Is Augmented Reality the Next Frontier in Flight Training

An Air Force-backed augmented-reality company plans to demonstrate airborne technology in November that it says could do away with Red Air training. Red 6 Aerospace’s software simulates enemies that pilots can fight during live flights. Rather than hooking up users to a closed, indoor system, the simulation works outside and adjusts as the user moves, according to creator Dan Robinson. He argues the invention can stop the Air Force’s dependence on expensive, traditional simulators and adversary air contracts while freeing up Red Air pilots for other missions. But some within the service caution there’s still more to learn about augmented and virtual reality systems. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

Air Force Creates New PEO for NGAD, Applying “Digital Century Series” Idea

Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper stood up a new program executive office for Advanced Aircraft at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio on Oct. 2. The new organization will focus solely on the rapid development and production of new combat aircraft that will complement the F-22 and F-35 in the air superiority role, a program previously known as Next-Generation Air Dominance. The new office will apply what Roper has described as the “Digital Century Series” approach, using agile software development, modularity and digital design to swiftly build, test, and field up to 100 aircraft at a time before moving on to a new platform. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.

Restored B-17 “Nine-O-Nine” Crashes in Connecticut

A restored B-17G Flying Fortress, nicknamed “Nine-O-Nine,” crashed the morning of Oct. 2 at the Bradley International Airport outside Hartford, Conn., killing multiple people. The World War II-era B-17 was restored and operated by the nonprofit Collings Foundation as part of its educational Wings of Freedom Tour. Thirteen people were aboard—three crew members and 10 passengers—at the time of the crash. The Associated Press reported midday Oct. 2 that at least five people died in the crash. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

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Milley’s First Message as Chairman Emphasizes Joint Force Development

Army Gen. Mark Milley, in his first message to service members as the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outlined his key priorities of increasing readiness and ensuring the military improves its joint operations. “Today, we face a complex and volatile global security environment with a wide range of challenges,” Milley wrote in the Oct. 1 message. “We will meet those challenges and we stand ready to keep the peace, and, if necessary, win the war on the land, at sea, in the air, in space, and cyberspace.” His priorities include: sustaining values, improving joint warfighting readiness, developing and empowering a future joint force and its leaders, and taking care of people and families. “It is the honor of a lifetime to continue to serve alongside of you to ensure this experiment in liberty is passed to the next generation,” Milley wrote. —Brian Everstine

ANG Command Chief “Cautiously Optimistic” on Suicide Prevention Effort

The Command Chief Master Sergeant of the Air National Guard says he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the effect recent suicide prevention discussions are having across the Guard force, as the component continues to hold those talks over the next few months. Air Force leaders earlier this year ordered wings to stop most operations for a day to talk about mental health and personal resilience, facing a suicide epidemic that, as of mid-September, had taken the lives of 100 airmen in 2019. Though the Active Duty Air Force wrapped up its daylong stand-downs last month, ANG has until December to hold its “Resilience Tactical Pause” days. Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.

Malmstrom, Vandenberg Launch Unarmed ICBM in Test

Air Force Global Strike Command early Oct. 2 launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., in a test the command says was planned long in advance. The test launch, handled by a crew from the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., took place at 1:13 a.m. local time. It took place shortly after North Korea fired what was likely a submarine-based ballistic missile. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

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The headline of the Oct. 2 Daily Report—”OTS Graduates Its Largest Class Ever; USAF Places Large Munitions Orders; ULA Gets $1.2 Billion for NRO Launches”—mischaracterized the size of OTS Class 19-07, known as the “Godzilla” class. It was the biggest Officer Training School class since the school moved to Maxwell AFB, Ala., in 1993.



Afghan Forces Still at the Mercy of US Air Support Despite Huge Investment into Afghan Air Force

US aircraft dropped more bombs in Afghanistan in the month of August than during the past six years for that month as peace negotiations between the Taliban and US entered into the final stages. According to an airstrike roll up provided by US Air Forces Central Command, US aircraft dropped 783 munitions in August. Military Times

Al-Shabaab Terrorist Targeted in US Airstrike, Baledogle Attack Update

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, US Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab terrorist near Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, Sept. 30. AFRICOM release

Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve Monthly Civilian Casualty Report

In the month of August, CJTF-OIR carried over 97 open reports from previous months and received two new reports. Out of the 20 completed civilian-casualty allegation assessment reports it completed, seven reports were determined to be credible and resulted in 22 unintentional civilian deaths. CJTF – OIR release

Trump Tweeted “Billions of Dollars” Would Be Saved on Military Contracts. Then the Pentagon Fired the Official Doing That.

Shay Assad, who is now retired, says the issues he brought up involved potentially billions of dollars in waste and fraud, and still aren’t being addressed. It’s a claim that’s backed up by multiple interviews conducted by Yahoo News with Assad and those who worked with him at the Pentagon, as well as by documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Yahoo! News

The Pentagon Has Created a New Office Solely Focused on China. Is That a Good Idea

Since the release of the National Defense Strategy in early 2018, top Pentagon officials have stressed that the department needs to keep its focus on the long-term challenge from China. Now, with the creation of a new office focused solely on China, officials in the department hope to take a major step forward in that effort. Defense News

Romney, Lee Urge Pentagon to Keep New Utah Missile Project on Track

Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney joined six other senators, including one Democrat, in a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper saying any delay in the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program risks undermining US defense capabilities at home and abroad. Deseret News

The Pentagon Has Officially Taken Over the Security Clearance Process

The Office of Personnel Management on Oct. 1 handed off its National Background Investigations Bureau to the Defense Department, leaving the Pentagon in charge of conducting the vast majority of government’s security clearance investigations. At midnight, NBIB officially ceased to exist, and its operations and more than 2,900 employees were subsumed by the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency. Nextgov

Bell, Collins Aerospace Unveil New Scout Helicopter Design

A Bell-Collins Aerospace Systems industry team unveiled the design for its Bell 360 Invictus aircraft, which it plans to submit for the Pentagon’s future attack reconnaissance aircraft program. The program aims to fill an important need for a scout platform following the divestment of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. National Defense Magazine

One More Thing

Courageous Canines Honored on Capitol Hill

A brave black Lab who was wounded in action while uncovering IEDs in Afghanistan; an intrepid Dutch Shepherd who helped safely evacuate a critically injured soldier; a four-footed warrior who undertook 600 missions for the State Department; and an Improvised Explosive Device Detector dog who protected those who protect us at the Pentagon have all been chosen as the 2019 recipients of American Humane’s Lois Pope K-9 Medal of Courage. Read more about the four US military working dogs who were honored last month on Capitol Hill. American Humane release