Senators Continue Building Space Force with Caution

New legislation further establishes the Space Force as the sixth branch of the military, but wants a closer look at who will do that work and where. The Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the fiscal 2021 defense policy bill, approved June 10, would temporarily stop the military from transferring its installations into the Space Force. Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett first needs to send an analysis of those potential transfers to Capitol Hill. The panel also directs Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley and the service chiefs to report on which space-related missions and careers should move to the Space Force and who those personnel should work for.
The Pentagon

Pentagon Lifts Some Restrictions, Begins Reopening

The Pentagon will start reopening on June 15, after months of restricting access due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Defense Department announced June 11 that slightly more workers will be allowed into the building, and the building will open more of its entrances. DOD plans to randomly test people coming into the Pentagon in an attempt to curb the virus's spread. Chief Management Officer Lisa Hershman said the decision to reopen was based on a 14-day downward trajectory of influenza-like and COVID-like symptoms within a 50-mile radius of the Pentagon, a decrease in positive test results in the general population, the lifting of stay-at-home orders, and adequate testing capabilities and supplies.
Seventh Air Force hosts first virtual change of command

Pleus Takes Over at 7th Air Force

Lt. Gen. Scott Pleus took command of 7th Air Force on June 12 in a first for the numbered Air Force: a virtual passing of the leadership baton due to the coronavirus pandemic. As commander of 7th Air Force, Pleus will serve as the deputy commander of U.S. Forces-Korea and oversee USAF operations in South Korea and the northwest Pacific. Pleus took over the top officer job from Lt. Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, who was nominated to lead Pacific Air Forces. “I am so excited to serve the Airmen of 7th AF, our joint partners of USFK and our Korean allies,” Pleus said during the livestreamed ceremony.

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.

Pentagon Starts Bailing Out Companies That Have Lost Business Due to Coronavirus

Defense One

On June 11, officials announced that five mid-tier defense companies had received a total of $135 million to “help sustain defense-critical workforce capabilities in body armor, aircraft manufacturing, and shipbuilding,” according to a Defense Department statement.“These actions will help to retain critical workforce capabilities throughout the disruption caused by COVID-19 and to restore some jobs lost because of the pandemic,” DOD spokesperson Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said in the statement.

U.S. Naval Buildup in Indo-Pacific Seen as Warning to China

The Associated Press

For the first time in nearly three years, three American aircraft carriers are patrolling the Indo-Pacific waters, a massive show of naval force in a region roiled by spiking tensions between the U.S. and China and a sign that the U.S. Navy has bounced back from the worst days of the coronavirus outbreak.

Experts Decry Lax Rules For 5G Sat Networks

Breaking Defense

As satellite operators scramble to join the 5G revolution, there is growing concern that weakness in U.S. regulatory standards for cybersecurity could mean commercial networks could be full of holes for hackers to exploit. The Defense Department currently requires that all satellite operators who sign contracts encrypt their data links to ground stations using National Security Agency-approved methods.

Air Force Museum to Reopen July 1

Dayton247Now

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and the National Aviation Hall of Fame will reopen July 1 after being closed since March 15. Reopening will follow Centers for Disease Control, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, local and state guidelines.

One More Thing

At 64 Years Old, the U-2 Spy Plane Can Still Learn Some New Tricks

Popular Mechanics

The U.S. Air Force is adapting the U-2 spy plane to act as a flying connector for the Advanced Battle Management System, an ambitious project designed to allow Air Force aircraft, Army ground forces, U.S. Navy ships and aircraft at sea, and special operations forces to pass data among one another. The system was originally meant to replace the E-8C JSTARS surveillance aircraft and later expanded into a much, much more ambitious multi-service data initiative.