Armor & Mobility

AUG 2017

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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continue hiring. Maintenance at the depots is very labor intensive work, so it is vital they have the human capital on hand that they need. But overall, I think they've done a remarkable job working with the program offices in AFLCMC to keep the fleet ready and available to the warfighter. The proof, as they say, is right before your eyes. The Air Force is out there taking the fight to the bad guys and executing our national strategy. Our pilots, our maintainers, our team is getting the job done. A&M: What are some of the current and future challenges facing AFLCMC and how are these being addressed? Lt. Gen. McMurry: Front and center are the big three acquisition priorities for the Air Force; F-35, KC-46 and B-21. There isn't much we can say about B-21 other than the program is managed out of the Pentagon, but much of the work is under way here at Wright-Patterson. We are still looking at procuring 100 aircraft for a unit cost in the $550 million range for an aircraft that will be highly survivable with the ability to enter heavily defended airspace and attack targets without prohibitive losses. Today, the F-35A is combat ready, and can perform interdiction, basic close air support, and limited suppression and destruction of enemy air defenses. Moving forward, we look to achieving full warfighting capability with the capabilities inherent in Block 3F software. We are embarking on exponential program growth in numbers of aircraft, trained pilots and maintainers, and in operational units. While combat ready today, the F-35 program will continue to mature and deliver capabilities for the warfighter and the nation. Regarding the KC-46, they are steadily working through the test program and approaching the day when Pegasus tankers will start arriving at Air Force bases. That's important, because the capabilities this tanker brings to the fight are revolutionary. The KC-46A will have significant refueling capacity, improved efficiency, and increased cargo and aeromedical evacuation capacities. The KC-46A will support day and night operations for joint, allied, and coalition forces. It will underpin U.S. humanitarian missions. The KC-46A is expected to have higher mission-capable rates and less maintenance downtime, further assuring our nation's Global Reach future. Another critical program at the moment is the Presidential Air- craft Recapitalization. Air Force leadership has recently named Maj Gen Duke Richardson as the Program Executive Officer for the PAR program. As I said earlier, programs change as they move through the timeline and this program has advanced to the point of warrant- ing a PEO. From my perspective, I need to ensure the program has all the right contracting officers, financial specialists, engineering talent, and program managers they need to execute their mission. It goes back to the building the right team for the time and mission. Although PAR will only procure two aircraft, they are the pride of the nation, and will perform a very unique and vital role not only in our national security but in the history of our country. This aircraft will provide safe, secure, worldwide transport necessary to ensure the President can execute the duties of Commander in Chief, Head of State, and Chief Executive while airborne. It is a crucial mission and we have to get it right. A KC-135 Stratotanker, 155th Air Refueling Wing (ARW), Nebraska Air National Guard, refuels an RC-135 out of Offutt AFB, Lincoln, NE. (U.S. Air Force photo taken by Airman 1st Class Jamie Titus/ Released) COMMANDER'S CORNER www.tacticaldefensemedia.com 8 | Armor & Mobility | August 2017

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