CBO Sets Space Corps Estimate at $3.6 Billion

The Congressional Budget Office on June 26 set its cost estimate for standing up a Space Corps within the Air Force to $3.6 billion, after predicting in May the price of a new service could reach $4.3 billion. In a previous report, CBO said the annual cost of staffing and standing up a service would sit between $820 million and $1.3 billion. Its updated analysis argues the Pentagon would spend $2.3 billion on recurring personnel costs spread over five years, hitting $1 billion annually by 2024. The report also projected one-time construction and renovation costs could range between $1.1 billion and $3 billion. Now, the nonpartisan financial scoring group estimates one-time costs would total $1.4 billion between 2020 and 2024, with some additional expenses after 2024. However, the organization warned costs could significantly fluctuate as the government refines and implements its plan for a new space service. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

B-2, F-22, Air Force One to Fly Over DC on July 4

A USAF B-2, F-22s, and a VC-25—known as Air Force One when the President is on board—will fly over Washington, D.C., on July 4th as part of President Donald Trump’s planned celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. Other participating aircraft including US Marine Corps F-35s, the Blue Angels, and the next Marine One. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

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A-10 Hits Bird, Drops Training Bombs

An A-10 from Moody AFB, Ga. accidentally dropped three inert training munitions when it hit a bird during a July 2 training mission. Where exactly the BDU-33s landed is unclear, but the Air Force suspects they fell about 50 miles southwest of the base, near a highway in Florida. The nearly two-foot, blue, non-explosive bombs still carry a pyrotechnic charge and shouldn’t be touched, the service said in a press release. BDU-33s stand in for a 500-pound bomb during training. An investigation is underway. —Rachel S. Cohen

USAF Stands Up Air Force Medical Readiness Agency

The Air Force stood up a new field operating agency and retired the Air Force Medical Operations Agency and the Air Force Medical Support Agency in a June 28 ceremony at the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Va., according to a July 1 Air Force Surgeon General release. The Air Force Medical Readiness Agency, which was mandated by the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, will run point on "medical readiness programs, expeditionary medical capabilities,” and the service’s readiness-centric mission-support requirements, while helping Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg come up with policies to back up “major commands and base-level unit missions,” the release said. Hogg said the new agency will be laser-focused on readiness, while the Defense Health Agency will eventually take ownership of health benefit delivery. Brig. Gen. Mark Koeniger, who previously led Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s 711th Human Performance Wing and will serve as AFMRA’s first commander, said the agency will help USAF increase its responsiveness to new readiness demands, and provide better support to major commands’ and military treatment facilities’ readiness efforts. The agency is slated to become fully operational next year. ––Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory

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New Air Force Medical Program Aims to Get More Airmen Deployable

The Air Force is planning to reorganize its medical personnel teams in an effort to help sick airmen get healthy and off the non-deployable list. Military.com

Air Force Backtracks on Short Re-enlistment Bonus Deadline

The Air Force on July 1 reversed course and announced that some airmen in medical career fields—who were within days of losing their eligibility for thousands of dollars in re-enlistment bonuses—will now have until the end of July to decide. Air Force Times

Europeans Urge Iran to Abide by Nuclear Pact; Israel Says Preparing Military

European signatories to a nuclear pact with Iran said on July 2 they were “extremely concerned” by Tehran’s apparent breach of the 2015 deal, as Israel said it was preparing for possible involvement in any confrontation between Iran and the United States. Reuters

One More Thing

A Mysterious Fast Radio Burst Was Traced to a Galaxy 3.6 Billion Light-Years Away

For the first time, a single burst of cosmic radio waves has been traced to its point of origin: in this case, a galaxy about 3.6 billion light-years from Earth. CNN