21 Aug 14. Pentagon may revisit 2015 budget as Iraq operation continues. Top Pentagon leaders said the US defence budget may need to be revised as officials suggested they were mulling expanded operations against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. Airstrikes against the militants – formerly called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – as well as humanitarian airdrops have been running since 7 August and may mean the US Department of Defense (DoD) has to revise its fiscal year 2015 (FY 2015) budget request, according to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. “We’ve had to move assets over the last couple of months, obviously, to accomplish what we’ve accomplished in Iraq, that costs money, that takes certain monies out of certain funds, so it’s a constant fluid process as you plan for these,” he told reporters on 21 August. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Aug 14. The United States attempted a rescue operation recently to free a number of American hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement released. The mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location, Kirby said in the statement. He added that the U.S. government will not tolerate the abduction of its people and will work tirelessly to secure the safety of its citizens and to hold their captors accountable. Kirby’s statement reads as follows: “The United States attempted a rescue operation recently to free a number of American hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL. Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location. As we have said repeatedly, the United States government is committed to the safety and well-being of its citizens, particularly those suffering in captivity. In this case, we put the best of the United States military in harms’ way to try and bring our citizens home. The United States government uses the full breadth of our military, intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring people home whenever we can. The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will work tirelessly to secure the safety of our citizens and to hold their captors accountable.”
19 Aug 14. The Air Force grounded more than half of its F-16D fighter jets after it found structural cracks between the front and rear pilot seats in several aircraft, according to a statement released Tuesday in Washington. The cracks in the canopy longeron sill, a thin strip of material that fastens to the fuselage, were found in 82 of the Air Force’s 157 F-16D aircraft. The Air Force ordered an inspection of all F-16Ds after it began finding cracks on the planes during routine post-flight inspections. The service finished its inspections Aug. 18. The Air Force F-16 Program Office and Lockheed Martin are developing a temporary fix that would allow the damaged aircraft to fly limited hours while they work on a permanent solution, according to the statement. The United States has also agreed to sell the Iraqi air force 36 F-16 aircraft, along with training. The first two of those aircraft were ceremonially handed over to Iraq at a Fort Worth, Texas, training site in June. The U.S. had planned to deliver the planes to Iraq in the fall, but the siege of Iraq by the Islamic State has delayed those plans, according to recent Pentagon statements. (Source: Military.com/Stars and Stripes)
18 Aug 14. Army moves ahead with Apache plan, inactivates Kiowa unit.
The 4th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment was inactivated Thursday, making it the first Kiowa unit to be shut down as part of the Army’s aviation restructuring initiative. The squadron eventually will be reactivated, however, as an Apache squadron. The squadron at Joint Base L