Author Stephen Losey

When you’re a kid, complaining of boredom usually gets you more chores to do around the house. But when you’re serving in an Air Force that is facing deep budget-driven cuts to its flying hours, boredom complaints may be a sign of serious morale and looming retention problems. As we reported, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh last week raised the specter of bored pilots and flight crews while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee: The flying reductions are starting to affect the Air Force’s morale in worrying ways, Welsh said. He said he recently spoke to…

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh today released the first in a new video series, called “Airman to Airman,” in which he hopes to talk about some of the changes on the way, and the reasons behind them. For the premiere, Welsh discussed the impending force cuts that could be coming due to the sequester, which we’ve also covered here. Sound off below on these potential cuts. Are you looking forward to taking advantage of voluntary force reduction measures? Are you afraid you’ll get caught up by possible involuntary measures? How might they hurt your ability to get…

Aviation Week has a great scoop today about what could be a major addition to the Air Force’s fleet: the successor to the legendary SR-71 Blackbird. Lockheed Martin’s new hypersonic reconnaissance and long-range strike aircraft, dubbed SR-72, would hit max speeds of Mach 6 with the help of a scramjet, Aviation Week said. That would be about twice as fast as its predecessor’s top speed. The original Blackbird, of course, is one of the most iconic aircraft in Air Force history. During its 24-year career, it was the world’s fastest and highest-flying operational aircraft. In 1976, a Blackbird set two…

Military Religious Freedom Foundation President Mikey Weinstein got into a dustup with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly last night over the Air Force Academy’s controversial honor oath. As we reported yesterday, the academy is considering dropping or changing its honor oath over its concluding phrase, “so help me God,” which Weinstein says violates the constitutional guarantee against a religious test for office. The interview is worth a watch (and former “M*A*S*H” actor Mike Farrell, AKA B.J. Hunnicutt, who sits on MRFF’s board, even gets a mention here). Sound off below, or in our forums. Do you think Weinstein is right,…

We’re now in week three of the government shutdown, and airmen who are supposed to move, but didn’t get their permanent change of station orders before Oct. 1, are still on ice. Air Force Times yesterday published the story of one couple whose PCS is getting complicated by the shutdown: Her move is going through in a few weeks, but his move is on hold until Congress gets its act together and reopens the government. We know there are many, many more stories out there about how the shutdown has affected airmen, and we’d like to hear them. Email me…

Air Force Times would like to hear from airmen whose PCS moves have been put on hold due to the shutdown. Where were you supposed to go, and what were you told when your move was put on ice? But not all moves have been halted due to the shutdown: Any move that supports an excepted activity is still on, according to Pentagon guidance. If your PCS is still going through, we’d also like to hear from you. E-mail me at slosey@airforcetimes.com if you’d like to talk.

As we reported, the Air Force Academy had a minor emergency last week when it ran low on toilet paper and realized that the shutdown had furloughed the only people who knew who had the contract to replace it. And this weekend, Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update turned that development into a pretty good joke. Said co-anchor Seth Meyers: Because of the government shutdown, the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado is facing a toilet paper shortage. Giving new meaning to the phrase, “You’ve got a bogey on your tail.”

The Air Force has rolled out a test program to six additional bases allowing airmen to make their vacation or recreation plans at their base exchange. The test program for placing Information, Tickets and Tours, or ITT, offices at exchanges was unveiled in August at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath in England, Little Rock AFB in Arkansas, Luke AFB in Arizona, Patrick AFB in Florida, and Tinker AFB in Oklahoma. The Air Force previously put ITT offices at MacDill AFB in Florida, Fairchild AFB in Washington, and Dyess AFB in Texas. The ITT offices…

The Air Force announced last week that, beginning immediately, the service-wide roll call was back. As Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody said, some airmen might start roll call the very next day. Air Force Times would like to hear your thoughts on the return of this very old tradition. Has your unit started roll call yet? If not, do you know when it will begin? What do you think? Was it worth your time, and did you get anything out of it? Or if not, what do you think is wrong with roll call? E-mail me…

Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson made history yesterday when she became the first female superintendent of the Air Force Academy in Colorado. In her remarks at the Aug. 12 change of command ceremony, Johnson said the academy must continue to adapt to keep up with current developments and challenges. “I have a lot of listening to do, a lot of learning to do, to understand how things are now to better help us go forward together,” said Johnson, the academy’s 19th superintendent. “I also know we’ll inevitably face challenges. It won’t be easy, but we can find meaning in adversity, and…

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