2,410 Airmen Selected to Transfer to the Space Force

The U.S. Space Force has selected 2,410 Airmen out of more than 8,500 Active-duty volunteers to transfer to the new service beginning Sept. 1. The accepted volunteers are all in the space operations (13S) and space system operations (1C6) Air Force Speciality Codes, and include a mix of officer and enlisted personnel. The service will convene a transfer board for officers in career fields common to both the Air Force and Space in July and for enlisted this fall to determine who among the 6,000 other volunteers will be accepted to join the new service. “This is an exciting and historic time for these space operators who will be some of the first members to join the Space Force,” Lt. Gen. David “DT” Thompson, U.S. Space Force vice commander, said in a release. “Each one of them has an important responsibility to contribute bold ideas to shape the Space Force into a 21st Century service.”
F-16 at Osan

Hypoxia-Like Events Becoming Less Frequent in USAF Fleets

Air Force Safety Center data recently obtained by Air Force Magazine suggests that the rates of hypoxia-like events recorded in the service’s F-22A, F-16C/D, F-15C/D, A-10C, and F-35A fleets are decreasing in fiscal 2020. Notably, the physiological episode rates—or the number of hypoxia-like episodes recorded per 100,000 flight hours—in the F-22A and F-16C/D fleets were both zero for the first half of fiscal 2020. “Teams supporting aircraft fleets USAF-wide are focusing on this issue and making a positive impact resulting in decreased physiologic episodes,” Brig. Gen. Gregor J. Leist, Air Force Physiological Episodes Action Team boss, told Air Force Magazine.
AFCENT Change of Command

Guillot Takes Command of AFCENT

Lt. Gen. Gregory M. Guillot received his third star and took over as commander of Air Forces Central Command during a July 16 ceremony at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Guillot, previously the director of operations for U.S. Northern Command, took over for Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella Jr., who has been tapped to be USAF's next deputy chief of staff for operations at the Pentagon. As AFCENT boss, Guillot will also serve as the commander of the Ninth Air Expeditionary Task Force and combined forces air component commander for U.S. Central Command, overseeing air operations in both Operation Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel.
KC-46A Pegasus Completes Its First Aeromedical Evacuation Mission

KC-46 Flies First Aeromedical Evacuation Test Mission

The Air Force’s newest tanker has tested one of its other key missions —aeromedical evacuation. On July 10, a KC-46 and Airmen from the 931st Air Refueling Squadron and the 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron flew six sorties during a 17-hour mission across four bases to test the new tanker's ability to carry patients. The test focused on the aircraft’s ability to power and sustain medical care for an extended period of time. Problems with the aircraft, such as a category one deficiency with its cargo locks used to carry passengers and equipment, had to be resolved to enable the test.
KC-10 Extender Retirement Ceremony and Send-off

Air Force’s First KC-10 Retires

The Air Force’s first KC-10 Extender is heading to the boneyard after 33 years of service, totaling more than 33,000 flight hours and refueling more than 125,000 aircraft. The KC-10, tail number 86-0036, was sent off in a ceremony July 13 at its last operational home of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. The retired tanker is one of three KC-10s from the service’s back-up inventory cleared for cuts this year, bringing the current fleet size down to 58 Extenders. After the ceremony, complete with speeches recognizing “the aircraft for its contributions” and a water salute, the KC-10 flew to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group—known as the “Boneyard”—where it will be used for spare parts for the rest of the fleet, according to a McGuire release.

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.

31 States, Territories Want National Guard to Stay Deployed on Coronavirus Missions into the Fall, Possibly Christmas

Stars and Stripes

Governors for 31 states and territories are seeking federal funds to keep National Guard troops deployed on coronavirus missions into the fall—possibly to Christmas, Pentagon officials said July 15. The Defense Department has not made a determination whether the Title 32 orders, which grant troops federal pay and benefits but keeps them under state control, will extend beyond Aug. 21, when the military’s federal coronavirus relief mission is set to end.

Coronavirus Grounds Thunderbirds Ahead of Wyoming Show

The Associated Press

The fighter jet demonstration team was scheduled to perform in Cheyenne, Wyo., on July 22 but canceled because “a few of our team members” tested positive for the virus, Nellis Air Force Base said in a statement.

Japan Highlights F-35 Acquisition, Military Ops Amid Pandemic in New Whitepaper

Defense News

In its latest whitepaper, Japan discussed its impending acquisition of F-35B fighter jets and highlighted efforts by regional militaries to expand their influence and activities despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The full document, released July 14 in Japanese, contains a section on the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant of the Lockheed Martin aircraft, noting that with regional countries making “remarkable progress” in air power modernization, the country needed to respond in kind.

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OPINION: The US Must Respond Forcefully to Russia and the Taliban. Here’s How.

The Washington Post

“If U.S. intelligence agencies determine that Russia put bounties on American and coalition lives, we must respond forcefully, publicly, and in ways that will drive home to the Russians and the Taliban that there is a price to pay for these actions,” writes retired Army Gen. John W. “Mick” Nicholson Jr., who commanded U.S. and NATO-led international forces in Afghanistan from March 2016 to September 2018.

Dozens of Lawmakers Are Opposed to Ligado’s Plan. Can They Undo the FCC’s Decision?

C4ISRNET

Three months after the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to approve Ligado’s long-stalled request, at least 32 senators and 50 representatives from multiple committees have either signed letters or stated that the FCC should reverse its decision. But it remains unclear if the group is cohesive, or powerful, enough to push through legislation to stop the company from moving forward.

US & UK Ink Pact On Next-Gen Aircraft, Long-Range Missiles

Breaking Defense

The United Kingdom is eager to jump aboard a range of high-profile U.S. Army modernization efforts, signing an agreement to begin participating in the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift aircraft and its Long Range Precision Fires artillery program. Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy confirmed the budding partnership July 15 while speaking to reporters from Poland, where he was visiting U.S. troops and trying to wrap up a new defense cooperation agreement with the Polish government.

Pentagon Officials to Industry: Bring Us Tech That is Easy to Integrate

Nextgov

The defense industry needs to focus on developing technology that is easy to integrate and meets cybersecurity norms from the get-go, according to military officials speaking at the 2020 Army Signal Conference. At the conference, hosted by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, officials urged industry partners to create products that build in standard security principles at the outset of development and allow for a wide range of use cases.

Attorney General: China May Supplant US If It Wins A.I. Race

Nextgov

In an hour-long speech on July 16, Attorney General P. William Barr alerted the public to economic and technological dangers posed by China, suggesting its plans for global domination could hinge on artificial intelligence. “Whichever nation emerges as the global leader in AI will be best positioned to unlock not only its considerable economic potential, but a range of military applications, such as the use of computer vision to gather intelligence,” Barr said.