The Air Force and Northrop Grumman completed the preliminary design review of the Air Operations Center Weapon System, thereby enabling the company’s modernization work to enter the detailed design phase, according to the company. The in-depth review, held at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Newport News, Va., served as a forum for Air Force, Northrop Grumman, and other industry officials to review and approve the AOC WS preliminary design, states Northrop Grumman’s Feb. 14 release. “Our collaboration with the Air Force accomplished an important risk-reduction activity and verified our ability to quickly and affordably deliver critical capabilities,” said Mike Twyman, Northrop Grumman’s general manager of information defense systems. Northrop Grumman last year won the contract to modernize the AOCs, with the goal of increasing their operational effectiveness and reducing their ownership costs. The AOCs are the command and control hubs in which airmen and other military personnel execute air campaigns and coordinate cyber and space activities in support of combatant commanders. The company will upgrade the AOCs to the 10.2 standard. Initial operations with the AOC upgrade are expected to commence in mid decade.
The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness revised the Defense Department’s COVID-19 guidelines. The new rules clarify what’s meant by being “up to date” on vaccinations and when personnel must wear masks in vehicles, among other changes.