JBLM mask-making

Airmen 3D Printing, Sewing Masks to Counter COVID-19

Total Force Airmen and members of the USAF community are using high- and low-tech methods to manufacture personal protective equipment for use in the fight against the new coronavirus pandemic. Some of these efforts, which include everything from 3-D printing masks or face shields to turning base Arts and Crafts spaces into mask-masking operations, predated the Defense Department's April 5 guidance mandating the wear of fabric-based face coverings at all U.S. military installations.
Landstuhl evacuation

USAF Flies First COVID-19 Positive Patients with Isolation Pods

The Air Force employed its specially designed isolation pods to transport highly contagious COVID-19 positive patients from Afghanistan to Germany on April 10, the first use of the system in the new coronavirus outbreak, while the service is also developing a more advanced version of the system. Three U.S. government contractors in Afghanistan tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and needed to be medically evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center for treatment. The team from across the Air Force and aircraft from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., had 24 hours to prepare for the mission, according to Air Mobility Command.
Boeing KC-46 delivery ceremony

Boeing to Reopen KC-46 Production Line

Boeing on April 13 reopened some of its production lines, including work on the Air Force's new KC-46 tanker, which had been closed for weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company also is restarting work on the Navy's P-8 at its Renton facility and work on the 737 MAX in Moses Lake. “Boeing’s work supporting the Department of Defense as part of the defense industrial base is a matter of national security and has been deemed critical,” the company said in a statement.
Erickson memorial service

Investigation: Parachutist’s Mistakes Caused Fatal Jump Incident at Edwards

An Air Force survival, evasion, resistance, and escape specialist died during a September 2019 parachute jump at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., because he overcontrolled his parachute, prompting an uncontrolled spin and hard landing, according to a recently released investigation. Staff Sgt. Adam Erickson, with the 412th Operations Support Squadron at Edwards, was conducting parachute training jumps from a civilian DHC-6 Twin Otter with an advanced parachute system for the Air Force’s Test Parachutist Program at the time, according to an Accident Investigation Board report.

AIB: Inert Bomb Dropped on Private Property Near Misawa Due to Pilot Error

An F-16 pilot mistakenly dropped an inert bomb on private property near Misawa Air Base, Japan, in November because of a failure of communication, according to a recently released Pacific Air Forces investigation into the incident. On Nov. 6, 2019, an F-16 with the 14th Fighter Squadron was flying a suppression of enemy air defense upgrade training sortie at the Draughon Range north of the base. As part of the mission, the F-16 relied on targeting from other aircraft to drop an inert GBU-12 bomb. However, the pilot did not confirm the coordinates, and dropped the bomb about 3.4 miles away from its target, according to the investigation
Virgin Orbit

VOX Space Nabs First Mission of Quick-Launch Program

Virgin Orbit subsidiary VOX Space will launch dozens of small satellites into space for the Space Force’s Orbital Services Program-4, under a $35 million contract announced April 10. For OSP-4’s first round of launches, dubbed Space Test Program-S28, VOX Space will deliver 44 satellites to low Earth orbit across three launches starting in October 2021. Onboard will be a range of experimental technologies that will further the military’s progress in areas like space domain awareness and communications.
Cannon behind the scenes: Vaccinations increase vitality

Yokota Issues Whooping Cough Warning After Employee Contracts Disease

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Yokota Air Base, Japan, is having a new kind of health scare: whooping cough. An individual who works at both the on-base Pizza Hut and the installation’s Military Clothing Store was diagnosed with the highly contagious, bacterial disease, which is formally known as pertussis, according to an April 13 post on the base's Facebook page. As a result, Yokota is advising certain groups of people who patronized the restaurant (either in-person or via delivery) or utilized military clothing services from March 20-April 2 to consult with their healthcare providers about treatment that can potentially keep them from getting the disease in case they were exposed.

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.

Pentagon Supercomputers Puzzle Out How to Safely Airlift COVID-19 Patients

Nextgov

The Defense Department’s High Performance Computing Modernization Program, or HPCMP, has been in operation for nearly two decades, delivering supercomputing capabilities and computational science expertise to advance the agency’s mission and help solve some of its most crucial challenges. Defense officials are now turning HPCMP’s supercomputing resources to overcome one of the most daunting challenges of the century: defeating the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Wright-Patterson Physicians Coordinating a New Protocol for COVID-19 Patients

USAF release

Air Force doctors Maj. Evan Fisher, Chief of Nephrology, and Maj. Matthew Koroscil, a Pulmonary and Critical Care Specialist at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center, are leading the way in coordination with the Dayton, Ohio medical community on a new drug protocol for COVID-19 patients. Their work on the project allowed Premier Health’s Miami Valley Hospital to potentially lead the country in administration of the Mayo Clinic approved plasma protocol.

Vital Treaty Monitoring Mission Continues in Wake of COVID-19 Response

USAF release

The commander of the Air Force Technical Applications Center, the organization charged with monitoring nuclear activity around the world, has made it his priority to ensure his workforce is doing all they can to make AFTAC a “hard target” while also flattening the COVID-19 curve.

OPINION: JADC2 Needs To Change Course: More C2, Less Comms

Breaking Defense

"Unless DOD puts the C2 back into JADC2, the multi-billion dollar effort meant to transform how America fights may well create the kind of brittle, centralized hierarchy the U.S. military is supposed to avoid,” write Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments Senior Fellows Bryan Clark and Dan Patt.

Rapid Acquisition & Sustainment

Air Force Magazine

The Air Force and U.S. defense establishment are breaking down barriers and injecting speed, innovation, and creativity into the procurement system. Check out our new page to learn more about these efforts.

FCC to Approve Spectrum Plan That Pentagon Claims Will Harm GPS

C4ISRNET

The Federal Communications Commission is poised to approve a draft order that would reallocate a specific portion of the radio spectrum for broadband communications, overruling a decade of strong objections from the Department of Defense. Senior Pentagon leaders warn that such a move will lead to “unacceptable” harm to the GPS system by creating new interference that could disrupt satellites critical to national security.

These States Contributed the Most Troops to America's Wars in 2019

Task and Purpose

The United States has spent upwards of $6.4 trillion on the post-9/11 wars, from outright appropriations funding to health care costs for veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. But as the Global War on Terror enters its 19th year, new research underscores how different states are bearing the human costs of the forever wars.

U.S. Welcomes Apparent Consensus on Forming a Government in Iraq: Pompeo

Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on April 13 that his country welcomes an apparent agreement among Iraq’s Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish groups to form a new government, adding it would need to be capable of confronting the coronavirus pandemic, helping the economy and bringing arms under control.

One More Thing

Thunderbirds Soar Above Las Vegas Valley to Honor Those Battling Pandemic

Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Air Force’s Thunderbirds gave residents a reason to head outside and cheer for the first time in weeks when the fighter jets performed a flyover April 11 above every hospital in the Las Vegas Valley. The sky-high honor began at 2:30 p.m. local time and was intended to recognize first responders, health care professionals, and other workers battling the coronavirus pandemic, Nellis Air Force Base officials said April 10.