Space Force reorganization

Space Force Announces Significant Reorganization

The Space Force on July 24 made major organizational changes, including inactivating wings and activating new commands, while selection boards are meeting to bring in thousands of new uniformed personnel. During a livestreamed ceremony, the Space Force inactivated three space wings and eight lower echelon commands previously part of Air Force Space Command, and activated its new Space Training and Readiness Delta Provisional, two garrison commands, and eight mission deltas—the service’s term for the command level known in the Air Force as a wing. “Today we take action, an important and significant step, towards the development of a 21st century service purpose-built to achieve speed, agility, and unity of effort,” Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, said during the ceremony. “This ceremony highlights the most significant restructure of space units since the establishment of the Air Force Space Command in 1982.”
Tirpak Strategy Policy wingman Skyborg

4 Companies Move Forward in Skyborg Competition

Boeing, General Atomics, Kratos, and Northrop Grumman received indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts that allow them to compete for Skyborg Vanguard Program delivery orders, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center announced on July 23. Skyborg is an affordable unmanned system that will partner with fighter jets and utilize artificial intelligence to conduct strike and intelligence-collection missions that are too dangerous for manned aircraft. “We have the opportunity to transform our warfighting capabilities and change the way we fight and the way we employ air power," Brig. Gen. Dale R. White, program executive officer for fighters and advanced aircraft, said of the Skyborg program.
Van Ovost, Kelly

Senate Confirms New Bosses of AMC, ACC

The Senate on July 20 confirmed a series of Air Force leaders, including the next commanders of Air Mobility Command and Air Combat Command. Lt. Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost will receive her fourth star, and take over as leader of AMC from retiring Gen. Maryanne Miller, while Lt. Gen. Mark D. Kelly also will receive his fourth star and to take the reins of ACC from retiring Gen. James M. Holmes.
Wagner Group Libya

AFRICOM: Russia Expanding Its Presence in Libya

Russian private military contractors have expanded their presence in Libya, bringing in additional aircraft and air defense systems, U.S. Africa Command alleges through newly released surveillance photographs. The private Wagner Group deployed to Libya to support military commander Khalifa Haftar’s offensive against the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord. New photographs show Il-76 cargo aircraft, Su-24 Fencer fighter jets, SA-22 air defense systems, armored vehicles, and formations of personnel at Al Khadim Airfield. This deployment is addition to the May movement of Su-24s and MiG-29s to Al Jufra Airfield. “Russia continues to play an unhelpful role in Libya by delivering supplies and equipment to the Wagner group,” U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Bradford J. Gering, AFRICOM’s director of operations, said in a release.
Military Spouse Entrepreneurs

Report: Severity of Military Spouse Employment Issues Varies by Location

The severity of military spouse unemployment and underemployment differs by zip code, and job droughts in communities surrounding some U.S. military bases may be making it harder for spouses to find work, even if they’re armed with college degrees, a new report from The Deloitte Center for Government Insights suggests. “Well over half of all military spouses live in areas with below-average availability of work,” the report states. “In fact, our research indicates that of the military spouses who live on or near the largest bases, 44 percent live in labor markets with negative availability of jobs, that is, there are fewer jobs available than there are job seekers.” And even though military spouses are more likely to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher than the general U.S. population, the report notes, “in hotter labor markets," they still might fall short of their competition for jobs.
U.S. Digital Service Academy

Proposed US Digital Service Academy Could Funnel Tech Talent to Government

In its latest round of recommendations to Congress formalized July 21, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence suggests ways to get high-tech employees trained and then locked into federal service commitments—ideas modeled after the military service academies and ROTC programs. The NSCAI proposes a new degree-granting university to create a pipeline of security-cleared federal employees, plus a reserve component whose members would get much of their tuition covered at other universities in exchange for part-time service. The recommendations include a seven-year plan to get the proposed United States Digital Service Academy up and running, with its first class of 500 students enrolled by Year 3 of the plan.

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.

Trump Admin Officially Makes it Easier to Export Military Drones

Defense News

The U.S. State Department has officially loosened restrictions on exporting military unmanned aerial vehicles to foreign nations, a move long sought by the defense industry. Under a new policy announced Friday, unmanned aerial systems that fly at speeds below 800 kph will no longer be subject to the “presumption of denial” that, in effect, blocked most international sales of drones like the MQ-9 Reaper and the RQ-4 Global Hawk.

US Air Force C-17 Flies Kuwait Emir, 91, to Minnesota After Surgery at Home

The Associated Press via Military.com

Kuwait's 91-year-old ruling emir landed on Thursday in the United States after being flown across the world in a U.S. Air Force C-17 flying hospital, and just days after undergoing an unspecified surgery at home. The dramatic airlift reflected the close ties between the two nations but also raised concerns over the ruler's medical condition.

Air Force Denies Surveillance Plane Gathered Info on Protests When Flying Over Portland

The Hill

The Air Force said July 24 that a surveillance plane that flew secret missions from an airport in Portland, Ore., amid protests there this week did not gather information about the demonstrations. The branch said in a statement that the flight had been in the works for months and that the plane was on assignment for a program that tests equipment for U.S. Special Operations.

Air University’s Yearlong Schools Open with In-Residence Teaching

USAF release

Air University leadership made the decision to go ahead with in-residence instruction after lengthy consultation with school commandants, the medical community, and with approval from Air Education and Training Command. “Based on Secretary of Defense travel guidance, AETC guidance with regard to mission essential functions, and a continuing assessment of local, state, and federal COVID-19 guidance and mitigation protocols, the Air University commander made the decision for in-residence attendance,” said Col. Eugene Moore, Air University director of staff.

‘Above and Beyond Six’ Feet Welcomes Deployers Home

USAF release

The Hanscom Heroes Homecoming is taking on a virtual makeover for the 2020 celebration here as part of a livestream production called “Above and Beyond Six Feet,” July 29. For the last ten years, base officials have celebrated Air Force deployers who have returned home during the year with a parade, barbeque and community celebration. Keeping social distancing guidelines in mind, organizers have reformatted the occasion into a virtual event.

One More Thing

The U.S. Space Force has a Horse. His Name is Ghost

Space Force Twitter page

The Space Force introduced its newest Military Working Horse, Ghost, via Twitter on July 23. The five-year-old Bureau of Land Management Mustang helps patrol Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and other areas that aren’t easily reachable by vehicle.