Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Carter Visit Builds on Relationship Between United States, India

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2015 – Defense Secretary Ash Carter met Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar and called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an official visit to India yesterday and today.

Carter also met the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, and he also visited the Indian navy’s Eastern Naval Command.

A joint statement issued by U.S. and Indian officials said Parrikar and Carter discussed the India-U.S. defense relationship and the broader India-U.S. strategic partnership, and that they reaffirmed their commitment to expand and deepen the bilateral defense relationship. The two defense leaders also reviewed the existing and emerging regional security dynamics, the statement said.

2015 Framework

Parrikar and Carter signed the 2015 Framework for the India-U.S. Defense Relationship, which builds upon the previous framework and successes to guide the bilateral defense and strategic partnership for the next 10 years, officials said. The new framework agreement provides avenues for high-level strategic discussions, continued exchanges between armed forces of both countries and strengthening of defense capabilities, they added.

The framework also recognizes the transformative nature of the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, the statement said, noting that both India and the United States have finalized two project agreements for joint development of mobile electric hybrid power sources and the next-generation protective ensembles.

Expedited Discussions on Cooperation

In addition, building on the areas of agreement during President Barack Obama's visit to India in January, the statement said, Parrikar and Carter agreed to expedite discussions to take forward cooperation on jet engines, aircraft carrier design and construction and other areas. The two also agreed to pursue co-development and co-production projects that will offer tangible opportunities for American defense industries to build defense partnership with the Indian industries, including in manufacturing under a national program geared toward making India a manufacturing hub.

Parrikar and Carter agreed to continue their efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as maritime security and knowledge partnership in the field of defense, the statement said.

Carter thanked Parrikar for India’s help in the search for the U.S. helicopter that went missing last month during earthquake relief operations in Nepal, and he invited Parrikar to visit the United States for their next meeting. Parrikar accepted the invitation in principle, the statement said.

Operation PACANGEL 15-4 begins in Papua New Guinea

Release Number: 150601

6/3/2015 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii  -- The United States and Papua New Guinea will conduct humanitarian assistance operations from June 1 through 6 as part of Operation Pacific Angel 2015. During this exercise, U.S. and Papua New Guinea service members will work together, in partnership with local nongovernmental organizations, to provide humanitarian assistance to the residents of Goroko.

Operation PACANGEL is a joint and combined humanitarian assistance operation. Led by Pacific Air Forces, the exercise enhances participating nations' humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities while providing needed services to Southeast Asian citizens. PACANGEL 15 includes general health, dental, optometry, pediatrics, and engineering programs, as well as expert exchanges.

Approximately 65 members of the U.S. military, in partnership with local non-governmental organizations and host nation military forces, will conduct humanitarian assistance operations in the following locations: Taglibaran, Philippines; Dili, Baucau and Com, Timor-Leste; Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam; and Goroko, Papua New Guinea.

Now entering its eighth year, PACANGEL ensures that the region's militaries are prepared to work together to address humanitarian crises. Since 2007, PACANGEL operations have improved the lives of tens of thousands of people.

Long-range missile testing conducted in AEDC transonic wind tunnel

by Deidre Otriz
Arnold Engineering Development Complex Public Affairs

6/1/2015 - ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. -- Store separation testing of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet was recently conducted in the 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex here.

The LRASM is a long-range subsonic cruise missile designed for better range and survivability than current anti-ship weaponry. It is carried with the wings and tail stowed and then deployed once released from the aircraft. This missile development program is a joint effort of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Naval Air Systems Command and the United States Air Force.

Dr. Richard Roberts, AEDC test manager for the Propulsion Wind Tunnel Facility, said engineers assisted NAVAIR in characterizing both the separation and carriage loads of the LRASM on the F/A-18E/F.

"The release of this missile is a coordinated effort taking into account the aircraft flow field, wing and tail deployments, as well as deployment timing," he said. "The goal is to determine the appropriate aircraft load out, wing and tail deployment timing, and flight conditions in order to obtain a safe and controllable release or jettison."

According to Roberts, the 16T Captive Trajectory Support system was used to collect aerodynamic loads on the missile.

"We combined these loads with ejector properties, missile mass properties, other initial conditions and aerodynamic corrections in order to simulate the actual trajectory of the missile," he said. "In the tunnels we do this in three steps. First we collect the free stream data, which is simply the aerodynamics of the missile outside of the aircraft flow field. Second, we calculate the trajectory, or path, of the missile as it leaves the pylon. Third, based on the trajectory, we collect grid data which compares the missile free stream aerodynamics to the missile aerodynamics seen in the aircraft flow field in order to determine the effect of the aircraft flow field on the missile behavior."

The second installation of the test article measured loads on the missile while it was still attached to the aircraft.

"This part of the test ensured that the loads on the missile over the intended flight regime do not exceed its structural limits," Roberts said. "This is accomplished by mounting the missile to the aircraft through a balance that uses strain gages to measure the forces and moments encountered as the aircraft is moved through certain test conditions."

These particular tests were a collaboration between AEDC test teams and NAVAIR, Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Roberts mentioned that the test was similar to past tests, as the separation and loads of many types of missiles, bombs, pods, fuel tanks and other stores from this aircraft have also undergone testing at AEDC.

"NAVAIR has been a major partner in our wind tunnel testing mission for many years and continues to be."

The Super Hornet sports a total of 11 weapon stations. Its single-seat 'E' model and two-seat 'F' model perform a variety of missions that include fighter escort, close air support, enemy air defense suppression, day and night strikes with precision-guided weapons, and tanker.

Airmen, weapons tested during Combat Hammer at Hill

by Micah Garbarino
75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

5/18/2015 - HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Airmen from across the country completed the Combat Hammer weapons evaluation at Hill Air Force Base and the Utah Test and Training Range May 8-14.

"If you enjoy watching action movies, you get to see that real world and live," said Maj. Jonothan Reid, deputy director of operations for the Utah Test and Training Range. "It's an opportunity to see everything work as advertised."

Airmen from Utah, Missouri, Virginia and Florida participated -- loading weapons, generating sorties and employing live and inert munitions on targets at the UTTR, with F-15s, F-16s, F-22s, B-52s and B-2s. The full "employment chain" was tested as pilots, maintainers and ammo troops demonstrated their abilities to use the weapons, and evaluators watched the weapons' functionality as they hit the targets.

"Some of these crews, it's the very first time, that they've had an opportunity to employ these weapons. It's also a test for those who are loading and handling them," said Lt. Col. Scott Logan, 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron commander, from Eglin AFB, Fla. "It makes it easier deploying weapons in a test environment, than doing it for the first time in combat."

The testing was exhausting and expensive. Some crews worked 12-16 hour days, and by the end of the exercise hundreds of weapons were employed.

"We want to make sure that we're delivering the best combat capability that Americans deserve," Logan said.

Hill Air Force Base provides unique benefits for the program.

"There are several reasons we've been coming here for a while. At the UTTR we have highly instrumented cameras and test equipment and the space to test things that we cannot in other places. We also enjoy the support of the 75th Air Base Wing, 388th Fighter Wing and the local community," Logan said.

Initiatives to improve Air Force acquisition

by Patty Welsh
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

5/19/2015 - LEXINGTON, Mass.  -- Addressing a standing-room-only audience of industry and government employees here May 13, the Air Force's Service Acquisition Executive spoke about acquisition priorities, challenges and initiatives.

Dr. William LaPlante, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, emphasized his top priorities: "big" projects, consisting of the F-35, the KC-46A and the Long Range Strike Bomber; transparency and bending the cost curve; owning the technical baseline; Better Buying Power 3.0; and strategic agility.

The speech came during a visit to nearby Hanscom AFB, Mass., which also included stops at MITRE and MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, where he attended the Air Vehicle Survivability Workshop.

Speaking on acquisition and transparency, he mentioned it's often hard to let go of preconceived notions.

"The hardest thing is not to get new thoughts into people's minds, but to get old thoughts out," LaPlante said.

Two years into the job, he said people still think the Air Force takes fighter pilots and makes them program managers. However, the average acquisition career program manager has 19 years of experience and program executive officers usually even more.

In addition, cost and schedule overruns are often exaggerated. He said that, adjusting for inflation, overall program costs have declined for the past three years. Schedules are still a challenge for development programs, but that is often due to issues with software or systems engineering.

He mentioned Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh's bending the cost curve efforts to drive down weapons system costs. He also recognized the Air Force's efforts working with industry organizations such as the National Defense Industrial Association and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association to look at small sets of projects and initiatives.

One effort is using other transactional authority, which allows flexibility in the contracting process, reducing contract award time.

The Air Force will host Plugfest Plus June 8 at Langley AFB, Va., using the Distributed Common Ground System as an open systems architecture. Various information technology companies will work as a consortium to provide specific problem-solving regarding the system via the Hanscom milCloud system. The upcoming event allows interested companies to "plug in" their systems to an open architecture and demonstrate their best system applications. Afterward, using OTA, the goal will be to get the best options on contract within a week or two, allowing companies an opportunity to build prototypes.

"We're experimenting with these kinds of things because, as we set up the open architectures, we want quick ways to get people to bring their algorithm or application in and not wade through the laborious process," LaPlante said.

Throughout his presentation, the SAE continually highlighted the necessity of open systems architecture and open mission systems.

"If there's one thing you take away today, it's open systems," he said. "We're doing it - program by program."

Other initiatives address acquisition challenges, intellectual property, "out-of-the-box" experiments, meaningful discussions during source selections and foreign military sale challenges.

LaPlante also addressed owning the technical baseline, recapturing what the Air Force used to do in the 1990s. It's government program offices, in conjunction with their teams including personnel from Federally Funded Research and Development Centers and contractor support, being smart buyers. The program offices should have the integrated master schedule, know the design of the system and run performance models independent of the system.

When talking about complex systems, multiple places should look at performance, he said.

Using the Joint STARS recapitalization as an example, LaPlante said the program office should also understand how the system is working and being used today; items such as availability and operator complaints need to be understood as the program office works on the replacement.

Building to the future was something LaPlante focused on when addressing strategic agility. He said the Air Force is looking to reinvigorate developmental planning, and when that comes to acquisition, it means adaptability.

"You'll have to plan for the fact that you will not know what our adversaries or technology will do," he said. "And that the warfighter will find a way to use [the system] in a way you never thought of, so you need to build in open architectures and allow for pivot points."

The event was sponsored by the Lexington-Concord chapter of AFCEA. During his time at Hanscom, LaPlante met with the Battle Management and C3I and Networks PEOs and received numerous program manager updates.

Peace of mind: Portable tester provides reliable capabilities to warfighters

by Jenny Gordon
78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

5/26/2015 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- When an AIM-9X air intercept missile is deployed from an Air Force weapon system, the pilot needs to be confident it'll get the job done.

Known as Common Munitions Built-in Test Reprogramming Equipment, this portable field tester and mission programmer is attached to various compatible precision-guided smart weapons, such as bombs and missiles, in order to ensure everything is working properly.

The Air Force recently received delivery of the 1,000th CMBRE unit -- purchased for Belgium by the Air Force -- from Orbital ATK. It's also used by the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command and 31 foreign military sales countries.

The testers are used to support countless weapons carried on the AC-130J, F-15, F-16, F-18, F-35 and others. The CMBRE program is managed here, housed under the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center's Automatic Test Systems Division.

A small team of program managers, engineers and equipment specialists perform work here; however, CMBREs are located in more than 200 facilities across the globe.

Small testing is supported at Robins to recreate potential problems as requested by a customer. 

"This is significant, a milestone for not only the Air Force but also our foreign military sales partners, U.S. Navy and Marines," said James Annis, CMBRE program manager.

Once the CMBRE is attached, it initiates the weapon's built-in test status, whether it's an advanced anti-radiation guided missile, massive ordnance penetrator, small diameter bomb or an advanced medium range air-to-air missile.

Electrical signals are generated by the tester into a weapon to diagnose any problems and determine if it's working as it should.

The CMBRE has the ability to test itself, reprogram the munition's operational flight program, upload mission planning data, and upload and download global positioning system data. It can also verify applicable software.

Development began in 1996, with fielding of the CMBRE Block II configuration taking place in 2006.

Software upgrades will continue to be a challenge in the future in order to be compatible with various weapons, along with hardware obsolescence issues. The CMBRE is expected to be in use until at least 2035.

AEDC Ground Test University gaining altitude

by Raquel March
Arnold Engineering Development Complex Public Affairs

5/29/2015 - ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- As Arnold Engineering Development Complex personnel make adjustments for a new Combined Test Force construct for Fiscal 2016, opportunities for sharpening engineers' knowledge at the Complex is available through the AEDC Ground Test University.

Organizers of the university saw the potential to train engineers in a broader range of testing areas to prepare for rapidly evolving technology and a different staffing environment.

"We have a significant need to accelerate the training of our folk, both the new-hires today and technical staff that serve in broader, diverse, cross-assignments," said Rob McAmis, the ATA Integrated Test and Evaluation Department director. "Additionally, we have a persistent need to train for the years ahead. Our employees will be more agile within the entire AEDC workforce and likely more mobile within the broader aerospace and engineering industry."

Coursework is laid out in a multi-year format to aid in career development and growth as determined by the individual's desires and supervisor's needs. Training a new test engineer at AEDC has traditionally been a five to 10 year project according to AEDC Test Operations Division Senior Materiel Leader Col. Timothy West.

"The goal of GTU is to accomplish a similar amount of training in a much more compressed timeline, say five to 10 months," West said. "Obviously, there is no substitute for hands-on experience in the test environment, but GTU will allow us to accomplish many aspects of that experience in a much shorter timeframe."

The GTU curriculum offers courses in aeropropulsion and flight and will later include space and asset management courses. A GTU library exists to capture course content which may be used for reference as needed.

The courses support a variety of students at the Complex including newly hired ATA and government civilian personnel and veteran personnel who moved into a new mission area.

"Several are using this as a tool to refresh their knowledge or springboard to a slightly different job function like project management," said Mark Bymaster, a GTU coordinator and aeropropulsion product manager with the ATA TE Department. "The idea was to develop an apprenticeship type program balancing theory, systems exposure, and on the job training to produce 'smart test people.' We needed to provide a recurrent forum for subject matter experts to routinely transfer systems and process knowledge to others."

The instructors for the courses are subject matter experts employed at AEDC and the courses are not a structured class setting.

"We know that sitting in a conference room and being bombarded with PowerPoint charts for hours is not necessarily an effective way to learn," McAmis said. "We are using the GTU to experiment with different techniques of learning which includes field visits, video, lab-assignments and various on-line assignments."

GTU participant Nathan Harrison, an analysis engineer with ATA and who has been employed with AEDC for seven months, has a better understanding of the test process due to the courses he has taken.

"Participating in the Ground Test University helped me to understand how tests are supported by departments other than my own," Harrison said. "Many of the classes drew people of varying roles and helped me realize the importance of communication and collaboration within the AEDC setting. The GTU courses also made way for discussions and Q&A time with the instructors that would otherwise be less likely to happen. Most importantly, after each GTU class I walked away with an increased drive to dig deeper and better understand what we're all trying to accomplish -- especially in the technical context."

AEDC Commander Col. Raymond Toth said GTU is critical to the future of AEDC and that it will ensure the Complex's engineers and technicians will stay on the forefront of test and analysis techniques. He also expressed the importance of continuous learning in regards to keeping abreast of evolving test technologies.

"We have the experts here at AEDC, so we should use them to grow the competency of our overall workforce as we head into a future where our services and value are in increasing demand," Toth said. "Ultimately I see GTU growing into an analogue of the Test Pilot School, which focuses on the core aspects of flight test engineering, where the best and brightest of the Air Force's engineers and technicians fight for a slot to learn from the masters of ground test engineering and analysis."

Face of Defense: Airmen Foster ‘Wingmanship’ Through Gaming

By Air Force Airman 1st Class Ryan Sparks
319th Air Base Wing

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D., June 3, 2015 – Intramural sports have been a staple of life on Air Force bases for a long time as a way for airmen to connect with each other and become more involved on base.

The new generation of airmen has found another way to achieve that same goal. A "gaming" airman here has fostered a new way to connect with his fellow airmen. Finding ways for airmen to connect is a vital part of the Air Force’s “wingmanship” teamwork concept.

Air Force Airman John Greenberg, a 319th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator apprentice, said interactive video games helped him with his transition when he arrived here for his first Air Force duty assignment.

"The day I got here, the first question was, 'Do you play games?'" Greenberg said. "It's an instant conversation starter."

Greenberg said the other airmen in his shop play games as well, and this helped him feel like part of the team right away.

"I made instant friends with my entire shop," he said. "Sometimes, meeting new people can get awkward and gaming makes it easy to talk."

Balancing Time

But an important aspect of any hobby is knowing how to balance time. Air Force Airman Brandon Wade, 319th Communications Squadron information assurance apprentice, said balancing his time isn't very hard. He just makes sure to take care of anything he needs to do for work first.

Greenberg also said balancing his time is easy.

"From 7:30 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon, all my time is devoted to work," he said, adding that he has a simple view of his priorities.

Mission Comes First

"The mission comes first," Greenberg said. "You have your positives and negatives with everything. It's just something you have to control."

Wade and Greenberg said accessibility is one reason why so many airmen are becoming gamers. "It's not just consoles," Greenberg explained. "It's everything from your phone to your computers and consoles."

"Almost everyone has a computer," Wade said. "If you have a laptop, you can access it anywhere, as long as you have Internet access. It could be raining and you can just go inside and play."

Wade and Greenberg both said they hope to see more organized tournaments to bring airmen together. Wade noted that gaming is similar to sports that have leagues and tournaments. "It's just a different type of sport," he added.

All the mental cooperation and teamwork required in sports also apply to gaming, Wade said.