SECAF in Alaska

Air Force, Space Force to Debut New Arctic Strategy

Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett, Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond will launch the Department of the Air Force’s first-ever Arctic Strategy on July 21 during a virtual event with the Atlantic Council. Despite a long history of Arctic operations, USAF has never had its own strategy for operating in the region. The White House first released a National Strategy for the Arctic in 2012 under the Obama Administration, and the Department of Defense followed suit with its first Arctic Strategy a year later. That strategy was updated in 2016 and then again in 2019. During her keynote address at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., in February, Barrett stressed the growing importance of the Arctic, calling it a “central mission” for the Air Force.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper

Esper’s Flag Policy Bans Confederate, Rainbow Flags

The Defense Department banned the display of unapproved flags in a new policy issued July 16. The change effectively blocks display of controversial flags such as the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia—better known as the “Confederate Flag”—as well as rainbow flags used to express gay pride. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper established the policy in a memo to the service Secretaries and other military and defense leaders, and mentions only those flags that are permissible, including national, state, territory flags; official military and unit flags; the POW/MIA flag, and a few others. He never mentioned the confederate symbol.

End of 747 Production Isn’t a Parts Crisis for Air Force

Boeing's anticipated closure of the 747-8 line won't create a parts crisis for the Air Force, which expects the company to support the type until the newest “Air Force One” aircraft retire in 2055. The Air Force hasn't yet decided what it will do to replace the E-4B flying command post, also based on the iconic airliner, but the solution is unlikely to be more 747s.
Air Force Cyber College prepares Airmen, allies for cyber warfare

Air Force Cyber Weapons Factory Moves Ahead with Blockchain Project

The Air Force is making a big push to move blockchain, the much-hyped cryptographic technology that powers Bitcoin and most other digital currencies, from the lab to the battlefield. Because it creates an unforgeable and unalterable record, advocates see blockchain as invaluable for protecting data, ensuring the integrity of communications, and immutable record-keeping. Now, the Air Force’s new software cyberweapons factory, LevelUP, is starting to use the technology for global, joint all-domain command-and-control.
USAFWS Class 20A Graduation

USAF Weapons School Tests New Students for COVID-19 Antibodies

The U.S. Air Force Weapons School kicked off its latest course on July 7 by testing its newest cohort of students—Class 20B—for COVID-19 antibodies, its commandant, Col. Jack Arthaud, told Air Force Magazine in a July 10 interview. “We're testing for antibodies across the entire student population, and then, if anybody tested positive ... we did a rapid COVID test to see if they had an active infection,” he said, adding that no active infections were detected. As an additional preventative step against the pandemic, he explained, any students who headed to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., from bases outside of the continental U.S. had to quarantine for two weeks before starting class.

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.

DOD Putting $36.9M into Aviation, Shipbuilding Aid

Inside Defense

The Defense Department has announced it will spend $36.9 million in Defense Production Act Title III funds to help prop up the domestic aviation and shipbuilding industries beset by challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Trump Administration Weighs Troop Cut in South Korea

The Wall Street Journal

The Defense Department has presented the White House with options to reduce the American military presence in South Korea as the two countries remain at odds over President Donald J. Trump’s demand that Seoul greatly increase how much it pays for the U.S. troops stationed in the country, U.S. officials said.

The Pentagon Is Playing Its C Team with So Many Top Positions Left Unfilled

Task and Purpose

Of the Defense Department’s top 60 leadership positions, a total of 20 are currently vacant, said Pentagon spokesman Chuck Prichard. Ten people have been nominated for some of those positions, but the Senate has not scheduled their confirmation hearings. The White House has not nominated anyone to fill the remainder of the open positions.

Point Blank Ups the Ante on Collective Defense

USAF release

For the first time, Royal Netherland Air Force F-16s and F-35As partnered with 4th and 5th generation aircraft from the Royal Air Force and F-15s from the 48th Fighter Wing during exercise Point Blank 20-3 on July 16, 2020. More than 60 aircraft took off from home stations and met in the skies over the North Sea for a realistic, high-fidelity training environment that included KC-135 Stratotankers and a RC-135 Rivet Joint from RAF Mildenhall, along with NATO Airborne Warning and Control Systems.

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.