NEWS OF THE FORCE: Sunday, February 4, 2018 Page 2
U.S. Air Force
The Indian and the U.S. air forces will significantly step up
operational cooperation to complement the strategic interests of the two
countries in the Indo-Pacific region, the chief of the U.S. Air Force, Gen. David L Goldfein, has said, while expressing concern over China's rising military influence over the area.
In Cleveland, Ohio, the IX Center is converting a vintage military plane into a restaurant and lounge. The I-X Center's C-97 was built in Seattle, Wash., in 1953 and was used at U.S. Air Force
and Air National Guard bases across the country and in Germany. Its service
ended in 1978 when it was shipped to the Military Aircraft Storage and
Disposition Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
The U.S. Air Force has published a request for proposal (RFP) of
launch services for five separate satellites from 2020 to 2022. It's filed
with relation to the USAF's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, under which only SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) are certified.
The Air Force Marathon has been named one of the "15 Best Fall Marathons
in the U.S." by the popular fitness website, Daily Burn
Brady Tomlak scored in the third period and Billy Christopoulos made 22
saves as Air Force and AIC skated to a 2-2 overtime tie in an Atlantic
Hockey Conference game yesterday at the Air Force Academy's Cadet Ice
Col. Allison Miller, 46, became the first woman to lead an Ohio Air National Guard wing when she took command of Mansfield's 179th Airlift Wing during an "assumption of command" ceremony yesterday.
Five New York Air National Guard members assigned to the Eastern Air Defense
Sector (EADS) have been promoted to new ranks, recognizing their capability
for additional responsibility and leadership. The five
are members of the Air National Guard's 224th Air Defense Group.
The 120th Airlift Wing of the Montana Air National Guard honored
its 2017 award recipients yesterday morning. The wing recognized several
individuals for their outstanding service. Some of the awards were for
the 120th AW Airmen of the Year, the Key Spouse of the Year, and recent
And Angel Rodriguez, one of 18 Air Force Junior ROTC cadets to take flight with pilots from the Nebraska Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, took a flight orientation inside a
Cessna 172s at Central Nebraska Regional Airport, yesterday.News from the U.S. Marshals Service
Richard K. "Kirk" Bowden, who served as a deputy U.S. Marshal
during the civil rights era, providing security at the 1963 March on
Washington and for James Meredith, the first African-American student at
the University of Mississippi, died on Jan. 20th at his home in Silver
Spring, Md. He was 82.
The U.S. Marshals Service District of Montana has issued a BOLO
Alert (Be-on-the-Lookout) for Dante King. King is wanted by the Violent
Offender Task Force based on a felony warrant for assault with a weapon.
King, 35, is described as a black male, 6'1" tall, weighing 250 pounds
with black hair.
And Richard Allen Evans, 50, of Arvada, Colo., who robbed a bank in Montgomery, Ala., twice, was sentenced last week in
the federal court there, U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin, Sr., has announced. The Montgomery Police Department investigated the case, with
assistance from the Suwanee County, Fla., Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Marshals Service.U.S. Navy and Marine Corps
The U.S. Government has
conducted the largest-ever lease offering within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, putting out for bid 900 tracts covering 16,100 square miles. The petroleum reserve was created in 1923 by President Warren Harding as an emergency oil supply for the U.S. Navy.
Richard Mapes has been named as the new leader of a troubled Wisconsin veterans home. Mapes has 20 years of experience as a senior living and retirement facilities administrator, and has been a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve for more than 30 years.
For the first time in 30 years, the U.S. Marine Corps aired an ad during a Super Bowl, using an online-only spot today to
target a young, tough, tech-savvy audience for potential recruits who
are looking for a challenge.
As China builds out its network of militarized islands in the South
China Sea and expands a sphere of influence designed to keep the U.S.
out, the U.S. Marine Corps is putting the finishing touches on a weapon to burst its bubble: the F-35B.
"A Nation's Call" is the latest commercial released under Marine Corps
Recruiting Command's "Battles Won" advertising campaign. It showcases
the full power of the United States Marine Corps conducting an assault mission. The commercial opens with Marines loading onto helicopters.
And U.S. Navy, Army and Air Force personnel were awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation by the head of the U.S. Marine Corps
in the Pacific, Lt. General David Berger, during his visit to
the Royal Australian Navy amphibious ship HMAS Adelaide
, in Sydney.Airlines try - and fail - to raise prices
By Jim Corvey, News of the Force St. Louis
U.S. airlines are asking shareholders to believe they can raise ticket prices
while ramping up the supply of seats. To Wall Street, that sounds like a fairy
Six attempts at broad-based fare increases have failed in the last two
months, most recently a bid by Delta Air Lines. The last successful widespread
price hike was Oct. 10th, said JPMorgan Chase analyst Jamie Baker, even as oil
prices rebounded from a three-year slump. That'’s creating a confidence crisis for investors, who recently sent airlines
to the biggest drop since 2015 when United Continental announced an aggressive
expansion plan. The No. 3 U.S. carrier is hardly alone. Southwest Airlines,
JetBlue Airways and Alaska Air are also planning to grow faster than the
economy. The worry is that the only way to generate enough demand to fill the new
seats is by cutting prices. And that risks triggering fresh fare wars just as
profits are under pressure from rising fuel costs.
Capacity is starting to increase faster than demand,” said Samuel Engel,
senior vice president at consultant ICF. “At that point any one carrier starts
to say, ‘I’d rather add capacity and try to steal share than support a fare
increase across the industry.’”
A Standard & Poor’s index is still more than 8 percent lower than before
United disclosed its growth plans.
It’'s a competitive business, and one carrier’s attempt to raise fares can be
another’s opportunity to win new customers with bargain prices. But one reason
investors including Warren Buffett have bought airline shares is the expectation
that after years of industry consolidation, carriers will be able to maintain
steady profits, thanks in part to stronger pricing power.
Delta and American Airlines, the two biggest carriers, have slowed their
expansion in recent years to let demand catch up with supply — and make it
easier to charge more for tickets. They’re boosting capacity only 2.5 percent
this year, roughly in line with growth expectations for gross domestic product,
a barometer of travel demand.
A slower seat expansion helped defuse fare wars that began in 2015 and flared
up again last summer before subsiding later in the year. And with the improving
economy, it’s possible airlines will still be able to boost passenger revenue
for each seat flown a mile, a proxy for pricing power, despite all the capacity
"“We think the fare environment will be strong enough to offset
higher-than-expected capacity growth out of United,” David Vernon, an analyst at
Sanford C. Bernstein, said. “"The fare environment will
surprise to the upside against now lower expectations through the first three
quarters of 2018.”"
But a fast-growing supply of seats will be a headwind for efforts to raise
fares. United reignited concern with its plan to expand as much as 6 percent
each year through 2020. JetBlue said it would boost 2018 capacity as much as 8.5
percent, Alaska Air has targeted 7.5 percent and Southwest will grow about 5
percent. Total industry capacity will increase about 5.5 percent, said George
Ferguson, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. For now, “airlines don’'t have pricing power,” he said. It will be difficult
for carriers to raise fares this year enough to offset the higher cost of fuel,
“unless somebody modifies their expansion plans, especially United and
Southwest, which pioneered the discount model, is a frequent holdout from
rivals’ attempts to raise fares. JPMorgan’'s Baker said an increase recently
failed when United didn't match it.
Deep discounter Spirit Airlines and other smaller carriers should be eager to
see fares climb as they face higher labor and fuel prices, said Andrew Davis, an
analyst at the T. Rowe Price Group, the largest shareholder at American, and an
investor in United, Delta and Southwest. The price of fuel in New York has risen
above $2 a gallon, about 30 percent higher than a year ago.
Doug Parker, the chief executive officer of American, said on Jan. 25th that fares
“are too low for oil prices this high.” Carriers will find a way to pass on the
increase to consumers, he said, “but it takes time.” There’'s generally a gap of at least three months between when fuel climbs and
fare increases show up. Historically, airlines have dealt with rising fuel prices by paring back
capacity, said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. It’s too early for Delta to think about
adjusting its growth plans, but the carrier will be prepared to act if fuel
prices “continue on this tear,” he said.
Carriers are right to be cautious about raising fares too quickly, said Rick
Seaney, chief executive of 3 Victors, which tracks real-time air fare purchases.
There’s a risk that when ticket prices increase enough to cover the cost of
fuel, that can also discourage some travel. Of the 2 million passengers flying on a given day, 1 percent to 3 percent
may not have taken that trip had the price been $1 or $3 more,” Seaney said.
“Each one of those passengers had a breaking point where they wouldn'’t have
flown. One more dollar and you broke the camel’s
back.”The parting shots
Researchers using a high-tech aerial mapping technique have found tens
of thousands of previously undetected Mayan houses, buildings, defense
works and pyramids in the dense jungle of Guatemala's Peten region.
Pope Francis' recent decision to replace two Chinese bishops loyal to
Rome with selectees of the country's communist government, heralding his
broader moves to reset the Vatican's ties with Beijing, has drawn cries
Archaeologists in Egypt have unveiled the newly discovered tomb of an
ancient priestess that dates back 4,400 years. The tomb found near Cairo
is adorned with well-preserved and rare wall paintings depicting the
While promoting her new book, Brave
, in New York City, actress Rose McGowan got
into a verbal altercation with a trans woman over a question about
transphobic comments she made in the past. The incident has led McGowan
to cancel all upcoming public appearances. "I have given enough," she
And the U.K.'s first private police force has solved hundreds of crimes the police are too busy to look at. The new force has a 100% conviction rate and is now investigating murders. Page 2