Daily Report

April 10, 2020

Editor's Note

An entry in the April 9 Daily Report misstated the cause of the emergency landing of an A-10 at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The aircraft's landing gear did not deploy, causing the aircraft to skid to a stop on the runway. The story has been updated.
B-1B Lancer Aerial Refuel

Ray Touts ‘Clean-Sheet’ Arsenal Plane, Hypersonics, B-1 Recovery, End of Bomber CAS

A new-design aircraft to fill the arsenal plane concept is in the offing at Air Force Global Strike Command, according to its commander, Gen. Tim Ray. In a press telecon, he discussed the concept, along with USAF's preferred air-launched hypersonic missile, recovery in the B-1 fleet, and AFGSC exiting the close air support mission to focus on long-range strike, as outlined in the National Defense Strategy.
April 9 Town Hall

DOD Officials: Continued Coronavirus Response Will Take ‘Sacrifice’

The likely continuation of the military’s stop movement order, and the related extension of deployments and pause in change of station moves, will require continued sacrifice but is necessary to protect the force from the new coronavirus outbreak, top military officials said. “We don’t want to do anything that places the health of our force at risk,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said during a live-streamed town hall April 9. “If that means further delay, then that means further delay.” The Pentagon in mid-March ordered all movement of forces to stop, including those who are deployed to combat zones or forces getting ready to change assignments. Leaders said this order will likely extend into the summer.
Nebraska Airmen board KC-135 Stratotanker for overseas deployment

DOD: Incentive Pay Still Available Despite COVID-19 Impacts

Airmen who are eligible for special incentive pay but are not able to meet the requirements because of the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak should still receive that money, according to new Pentagon guidance. The Defense Department on April 9 issued a fact sheet for COVID-19-related benefits issues, specifically addressing aviation incentive pay for airmen who may not be able to fly enough to meet the required threshold or hazardous duty pay for service members who because of the stop movement are not on their expected orders.
609 AOC showcases mission to Sumter civic leaders

Social Distancing Inside Air Operations Centers During a Pandemic

Air Operations Centers are critical command and control nodes that typically involve a lot of people sitting close together in a confined space. So how does the Air Force maintain that mission while also protecting its personnel during a global pandemic? Air Force Magazine talked to three of the service's AOCs to see how they are tackling social distancing, COVID-19 prevention, and operational continuity.
Russian IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft

F-22s Intercept Russian Patrol Aircraft Near Alaska

F-22s, supported by a KC-135 Stratotanker and an E-3 Sentry, intercepted two Russian IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft near Alaska on April 8, the latest in a series of similar incidents in the region. The Raptors intercepted the Russian propeller-driven planes in the Bering Sea, north of the Aleutian Islands, and out of U.S. and Canadian sovereign airspace, according to a North American Aerospace Defense Command release. “This is the latest of several occasions in the past month in which we have intercepted Russian aircraft operating near Alaska and the approaches to our nations,” USAF Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, leader of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, said in the release.
HH-60 rain testing

Jolly Green II Exposed to Extreme Weather in Tests

The Air Force’s new combat rescue helicopter recently faced extreme temperatures and winds to prove the HH-60W Jolly Green II can be sustainable in any environment. The helicopter on April 2 finished a month-long test process at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in which it faced temperatures ranging from 120 degrees to negative 60 degrees Fahrenheit, along with 45 mph winds and rainfall, according to a base release. The recently named Jolly Green II is under production as part of a $7.1 billion program, with a planned buy of 112 helicopters to replace the current HH-60G Pave Hawk. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.
45th Space Wing Successfully Supports Atlas V AEHF-6 launch at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Eastern Range Cautiously Continuing Space Ops

Florida’s 45th Space Wing is aiming to keep as much regular order as possible as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, reviewing launch plans and hoping the virus remains at bay. Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aim to execute 49 military and commercial launches in 2020. While the Space Force is deciding whether to go forward with each event on a case-by-case basis, the Florida Space Coast has put eight rockets into orbit so far this year and expects it will stick to its overall plan for 49 launches, even if some launch dates shift. “I don’t see a ripple yet. I’m not saying that that can’t happen,” Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Doug Schiess said on an April 9 call with reporters. “If we were to have folks that were to get sick, not just us, if our launch providers or if something else were to happen, obviously that could push some launches into the next year.”

Virtual Events: AETC COVID-19 Briefing

Today, Air Education and Training Command boss Lt. Gen. Brad Webb will discuss how his command is working to simultaneously sustain mission-essential training and safeguard Airmen amid the new coronavirus pandemic during a remote Pentagon press briefing at 11 a.m. EDT.

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.

First Public Map Reveals Military Bases with Coronavirus Cases as Pentagon Secrecy Draws Backlash

Newsweek

More than 150 military bases in 41 states have been hit with coronavirus, according to new information exclusively obtained by Newsweek. The Pentagon on April 8 also said that the armed forces had surpassed 3,000 cases, more than doubling their number of people tested positive for coronavirus in less than a week's time. The scope of geographic spread among the military in the United States mirrors the civilian world and also shows few signs of abating.

Senate Armed Services Shelves 'Paper Hearing' Plans

The Hill

The Senate Armed Services Committee has put its plan to hold “paper hearings” during the coronavirus crisis on ice after one hearing. “When the committee first laid out the concept of ‘paper hearings,’ we understood that, being in uncharted territory, we would remain flexible and re-assess the process as conditions changed,” panel spokeswoman Marta Hernandez said in an April 9 statement.

General Atomics Demos MQ-9B UAV Flying in National Airspace for NASA

FlightGlobal

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has flown its MQ-9B SkyGuardian unmanned air vehicle in the U.S. airspace as part of an experiment for NASA. The company flew a special variant of the military aircraft on April 3 over Southern California as part of the NASA Systems Integration and Operationalization demonstration program it said on April 6.

One More Thing

Steve Carell Takes on Space in the First Images for Netflix’s Space Force

Polygon

“The Office” may be leaving Netflix eventually to spread its wings on NBC’s Peacock, but another workplace comedy starring Steve Carell will rise up to take its place. Enter Space Force, a workplace comedy by the creator of “The Office” (U.S.), centered around a gaggle of government employees tasked with creating a sixth branch of the U.S. military. The—you guessed it—SPACE FORCE. The series is set for a May 29 premiere.