Friday, August 31, 2012

Boeing Fatigue Test to Validate Predicted Life of B-1 Bomber Fleet

Boeing Fatigue Test to Validate Predicted Life of B-1 Bomber Fleet Boeing has begun a five-year fatigue test on the wing of a U.S. Air Force B-1 bomber to validate the predicted life of the bomber fleet, currently forecasted to be 2050. The test also will reveal potential areas of concern for which Boeing and the Air Force can develop maintenance and repair plans. "This comprehensive testing is a proactive way for Boeing to meet its mission of keeping the B-1 bomber fleet ready and viable," said Rick Greenwell, Boeing B-1 program director. Boeing and the Air Force also plan to fatigue-test a B-1 fuselage at Boeing Tukwila beginning in November 2013.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Navy to Give 'Colonoscopies' to Jet Engines

The Naval Air Systems Command announced Aug. 27 that it has developed a device that is doing for aircraft inspections what colonoscopies have done for cancer detection. Used to inspect interior engine components and airframes for cracks, corrosion and other debris that can harm Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, the Common Video Borescope Set, or CVBS, is scheduled for "initial operating capability" in September when units will be delivered to Sailors and Marines. "Compressor blades rotating in an aircraft engine power naval aviation on a daily basis, but anything accidentally entering the engine intake can create nicks and chip the blades," said Lt. Cmdr. Francini Clemmons, assistant deputy program manager for nondestructive inspection equipment, who oversees the CVBS project for the Aviation Support Equipment Program Office (PMA-260). "Instead of taking the engine apart, the video borescope allows inspectors to look into the jet engine, saving time and energy." The borescope will not only bring commonality to the fleet and revolutionize the way the Department of the Navy inspects aircraft and engines but it will also provide real-time digital images and video for examination, Clemmons added. "The CVBS can be likened to a colon screening, but ours is kinder and gentler to the aircraft," he said. "It will instantly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our inspection procedures." The CVBS is a naval modified version of a commercial-off-the-shelf product and will support all aircraft platforms requiring video borescope inspections of their airframes and engines. It offers many advantages over its varied predecessors, PMA-260 officials said. While previous borescopes in the naval inventory detected engine debris with a rigid probe and generated low-quality, black-and-white pictures, the CVBS has a 2-meter long, flexible, insertion tube that captures photos and video images on a 3.7-inch color screen. Technicians will use a joystick to maneuver the device's insertion tube, giving them a 360-degree view of hard-to-see places. All CVBS handsets are capable of defect measurement and offer two hours of battery operation. The CVBS Type V variant comes with a working channel and tools that can retrieve debris. At 3.74 pounds, the CVBS is also less expensive and lighter than its 30-pound predecessors. Many of the 27 varieties of legacy borescope systems could cost as much as $30,000 per unit, Clemmons said. The Navy plans to buy 960 CVBS units at an approximate cost of $15,000 each. Marc Donohue, nondestructive inspection Common Support Equipment integrated program team lead for PMA-260, said he has received positive feedback from both fleet and fleet support team personnel who have used the CVBS during the test and evaluation phase. "The unit is ruggedized, highly portable and over 80 percent lighter than many of the legacy units it replaces," Donohue said. "The CVBS improves equipment survivability and reliability while providing enhanced capability. The program achieves cost-wise readiness at less than 50 percent of the CVBS program's cost objective and at only 31 percent of the cost of sustaining legacy system requirements."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Clinton's planned Pacific trip 'sends message to China'

Clinton's planned Pacific trip 'sends message to China' US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to make a rare foray to the South Pacific this week, in a move analysts say is aimed at curbing China's growing influence among the region's small island nations. While Clinton's previous trips to the area have focused on Canberra and Wellington, this time she is expected to visit the Cook Islands, a nation of just 11,000 people whose 15 islands cover an area barely larger than Washington DC. The reason is to attend a regional summit hosted by the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), a group consisting mainly of small island states, along with resource-rich Papua New Guinea and the dominant regional powers Australia and New Zealand, both US allies. The impoverished, strategically unimportant island states dropped off Washington's radar many years ago, former New Zealand diplomat Michael Powles said, as China cultivated diplomatic ties through aid and bilateral agreements.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Taking the edge off a pipe bomb

Taking the edge off a pipe bomb The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate's (S and T) new low-cost device for dismantling dangerous pipe bombs may look like a tinkerer's project, but that's no accident. The Semi Autonomous Pipe Bomb End-cap Remover (SAPBER) is unassuming in appearance, but sophisticated enough to preserve the forensic evidence needed to track down the perpetrator. "From ten paces away, you might mistake the contraption for a pressure washer," says S and T Program Manager Christine Lee. "But step closer and you'll find an ingenious device bristling with four video cameras, radios, a telescoping mast, cutting wheels, a twisting wrist, an electric motor, and a chain-driven gear, all powered by a pair of 12-volt batteries."

Israeli media buzz on attacking Iran aims to pressure US

Israeli media buzz on attacking Iran aims to pressure US A high-volume public debate in Israel over a possible imminent military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is designed to pressure Washington to back its ally more firmly, experts say. Media chatter over Israel's intentions has become a cacophony, fed daily by pronouncements from politicians, retired generals, former security officials and various commentators. They fill newspaper columns and radio and TV broadcasts with their opinions for or against a pre-emptive Israeli operation against Iran, with or without US approval or assistance. "There is an orchestrated hysteria, deliberately timed, to put the country in a state of anxiety, artificial or not," former military intelligence chief Uri Saguy wrote this weekend in the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper. Apart from preparing public opinion for the consequences of a conflict, the surge in public statements aims to push US President Barack Obama to take a more hawkish stance on Iran, said Denis Charbit, professor of political science at Israel's Open University.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

USFJ commander focuses on bilateral operations

With the Department of Defense's rebalance of military forces to the Asia Pacific region, the focus on bilateral operations is more critical now than ever, said the new U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force commander. "We plan to increase our bilateral and multilateral cooperation throughout the Western Pacific," said Lt. Gen. Salvatore Angelella, who became the USFJ and 5th Air Force commander July 20. Angelella noted there will be more opportunity for joint training, and that in the future for the rebalance to the Pacific, the U.S. will send more of its newest equipment and highly trained crews. The current deployment of F-22 Raptors to Okinawa and the ongoing deployment of MV-22 Osprey aircraft are prime examples of this. "I think you'll see more of that in the future and also more opportunities for interoperability with our Japanese partners," the commander said. With the mission focus shift, several challenges may present themselves along the way -- one of them being the global economy, Angelella explained. "Because the global economy is not doing well right now, we're going to have to rely on a lot of the other partners to maintain peace and stability in the region," he said. "There will be more bilateral operations and more multilateral cooperation in areas like humanitarian assistance and disaster relief." Lessons learned from previous disaster relief efforts, like Operation Tomodachi in March 2011, will help build the continuity for the future, the general said. "We are going to have to institutionalize what we learned during the Great East Japan Earthquake last year," he said. "There was some great work between the forces and the components of U.S. Forces Japan, and also some great work between U.S. Forces Japan and the Jieitai, the Japanese Self Defense Force. "They did a great job taking the lead of the relief effort, and we teamed with them and other nations," Angelella said. "So what we want to do is institutionalize (those lessons learned) as we transform our staffs." With this being his fifth assignment to Japan, Angelella relies on his previous experiences here to help shape and influence the way he leads in the future. "It's really all about relationships," he said. "Throughout those years (stationed in Japan), I developed a lot of close relationships with civilians and the military in Japan at the highest levels, so I think we're going to be able to get right to work and continue our cooperation and strengthen our alliance even more."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

US Army certifies soldiers ready to defend battlespace with JLENS

US Army certifies soldiers ready to defend battlespace with JLENS Combatant commanders moved one step closer to being able to detect, track and engage threats such as swarming boats and incoming cruise missiles, around the clock, from hundreds of miles away. In June 2012, the first class of U.S. Army soldiers completed mission operator training on the Raytheon JLENS elevated, persistent over-the-horizon sensor system. "Now that the classroom studies and simulation activities are complete, these soldiers are fully prepared to begin structured, on-the-job training on the actual JLENS hardware," said Dean Barten, the U.S. Army's JLENS product manager. JLENS uses a powerful integrated radar system to detect, track and target a variety of threats. This capability better enables commanders to defend against threats, including hostile cruise missiles, low-flying manned and unmanned aircraft, large caliber rockets, and moving surface vehicles such as boats, SCUD-launchers, automobiles and tanks.

Friday, August 10, 2012

F-35 Completes First Airborne Weapons Separation

The F-35 Lightning II accomplished a significant test milestone Aug. 8 when the aircraft successfully released a weapon in flight. BF-3, a short take-off and vertical landing F-35 variant, executed an inert 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) separation weapon over water in an Atlantic test range while traveling at 400 knots at an altitude of 4,200 feet. "While this weapons separation test is just one event in a series of hundreds of flights and thousands of test points that we are executing this year, it does represent a significant entry into a new phase of testing for the F-35 program," said Navy Capt. Erik Etz, director of test for F-35 naval variants. "Today's release of a JDAM was the result of extraordinary effort by our team of maintainers, engineers, pilots and others who consistently work long hours to deliver F-35 warfighting capability to the U.S. services and our international partners." The release was the first time for any version of the F-35 to conduct an airborne weapon separation, as well as the first from an internal weapons bay for a fighter aircraft designated for the U.S. Marine Corps, the United Kingdom and Italy. The milestone marks the start of validating the F-35's capability to employ precision weapons and allow pilots to engage the enemy on the ground and in the air. "[Using an internal weapons bay] speaks to how much capability the JSF is going to bring to the troops," said Dan Levin, Lockheed Martin test pilot for the mission. "Stealth, fifth-generation avionics and precision weapons ... coupled with the flexible mission capability of the short take-off and vertical landing F-35B is going to be huge for our warfighters." An aerial weapons separation test checks for proper release of the weapon from its carriage system and trajectory away from the aircraft. It is the culmination of a significant number of prerequisite tests, including ground fit checks, ground pit drops and aerial captive carriage and environment flights to ensure the system is working properly before expanding the test envelope in the air. Aircraft and land-based test monitoring systems collected data from the successful separation, which is in review at the F-35 integrated test force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter designed for use by U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., prior to delivery to the fleet.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Army's Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle Flight Test

For more than 90 minutes, Aug. 7, the hybrid air vehicle known as the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle stayed afloat above Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. The Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, or LEMV, like a blimp, is capable of carrying multiple intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance payloads for more than 21 days at altitudes greater than 22,000 feet. The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command conducted the first flight test of vehicle. "Murphy Bays" on the LEMV on the LEMV can carry a wide variety of sensors and equipment, and design specifications for the LEMV require the vehicle to provide up to 16 kilowatts of electrical power for those payloads. The LEMV is intended to be used to conduct long-term Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, or ISR, and persistent stare-type missions, and can also be used as a communications relay. The primary objective of the first flight was to perform a safe launch and recovery of the LEMV. A secondary goal was to verify the flight control system operation. Additional objectives included airworthiness testing and demonstration, as well as system-level performance verification. All objectives were met during the first flight. The football field-sized LEMV can operate at altitudes greater than 22,000 feet above mean sea level, has a 2,000 mile radius of action, can carry a 2,750 pound ISR payload for more than 21 days, and boasts a fuel consumption that is more than 10 times less than comparable capabilities. Design requirements for the LEMV include providing up to 16 kilowatts of electrical power for payload, as well as runway independence. The LEMV is designed to be a recoverable and reusable multi-mission platform. It can be forward located to support extended geostationary operations from austere locations and capable of beyond-line-of-sight command and control. During this first flight, the LEMV was manned, though the air vehicle can also operate unmanned. Following a planned and detailed inspection of the vehicle, there will be additional manned flights.

Boeing Team Demonstrates Expanded Control of Unmanned Aircraft Swarm

Boeing Team Demonstrates Expanded Control of Unmanned Aircraft Swarm Boeing and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) have demonstrated that an operator on the ground, using only a laptop and a military radio, can command an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) "swarm." Despite limited flight training, the operator was able to connect with autonomous UAVs, task them and obtain information without using a ground control station. The team conducted flight tests in Oregon for several days in June, using two ScanEagle UAVs manufactured by Boeing subsidiary Insitu and swarm technology developed by JHU/APL.

Lockheed Martin Performs First Ever Outdoor Flight Test Of Laser Powered UAS

Lockheed Martin Performs First Ever Outdoor Flight Test Of Laser Powered UAS Lockheed Martin and LaserMotive have completed a series of flight tests of the Stalker Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to further validate the performance of an innovative laser power system. These tests mark the first-ever outdoor flight of a UAS powered by laser. Stalker is a small, silent UAS used by Special Operations Forces since 2006 to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. In a recent wind tunnel test, the UAS demonstrated 48 hours of continuous flight powered by this innovative laser system.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Army develops imaging technique to detect brain injury

A new dimension in imaging technology detects minute levels of vascular damage in the form of bleeding, clots and reduced levels of oxygenation that may better illuminate our understanding of brain injury, particularly related to trauma.

Currently, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center is managing a related project that is being led by Dr. E. Mark Haacke of Wayne State University.

Haacke recently presented his work in susceptibility weighted imaging and mapping, or SWIM, to a national panel of military and civilian medical experts. In this current project, he is exploring advanced magnetic resonance imaging methods and SWIM to improve diagnosis and outcome prediction of mild traumatic brain injury.

"This study is just one example of the promising research that TATRC supports. Collaborations among the investigators we bring together may lead to creative solutions we hadn't imagined," said Col. Karl Friedl, TATRC director.

In 1997, Haacke's team developed susceptibility weighted imaging, a highly sensitive technique to detect the presence of blood products. According to Haacke, it has been proved to be the most sensitive approach to visualizing cerebral microbleeds and shearing of vessels in traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

"These conditions do seem to be reliable indicators of injury because we have imaged hundreds of adults over the years, of all ages, and rarely find them in the normal control population," said Haacke.

In recent years, Haacke's team and other neuroimaging researchers have applied concepts similar to SWIM to provide a new measure of iron content through quantitative susceptibility mapping. Haacke's approach, SWIM, is a rapid method that not only provides a quantitative map of iron but at the same time reveals the presence of cerebral microbleeds and abnormal veins.

Iron in the form of deoxyhemoglobin can also be used to measure changes in local oxygen saturation, important for evaluating potential changes in local blood flow or tissue function (similar to what is seen in stroke using SWI). SWIM can also be used to monitor changes in iron content over time to see if previous iron deposition is being resorbed or if bleeding continues, both important diagnostic pieces of information for the clinician.

"SWIM is among the highest quality and fastest types of quantitative susceptibility mapping," said Haacke. "We believe it could be in much wider use in about a year."

Haacke has been working with researchers throughout the world for more than five years applying his techniques specifically to traumatic brain injury, stroke, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

In this current project, he has demonstrated that there is a lower impact load, either inertia or direct impact forces, which may damage only veins, and he has shown medullary vein damage that has not been visualized with other techniques. The medullary veins drain the frontal white matter of the brain, so reduced blood flow here could possibly impair the higher level frontal neurocognitive functions. In light of this, treatments that improve blood flow to the brain might be a promising direction to pursue.

While many investigators have focused on arterial changes related to brain injuries, Haacke has remained focused on the veins.

"Veins have relatively more fragile vessel walls than arteries and are more susceptible to damage during head injury," said Haacke. "This important component of the vascular system is often overlooked but may help us better diagnose what is wrong."

"Doctor Haacke's team has a different slant for studying these injury regions that may lead to a new avenue in diagnosis and treatment for traumatic or other types of brain injury," explained Dr. Anthony Pacifico, who manages TATRC's Medical Imaging Technologies Portfolio.

"For instance, the study of dementia could well benefit from SWI and SWIM," said Haacke. "Perhaps as much as one-third of all dementia is vascular dementia."

Haacke and Dr. Zhifeng Kou are working to complete a larger database of normal and mildly brain-injured imaging scans and define the appropriate parameters so that SWIM can be run at most clinical sites.

Friday, August 3, 2012

US Senate blocks Obama-backed cybersecurity bill

US Senate blocks Obama-backed cybersecurity bill A cybersecurity bill sought by President Barack Obama as critical to national defense was blocked Thursday in the Senate, drawing an angry response from the White House. The legislation failed to advance amid opposition from an unusual coalition of civil libertarians -- who feared it could allow too much government snooping -- and conservatives who said it would create a new bureaucracy. The bill needed 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to advance under rules in the chamber, but got only 52. The failure came despite pleas from Obama and top US defense officials. After the vote, the White House blamed "an overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans" for blocking the bill, which it said would have protected the nation "from potentially catastrophic cyber attacks." The bill was a "comprehensive piece of cybersecurity legislation" but it was foiled by "the politics of obstructionism, driven by special interest groups seeking to avoid accountability," a White House statement said.

DHS Funded Study Finds Conciliatory Tactics More Effective Than Punishment In Reducing Terrorism

DHS Funded Study Finds Conciliatory Tactics More Effective Than Punishment In Reducing Terrorism Policies that reward abstinence from terrorism are more successful in reducing such acts of violence than tactics that aim to punish terrorists, suggests a new study in the August issue of the American Sociological Review. Titled, "Moving Beyond Deterrence: The Effectiveness of Raising the Expected Utility of Abstaining from Terrorism in Israel," the study looked specifically at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and found that between 1987 and 2004, Israeli policies and actions that encouraged and rewarded refrain from terrorist acts were more successful in reducing terrorism than policies focused on punishment.

NATO SOF picks U.S. communications system

NATO SOF picks U.S. communications system The Valence communications system of U.S. company Mutualink Inc. has been selected by NATO as its global SOF interoperable communications platform. NATO Special Operations Forces Headquarters said the next-generation capability gives warfighters and command-and-control elements a secure communications link across different communications systems that can share real-time. Information to be shared includes on-the-move intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information, including files, maps, system views and video.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cobra Hydrodynamic Bow Bulb Testing Completed at NSWCCD

Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock Division researchers completed two weeks of hydrodynamics testing to optimize the size and shape of bow bulbs aboard DDG 51-class ships.

Partnering with Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Fleet Readiness Research and Development Program, NSWCCD conducted testing as part of the Navy's overall initiatives to reduce fuel consumption.

Located near the waterline, the bow bulb is an inverted tear drop shape that protrudes from the hull and is designed to reduce the ship's wave resistance. Specifically, the bow bulb creates a wave designed to interfere with the existing bow wave which reduces the amount of drag on the ship as well as fuel consumption and engine exhaust emissions.

"It is my hope that the DDG 51 class bow bulb will parallel the success of previous [NAVSEA] sponsored designs such as the stern flap, and not just improve the capabilities of the Navy's combatants, but provide for a reduction in fuel consumption and for millions of dollars in cost savings as well," said Dominic Cusanelli, NSWC Carderock Bow Bulb testing project lead, who developed the current bow bulb design for use on a naval combatant in the early 1990s.

Through computational fluid dynamics, NSWC Carderock designed and evaluated more than 20 bow bulb prototypes for DDG 51-class ships. Following the evaluation, NAVSEA selected the four most promising bow bulb prototypes for fabrication and model testing. The model tests will identify the bulb design with the best potential for powering and fuel reduction.

The bow bulb testing is one of several innovative energy saving initiatives NSWC Carderock provides in order to support the Navy's overall efforts to reduce energy consumption, decrease America's reliance on foreign sources of oil and significantly increase its use of alternative energy. Additionally, NSWC Carderock engineers are constantly looking for ways to improve the performance of the Navy's surface Fleet based on rapidly changing technology.

NAS PAX River Showcases Unmanned Aircraft

Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) highlighted recent progress in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) as part of the Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons program, July 31, at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

Unmanned aircraft such as the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D), MQ-8B Fire Scout and the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance System (BAMS) were among the systems displayed during the event.

"We focus ourselves on a vision, a vision to provide our joint naval and coalition warfighters that lethal, interoperable and affordable unmanned aviation and strike weapons capabilities today and into the future," said Program Executive Officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, Rear Adm. Mathias Winter.

Winter spoke about current and future operations of the program and how it supports the Chief of Naval Operations' tenets of: Warfighting First, Operate Forward, and Be Ready.

"We're making sure we are focused on that warfighter, we're not here because we have nothing else to do," said Winter. "We are here to ensure that the national security of the United States of America is maintained through warfighting capabilities in the hands of our warfighters".

The highlighted aircraft are designed to support persistent, penetrating surveillance and penetrating strike capability in high threat level areas.

One of those capabilities Winter talked about is the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator. This aircraft utilizes the specialized testing capabilities and facilities available at PAX River in the near future to validate the X-47B's ability to perform in an aircraft carrier environment.

"What we had to do to get an unmanned aircraft to operate in that area is take the entire aircraft carrier and digitize it, so we can get that situational awareness needed to blend that unmanned aircraft into manned operations without disrupting that critical flow" said Cmdr. Jeff Dodge, Carrier Integration team lead.

The Navy made history July 29, after it conducted NAS PAX River's first flight of the X-47B. It departed Pax River and flew for 35 minutes. The aircraft reached an altitude of 7,500 feet and an air speed of 180 knots during its flight.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

General Breedlove becomes 35th USAFE commander

Gen. Philip M. Breedlove took command of U.S. Air Forces in Europe from Gen. Mark A. Welsh III today in a change of command ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Presiding over the ceremony, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz praised Welsh's past accomplishments and Breedlove's future potential as the commander of USAFE, Allied Air Command Ramstein, and U.S. Air Forces Africa.

"These two men are quintessential Air Force leaders -- innovative, forward looking and strategically oriented," Schwartz said. "They are both Airmen's Airmen -- one an incumbent commander and the other eager and incoming. Both are exactly the kind that we need to serve at the helm of the United States Air Forces in Europe as the command conducts its very important mission."

USAFE is an Air Force major command and is the air component for two Department of Defense unified commands -- U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command. As the air component, USAFE directs air operations in a theater spanning three continents, covering more than 19 million square miles, containing 105 independent states and possessing more than a quarter of the world's population and more than a quarter of the world's Gross Domestic Product.

Schwartz said Breedlove, who is USAFE's 35th commander, played an instrumental role in leading the Air Force during his tenure as the Air Force's Vice Chief of Staff.

A command pilot with more than 3,500 hours, Breedlove has served in six command positions since earning his commission in June 1977.

"You have demonstrated your effectiveness as a commander and a leader," Schwartz said. "You have gained the experience and the genuine credibility to back it all up."

Breedlove's experience will prove invaluable during his tenure as USAFE commander, Schwartz said.

"We look forward to your incredible leadership -- to your mission first, people always approach which emphasizes empowerment and inspires success, all the while demanding performance," he said.

Breedlove has served nearly a third of his 33 year career in USAFE with assignments in Spain, Italy and Germany and said he and his wife welcome the new assignment.

"Cindy and I feel like we are coming home," he said. "I'm glad to be back."
Additionally, Breedlove acknowledged USAFE's NATO partners and the past relationships they developed.
"I'm really excited to be a part of this team," he said to the more than 700 service members and allied partners attending the ceremony. "I look forward to working with you as we continue to shape NATO airpower to support our joint force."
He said since departing Ramstein in 2009 as the 3rd Air Force commander, he watched the growth of the command and its partners.
"You all have done so much since I left," said Breedlove. "I watched you with pride. You were amazing and your reputation for excellence now is worldwide. I'm so proud to be back as a part of the leadership of this team."
Welsh and Breedlove share a camaraderie that began when they were stationed together as young lieutenants in the late 70's at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz.

"He brings a passion to this work and a commitment to teamwork that you are going to admire," said Welsh, who, if confirmed will take over as Air Force chief of staff from Schwartz who is scheduled to retire in August.

Under Welsh's leadership, USAFE has flourished in the range of its achievement and the scope of its impact, said General Schwartz who presented Welsh with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal first oak leaf cluster.

Schwartz said Welsh's experience at each level of command has provided a foundation for success as USAFE commander, and to the command's invaluable support to Operations Enduring Freedom, New Dawn, Nomad Shadow, Odyssey Dawn, and its NATO partners.

Giving credit to Betty Welsh for her efforts, Schwartz said the two Welsh's will make significant contributions to the Air Force's future.

"All of these experiences have not only developed a highly regarded and highly effective, yet humble and grounded leadership team, they also serve as exemplars of judgment, performance and results which give us deep confidence in their abilities and offer an entirely optimistic outlook for the future of our Air Force should the Senate confirm his nomination as CSAF," said Schwartz said.