Daily Report

Jan. 27, 2021

Lawmakers Urge Biden to Rethink USSPACECOM’s Move to Alabama

Colorado’s congressional delegation is pushing President Joe Biden to review the Trump administration’s recent decision to move U.S. Space Command headquarters to Huntsville, Ala., in a Jan. 26 letter signed by all nine senators and representatives. “Our national security should be the most important consideration for this critical basing decision,” lawmakers wrote. “This decision will uproot the service members and civilians currently conducting the mission in Colorado and remove them from the nexus of military and intelligence space operations. It will undermine our national security mission and our superiority in space.” SPACECOM boss Gen. James H. Dickinson, speaking during an AFA Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event, said changing cities wouldn’t harm the command’s capabilities.
Dichinson Mitchell event

Space Planning Teams Grow Across Defense Department

U.S. Space Command now has a planning team embedded in “about seven” other combatant commands, spurring broader use of space assets in everyday operations, Gen. James H. Dickinson said Jan. 26. That leaves only a few combatant commands without an integrated planning element for space, though the SPACECOM boss did not say which ones have yet to stand up their own group. The teams help ensure that each organization accounts for space assets like satellites and radars in their daily missions—what they can do, how they should be protected, and if they are available—as well as offering a line back to SPACECOM about how best to support regional operations, Dickinson said at an event hosted by AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.
F-35s from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and F-16s from Misawa Air Base, Japan, will practice operating from this remote airstrip at Northwest Field, next to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, which is typically reserved for C-130 and helicopter operations. USAF photo by Capt. Andrew G. Hoskinson.

F-35s, F-16s to Operate from Austere Airfield on Guam During Cope North

Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, will soon prove the ability of small groups of Airmen to turn fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft on a flight line the base's commander called a “no-kidding remote environment.” The exercise, part of this year's iteration of Cope North, is one of many that fall under the Agile Combat Employment concept, aimed at increasing USAF's ability to use austere locations for combat operations. “China and Russia can increasingly hold overseas U.S. bases at risk. To adapt, the Air Force must evolve from its dependence on well-established airfields or risk building an operational edge,” said Brig. Gen. Jeremy T. Sloane, commander of the 36th Wing at Andersen, during an Air Force Association “Air and Space Warfighters in Action” virtual event.
Tu-142

2 Russian Tu-142s Enter Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone

North American Aerospace Defense Command on Jan. 25 tracked two Russian maritime patrol aircraft entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone. NORAD tracked the two Tu-142s in international airspace, and they didn’t enter the sovereign airspace of either the United States or Canada. No U.S. or Canadian aircraft scrambled to intercept, according to a NORAD release.
Maj Gen. William Cooley addresses SBIR Pitch Day

Article 32 Hearing for Former AFRL Boss Delayed

The Air Force has pushed back the Article 32 preliminary hearing until Feb. 8 for Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley, the former head of the Air Force Research Laboratory who faces a sexual assault charge. The Department announced in November that an investigation found evidence of “misconduct” by Cooley, with the referral of one charge. He is accused of “making unwanted sexual advances by kissing and touching a female victim” on Aug. 12, 2018, in Albuquerque, N.M., the Air Force said at the time.
Gulf War Oil

30 Years After Desert Storm: Jan. 27

In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, Air Force Magazine is posting daily recollections from the six-week war, which expelled Iraq from occupied Kuwait.

Radar Sweep

Snapshot: DOD and COVID-19

Air Force Magazine

Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pentagon Restricted Commander of D.C. Guard Ahead of Capitol Riot

The Washington Post

The commander of the D.C. National Guard said the Pentagon restricted his authority ahead of the riot at the U.S. Capitol, requiring higher level sign-off to respond that cost time as the events that day spiraled out of control. Local commanders typically have the power to take military action on their own to save lives or prevent significant property damage in an urgent situation when there isn’t enough time to obtain approval from headquarters.

Lockheed Martin Posts Rare Profit Miss as Pandemic Hits F-35 Deliveries

Reuters

Lockheed Martin Corp on Jan. 26 missed profit estimates for the first time in the last eight quarters as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted deliveries of the U.S. weapons maker’s F-35 jets and caused supplier delays. Shares of the company fell about 1.9 percent, after the company said fourth-quarter deliveries of its F-35 jets fell to 42 from 51 a year earlier.

Agent Orange Exposure Doubles Risk of Developing Dementia, Study Finds

Military.com

A new study of more than 300,000 Vietnam-era U.S. veterans has found that those who were exposed to Agent Orange are nearly twice as likely to develop dementia as those who were not. The new finding, published Monday in JAMA Neurology, is among the most substantial to date linking cognitive decline with chemicals used for defoliation during the Vietnam War.

Defiant-X: Sikorsky, Boeing Unveil FLRAA Design

Breaking Defense

The companies’ proposed Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) to replace the UH-60 is a sleeker, stealthier version of the prototype SB-1 Defiant now in flight tests. Can it beat Bell’s tiltrotor?

Afghanistan Veteran Named as Pentagon's 'COVID-19 Coordinator'

Military.com

Afghanistan veteran and former Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y. )—the Pentagon's new "COVID-19 coordinator"—joined Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Jan. 22 for their first meeting with the service chiefs and combatant commanders on efforts to control the pandemic.

U.S. Airstrikes in Somalia Continue at Rapid Pace Even After Force Relocation

Military Times

Airstrikes targeting terrorists in Somalia have continued at a rapid pace since troops were relocated from the country earlier this month. AFRICOM has conducted three airstrikes against al-Shabab compounds and key leaders in Somalia since Jan. 15, as an estimated 700 troops withdrew from the country on orders from former President Donald Trump.

One More Thing

Air Force Museum to Open New Hands-On Space Exhibit

Dayton.com

A new interactive exhibit designed to inspire new generations of space explorers will be on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force from Jan. 28 to Sept. 6. The exhibit is titled “SPACE: A Journey to Our Future,” according to a news release from the Air Force Museum. It allows visitors to experience explorations of the past and the future in space.