Gen. Joseph Lengyel Texas visit

COVID-19 Fears Hit the Joint Chiefs

Concerns about COVID-19 infection have reached the highest levels of the military, with one member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff going into self-quarantine and another testing positive on May 9 and then testing negative twice. Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, was tested for the third time on May 11 at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and received a negative result. Lengyel tested positive before a White House meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on May 9, and subsequently tested negative the same day. Lengyel’s tests come as Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday is in quarantine at home after coming in contact with a family member who tested positive. Gilday tested negative for the virus on May 8, but is still in quarantine and did not attend the May 9 White House meeting.
100th ARW fuels bomber mission

USAF Puts its Bombers on Display in EUCOM, INDOPACOM Theaters

Within just four days, the Air Force sent nuclear-capable bombers on long-distance training flights to Europe and the Pacific, while B-1s flew their own long-range missions in both regions. On May 11, B-1s from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., flew from their home base to Eastern Europe, integrating with Danish F-16s and Polish F-16s and MiG-29s. On May 7, two B-2s from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.; two B-52s from Minot Air Force Base, N.D.; and two B-52s from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., launched for training missions in the U.S. European Command and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command areas of responsibility. The next day, two B-1Bs from the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, flew to the South China Sea for a mission “in support of Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts and strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order,” the command said in a statement.
01242020 Valykrie

USAF Search for ‘Skyborg’ Drones Starting Soon

The Air Force will shortly launch its effort to buy Skyborg drone prototypes, according to the official running the unmanned wingman program. The service will begin soliciting aircraft this month and plans to award contracts to the winning designs by the end of the summer, Advanced Aircraft Program Executive Officer Col. Dale White told Air Force Magazine. Chosen drones will then head into experiments to show off what they can do. White did not say how many airframes the service plans to buy. Officials envision Skyborg as an unmanned aircraft that would take direction from fighter jets and its own artificial intelligence in combat.
05112020 General Officer Assignments

New Commanders Nominated for AFCENT, Air National Guard

Air Forces Central Command and the Air National Guard will get new commanders, as part of several new general officer nominations announced May 11. President Donald Trump tapped current AFCENT boss Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella Jr. to be the next deputy chief of staff for operations at the Pentagon, pending Senate confirmation. Maj. Gen. Gregory Guillot, currently the director of operations for U.S. Northern Command, will receive his third star, if confirmed, and take over for Guastella at AFCENT, where he will also serve as commander of the Ninth Air Expeditionary Task Force and combined forces air component commander for U.S. Central Command. Trump also nominated Maj. Gen. Michael Loh, Colorado's adjutant general, to be the next director of the Air National Guard.
Northern Strike 15

Three Companies Vie to Rescue Troubled Radar Program

Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Australia-based CEA Technologies are in the running to build a new ground-based radar as the Air Force overhauls its Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar effort. The Air Force announced May 11 that each company received $500,000 to demonstrate their ready-made radars by the end of September under an initiative known as “SpeedDealer.” The demos aim to fast-track the 3DELRR program, after the Air Force recently canceled its chronically challenged and delayed development contract with Raytheon. “Following the demonstration, a system that successfully completes the event may be selected for integration, and potentially production, contracts by the end of this calendar year,” the service said.

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.

GW Partners with Air Force to Conduct COVID-19 Testing for Defense Department

The GW Hatchet

George Washington University’s partnership with a startup company and the U.S. Air Force will be able to process tens of thousands of coronavirus tests to the Defense Department, officials said. University President Thomas LeBlanc said he expects that the team will be able to administer between 30,000 and 50,000 tests a day for DOD through a scaling test methodology.

VA’s Active Coronavirus Cases Drop as Leadership Talks of Reopening Facilities

Military Times

The number of active coronavirus cases among Veterans Affairs patients dropped nearly 10 percent in recent days as department officials outlined plans to reopen some hospitals for non-urgent needs and visitors in coming weeks. But some employees voiced concerns that those moves could be rushing facilities into normal operations before the virus threat has truly subsided, potentially risking the health of both patients and staff.

National Security Space Conference to Propose Plan to Boost Industrial Base

Space News

A virtual conference held last week with more than 150 government and industry officials will issue a report next month recommending actions to shore up the U.S. space industrial base. The four-day “State of the Space Industrial Base 2020” program was led by the Defense Innovation Unit, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the U.S. Space Force. The nonprofit advocacy group NewSpace New Mexico organized the conference.

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.

Iran Says Missile Kills 19 Sailors in Training Accident

Associated Press

A missile fired during an Iranian training exercise mistakenly struck a naval vessel instead of its intended target in waters near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, killing 19 sailors and wounding 15 others, Iranian authorities said May 11. The bungled training exercises took place on May 10 and raised new questions about the readiness of the Islamic Republic’s armed forces amid heightened tensions with the U.S., just months after they accidentally shot down a Ukrainian jetliner near Tehran, killing 176 passengers.

One More Thing

We've Got a Close Up Look at Syria's MiG-29s and It Isn't Pretty

The Drive

Syria has released a number of video clips showing some of its MiG-29 Fulcrum jets. The unusually high-resolution footage offers a close look at how these jets are faring after years of conflict and sanctions and it’s safe to say that they look pretty beat up.