Gen. Charles Q. Brown Race

Presumptive Next Chief of Staff Talks About His Own Experiences With Racism

Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the Air Force's presumptive next Chief of Staff, talked about what's on his mind as Congress considers his historic nomination to be the first black leader of any military service while racial tensions flare across the country following the Memorial Day death of a black man at the hands of white police officers. In a powerful personal message posted June 5, Brown recalled feeling ostracized and trying to fit in throughout his life. “I’m thinking about a history of racial issues, and my own experiences that didn’t always sing of liberty and equality. I’m thinking about living in two worlds, each with their own perspectives and views," he said.

Air Force JAG Details Racial Disparity in Military Justice, Calls for Action

The Air Force needs to address the disparity in judicial punishments between white and black Airmen, and use this discussion as a catalyst for a broader conversation for how people are valued within the service, the Air Force’s top lawyer argues in a recent letter. Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Rockwell, the Air Force’s judge advocate general, details in a June 3 letter the extent to which different races are punished differently within the service. “The statistics show that black male Airmen under the age of 25 and with less than 5 years of service receive NJP and courts-martial actions at a higher rate than similarly situated white male Airmen,” Rockwell wrote in a letter to all Air Force JAG personnel. The information supports Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein’s recent call for the Air Force Inspector General to review the military justice system.
MQ-9 Reaper

Air Force Seeks MQ-9 Replacement By 2031

The Air Force is looking to acquire a new fleet of hunter-killer drones to replace the MQ-9 Reaper circa 2031, according to a solicitation issued June 3. The new aircraft needs to be stealthy and autonomous, the better to survive and function in well-defended airspace, and USAF plans to compete the various pieces and rely on small businesses as much as possible. It isn't clear yet how these will partner with the low-cost attritable platform the Air Force is also working on.
Air Guard plane photographs flood damage

Why ANG RC-26s Were Spotted Over D.C., Vegas During Civil Unrest

An Air National Guard RC-26 aircraft that was tracked over the nation’s capital last week amid civil unrest following the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd in police custody belonged to the West Virginia Air National Guard, ANG spokesperson Lt. Col. Devin Robinson told Air Force Magazine on June 5. The aircraft—the presence of which over the District of Columbia prompted Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to take to Twitter in search of answers—“is responding to a District of Columbia National Guard request to provide airborne situational awareness of key lines of communication and critical infrastructure within the District," Robinson wrote in response to a query from the magazine. A second RC-26 that was tracked over Las Vegas on June 2 also belongs to the Air National Guard, but its mission was unrelated to civil disturbances in Nevada, Robinson wrote.
Maj. Gen. Kirk Pierce

Pierce Tapped to Lead 1st Air Force

President Donald Trump nominated Maj. Gen. Kirk Pierce for a third star and assignment as commander of 1st Air Force at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. If confirmed, he will replace Lt. Gen. Marc Sasseville, who has been tapped to serve as Vice Chief of the Air National Guard. Pierce currently serves as deputy commander of the ANG.

Virtual Events: Scowcroft Group’s Miller on Mitchell’s Nuclear Deterrence Series, and More

On March 23, the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies will host a virtual Nuclear Deterrence Series event featuring Scowcroft Group Principal Frank Miller. At a time when nuclear modernization programs are accelerating around the world, proposals to recapitalize the U.S. nuclear arsenal are at the forefront of debates over defense spending. Miller will share his insights into the prospects for U.S. nuclear modernization programs and the value of nuclear deterrence in today's competitive security environment. The think tank will post event video on its website and YouTube page after the live event.

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.

Trump Orders Massive Cut to U.S. Troop Numbers in Germany: Report

Military Times, citing The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. military will reduce its footprint in Germany by nearly one-third after President Donald Trump ordered a dramatic drawdown in force levels from the key NATO ally, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The newspaper cited White House officials who said the move was outlined in a memorandum signed by White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien in recent days that has still not been made public yet.

CDC Study Praises Air Force for Limiting Coronavirus at San Antonio Base

San Antonio Express-News

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged that the Air Force’s efforts to limit the coronavirus in its basic military training were a success. Just five cases were recorded as more than 10,000 recruits entered Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in a seven week period, according to a study compiled by researchers assigned to Lackland’s 59th Medical Wing and published this week in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Subscription Required

‘Humbling’: Airman Earns Bronze Star After Providing Surgical Care for Over 600 Casualties in ISIS Fight

Stars and Stripes

A special operations airman has been awarded a Bronze Star for his work on a battlefield surgical team during the fight against the Islamic State group, as the terrorists lost the last of their territory. Over the course of a six-month deployment in early 2019, Staff Sgt. Johnathan Randall provided surgical care for 644 combat casualties, assisted in 16 damage control surgeries, 46 resuscitations and 70 advanced procedures “at the most forward point of combat operations,” according to the military.

New Zealand Says to Buy Five New Super Hercules Aircraft


New Zealand said on June 5 that it will purchase five C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft from Lockheed Martin to replace its existing fleet. The first of the new Hercules will be delivered in 2024, with the full fleet operating from 2025.

Major Cyber Command Program will Cost More than First Thought

Fifth Domain

One of U.S. Cyber Command’s major programs, Unified Platform, is expected to cost five times more than military officials originally estimated, according to a report from Congress’ watchdog agency. Unified Platform will consolidate and standardize the variety of big data tools used by Cyber Command and its subordinate commands to allow forces to share information more easily, build common tools and conduct mission planning and analysis.

One More Thing

D.C. Jet Painted with MLB’s Nats Logo at Iowa Paint Facility

Air National Guard release

On a good day, Nationals’ Park is a 30 minute drive from the Air Guard’s 113th Fighter Wing located at Andrews Air Force base, Md. As the crow flies, an F-16 can get from Andrews to the stadium in about 1 second for a game day flyover; or about the same amount of time it takes National’s closer Sean Doolittle’s fast ball to make it to home plate.