Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. SASC Testimony

CSAF Nominee Seeks Roles and Missions Review

Pacific Air Forces boss Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. is arguing for a wholesale refresh of the Air Force’s roles and missions as he prepares to take the service’s top job. Brown, a decorated combat pilot, faced the Senate Armed Services Committee May 7 during a confirmation hearing to become the Air Force’s 22nd Chief of Staff. In answers to advance policy questions provided to the committee, Brown made the case for a sweeping review of what work the service should manage. There’s no better time to consider those changes than during the first few years of a new National Defense Strategy and the infancy of the Space Force, and in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
Forward Power Projection in the 21st Century Panel

Brown Vows New Measures to Boost USAF Readiness

The Air Force inspector general is conducting a sweeping review of the service’s readiness assessments and reporting, the year after a Pentagon-wide order directed the armed forces to improve the state of key fighter fleets, according to the service’s presumptive next Chief of Staff. Air Force department leadership told the inspector general in mid-March to begin the classified review, Pacific Air Forces boss Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. told the Senate Armed Services Committee ahead of his May 7 confirmation hearing. The review’s findings will shape the service’s path forward as it looks for more comprehensive metrics for whether it can spring into action. Overall readiness reportedly grew 16 percent from April 2018 to February 2020.

Next ABMS Experiments to Focus on Space Force, INDOPACOM

The next Advanced Battle Management System experiment, slated for late August or early September, will focus on supporting U.S. Space Force, and the one after that will be centered on U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Air Force chief architect Preston Dunlap said May 7. Speaking during a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies virtual event, Dunlap said the next ABMS event will expand on things learned in last September's "on-ramp," while the Pacific event will be the first to take place "in the field." Dunlap also discussed distribution of secure personal devices that can download classified data but are "safe" when not being used for secret transmissions.
Victory In Europe 1945 New York

Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of V-E Day

May 8 marks the 75th anniversary of the official end of the war against Nazi Germany. In 1945, the Allied powers accepted unconditional surrender from representatives of Adm. Karl Dönitz, the hand-picked new leader of Germany upon the April 30 suicide of Adolf Hitler. “Our rejoicing is sobered and subdued by a supreme consciousness of the terrible price we have paid to rid the world of Hitler and his evil band,” President Harry S. Truman said in announcing the German surrender. “Let us not forget, my fellow Americans, the sorrow and heartache which today abide in the homes of so many of our neighbors—neighbors whose most priceless possession has been rendered as a sacrifice to redeem our liberty.”
050720 Anderson

DOD Nominee: Afghanistan Withdrawal Will be ‘Reassessed’ if Taliban Doesn’t Stop Attacks

The Pentagon is proceeding with its planned drawdown to 8,600 troops in Afghanistan by July, but the situation will be “reassessed” with possible additional deployments if the Taliban does not stop attacking Afghan forces, a nominee to help lead Defense Department policy told lawmakers May 7. James Anderson, the nominee to be the deputy under secretary of defense for policy, told the Senate Armed Services Committee the Taliban has refrained from attacking U.S. troops and major urban centers, but the group has been “robustly" targeting Afghan forces at an “unfortunate level.” “We’re going to reassess all the conditions going forward,” Anderson said. “I would hope that the deal would not collapse.”
This YouTube screenshot shows how the chest x-ray of a person with acute respiratory distress syndrome—a condition caused by COVID-19—compares with that of someone with normal lungs. Abnormal medical imaging of the lungs is among the red flags the Defense Department looks out for when determining whether individuals are medically qualified to enlist. Video screenshot via Dr. on YouTube.

For Recruits, COVID-19 Is Just Another Preexisting Condition

The military will accept COVID-19 survivors as recruits and new officers, contrary to reports that suggested the Defense Department planned to disqualify anyone with a history of COVID-19. But individuals who are hospitalized in connection with the new coronavirus will need a waiver to enter service, a DOD official told Air Force Magazine.
Hill Reunion

Hill Airmen, F-35s Return from Middle East Deployment

Airmen and F-35s from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, returned home on May 7 from the aircraft type’s second combat deployment to the Middle East. The Airmen and aircraft deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, in November 2019 for the F-35’s first “Immediate Response Force” deployment as tensions with Iran increased. During the six-month deployment, Airmen from the Active Duty 34th Fighter Squadron and Reserve 466th Fighter Squadron, as well as Airmen with the 34th and 466th Aircraft Maintenance Units, operated from multiple bases throughout the region and flew close air support, offensive and defensive counter-air, and maritime escort missions, according to a Hill release.

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.

Air Force Engineers Repair a Battle-Damaged A-10 From Their Bedrooms

Popular Mechanics

Engineers from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, figured out a way to fix a bullet hole in the belly of an A-10 Warthog without ever seeing the plane. The hole was apparently the result of enemy action over the course of a recent mission.

How the Air Force Halved T-6 Hypoxia Cases in 2019

Air Force Times

The Air Force cut the number of hypoxia and similar incidents in the T-6A Texan II by more than half in fiscal 2019 after putting into place a series of changes it hoped would fix the problem. But the Air Force pilots still recorded 41 hypoxia-like incidents in the crucial trainer aircraft last year, according to data provided at Air Force Times’ request.

Lockheed Martin and USAF Partner on Autonomous ISR System

Air Force Technology

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works has partnered with the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School to demonstrate an autonomous intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance system to advance troop effectiveness in denied communications environments.

Boeing Rolls Out Australia’s First ‘Loyal Wingman’ Combat Drone

Defense News

“This is a truly historic moment for our country and for Australian defense innovation,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. “The Loyal Wingman will be pivotal to exploring the critical capabilities our Air Force needs to protect our nation and its allies into the future.”

One More Thing

What’s in a [Baby] Name? AvGeekery, If You’re Grimes

Grimes on Twitter

SpaceX founder Elon Musk and his partner, Canadian musician Grimes, recently welcomed their first child into the world. When it came time to name him, though, no creativity was spared, as the duo dubbed him X Æ A-12. Check out a May 5 tweet from the new mother to learn the story behind his name and to find out how it quietly honors an historic stealth aircraft.