AT-6B Wolverine Austere Runway Ops

Light Attack Providers Get Second Shot with SOCOM

Multiple companies who faced off in the Air Force’s light attack experiment will again compete for a similar contract from U.S. Special Operations Command. Textron Aviation, Air Tractor, and Leidos are offering aircraft for a three-phase armed overwatch competition that ends with live-fly demonstrations in November. That demo follows the Air Force's nearly three-year light attack effort that ultimately fell short of a full-fledged buy. SOCOM Acquisition Executive James Smith told reporters May 13 the command is very pleased with industry’s response so far. He declined to say how many proposals SOCOM received.
Agile Combat Employment

USAFE Puts Agile Combat Employment to the Test

U.S. Air Forces in Europe will test its Agile Combat Employment concept of operations later this month, moving F-16s forward to another USAFE base where maintainers who typically work with mobility aircraft will apply their skills to fighter support. USAFE commander Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian told Air Force Magazine on May 13 the command recently shared its ACE concept of operations with NATO allies "and a couple key partners," saying successfully implementing the plan requires collective buy-in.
Col. Thomas Falzarano

Commander of Peterson’s 21st Space Wing Found Dead at Home

Col. Thomas Falzarano, commander of the 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at his home on May 12, the wing announced in a May 13 release. “The cause of death is under investigation, but initial indications are that it was due to natural causes,” the release stated, adding that no signs of COVID-19 were discovered. Falzarano’s deputy, Col. Sam Johnson, is now commanding the wing, the release added. Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond recalled Falzarano as “an incredible leader, mentor, and friend who will be remembered for his warm personality and dedicated service to our nation."
SOCOM fixed-wing aircraft

Budget Crunch Expected to Shrink AFSOC Investments

Don’t expect much investment in new fleets of special-operations aircraft as the Pentagon braces for a budget crunch, the head of Air Force Special Operations Command said May 13. “We acknowledge that we are at a strategic inflection point,” Lt. Gen. Jim Slife said during the National Defense Industrial Association’s annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference. “This strategic environment is going to require us to transform ourselves from the AFSOC that we needed into the AFSOC that we will need.” Adding new development programs, and revamping the command into a more digitally savvy, influence operations-focused organization, will be tougher as military funding is expected to decline.
CENTCOM Deployment

Lakenheath F-15Es Deploy to the Middle East

F-15E Strike Eagles and Airmen from RAF Lakenheath’s 492nd Fighter Squadron deployed to the Middle East in early May as part of ongoing combat operations in U.S. Central Command. The undisclosed number of aircraft and personnel from the squadron, nicknamed the “Bolars,” deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at an undisclosed location, U.S. Air Forces in Europe announced. “Last week we sent the 492nd Fighter Squadron and Maintenance team downrange to continue the fight,” 48th Fighter Wing boss Col. William Marshall said in a statement. The wing replaces the 389th Fighter Squadron from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.
ARCWERX HQ

ARCWERX Will Leverage ANG, Reserve Innovation to Enhance Total Force

A new innovation organization has quietly joined the military’s WERX universe. ARCWERX—an innovation organization specifically created for the Air Force's reserve component—looks to leverage the proverbial superpowers hidden within Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve ranks, as well as strategic partnerships, to mold a more effective, ready, and lethal Total Force.
USAFA license plate readers

License-Plate Readers Come to USAFA

Every vehicle that passes through the U.S. Air Force Academy's North and South gates will now have its license plates scanned in an effort to detect potential risks sooner, but the school says the extra base security isn’t expected to cause regular gate delays. In addition to giving security forces a heads-up if a driver is wanted by law enforcement authorities, the readers can alert them if a car is stolen or involved in the abduction of a minor, a May 12 USAFA release noted.

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.

Support Growing for Review of Ligado Interference Information

C4ISRNET

As the Department of Defense and its allies attempt to stop Ligado from moving forward with plans the Pentagon says will harm the Global Positioning System, consensus is growing around the idea of an independent review of the testing the Department had completed for interference.

Adm. Munsch Moving to Joint Staff

Inside Defense

Vice Adm. Stuart Munsch, who currently leads the Navy's new warfighting directorate, will move to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Defense Department disclosed Munsch's nomination for the role of director for operational plans and joint force development, or J7, in a May 13 flag officer announcement.

Meet the First Lady of Space Force: An Interview with Mollie Raymond

Air Force Times

Mollie Raymond is the wife of newly appointed Space Force Chief Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, making her the first military spouse in the newly created sixth branch of the military. Military Times freelance reporter Natalie Gross recently interviewed Raymond about what it’s like helping to shape a new branch.

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 Force Has 3 Programs Recognized by NCAA for Academic Progress Rate

U.S. Air Force Academy release

Air Force had three athletic programs recognized by the NCAA for their latest multiyear NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR). Football, women's gymnastics, and wrestling teams all ranked in the top 10 percent for their sport. The NCAA will release the scores for each sport later this month.

One More Thing

Air Force Band Covers ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Theme with Japanese Musicians to Lift Spirits During Pandemic

Stars and Stripes

Air Force musicians teamed up with Japanese troops and a local high school band to record a music video intended to lift people’s spirits during the coronavirus pandemic. The project yielded a version of “Tank!,” the theme song for the popular Japanese anime TV series “Cowboy Bebop.” The Air Force Band of the Pacific-Asia used social distancing to produce the project with a Tachikawa city FM radio station, Hamura city high-schoolers, and Japan Air Self-Defense Force musicians.