Nahom on Aerospace Nation

Nahom: ‘In a Very Perfect World We’ll Get to 220 Bombers’

The Air Force expects that the 17 B-1B bombers it's asked to retire will be the last until the type "shakes hands" with its replacement, the B-21, early in the 2030s, Lt. Gen. David Nahom, USAF's top planner, said April 16. The B-1 will get improvements and more maintainers per jet to make it more lethal and available for duty, but USAF will stay flexible in case the B-21, soon to enter testing, is delayed, Nahom reported. Production of the B-21 will be "accelerated" after it finishes testing, he added.
Keesler BMT

Goldfein: Coronavirus Will Have Long-Term Impact on BMT, Military Education

The Air Force’s steps to reduce class size in basic military training and put in place distancing measures have limited the outbreak of the new coronavirus. However, the impact of these measures will be felt for years. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, in an interview with Air Force Magazine, credited Air Education and Training Command for “thinking creatively” on how to address the COVID-19 situation, and though he said the current plan can be sustained "for a significant amount of time," there will be long-term impacts. “There will be some numbers that will, quite frankly, take years to get back because I don’t know, until we have a vaccine, what the backside of this looks like,” Goldfein said. “What we’ll actually return to, I predict, is not a return to normal. It will be a return to a new abnormal, and that will be operating with the virus.”
Roper Testifies on March 11

Roper Asks Congress for Aerospace Industry Support

Air Force acquisition boss Will Roper is seeking more congressional help for the defense industrial base as companies find their new business rhythm in the coronavirus era. “We’re transitioning into the new steady state. The number of new discoveries is going down and that’s good,” Roper told reporters April 16. “It’s allowing our workforce to get a more predictable posture, work ahead of issues we predict will happen.” Roper struck an optimistic note that the Air Force’s procurement priorities and its contractors can make it through the crisis. He is discussing a four-part wish list with Capitol Hill to assist in those efforts.

New Air Force One Moving Forward Despite Pandemic

The effort to replace Air Force One is moving along smoothly despite the new coronavirus, and has essentially completed a key design milestone, USAF acquisition boss Will Roper said April 16. Program officials held the critical design review online rather than coming together in person during the pandemic, a practice that Roper touted as an easy and efficient model for the future. As commercial air travel grinds to a halt due to stay-at-home orders across the country, Roper indicated VC-25B manufacturer Boeing is repurposing that workforce to handle commercial-derivative programs like the new Air Force One, which is based on the 747-8. He doesn’t expect the pandemic will delay the development and production of the two jets.
The Republic of North Macedonia Flag Raising Ceremony at SHAPE

EUCOM, NATO Prioritizing Deterrence Missions While Scaling Down Exercises

U.S. forces in Europe continue to meet key missions, including air policing and an enhanced forward presence for deterrence, even as major exercises are downsized or outright canceled, the head of U.S. European Command said. USAF Gen. Tod Wolters, EUCOM boss and NATO Supreme Allied Commander-Europe, told reporters that these critical U.S. and NATO missions remain on track despite the impacts of the new coronavirus outbreak. “We’re working very, very hard to squeeze as much as we can out of what we have available, but we have preserved all of the operational missions," Wolters said.

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.

OPINION: Haircuts in a Time of Coronavirus?

Defense One

“There have been too many confusing messages during this crisis,” writes Jim Golby, a defense policy advisor at the U.S. Mission to NATO. “Senior military and civilian leaders should be enforcing social distancing as much as discipline, and with one voice.”

Iranian Vessels Conduct Unsafe, Unprofessional Interaction with U.S. Naval Forces in Arabian Gulf

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command

On April 15, eleven Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels repeatedly conducted dangerous and harassing approaches of the USS Lewis B. Puller, USS Paul Hamilton, USS Firebolt, USS Sirocco, USCGC Wrangell, and USCGC Maui, while the U.S. vessels were conducting joint integration operations with U.S. Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopters in the international waters of the North Arabian Gulf.

Thornberry Wants $6 Billion This Year to Launch Counter-China Fund

Defense News

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) is calling for the creation of an Indo-Pacific Deterrence Initiative, with a $6.09 billion investment in fiscal year 2021. The fund would be based on the European Deterrence Initiative, a special DOD fund for projects focused on deterring Russia that was set up in the wake of the annexation of Crimea.

General Officer Assignments

Defense Department release

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein on April 16 announced that Brig. Gen. Rodney Lewis and Brig. Gen. Steven Whitney have both received new assignments at the Pentagon.

DARPA Project Producing Tool to Help Anticipate Military and Industrial Systems’ Cyber Threats

Nextgov

The Verification Evidence and Resilient Design in Anticipation of Cybersecurity Threats—or VERDICT—tool aims to work across a range of computer systems, such as those for smart devices, ships, aircraft, power plants, and wind farms. The goal is to provide the systems with comprehensive assessments of cyber threats, recommend how to address vulnerabilities uncovered, and predict the potential of forthcoming attacks.

Faster Acquisition

Air Force Magazine

The Air Force is leveraging emerging technologies and new legislation to accelerate acquisition decisions and streamline sustainment. Read more here.

Air National Guard Recruiting Joins Newly Merged Total Force Lead Refinement and Call Center

USAF release

“Transitioning to the integrated lead refinement and call center is a major milestone in the Air National Guard’s Total Force recruiting initiatives,” said Brig. Gen. April Vogel, director of the National Guard Bureau’s Manpower, Personnel, Recruiting and Services. “Additional integration efforts we are currently pursuing include joining the Air Force national marketing and advertising contract, integrating positions into the AFRS staff, and conducting a pilot study to identify opportunities to integrate with Air Force recruiting squadrons.”