Daily Report

Oct. 16, 2020
Hypersonic Research

New National Strategy Calls for Promoting, Protecting Critical Tech

The Trump Administration released a new national technology strategy on Oct. 15, which assigns investment priority to 20 technologies while calling for an all-of-government approach to develop and protect them. The Pentagon is already applying a number of the actions the new strategy lays out, such as blocking foreign adversaries trying to extract intellectual property from companies they buy a stake in. Broad initiatives in the policy call for greater investment in research and development and building a world-beating science and technology workforce.
KC-46 integrate with Valiant Shield

SECDEF Is Worried about USAF’s Current—and Future—Tanker Fleet

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on Oct. 15 said he is keeping a close eye on the modernity and readiness of the Air Force’s tanker fleet. During an on-stage discussion with Thomas Spoehr, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense, Esper also cited a need for “487 tankers,” and spoke to the urgency of both lengthening the current fleet's life and ensuring that future tankers come online in fighting shape in a timely manner.
U.S. and Israeli F-35s participate in exercise Enduring Lightning III

USAF, Israeli Air Force Team Up for Mideast F-35 Training

F-35As from the U.S. Air Force’s 421st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and F-35I “Adir” fighters from the Israeli Air Force’s 116th Squadron teamed up for Enduring Lightning III, a joint offensive counter air training exercise over Israel, on Oct. 12, according to an Air Forces Central Command release. The 908th and 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadrons provided refueling backup via KC-10 and KC-135 tankers, the release noted, while F-16I fighters from the IAF’s 115th Squadron acted as a simulated adversary force and its 122nd Squadron handled air traffic control.
Prince Sultan deployment

Shaw Airmen, F-16s Deploy to Saudi Arabia

Airmen and F-16s from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., recently deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, the 20th Fighter Wing announced. While in the Middle East, the 77th Fighter Squadron and 77th Fighter Generation Squadron personnel will be tasked with generating combat air power to help make the region more stable and secure, according to the release.
COVID-19 convalescent plasma

Esper: Military Exceeded COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Collection Goal

The Defense Department “collected nearly 11,000 units” of COVID-19 convalescent plasma by the end of fiscal 2020—almost 3,000 units more than its original goal—Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper announced during an Oct. 15 Heritage Foundation event. Donations of blood plasma containing antibodies for the new coronavirus may boost the ability of eligible recipients’ immune systems to fight the pathogen, the Air Force wrote in July.

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.

How Will Trump and Biden Handle Veterans Issues?

Military Times

In anticipation of the upcoming presidential election, Military Times partnered with a dozen veterans organizations earlier this year to ask the major party candidates about their views on key issues facing the veterans community. Each campaign was presented the same set of questions and agreed to provide video responses to the veterans groups. Earlier this month, President Donald J. Trump’s campaign instead provided his answers in a series of written responses. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign provided videos addressing the questions.

Pentagon Has Big Plans for ‘Project Convergence’ in 2021

National Defense Magazine

The Defense Department is expanding an Army initiative known as "Project Convergence," with plans to bring in other services and international allies for the next iteration of the effort, the Pentagon's top official said Oct 15. The project is a new series of exercises meant to help the service prepare to operate in a multi-domain battlefield and test new technologies such as artificial intelligence.

Boeing, General Atomics Team Up for HEL

Inside Defense

Boeing and General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems on Oct. 13 announced a new partnership to offer the U.S. military speed-of-light-weapons for air and missile defense, specifically 100kW- to 250kW-class high-energy lasers. The partnership combines Boeing's beam director precision acquisition, tracking and pointing software with General Atomics' scalable distributed gain laser technology, according to a joint statement from the companies.

North Korea Unveils ‘Very Destabilizing’ ICBM

Defense One

Two ballistic missiles made their debut in Oct. 10’s North Korean military parade: a sub-launched weapon and what appeared to be an enormous new intercontinental ballistic missile borne on a long, 11-axle mobile launcher.

One More Thing

75 Great Airmen

Air Force Historical Foundation

Spaatz, Doolittle, Schriever, Pitsenbarger, Cunningham … and who else makes your list of 75 Great Airmen? Help the Air Force Historical Foundation launch a book project to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the United States Air Force, coming up in 2022. The criteria: on Active duty from September 1947 onwards. A moment of greatness, or a lifetime of great accomplishment, or both.