Shaw and Whiting trade places, both Space Commands win big

Shaw Discusses Space Force Personnel, Training

A top Space Force official says the service is figuring out whether its inaugural round of personnel transfers brought in the right mix of career fields and ranks to form the armed force’s foundation. “My guess is there are some of those boxes in those career pyramids and different career fields that we’re doing well, and some that we didn’t get enough,” Maj. Gen. John Shaw, who runs the Space Force’s Space Operations Command, said at a June 15 Air Force Association Airmen in the Fight event. “It’d just be a matter of figuring out how to move forward and doing what we can with that first set of human capital.” Shaw said the new service also is working through how to update and evolve its training.

B-52 Task Forces Head to Eastern Europe, Alaska

The Air Force sent groups of B-52s to the Pacific and Europe as bomber task force deployments within two days this week, prompting Russia to intercept one. On June 15, two B-52Hs from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., flew a long-distance strategic Bomber Task Force mission through Europe and the Baltics, where they participated in the NATO-led Baltic Operations exercise. On June 14, three B-52Hs from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., touched down at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, for a Bomber Task Force deployment. The deployment comes shortly after Russian bombers flew close to Alaska’s shores, prompting North American Aerospace Defense Command to scramble F-22s to intercept.
SASC social 061522

SASC Wants to Reshape Industrial Base, Create ‘Innovation Base’

Broadening the number of companies, including small businesses, that contribute to the defense industrial base is one of the pushes in the Senate Armed Services Committee's markup of the fiscal 2021 defense policy bill. The SASC language also puts more protections in place for intellectual property, and demands more steps from the Pentagon to reduce China's ability to mine the U.S. for technology secrets. The proposed language directs the Pentagon to assess its reliance on overseas suppliers for rare metals, microchips, and other commodities, and look for ways to mitigate that risk.
MQ-9 Reaper Poland

USAFE MQ-9s Shift to Estonia

U.S. Air Forces in Europe moved its contingent of MQ-9 Reapers northeast to Estonia, where they can keep a closer eye on neighboring Russia. The contractor-owned, contractor-operated MQ-9s, related personnel, and support equipment moved to Amari Air Base in Estonia from their regular home of Miroslawiec Air Base, Poland, where the runway is under construction, according to a June 15 USAFE release. The aircraft will fly air, land, and maritime awareness flights from their base, using the Reaper’s “inherent multi-role capabilities.”
061520 8th AF Change of Command

Weatherington Assumes Command of 8th Air Force

Maj. Gen. Mark Weatherington took command of 8th Air Force from Maj. Gen. Jim Dawkins Jr. during a June 12 ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. As the leader of the “Mighty Eighth,” Weatherington will oversee the Air Force’s bomber force, including more than 20,000 Airmen, 150 bombers, and four E-4Bs, along with the Joint-Global Strike Operations Center. “What a tremendous honor,” Weatherington said during the ceremony, according to a release. “I look forward to collaborating and strengthening our communities and forces in the days to come.”

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.

Army COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate to Be Tested on Humans

Military Times

Army researchers are taking their first COVID-19 vaccine candidate to the next research stage—human clinical trials. Researchers are expecting to start recruiting volunteers in July in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, with injections to begin in early September, said Samir Deshpande, spokesman for Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Production of One of the F-35′s Most Anticipated Bombs Has Been on Hold for Almost a Year

Defense News

Deliveries of a new precision-guided bomb under development by Raytheon Technologies for the F-35 and other fighter jets have been at a standstill for about a year as the company struggles to correct a technical problem involving a key component. A fix for the issue, which brought production of the Small Diameter Bomb II to a halt in July 2019, could be approved by the government as soon as July, said Air Force spokesman Capt. Jake Bailey in response to questions by Defense News.

KC-46 Delivery to Seymour Johnson Delayed after Debris Found in Fuel Tank

Air Force Times

The delayed aircraft was to have been one of the first two KC-46s delivered to Air Force Reserve Command at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., on June 12. But while the first was successfully delivered, debris was found in the fuel tank of the second during its pre-acceptance inspections.

Bunch Reflects on First Year in Command, Outlines AFMC Future

USAF release

During a year that has included an Air Force-wide focus on modernization, lethality, and readiness through faster, more agile business processes, the ability of Air Force Materiel Command to successfully meet the needs of the National Defense Strategy was a major focus of Gen. Arnold Bunch Jr.’s first year as commander.

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.

DOD ‘Agile’ Software Development Still Too Slow: GAO

Breaking Defense

As the Defense Department struggles to catch up to Silicon Valley, top officials have loudly embraced the private-sector software development strategy known as “agile.” But in the Government Accountability Office’s annual survey of 42 major weapons programs, while 22 claimed to be using agile methods, only six actually met the private-sector standard of delivering software updates to users every six weeks—at most.

One More Thing

Remembering the Bakers Creek Air Crash, 77 Years Later

Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall on Facebook

Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Commander Col. Kimberly Peeples virtually hosted a June 14 ceremony to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the Bakers Creek air crash, a WWII-era B-17 crash that took the lives of 40 Army Air Corps service members in Queensland, Australia, on June 14, 1943. Watch a replay of the event here.