DOD Tests New Intermediate-Range Cruise Missile

The Defense Department on Aug. 18 conducted a test of a new, intermediate-range, ground-based cruise missile, about two weeks after the withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. A mobile launcher fired the conventionally configured cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, Calif., and it accurately “impacted its target” more than 500 kilometers away, according to a Pentagon statement. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

AMC Nearing Completion of C-130 Inspections, With One Impacted Aircraft Discovered

Air Mobility Command has inspected 107 of the 123 C-130s pulled from service earlier this month, discovering just one that had the “atypical cracks” on the wing joint that prompted the large-scale inspection process. As of Aug. 16, 106 of the 107 inspected aircraft have returned to service, with the last one undergoing “appropriate measures” to address and repair the issue, AMC spokeswoman Rose Riley told Air Force Magazine in an email. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

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Thunderbirds, F-35As, Blue Angels, Red Arrows to Fly Together Over Hudson River

The Air Force Thunderbirds Demonstration Team will join some of the finest fliers from the US and UK militaries in an Aug. 22 aerial parade over the Hudson River in New York City. The six Thunderbirds F-16s will join two USAF F-35As, the US Navy Blue Angels’ six F/A-18s, and nine Royal Air Force Red Arrows’ Hawk T1s in the event, which will kick off around 9:30 a.m., according to an Aug. 16 release. The parade was made possible by a stroke of scheduling luck, since the three demonstration teams are all conducting demonstrations in the New York area on Aug. 24-25. The aircraft will follow the river to Liberty Island before returning back up the river. The Thunderbirds will then return to Rochester International Airport, with the other aircraft flying to Stewart Airport. —Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory

Travis Maintenance Squadron First to Produce Certified, 3D-Printed Parts

The 60th Maintenance Squadron at Travis AFB, Calif., is the Air Force’s first-ever field unit to be equipped with a Federal Aviation Administration- and USAF-certified 3D printer capable of producing aircraft parts. So far, the technology has been used to produce replacement latrine covers for the C-5M Super Galaxy. But in the long term, the squadron’s maintenance shop wants to be able to manufacture any products any USAF organization might need—aircraft parts or otherwise, according to a Travis release. Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.

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USAFE’s African Partnership Flight in Kenya Begins

US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa this week kicked off a five-day African Partnership Flight at Laikipia AB, Kenya. This iteration of the command’s premier training and engagement program, headquartered at Laikipia, includes participation from Burundi, Tanzania, and Uganda, in addition to the US and Kenya. The APF program aims to strengthen American partnerships across Africa, with APF Kenya specifically focusing on combat search and rescue, wilderness survival, and operational and tactical personnel recovery preparation, according to a USAFE release. The APF program began in 2012, with previous iterations taking place across the continent. Last year’s APF Senegal included personnel from the West Virginia Air National Guard and USAFE training alongside more than 70 pilots from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, and Togo. The first APF in Kenya took place in 2016. —Brian Everstine



A Decadelong Program to “Turn the Tide” in Afghanistan is Ending, Long after Military Shifted Its Focus

A 10-year military program aimed at creating cultural experts in Central Asia will shut down next year, ending what some Afghanistan veterans said was a once-promising effort that fell victim to shifting Pentagon priorities and leadership changes. The Afghanistan-Pakistan Hands program trained about 1,000 troops in local languages before sending them as advisers on a four-year commitment with overseas rotations, a tour that promised to build expertise but chased away those worried it would kill their chances at reaching career milestones critical to promotions. Stars and Stripes (partial paywall)

US Missile Defense Agency Boss Reveals His Goals, Challenges on the Job

The Missile Defense Agency has a new director, Vice Admiral Jon Hill, who will be tasked to carry out major missile defense endeavors laid out in the Missile Defense Review released in January. Defense News sat down with Hill in an exclusive interview at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Ala., to discuss his goals and the challenges ahead. Defense News

Goldfein: No “Let-Up” in Freedom of Navigation Operations in South China Sea

The US Air Force’s chief of staff says there are no plans to reduce freedom of navigation operations in or over the South China Sea, which China cites as the source of increased tensions in the region. Speaking to reporters in Manila on Aug. 16, Gen. Dave Goldfein said, “There will be no let-up in our willingness or our ability to fly or sail where we need to and when we need to.” Associated Press via Air Force Times

Al Dhafra Welcomes New Air Warfare Center Commander

Col. Thomas Wolfe took command of the Air Warfare Center during a ceremony June 19, presided by Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, US Air Forces Central Command commander. The AWC was activated in July 2011 to focus on the integration of multinational forces with an emphasis on providing pilots experience of commanding, planning and executing missions in realistic scenarios. USAF release

Viasat Taps Blue Canyon Technologies to Build Link 16 Satellite

Viasat selected Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) to design and manufacture a cubesat for a US Air Force test of a military communications terminal in low Earth orbit. BCT announced plans Aug. 19 to build a 12-unit cubesat bus equipped with Viasat’s Link 16 terminal to launch in 2020. Space News

It’s Official: Defense Department Will Use Other Agencies’ Cloud Security Assessments

The Defense Information Systems Agency announced a provisional authorization Aug. 15 that will speed up cloud deployments by eliminating some of the Defense Department’s oversight over security authorizations. Defense components had been waiting on the rule, which will allow them to purchase and deploy cloud products and services at the moderate security level—impact level two—without having to ask for written permission. Nextgov

Israel Meets with UAE, Declares It’s Joining Persian Gulf Coalition

Israel’s Foreign Minister has met with at least one senior official in Abu Dhabi and agreed to provide intelligence and other assistance to the new US-led coalition designed to provide security against Iran in the Persian Gulf. Breaking Defense

Blue Angels Jets Made Contact Midair During Tight Diamond 360 Maneuver

The Navy’s elite Blue Angels pilots broke out of formation on Aug. 14 and landed immediately after two of their jets touched while practicing a maneuver that puts them in extremely close proximity.

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Plans Detailed for First US Mission to Land on Moon Since Apollo

The first American spacecraft expected to land on the moon in nearly 50 years will be an unmanned robotic lander built by closely held Astrobotic Technology Inc and launched in two years by United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket, the companies told Reuters on Aug 19. The mission will ferry technology and experiments to the moon under a NASA program that will lay the groundwork for astronaut trips by 2024 under the optimistic schedule laid out by the Trump administration. Reuters