-1 wings had deployed as a single unit.
Aircraft and crews from the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth AFB, S.D., and the 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas, flew to the British base to take part in NATO’s Central Enterprise 1997 during the period June 9–27.
While in the UK, the B-1s combined with other NATO units to practice the defense of Central Europe with live-fire exercises.
Col. Tony Przybyslawski, commander for the consolidated bomb group, said the expedition’s mission was to educate NATO forces about the nature of a B-1 deployment, what the big bomber brings to the theater, and what the warfighting commander can do with the B-1 in his area of responsibility.
Aerospace Giants Merge—Again
Lockheed Martin, in a surprise July 3 statement, announced that it intends to buy Northrop Grumman for $8.3 billion.
Lockheed Martin already cuts a gigantic figure in defense contracting. Adding Northrop Grumman to its current lineup would create the largest defense company in the world. Taken together, the two entities posted $24.3 billion in defense revenues in 1996, the last year for which full figures are available.
The latest merger proposal may be one of the last. [See box, bottom left.] It comes on top of another recent shocker—the combination of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas.
"We’re ... at the stage of building for the future," said Norman R. Augustine, chief executive of Lockheed Martin, when announcing his proposed purchase.
Analysts said that the proposed merger generally appeared to be a good fit for both companies.
Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman already work together on the F-22 fighter and are partners on a proposal to develop the forthcoming Joint Strike Fighter.
Combined, said analysts, they would likely have enough aircraft manufacturing expertise to compete with one major rival, Boeing, and enough electronics expertise to compete with the other, Raytheon, on many projects.
UAVs to Protect Bases?
The Air Force wants to see if it can use unmanned aerial vehicles to bolster security at its military installations.
A request-for-information notice published in Commerce Business Daily on July 18 said USAF officials plan to start a UAV security demonstration this month. The experiment will run for almost two years and is intended to test existing UAV models in all weather conditions.
The notice said that candidate UAVs should be able to spot almost any threat to troops in barracks, from small arms to missiles and truck-carried bombs.
The project is a joint venture between the Air Force’s new UAV Battlelab located at Eglin AFB, Fla., and the Force Protection Battlelab located at Lackland AFB, Texas.
At the activation ceremony of the Force Protection lab on June 23, commander Lt. Col. Donald Collins said the UAV test is just the sort of innovative concept that his organization was formed to identify.
"If we can detect a vehicle laden with explosives a long way out—and can stop it—we stand a better chance of preventing another Khobar Towers," said Collins. He was referring to the June 1996 terrorist truck bombing of USAF’s installation in Saudi Arabia—an attack that killed 19 airmen and wounded hundreds.
Recruiting Starts Strong
The Air Force met its main recruiting goal for the first half of Fiscal 1997, enrolling 14,300 new enlisted personnel in the service from Oct. 1, 1996, through March 31, 1997.
The Navy and Marine Corps also met their recruitment goals, but the Army brought in only 91 percent of its numerical objective.
The quality of Air Force enlistees remained strong. Ninety-nine percent of enrollees thus far hold high school diplomas. Nearly 80 percent scored in the top half of the Armed Forces Qualification Test.
Among the services, the Air Force also enrolled the highest percentage of female recruits. Twenty-nine percent of the new Air Force members are women, far higher than the DoD-wide figure of 18 percent.
EU Backs Down on Boeing Deal
The European Union gave a tentative OK to the Boeing–McDonnell Douglas merger on July 23, averting a possible trade war with the US and removing the last major obstacle to the combination of the two big aircraft manufacturers.
The EU could not have prevented the merger of the two companies, both of which are American and come under jurisdiction of US laws. However, it could have barred the new and expanded Boeing Corp. from the European market or imposed heavy financial penalties on its operations there.
In the end, it backed down. Boeing made a number of concessions to placate the EU, which expressed concern that Boeing’s growth would allow it to crush its European rival, Airbus.
It agreed to strike provisions in existing contracts with American, Continental, and Delta airlines that call for the three carriers to purchase only Boeing airplanes for the next 20 years. In addition, it agreed to license any technology developed under McDonnell Douglas military research contracts, if Boeing’s commercial airline business decides to make use of that know-how.
The merger had won the blessing of both the Pentagon and the Federal Trade Commission earlier in the month. Defense Department officials said that they did not believe it would make the price of weapon systems increase. In fact, they noted that the combination may be a good fit, blending McDonnell’s C-17 program with Boeing’s burgeoning Joint Strike Fighter contracts.
The Pentagon examined the markets where these two companies are likely to be defense suppliers and determined that the transaction would not create excessive market concentration, said Deputy Secretary of Defense John P. White.
A-10 Recovery Effort Resumes
Air Force mountaineers on July 7 resumed the search for pieces of an A-10 aircraft that crashed into Colorado’s Gold Dust Peak last April, killing its pilot, Capt. Craig Button.
Lingering snowpack and the site’s remote location made the work a difficult business.
Most of the aircraft was scattered on a grassy slope about 500 feet below the point where Air Force officials believe it impacted the mountain after veering off course on an Arizona training mission. The particular target of the search team: 30 mm cannon shells, bombs or bomb fragments, and other pyrotechnics that could endanger hikers in the area for years if left behind.
Pease’s Run Finally Ends
The Air Force on June 27 turned over its last remaining portion of Pease AFB, N.H., to local officials. The move formally ended the installation’s 35-year military history and marked the official beginning of its new life as an active international trade port.
According to the Air Force, the $141 million trade port already provides 1,400 jobs, 200 more than Pease supported in its operational days. The former noncommissioned officers’ club is a restaurant; the commissary is a visa center; passports are now processed at what used to be the base exchange.
Pease was the first base to be shut down under the Base Realignment and Closure process.
"The local communities and the state stepped right up to the challenge and began the arduous process of base conversion," said Rodney Coleman, the Air Force’s assistant secretary for manpower, reserve affairs, installations, and environment. "You did it right."
USAF Completes 1997 Drawdown
On July 15, three months earlier than planned, the Air Force reached Fiscal 1997 force reduction goals and closed its drawdown program, USAF officials announced.
For officers, the target end strength was 74,458 by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. For enlisted, the figure was 302,629.
All departures from the service were voluntary. Approximately 650 officers took advantage of early retirement. Seven hundred officer candidates received waivers from active-duty service commitments. Enlisted drawdown goals were met through normal attrition.
New Dental Plan Covers Military Retirees
The Department of Defense will begin offering low-cost dental insurance to military retirees and their families, DoD announced, but probably not in October, as initially released.
The new plan will cover basic dental care and restoration services, as well as surgery and emergency exams. "The plan is quite simple, ... so it shouldn’t be too difficult to start up," said Air Force Col. (Dr.) Marvin Bennett, senior Pentagon dental consultant.
However, responding to the dental care industry concerns, the Pentagon may now go with a local or regional rate schedule, rather than one national premium.
The plan will offer different rates for family, couple, and single members. Spouses of deceased retirees will be eligible if they haven’t remarried.
Premiums will provide one free basic exam and one free cleaning per year. Beyond that, the plan will pay 80 percent of the cost of restorative care and 40 percent of many other dental services, subject to a $50 annual deductible.
The plan may offer a network of participating dentists, though enrollees will be able to visit any dentist they wish. Officials warn that retirees should examine what the plan does and does not pay for before joining.
"It may not be as desirable for some older folks, who tend to need crown and bridge work that the plan doesn’t cover," said Bennett.
DoD officials said they will announce a new start up date, once the contract is awarded.
Compensation and Benefits Improve
The 1997 USAF budget is paying for a number of improvements in Air Force compensation and benefits. Among them:
The dislocation allowance has been increased from two to two-and-a-half times the basic allowance for quarters.
The Pentagon will now provide free storage of vehicles for service members going to vehicle-restricted areas or traveling on extended deployments.
Military personnel are eligible for reimbursement of round-trip expenses incurred in transporting their vehicles to and from a port in connection with an overseas assignment.
In addition, the Air Force has committed over $100 million to build 420 new temporary lodging facilities and renovate 305 others. The move is meant to ease a quarters crunch for Air Force members and their families who are in the midst of permanent change of station transitions.
Hamre Is New DoD No. 2
On July 24 the Senate confirmed John J. Hamre as deputy secretary of defense.
Hamre was a former aide to Sam Nunn, the powerful Georgia Democrat who retired from the Senate this year, and a longtime Congressional defense staffer before serving as DoD comptroller. He has vowed to attempt further reforms in DoD’s financial practices and to increase funds for weapons modernization in coming years.
Congressional reluctance to approve further base closings has made finding the money for modernization more difficult, Hamre said in a written response to senators’ questions. The absence of this authority will make it more difficult to attain the modernization levels we all agree should happen, he wrote.
Hamre replaces the retiring John White in the No. 2 Pentagon post.
Attack on the JASSM
The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile faced an uncertain future in late summer following huge Congressional cuts.
In late July the House Appropriations Committee eliminated all money for the JASSM from its 1998 defense spending legislation. The Senate Appropriations panel reduced JASSM funds from the $213 million requested by the Administration to $96 million.
Air Force officials know that, whatever the final budget figure, the service will need to reduce the scope of the program. The Air Force opposes purchasing an upgraded Standoff Land-Attack Missile–Expanded Response to fulfill the stand-off mission, as the Navy has proposed.
The Air Force told the Senate that the SLAM-ER does not fit in the B-1 or F-117, among other deficiencies.
China’s Fielding New Missiles
China is replacing many of its older liquid-fuel, medium-range mobile missiles with modern solid-fuel models, the Washington Times reported.
The older CSS-2 liquid-fuel missiles have a range of about 1,900 miles, according to the Times report. The newer CSS-5 solid-fuel weapons have a shorter range, about 1,300 miles, but are likely to be far more accurate and easier to launch.
An expected Mod 2 version will eventually increase the CSS-5’s range. By 2000, the Times reported, China may deploy a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, the DF-31, which could reach US forces in the Pacific and the western US.
CFE Treaty Revisions
The United States, Russia, and 28 European nations agreed to a revised Conventional Forces in Europe treaty on July 23.
The old CFE treaty, struck in 1990, limited NATO and the Warsaw Pact to roughly equal numbers of important weapons in Europe. Dissolution of the Soviet Union, the evaporation of the Warsaw Pact, and the assimilation of some Pact nations into NATO made revision necessary.
The new accord replaces the old Alliance-wide caps with weapons limits for each European country and for US forces in Europe. Numbers for the limits will be set in further negotiations over the coming year.
CFE has already resulted in the destruction of over 50,000 tanks, artillery pieces, and other heavy weapons, said Robert Bell, senior director of the National Security Council. He said that the 30 signatories have agreed that the new totals will be well below what had been permitted in the 1990 treaty.
Lt. Gen. John W. Handy on July 11 took command of 21st Air Force during a flight line ceremony at McGuire AFB, N.J. Handy now oversees six active-duty flying wings and 40 Reserve and Guard wings, among other units, with his command covering 50 locations in eight countries, 61,000 personnel, and 556 aircraft. Handy had been director of programs and evaluations for the Air Force at the Pentagon.
The Senate confirmed George J. Tenet as Director of Central Intelligence on July 10. No opposition was voiced to Tenet, a former staff director of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Model-maker Testor Corp. released a kit version of what it said is a space alien transport that UFO buffs claim crashed in 1947 in Roswell, N.M. The Air Force has long said that the "alien" spacecraft was actually a weather balloon.
Maj. Peter Woodbury, an F-16 pilot in the Minnesota ANG, was suffering from spatial disorientation when he died following the crash of his F-16 into a swamp during a Jan. 7 training mission, according to results of an Air Force investigation. The condition can occur when a pilot loses sight of the horizon and aircraft g-forces mask the direction of gravity’s pull.
The fitness center at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, won an Air Force Services Agency drawing held June 30 in San Francisco. Its prize in the fitness month promotion: an eight-piece StairMaster exercise equipment package worth $26,000.
The Air Force awarded the 1996 General Doolittle Trophy for best flight crew in US mobility forces to a team from Travis AFB, Calif. It said Capt. Don Topp, Capt. Paul Koch, and the rest of the crew gave virtually all the available fuel from their KC-10 tanker to other aircraft to ensure the success of the Desert Strike bombing of Baghdad in September 1996. The KC-10 had to land at an air base in Thailand during bad weather.
An F-15 from Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., crashed in a wooded area along the North Carolina coast on July 11. Both crew members ejected safely. The Air Force launched an investigation.
Capt. Glen A. Comeaux and Cadet 1C Pace Weber were killed June 25 when their T-3A crashed during a training mission in Colorado Springs, Colo. The crash occurred in an open field about two miles east of the Air Force Academy flight line.
The 437th Airlift Wing took delivery of the Air Force’s 32d C-17 on July 1 at Charleston AFB, S.C.
Air Force members at Grand Forks AFB, N.D., rescued the prom for more than 1,200 area high schoolers this spring. After flooding destroyed $7,000 worth of decorations at Red River and Central high schools, base officials stepped in, coordinated sound systems and lights, and hosted a prom inside their "3-Bay" maintenance hanger. The 170,000-square-foot facility normally houses three KC-135R aerial refuelers.
Six Air Force firefighters based at Laughlin AFB, Texas, saved the lives of a drowning man and woman who had been boating June 12 on Amistad Reservoir. The couple had been thrashing in the water after drifting away from a houseboat while swimming. The Air Force members came by in their boat and pulled them aboard.
The American Air Museum in Britain opened Aug. 1 in Cambridge, UK. The museum, based at an airfield that was home to the American 78th Fighter Group during World War II, will feature more than 20 vintage and contemporary US combat aircraft.
The venerable Worldwide Military Command and Control System, known as "Wimmix" because of its acronym, WWMCCS, was shut down for good on June 30. In its place, the Joint Staff declared the new Global Command and Control System-T (GCCS-T), a flexible communications system based on client-server computers, as the US military’s system of record for top secret operations.
Maj. Brad Webb, an MH-53J Pave Low helicopter pilot with the 21st Special Operations Squadron, won the 1996 Air Force Cheney Award for extreme fortitude in a humanitarian situation. Webb, based at RAF Mildenhall, UK, won the honor for his actions during rescue efforts following the crash of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown’s aircraft in Croatia and for his efforts to rescue Americans from Liberia’s bloody civil war.
McDonnell Douglas launched a five-year program to design and demonstrate an advanced flight control system that will allow a single missile to perform both close-in and beyond-visual-range air-to-air missions. USAF’s Air Superiority Missile Technology program is footing the $22 million cost of the work.
USAF Security Police units were officially redesignated Security Forces on July 1. The name change is meant to reflect their new emphasis on the mission of force protection.
The Joint Strike Fighter program office, in conjunction with 3M Corp., has developed technology to replace exterior paint on military aircraft. The lightweight decal-type protective film could save millions in fuel and maintenance costs while eliminating pollution.
In a July report, the General Accounting Office, a Congressional watchdog agency, concluded that the Department of Defense has improved security for US forces in the Middle East, but it added that DoD should still establish common security procedures for military facilities overseas.
The three prospective NATO members—Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic—are planning to coordinate future purchases of fighter aircraft. All three nations need to upgrade their air forces as they ready for NATO membership, and they feel Joint action could lower procurement and operation and maintenance costs. They are considering the Lockheed Martin F-16, McDonnell Douglas F/A-18, and the Dassault Mirage 2000-5.
USAF launched the first class IIR model Global Positioning System satellite on July 22. Lockheed Martin is scheduled to provide the Air Force with 20 of the upgraded satellites over the next five years.
European NATO members may have difficulty coming up with money for the planned purchase of an airborne ground surveillance system, warned Brig. Gen. Robert Osterthaler, deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO affairs. NATO is set to select a system in November. The US is pushing its E-8 Joint STARS, but Osterthaler said chances are slim that the Europeans will come up with their share of the purchase price.
Gen. Ronald Fogleman, then–Chief of Staff of the Air Force, said on July 17 that he had told the Air Staff to prepare a plan for saving money via consolidation of service infrastructure. Congress appears unlikely to approve further base closings, and Fogleman said combining some squadrons could save money for modernization.
On July 21 President Clinton announced his intent to nominate Air Force Lt. Gen. John A. Gordon to be deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Currently, Gordon is CIA associate director of central intelligence for military support. In the past he has served as special assistant to the USAF chief of staff for long-range planning and director of operations for Air Force Space Command.
The Chief Steps Down
Declaring that he may have been "out of step with the times and thinking of some of the establishment," Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman cut short by more than a year his tour as Air Force Chief of Staff and retired from active duty on Sept. 1.
He requested early retirement in a hand-written note to Air Force Secretary Sheila Widnall on July 28. Three days later, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen announced the nomination of Gen. Michael E. Ryan, commander of US Air Forces in Europe, to replace Fogleman. Cohen had begun interviewing candidates on the basis of press reports that Fogleman might be about to leave.
The reports centered on the disagreement between Fogleman and top defense officials on what punitive action, if any, should be taken as a result of the bombing of the Khobar Towers housing complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in June 1996, in which 19 US airmen were killed. Fogleman emphatically took the view that it would be wrong to hold the Air Force wing commander in Dhahran at fault. Two Air Force inquiries found that the casualties were attributable to an act of war and not inattention to security by wing officials.
However, that conclusion differed with the judgment of an investigation headed by a retired Army general and with the outspoken position of several members of Congress that someone ought to be held accountable for failure of security at Khobar Towers. Secretary Cohen took that view as well. On July 31, he stripped Brig. Gen. Terryl J. Schwalier, who had been wing commander in Dhahran, of a previously approved promotion to major general. Schwalier announced his retirement the same day.
Fogleman declined any public comment beyond a brief written statement. In fact, he played down disagreement on Khobar Towers as a factor in his decision to go, saying that "the timing of my announcement was driven by a desire to defuse the perceived confrontation between myself and the Secretary of Defense over his impending decision on the Khobar Towers terrorist attack."
In a letter to the men and women of the Air Force, Fogleman said: "My stock in trade after 34 years of service is my military judgment and advice. After serving as Chief of Staff for almost three years, my values and sense of loyalty to our soldiers, sailors, Marines, and especially our airmen, led me to the conclusion that I may be out of step with the times and thinking of some of the establishment. This puts me in an awkward position. If I were to continue to serve as Chief of Staff of the Air Force and speak out, I would be seen as a divisive force and not a team player. I do not want the Air Force to suffer for my judgment and convictions."
Also, he told the troops, "I’ve always said that my serving as the Chief of Staff was a ‘tour,’ not a ‘sentence,’ and that I would leave when I made all the contributions that I could. After I accepted this position in 1994, I met with other senior leaders of the Air Force to discuss our goals for my tenure. We wanted to take care of the troops and their families, to stabilize the force, to set a course for modernization, and to develop a new strategic vision."
On Fogleman’s watch, the force did begin to achieve stability after a period of intense change. He launched a comprehensive reevaluation of future requirements and options. That effort became the basis for two landmark reports, "New World Vistas," which explored the technological possibilities, and "Air Force 2025," which examined the threats and missions the future force might confront. Among the outcomes was a recognition that the emphasis in Air Force operations is gradually moving from air and space to space and air. These studies were also instrumental in the development of "Global Engagement," the Air Force’s long-range plan for the 21st century.
The plainspoken Fogleman was popular with the force and was highly respected by his peers, but his relationship with senior Defense Department leaders was not always smooth. The Khobar Towers controversy was definitely part of it.
In September 1996, Gen. Wayne Downing, the retired Army officer who led the initial investigation, announced his opinion that Schwalier "did not take all measures possible to protect the forces at Khobar Towers." That finding was published by the Pentagon and got major notice by Congress and the news media.
The Air Force conducted its own inquiry, which came to far different conclusions. Publication of that report, however, was postponed by the Defense Department, which subsequently sent it back to the Air Force to recheck certain parts. The second Air Force report was similarly withheld and was not released until after the decision in July 1997 to fix blame on Schwalier.
Fogleman told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February that it would have a "chilling effect" on commanders if they are liable for punitive action when "despite their absolute best efforts [they] are targeted by somebody in an act of war and somebody is killed."
The Quadrennial Defense Review, completed in May, was another source of apparent tension. While the review was in progress, the Air Force was often at odds with Joint force planners who tended to undervalue airpower, especially in the first critical stages of conflict. The final QDR report praised the contributions and potential of airpower, but in the implementing actions, airpower took the deepestcuts of all. The Air Force agreed to the reductions allocated, including a reduction in F-22 fighters. That, however, was not enough for topside staffers in Secretary Cohen’s office. Taking their advice rather than Fogle- man’s, Cohen further decided to cut back the F-22 production rate.
Fogleman had been Air Force Chief of Staff since October 1994. Before that, he had commanded an Air Force wing, an air division, a numbered air force, a major command, and a unified command. He had amassed more than 6,500 flying hours in fighters, transports, tankers, and helicopters and had flown 315 combat missions in the Vietnam War. Early in his career, he was a history instructor at the Air Force Academy. He liked to draw on historical examples in his speeches, and he published a list of books strongly suggested for reading by Air Force leaders.
Among the prominent Fogleman themes were integrity and personal responsibility. In August 1995, Air Force officers, senior NCOs, and executive-level civilian employees were required to watch a videotape, "Air Force Standards and Accountability," in which he said that Air Force standards must be "uniformly known, consistently applied, and nonselectively enforced."
He and his wife, Miss Jane, will make their retirement home in Durango, Colo.
50 Years Ago in Air Force Magazine
On the cover: "The Day Billy Mitchell Dreamed Of." The reference is not to the date the Air Force became a separate service but to July 26, 1947, when President Truman signed the National Security Act, giving the Air Force equal status with the Army and Navy. He signed the bill in the cabin of the Presidential aircraft, just before taking off for the bedside of his dying mother.
■ On the best information available when this issue went to press, Air Force Magazine reported that enlisted grades in the new Air Force would begin with "airman sixth class" (the equivalent of a private in the Army) and go up to chief airman and senior airman, comparable to Army warrant officer grades. As for a distinctive Air Force uniform, the magazine said that was still "a latrineogram."
■ As of June 1, there were 5,074 US airports in operation, including 660 military airports. Scheduled air carrier aircraft totaled 888, compared to 687 the previous year.
■ Thirty-three national and international air records have been established by members of the AAF since the end of World War II.
■ AAF announces that it has ordered 32 P-80Bs for Air National Guard units. This will bring to 86 the total jet aircraft assigned to ANG, since 54 of the previously ordered 134 jet fighters went to such units.
AFA news: As of Aug. 1, on the eve of its first National Convention, AFA had 139 squadrons, 125,000 members, and a wing headquarters in each of the 48 states.
The cost of life membership in AFA was set by the board of directors at $100 (making the 1997 life membership cost, $450, seem most reasonable by comparison).
For Allies, Cost Issue Looms
In the United States, key lawmakers warned that NATO expansion could be thrown into doubt if it appears that the US is being asked to pay a disproportionate share of the funds needed to bring the militaries of new members up to NATO standards.
Ratification of the revised treaty requires the consent of two-thirds of the United States Senate.
"Europeans are always saying to me, ... ‘You [the US] can afford it,’ " said Sen. Joseph Biden Jr. (D–Del.), ranking Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "I turn around and say, ‘It’s hard to convince the American people that having the Polish and Czech army defending them is going to materially affect their security.’ "
According to the Clinton Administration, the US share of expansion costs will be about $2 billion, spread over 10 years. Much of this money would go to upgrade communications links and other command systems to include new Alliance members.
Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic would ante up a total of some $13 billion to modernize their land forces and air defenses, according to US estimates. Current members (excluding the US) would chip in a further $10 billion.
Independent analysts—such as the Rand Corp. and the Congressional Budget Office—warn that the official US estimate may understate both the total cost of NATO expansion and the potential US share.
The NATO bureaucracy is now carrying out a detailed cost analysis of expansion, which will be completed in December before the next meeting of the NATO foreign ministers and before the Senate votes on the issue.
End of the Frenzy?
The proposed merger of the two aerospace giants could mark the end of seven years of fast-paced consolidation in the defense industry. The reason: At the prime contractor level, there is hardly anyone left with which to merge.
If the Lockheed Martin purchase wins approval of federal authorities, three big companies will dominate American aerospace and military electronics—Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon.
These behemoths have emerged since 1990 as the result of consolidation of 21 smaller firms. What is now Lockheed Martin resulted from uniting 10 companies over the past decade—from Martin Marietta to General Dynamics Space Systems and LTV Missiles.
However, the planned marriage of Lockheed and Grumman also would be emblematic of the reduced number of producers for whole categories of weapons. It would leave only two US firms capable of building fighters, leading some critics to worry that reduced competition will drive up prices.
Over the next two decades, the Lockheed conglomerate and Boeing may well share some $150 billion in predicted contracts for three airplanes: the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor, the JSF, and the Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
"We’d also look at the impact of the proposed merger on the Pentagon’s ability to find competitive markets for its products at all levels, not just at the final [air]plane level," said Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon.
Benken Looks to Future
The Air Force’s top enlisted man sees the service’s future depending more on its people than equipment and argues that the service needs to start the task of shaping its enlisted force for the next century.
CMSAF Eric Benken and other senior Air Force leaders gathered at Scott AFB, Ill., in June for a Corona Conference, where they held a series of briefings and discussions about the future of the Air Force.
During an open discussion June 13 at the Scott enlisted club, the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force said that shaping the service’s future enlisted force would fall to the functional managers within the various Air Force career fields to ensure the best utilization of their people—a necessity driven by the reality of a leaner force.
The Air Force will need to be somewhat "more tactical" in its thinking of what a career field does, "more operational in the way that we think," said Benken. "I think reshaping the Air Force to set us up for what it’s going to look like in 2010 or 2015 is the most important thing. That’s what [then–Air Force Chief of Staff] Gen. [Ronald] Fogleman’s vision of global engagement is all about."
Everyone in the Air Force, from the lowest level up, needs to understand what global engagement is and understand at the lowest level the Air Force’s vision going into the next century, said Benken. He said rapid global mobility—what will be the primary core competency of Air Mobility Command—is something that needs to be understood not only at the level of AMC Commander Gen. Walter Kross but all the way down to the troops. Supervisors must ensure their troops understand that and that the Air Force is transitioning to an air and space force for the next century, and they need to articulate that to the lowest level, said Benken.
Air Force structure in the future depends largely on Congress, he said. It determines how much money is spent on force improvements such as the F-22 and the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System.
In general, though, Benken said that the Air Force will downsize more and look again at its contingency plans in order to develop a "leaner, meaner force."
USAF Celebrates 50
■ Amateur radio operators, or "hams," have an opportunity to celebrate the Air Force’s golden anniversary with a worldwide "QSO" party starting at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 20 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 21. A QSO in ham radio shorthand stands for "radio contact." The event features a point system based on the number of contacts a radio operator makes and the year those contacts entered the Air Force. Three top three winners in each state will receive certificates. The Razorback Radio Club of Honolulu will manage the event, according to Col. Bernie Skoch (call sign K5XS), Pacific Air Force’s director of communications and information.
■ The Gathering of Eagles is dedicating its annual meeting on Oct. 17, 1997, at Edwards AFB, Calif., to USAF’s 50th anniversary. The event precedes Edwards’ 50 Years of Supersonic Flight open house and air show, slated for Oct. 18–19.
Senior Staff Changes
PROMOTIONS: To be Lieutenant General: Robert H. Foglesong, Lance W. Lord.
CHANGES: Brig. Gen. James E. Andrews, from IG, AMC, Scott AFB, Ill., to DASD for Reserve Affairs (Readiness, Training, and Mobilization), Pentagon, replacing Maj. Gen. Jeffrey G. Cliver ... Brig. Gen. Brian A. Arnold, from Cmdt., AFOATS, AU, AETC, Maxwell AFB, Ala., to Dir., Rqmts., AFSPC, Peterson AFB, Colo., replacing Brig. Gen. Herbert M. Ward ... Brig. Gen. (sel.) Carol C. Elliott, from Dir., Intel., PACAF, Hickam AFB, Hawaii, to Dep. Dir., Intel., Surv., and Recon., DCS/Air and Space Ops., USAF, Pentagon, replacing Brig. Gen. Arthur D. Sikes Jr. ... Lt. Gen. Robert H. Foglesong, from Dep. Dir., Politico-Military Affairs, Jt. Staff, Pentagon, to Asst. to CJCS, Pentagon, replacing Gen. Richard B. Myers.
Maj. Gen. John W. Hawley, from Dir., Rqmts., ACC, Langley AFB, Va., to Cmdr., Air and Space Cmd. and Control Agency, ACC, Langley AFB, Va. ... Lt. Gen. Lance W. Lord, from Cmdr., 2d AF, AETC, Keesler AFB, Miss., to Vice Cmdr., AFSPC, Peterson AFB, Colo., replacing retiring Lt. Gen. Patrick P. Caruana ... Brig. Gen. Ralph Pasini, from Dep. Dir., Allied Command Europe Reaction Force Air Staff, NATO, Kalkar, Germany, to Vice Dir., Operational Plans and Interoperability, Jt. Staff, Pentagon ... Maj. Gen. Andrew J. Pelak Jr., from Cmdr., 81st Tng. Wg., AETC, Keesler AFB, Miss., to Cmdr., 2d AF, AETC, Keesler AFB, Miss., replacing Lt. Gen. Lance W. Lord.
Brig. Gen. John W. Rutledge, from Dir., Customer Support Office, NIMA, Fairfax, Va., to Asst. C/S, Ops., Allied Air Forces Northwest Europe, NATO, and Dep. Cmdr., 3d AF for NATO Affairs, USAFE, RAF High Wycombe, UK, replacing retiring Brig. Gen. William M. Guth ... Brig. Gen. Arthur D. Sikes Jr., from Dep. Dir., Intel., Surv., and Recon., DCS/Air and Space Ops., USAF, Pentagon, to Dir., Customer Support Office, NIMA, Fairfax, Va., replacing Brig. Gen. John W. Rutledge ... Brig. Gen. (sel.) John M. Speigel, from Chief, AF General Officer Matters Office, USAF, Pentagon, to Cmdr., 81st Tng. Wg., AETC, Keesler AFB, Miss., replacing Maj. Gen. Andrew J. Pelak Jr. ... Brig. Gen. Herbert M. Ward, from Dir., Rqmts., AFSPC, Peterson AFB, Colo., to Dep. Dir., Ops. and Tng., DCS/Air and Space Ops., USAF, Pentagon, replacing retired Brig. Gen. Richard T. Banholzer.
SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE CHANGE: Garry B. Richey, to Dir., Commodities Mgmt., Oklahoma City ALC, Tinker AFB, Okla.
Daily Report: Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Daily Report: Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Daily Report: Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Tweets by @AirForceMag