Holmes F-15

Air Combat Command Boss Doubling Down on Fighter Safety after Crashes

Air Combat Command boss Gen. James M. Holmes is traveling to flying wings to speak with commanders about safety and training in response to a recent pattern of accidents across the Air Force's fighter fleet, a command spokesperson told Air Force Magazine. “The recent incidents involve multiple aircraft types from multiple commands,” ACC spokesperson Leah Garton wrote in an email. “Gen. [James] Mike Holmes, ACC Commander, is assessing current and historical data and looking for common trends or issues. He is also discussing the incidents with other MAJCOM commanders.” The service saw two F-16 crashes in two weeks, and three fighter crashes in a month. Two Airmen were killed in the crashes, and one successfully ejected with only minor injuries.
Lt. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh

16th Air Force Is Fully Up and Running

16th Air Force achieved full operational capability July 13, less than a year after the former 24th and 26th Air Forces were combined into a single number air force headquartered in San Antonio. It combines intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, cyber, electronic warfare, and information operations. Speaking during an AFA Mitchell Institute event, Lt. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh, the 16th AF commander, described a contentious information environment in which the U.S. must become a more aggressive competitor by using the truth as a weapon to breakdown adversaries’ disinformation campaigns.

Barrett Leading DOD Board on Diversity, Inclusion

The Pentagon convened a board, to be led by Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett, that will focus on diversity and inclusion initiatives, while Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper issued a new memorandum outlining immediate steps to address bias within the military. The Defense Department Board on Diversity and Inclusion, which met for the first time July 15, will direct the department’s steps forward on addressing diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity, according to a DOD release. The same day, Esper released his directive to make immediate changes, including removing photographs from promotion board documents, updating equal opportunity and diversity inclusion policies, collecting new data on prejudice and bias in the military, and adding bias awareness and bystander intervention to the violence prevention framework, among others.

Improperly Packed Parachute Caused Special Tactics Airman’s Death

An Air Force special tactics combat controller died when his improperly packed reserve parachute inadvertently deployed into the wind stream outside an MC-130H before a training jump, pulling him from the aircraft, according to an Air Force investigation. Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff, 29, a special tactics combat controller from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla., was declared dead following a 17-day search in the Gulf of Mexico that failed to recover his remains. An Air Force Accident Investigation Board report determined that Condiff’s parachute was improperly configured, a “direct result of the participating jumpmasters’ insufficient procedural knowledge.” Following the incident, and another special tactics training death, AFSOC paused all dive, parachute, and mountaineering training for a safety review, which found problems with in-garrison training practices and standards.

First Two Test F-15EXs to be Delivered by Early 2021

The Air Force will have the first two F-15EXs in hand for testing in about six months, Boeing's F-15 Vice President and Program Manager Pratyush Kumar said. His comments come just two days after the Air Force officially launched the program with a contract worth up to $22.9 billion. Everything about the program has been done with speed of delivery in mind, and the EX exploits the digital approach championed by Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper, he said. The EX contract will keep the F-15 line humming for at least a decade, he added.
CSO Raymond

Raymond: Space Force Looking at Partnering More with the UK

The newly formed Space Force is looking at future launches to bring on allied payloads or other ways to collaborate with the United Kingdom as a way to strengthen international cooperation in space, the head of the new service said. U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, speaking July 15 at the virtual Air and Space Power Conference hosted by the United Kingdom Royal Air Force, said his service and the U.S. Air Force are looking at its future plans to find ways to bring in UK influence because of “mutual needs” of increased communications bandwidth and a more resilient architecture.

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.

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen Sent to Help FEMA with COVID-19 Response in Texas and California

Army Times

About 740 military personnel were dispatched to Texas and California after the Federal Emergency Management Agency requested Defense Department assistance in tamping down the coronavirus pandemic that has once again surged in those states and forced governors to reconsider their reopening plans. Military personnel from the Army, Air Force, and Navy will be operating under the direction of U.S. Army North, the land component for U.S. Northern Command.

AIA Calls for COVID-19 Reimbursement Funding and a Section 3610 Extension

Inside Defense

The Aerospace Industries Association sent a letter, signed by dozens of defense executives, to Capitol Hill seeking reimbursement funding for defense contractors. The letter, dated July 14, notes that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act includes Section 3610, "which authorized the reimbursement of extraordinary and unanticipated costs arising from COVID-19."

How Pratt & Whitney Plans to Grow Its Military Business

Aviation Week Network

As new opportunities for fighter engine upgrades and Boeing B-52 engine replacements come up for grabs, Aviation Week Editors talked with Matthew Bromberg, president of Pratt & Whitney Military Engines business, about the company’s priorities for seeking growth amid a disruptive health pandemic.

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.

Minotaur IV Rocket Successfully Launches NRO Payload

SMC release

The U.S. Space Force successfully launched a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office aboard a Minotaur IV rocket at 9:46 a.m. EST on July 15 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Command Senior Enlisted Leader Assignment

DOD release

Navy Force Master Chief John J. Perryman IV, currently assigned as the force master chief of the United States Submarine Forces - Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., has been selected to assume responsibility from Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Patrick F. McMahon as the command senior enlisted leader for the U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.

MOD Signs £65M Contract for Protector Aircraft

Royal Air Force release

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has signed a £65 million contract to build the UK’s first three Protector aircraft—the first UK operated system capable of strike missions anywhere in the world. After a successful development phase, Protector is set to enter service by mid-2024, meaning that the Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) will deliver a step-change in capability for the Royal Air Force.

One More Thing

Washington’s NFL Team Could Be Renamed the ‘Red Tails.’ Real Tuskegee Airmen Have Mixed Feelings About That


As fans and other observers mull the possibilities for that new name, the “Red Tails” idea has gained some favor: in a Yahoo poll, 28% of the respondents said they favored “RedTails,” which was top vote-getter over Warriors, Hogs, Generals and others. According to one betting site, the “Redtails” are the odd-on favorites to prevail, at 3 to 1. Fans have already come up with a compelling helmet and logo designs.