ANG: Air Sovereignty Mission Needs Attention | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 09.19.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 09.19.14 **
** Airborne 09.17.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 09.17.14 **
** Airborne 09.15.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 09.15.14 **

Fri, Apr 24, 2009

ANG: Air Sovereignty Mission Needs Attention

Air Guard Chief Addresses Congress

New commitments need to be made to the nation's airmen and others who defend North America from threats to its air sovereignty, the Air National Guard's senior officer told members of Congress April 22.
 
Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, director of the Air Guard, testified before the House Armed Services Committee's readiness subcommittee in a hearing on the nation's Air Sovereignty Alert operations. The Air Guard operates 16 of the 18 ASA sites located across the United States to protect its airspace. ASA relies on a host of agencies, including U.S. Northern Command, North American Aerospace Defense Command and the Federal Aviation Administration.

"Their service displays a commitment to job No. 1: defense of the homeland," Wyatt said. "Our reluctance to treat Air Sovereignty Alert as an enduring mission continues to impact the men and women serving in this very important mission area." The general explained that past funding for the mission has been inconsistent, and that equipment quickly is nearing the end of its service life.

About 80 percent of the Air Guard's F-16 Fighting Falcons, which fly the largest portion of the nation's ASA missions, will reach the end of their life span in eight years. Officials also said the average age of Air Guard aircraft is more than 25 years, with KC-135 Stratotankers being the oldest at 49 years. KC-135s support the ASA mission through aerial refueling. If Air Guard units received the "fifth-generation" fighters, such as the F-22 and F-35 sooner rather than later, the readiness issues could be avoided, Wyatt said.

"Every day without a solution, this situation becomes more and more urgent," he told the subcommittee. "The risk of doing nothing is unacceptable, and we are examining all options to address recapitalization of these aircraft." In addition to equipment, Wyatt pointed out the need to recognize ASA as a steady-state mission, which would provide predictability to Guard members serving on year-to-year state active duty tours to support it.

"I think many falsely believe this mission only includes a handful of fighter pilots," he said. "They forget about the maintainers, communicators, command and control, life support, intelligence officers, security forces, and others who are also critical components to the execution of this mission."

In total, excluding tanker support, more than 3,000 airmen are responsible for the Air Sovereignty Alert mission, officials said.

The issue also affects retention, readiness, and employer and family support, Wyatt said.

"Recognition that Air Sovereignty Alert is within the steady-state portion of the global defense posture, requiring long-range planning and consistent funding, is extremely important to providing predictability to the units supporting this mission area," he said.

"Our airmen are leaning forward, standing side by side with their joint and coalition partners, to maintain the safety of our skies and our borders," the general continued. "We -- all of us -- have a responsibility to add stability to their funding and to bridge the equipment capability gaps that exist on the horizon." [ANN Salutues Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. at the National Guard Bureau for the update.]

FMI: www.ang.af.mil

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 09.19.14: Cool City R44 Cert, Reno Rumblings, Sierra Re-Jets The CJ

Also: Eclipse Improvements, AEA Urges NextGen GA Fund Adoption, FAA OKs External Cams, GA Accident Rate Declines The FAA has granted an STC to Cool City Avionics for the installati>[...]

Airborne 09.17.14: Boeing/SpaceX Win CCtCap, Flying Docs Endorse, Jetpack Bucks

Also: Chris Heintz, Lear 70/75 Certs, Beluga Birthday, Leap Frogs 9/11 Jump Cancelled, Lawyers Sue NTSB The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates NASA and the winners of >[...]

Aero-TV: AT LAST!!! - Avidyne’s IFD540 Receives Certification

Avidyne's Long-Awaited IFD540 Finally Gets A Chance To Show Its R9 Roots If you are looking for the bells and whistles of modern avionics you missed an opportunity if you were not >[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (09.20.14)

ASTM International ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of i>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (09.20.14): Basic Empty Weight (GAMA)

Basic empty weight includes the standard empty weight plus optional and special equipment that has been installed.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC