Andersen Remains Ready

Goldfein on How USAF Is Generating Airpower in the ‘New Abnormal’

The impact of the new coronavirus outbreak has been mixed for USAF flying units, with many close to the fight maintaining a high operations tempo, while training at home takes a major hit that could have lasting impacts to readiness. However, the service has faced similar cutbacks before and will be prepared to bounce back, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said in an interview with Air Force Magazine. The spread of COVID-19 forced a reset across the Air Force, beginning with a report from all major commands to senior leadership on what tasks are mission essential and others that can be curtailed. “We’ve adjusted operations in the nuclear missile fields, we’ve adjusted operations in our command and control headquarters, we’ve made adjustments in how we maintain space operations. … We’re operating in what we call the new abnormal, operating with the virus,” Goldfein said.
USAF Gen Raymond Briefs on Space Force, Spacecom and COVID-19

Russia Flexes Space Muscle with Anti-Satellite Weapon Test

Russia again flexed its muscle in space by testing a direct-ascent anti-satellite weapon on April 15, drawing criticism from U.S. Space Command. “Russia’s DA-ASAT test provides yet another example that the threats to U.S. and allied space systems are real, serious, and growing,” SPACECOM boss Gen. Jay Raymond said in a release. The command, which manages daily offensive and defensive military space operations, did not answer where the ASAT weapon was aimed, but is not tracking any space debris as a result of the test, according to spokeswoman Lt. Col. Christina Hoggatt. The DA-ASAT test comes the same day a Russian Su-35 unsafely intercepted a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea.
Vice President Mike Pence

VP Pence to Deliver In-Person Remarks at USAFA Graduation

Vice President Mike Pence will deliver an in-person address at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s April 18 graduation in Colorado Springs, Colo., amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the White House announced April 14. "The Vice President looks forward to honoring the Air Force Cadets for their remarkable achievement this Saturday," Katie Miller, Pence's press secretary, told Air Force Magazine on April 15. This year’s commencement ceremony will be closed to the public because of the new coronavirus. However, USAFA will livestream the event—which the graduating class was empowered to design—via Facebook and YouTube beginning at 11 a.m. MDT (1 p.m. EDT).
F-35A Basing

F-35A Officially Heading to Alabama, Wisconsin ANG Bases

Two Air National Guard bases in Alabama and Wisconsin will officially host the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter starting in 2023, the Air Force announced April 15. Truax Field’s 115th Fighter Wing in Wisconsin and Dannelly Field’s 187th Fighter Wing in Alabama join Burlington Air National Guard Base in Vermont as the three Air National Guard locations with the F-35 so far. Truax and Dannelly were under consideration for the past three years but needed to pass their environmental and mission requirements reviews to finalize the basing decision. Truax will swap out 21 F-16s for 18 F-35s, according to the Wisconsin National Guard. The F-35 will replace Dannelly’s F-16s as well.

Virtual Events: 6th Annual Schriever Space Forum, and More

On Nov. 20, the Air Force Association's Schriever Chapter will host the 6th Annual Schriever Space Futures Forum—a live, virtual event—featuring appearances by Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John E. Hyten, Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David D. Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center Commander Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, and incoming U.S. Space Command boss Lt. Gen. (sel.) John E. Shaw. Register for free here.

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.

White House Names Five Defense Executives to Group Focused on Reopening Country

Inside Defense

The White House announced April 14 five defense executives will serve as part of what it is calling "Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups." The names were rolled out as President Donald Trump unveiled plans to consult with business leaders on when to reopen the country, which has been shut down in most areas to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Germany Arrests 4 Islamic State Group Suspects Planning Attack on U.S. Bases

Associated Press

German authorities say police have arrested four suspected members of the Islamic State group alleged to be planning an attack on American military facilities. Federal prosecutors said the suspects were arrested by tactical police units early April 15 at various locations in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Reports of Civilian Killed in U.S. Airstrike Are Al-Shabaab Propaganda, DOD Says

Military.com

Officials with U.S. Africa Command are disputing news reports that a civilian was killed during a "precision airstrike" near Jamaame, Somalia, this month, saying the reports are based on propaganda from a terrorist group. The strike took place April 10 and killed one terrorist, according to a release from AFRICOM: "an al-Shabaab member complicit in the murder of at least six innocent Somalis."

The F-15 Eagle’s Most Advanced Production Version Performs Its First Flight

The Aviationist

Boeing announced that the F-15QA, the most advanced version of the F-15 Eagle, performed successfully its first flight from the company’s plant at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis. The flight, which lasted 90 minutes, was conducted by the chief test pilot, Matt Giese, and implemented a precise mission checklist to test the multirole aircraft’s capabilities and to check radar and avionics.

Lawmakers Urge Trump to Stop FCC from Approving Ligado Bandwidth Request

Senate Armed Services Committee press release

U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, on April 15 sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to intervene to prevent the Federal Communications Commission from granting the license modification request of Ligado Networks, which wants to use a part of the communications spectrum that will interfere with Global Positioning System reception.

NATO’s New Tool Shows the Impact of GPS Jammers

C4ISRNET

A new tool developed by NATO will help the alliance prepare for GPS jammers, allowing operational commands to see what impact the devices will have on their GPS receivers, the NATO Communications and Information Agency announced April 6.

North Korea Has Hackers for Hire, Agencies Warn

Nextgov

Officials and analysts have long associated cyberattacks for financial gain with North Korea—its economy struggles under the weight of international sanctions—but a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advisory warns the regime also conducts attacks on other entities’ behalf.