General: Air Force must restore readiness as adversaries challenge

Published: Thursday, September 14, 2017 @ 5:00 AM


            Air Force Gen. James Holmes, the top general at Air Combat Command, speaks at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Industry Days on Wednesday at the University of Dayton Research Institute. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF
Air Force Gen. James Holmes, the top general at Air Combat Command, speaks at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Industry Days on Wednesday at the University of Dayton Research Institute. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF

The Air Force must target rebuilding readiness and getting weapon systems faster in an era when U.S. deterrence has waned with aging Reagan-era weapon systems, a top general says.

Gen. James “Mike” Holmes, commander of the Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, Va., spoke Wednesday at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Industry Days at the University of Dayton Research Institute. More than 700 people in the defense industry or government workforce attended the conference.

Air Force leaders who also spoke warned of an impending technology gap with adversaries as threats worldwide grow and U.S. military superiority has eroded. The military branch expects to increasingly rely on multi-domain warfare in areas such as cyber and space in battles with future adversaries, officials said.

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The Air Force has fought in continuous combat since Operation Desert Storm 26 years ago and adversaries have adapted their strategies and weapons to face U.S. forces, according to Holmes.

“We face determined, smart, capable adversaries who have spent 26 years watching what we did and watching those Reagan-era systems,” he said.

Russia, China North Korea and Iran have engaged in unconventional or irregular warfare strategies, the four-star general said.

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Russia has intervened militarily in the Ukraine and China has created man-made islands in the Pacific, among other actions in recent years. And adversaries have employed economic clout to strain U.S. relations with allies and attempted to split alliances, he said.

China and Russia have shown “they feel like they have room to operate in a military contest without triggering a response from us” as U.S. conventional capabilities have declined, he said.

“We’ve got to reset that deterrent capability if we’re going to regain our advantage in the air …” he said. “We’ve lived on that Reagan-era investment. Now, we’re going to have to find a new advantage.”

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The United States also must break the paradigm that it has two decades to develop a weapon system.

“We now live in a world where our adversaries are building new things every day faster than we thought they could,” he said.

The former F-15 fighter pilot urged re-examining lessons of the Cold War in the U.S. space race and the development of the F-117 stealth fighter as models on how the system can work.

“I think we need to convince the country that we need to spend the money to maintain that advantage,” he said.

The military uses an industrial age acquisition system created in the 1960s but needs one for the information age, Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry, commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, told attendees.

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The air service has experimented with taking off-the-shelf technology, such as recent flight tests of light attack planes, as an alternative to expensive, years-long development, officials said.

Maj. Gen. William Cooley, commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson, said experimentation, affordability and speed of development are three key target areas. “Today, we have become more risk averse and we’ve got to be willing to take more risks,” he said.

Col. Sean Larkin, commander of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson, said more capable adversaries have challenged U.S. sanctuaries through tapping into commercially driven technology, such as drones, cyber operations, small satellites and artificial intelligence. Competing nations have invested heavily in new technologies such as hypersonics, also, he said.

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Here’s how Dayton air show officials prepare for worst case scenarios

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 2:55 PM


            Roger Doctor, Vectren Dayton Air Show public safety director began working on plans for this year’s show immediately following the 2017 air show. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
            Ty Greenlees
Roger Doctor, Vectren Dayton Air Show public safety director began working on plans for this year’s show immediately following the 2017 air show. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Ty Greenlees)

Headlined by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the 44th Vectren Dayton Air Show will draw thousands of people to the Dayton International Airport on Saturday and Sunday as one of the region’s biggest events each year.

Performers for the show include: TORA! TORA! TORA!, Sean D. Tucker, Vicky Benzing, Redline Aerobatics Team, Screamin’ Sasquatch and the B-17 Movie Memphis Belle.

John Klatt, pilot of the Jack Link’s Screamin’ Sasquatch, said the Dayton Air Show has a unique atmosphere and that it’s a top air show destination for performers in the U.S.

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“We’re excited to put on a show for you, and we’re excited for everyone to come out this weekend,” he said.

The air show takes almost a full year of preparation, said Roger Doctor, public safety director for the air show. He said security protocols have not changed this year after recent mass shootings. He said the air show isn’t a “soft target,” with police officers very present.

Security personnel will be placed at each gate entrance, and police officers will be around the air show grounds to provide security. Guests’ bags and belongings will be checked for prohibited items.

They also prepare for crashes and disasters involving aircraft. Last year, a Thunderbird jet flipped over after taxiing at the Dayton International Airport.

» PHOTOS: The Dayton Air Show through the years

The crash happened on June 23 prior to the air show and injured Pilot Capt. Erik Gonsalves and Tactical Aircraft Maintainer Staff Sgt. Kenneth Cordova. The F-16 sustained significant damage, and the Thunderbirds cancelled all performances at the air show.

The Thunderbirds jet mishap was the first major aviation-related incident at the air show since the fatal crash of a wing walker and a pilot in front of thousands of spectators on June 22, 2013.

John Cuday, president of the Virginia-based International Council of Air Shows, said air shows are safe for spectators. No spectator at an airshow — which has different rules than air races — has been killed since the 1950s because of safety measures in place, he said.

“There is no motor sport in the world that has the safety record of spectators that we do,” he said.

The danger is primarily to pilots, he said.

“The flying that these guys do is more dangerous than standard flying, but they take this risk knowingly” and mitigate risk, he said.

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In what he described as a four-legged stool, the first safety measure is distance between pilots and people. Small planes, for example, stay at least 500 feet away from spectators. Jets operate up to 1,500 feet away.

“I’ve actually charted where the wreckage has landed and that system has acted precisely as it was to work,” he said.

Additionally, pilots’ knowledge and flight routines are evaluated every year. Acrobatic maneuvers toward spectators are banned, and an acrobatic sky box sets aside restricted airspace for performances.

“That’s the four-legged stool we have come to rely on and it’s worked very, very effectively to protecting spectators,” he said.

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Here’s why Dayton-area home sales slowed in May

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 11:31 AM


            Bill Lackey/Staff
Bill Lackey/Staff

A record low supply of homes slowed the pace of home sales in the Dayton region.

The number of Dayton-area homes for sold in May dropped 2 percent compared to the same time last year, with 1,626 home sale reported for the month.

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One reason for the dip is the limited supply of homes available to buy, according to Dayton Realtors, which represents Montgomery, Greene, Darke, Warren, and Preble Counties.

The association said there is just a 2.4 months supply of homes available, which is a record low for the month of May.

While you might have limited homes to chose from, you’ll also likely have to pay more than you would have last year.

May’s median sales price came in at $145,000, up 8 percent from last year. The average price of $171,061 was also up 8 percent from the same time last year.

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Sales volume generated by May’s activity totaled $272.8 million, which is up 6.5 percent since last May.

There were 2,149 new listings added in May, down 1 percent from last year’s 2,173, while year-to-date listings tallied 8,710, a 2.8 percent decrease from the 8,960 submitted through May of last year.

Total inventory was llow, showing 3,968 properties available at month’s end, representing a supply of only 2.4 months based on May’s pace of sales.

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Real estate office opening in historic Dayton neighborhood

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 7:17 AM


            HER Realtors - Vintage plans to open an office at 1024 W. Third St. on Thursday with a 4:30 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony. The building is pictured pre-renovation. PROPERTY RECORDS
HER Realtors - Vintage plans to open an office at 1024 W. Third St. on Thursday with a 4:30 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony. The building is pictured pre-renovation. PROPERTY RECORDS

A real estate agency is preparing to open a new office in the Wright-Dunbar neighborhood.

HER Realtors - Vintage plans to open an office at 1024 W. Third St. on Thursday with a 4:30 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony.

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HER Realtors stated that Shannon Jackson, the Realtor leading the new office, has long been interested in the revitalization efforts taking place in the historic Wright-Dunbar region and comes from a family of historians. The renovation of the building, dating back to the 1890s, was intended to preserve its original charm.

“When clients walk in, we want them to feel as though they have traveled back in time, complete with antique furnishings and collections,” stated Jackson. “We want to create a memorable experience and an agency that is truly community centered.”

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The meeting rooms are named in recognition of local historical figures - The Wright Brothers, Paul Lawrence Dunbar and Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The real estate agency stated it invited Dr. Floyd Thomas, a national curator and historian from the Dayton area, to authenticate their efforts.

Jackson and her husband Kurt will be two of several HER agents working from this new office and will also be recruiting new agents.

“Shannon has been a member of the HER family of Realtors since 2011 and has played an integral role in expanding our presence in the Springfield and Dayton areas,” stated Anita Ricketts, HER Realtors Regional Vice President. “We are excited to support her vision and partner with her to provide outstanding home buying and selling services to the Miami Valley region.”

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The grand opening day also includes a series of events in partnership with the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and Greene County Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport, which includes:

12:30 p.m.: Arrival and Welcome Reception of CAF Red Tail Squadron’s restored P-51C model Mustang fighter (commonly flown by Tuskegee Airmen in WWII), Greene County Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport, 140 N. Valley Road, Xenia

4:30 p.m.: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, HER Realtors, 1024 W. Third St., Dayton

6:00 p.m.: Historical Perspective “Through the Eyes of a Tuskegee Airman” by Historian C.B. Rice, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park Auditorium, 16 S. Williams St., Dayton

7:30 p.m.: Gallery Walk Reception, HER Realtors, 1024 W. Third St., Dayton

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Want to own a piece of Applebee’s? Here’s how you can

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

An Applebee’s in Middletown. FILE
An Applebee’s in Middletown. FILE

Interested in owning a piece of a closed Applebee’s restaurant?

All contents of the recently closed Applebee’s Grill & Bar restaurants in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky — and one in the Dayton area — are to be auctioned off online, according to Biddergy.com.

RELATED: Applebee’s shuts down one of its Dayton-area restaurants

The online auctions will include contents belonging to Applebee’s sites at 6242 Wilmington Pike and 9595 Colerain Ave, in Cincinnati. The online auction for both sites will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday June 25.

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Property to be auctioned off include furniture, kitchen equipment, supplies, booths and more.

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Those interested may preview items up for bid online and during the auctions starting next week at www.biddergy.com. The owner of the locations, RMH Franchise, which is Applebee’s second largest franchise recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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Atlanta-based RMH Franchise, which also has corporate offices in Lincoln, Nebraska, purchased all of the Applebee’s sites in central and southwest Ohio from a Lexington, Ky. franchise company in late 2013, a transaction that more than doubled the number of Applebee’s restaurants run by RMH.

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The local restaurant abruptly closed earlier this month.

Those without computers may contact Biddergy.com at (866) 260-1611 for more information.

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