ATAC F1 Mirage

ACC Awards 3 Companies Contract for Adversary Air Support

Air Combat Command on July 21 awarded three companies contracts worth up to $433.6 million to provide 5,418 annual sorties of adversary air support at five bases over the next four and a half years, a command spokesperson told Air Force Magazine. The contracts with Airborne Tactical Advantage Company, Tactical Air Support, and Draken International are the first to be awarded under the larger Combat Air Force/Contracted Air Support indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract, which is envisioned to eventually include 40,000 hours of adversary air and 10,000 hours of close air support training with a final price tag worth up to $6.4 billion.
Aircrew Conducts Mobility Operations

Iranian Ballistic Missile Launch Briefly Raises Alarm at Al Udeid, Al Dhafra

Personnel at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, briefly took cover after Iran launched ballistic missiles into the nearby Persian Gulf, which landed in the sea without incident on July 28, the U.S. military said this week. At about 5:30 a.m. local time, Iran launched missiles from within its borders as part of an ongoing exercise. An “initial assessment indicated a potential threat,” U.S. Central Command spokeswoman Maj. Beth Riordan said in a statement. “The incident lasted a matter of minutes, and an all-clear was declared after the threat indicator had passed,” Riordan said. “The safety and resilience of our service members and coalition partners is a top priority.”
Lt. Gen. Glen D. VanHerck at SASC

Cruise Missile Awareness is NORTHCOM Nominee’s Top Priority

Tracking and countering advanced cruise missiles developed by Russia and China needs to be a top priority for U.S. Northern Command, the nominee to lead the organization told lawmakers July 28. USAF Lt. Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, currently the director of the Joint Staff, said during his Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing that, if confirmed, his No. 1 job will be developing improved “domain awareness” to counter cruise missiles. The response highlights an ongoing effort within North American Aerospace Defense Command and the Air Force to test modern radar systems, and to update how it handles missile threats.
Lt. Gen. Dickinson at SASC

Army General Auditions for Top SPACECOM Job

Army Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson on July 28 outlined his plans to continue ingraining space operations expertise around the U.S. military, if confirmed as the next boss of U.S. Space Command. Dickinson, currently SPACECOM’s deputy commander, would be the first uniformed officer outside the Department of the Air Force to run the organization. SPACECOM oversees daily operations of military space assets like the GPS satellites and radars that warn of incoming ballistic missiles, which until recently have been Air Force missions. If confirmed, Dickinson would replace Gen. John W. Raymond, who also serves as the Space Force’s first chief of space operations.
Tyndall Air Force Base Hurricane Damage

Smart Investment Can Avoid Future Storm Devastation at USAF Bases, Official Says

The Air Force’s top installations official warned this week that defense budget constraints make it imperative that the service take a smarter approach to rebuilding facilities struck by natural disasters. Targeted investments and storm preparation procedures can help avoid continued, costly recovery efforts after hurricanes and floods like those that recently hit Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Offutt Air Force Base, Okla., and JB Langley-Eustis, Va. “The doctrine in which we combat severe weather and combat severe weather threats is really no different than how we would combat a conventional adversary. We have to understand the adversary through intelligence, indications and warnings,” John W. Henderson, assistant Air Force secretary for installations, environment, and energy said July 28 during the online AFWERX Fusion conference.
CSIS space event

Pandemic Poses New Threat to Nascent Space Industry, DOD Officials Warn

Economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to undermine the growing U.S. commercial space sector and, potentially, U.S. space superiority, according to a new report by a panel of government experts released on July 28. Investors are pulling back to conserve cash at the very time this emerging industry needs it most, said Brig. Gen. Steven J. Butow, director of the space portfolio at the Defense Innovation Unit, who co-authored State of the Space Industrial Base 2020, with U.S. Space Force Chief Scientist Joel B. Mozer; Col. Eric J. Felt, director of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate; and Thomas W. Cooley, the directorate's chief scientist. The report goes well beyond the COVID-19 threat and includes 39 recommendations for government and industry to ensure a robust commercial space industrial base.
Secretary Heather A. Wilson portrait unveiling

Former SECAF Wilson Unveils Her Unique Portrait

The official portrait of former Air Force Secretary Heather A. Wilson unveiled July 28 at a socially distant ceremony breaks with tradition: While it looks like an oil painting, it's the result of digital production, a special finishing technique, and an Airman's original photograph. The Air Force Association commissioned, paid for, and gifted the portrait, which is unique among the Air Force's Pentagon portraits in multiple ways.

Virtual Events: Mitchell Institute Rolls Out New Policy Paper, and More

On Oct. 1, the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies will host a virtual rollout of its latest policy paper, “Understanding the Promise of Skyborg and Low-Cost Attritable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” by retired USAF Col. Mark Gunzinger, the think tank's director of future Concepts and capability assessments, and Lukas Autenried, a senior analyst there. Event video will tentatively be posted to the think tank's website and YouTube page afterward.

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, HHS Preparing for Large-Scale Manufacturing of COVID-19 Treatments

Nextgov

The Defense Department and the Department of Health and Human Services—using an other transaction authority contract through Army Contracting Command—want to ensure therapeutic COVID-19 treatments can move from prototype to large-scale manufacturing and are developing a program to demonstrate such capabilities.

Military Stolen Valor Cases on the Rise, Investigators Say

Military.com

Investigators at the National Archives have taken steps to make their research resources more available to federal and local law enforcement to deal with what they suspect is an uptick in "stolen valor" cases to obtain benefits or loans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wilson Becomes Longest Serving Vice Chief in History: Analyzing, Innovating, Succeeding Along Way

USAF release

When Gen. Stephen W. “Seve” Wilson stepped into his new job as Air Force Vice Chief of Staff in July 2016, he arrived as a “man of action” with more than 4,600 flying hours, including 680 combat hours, a former Global Strike commander and deputy commander of U.S. Strategic Command, among other distinctions. That record is worth noting now, when, by punching in for work July 26, Wilson began his fifth year in the job, thus becoming the longest serving vice chief of staff in Air Force history.

US Space Force and UK Ministry of Defense to Hold International Space Pitch Day

Space News

U.S. and U.K. defense agencies plan to award $1 million to startups at the first International Space Pitch Day in November during the Defence Space Conference in London. The event, backed by the U.K. Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Royal Air Force, U.S. Space Force, and NATO, is designed to identify commercial technology with military space applications.

How One Component Improved US Navy F/A-18 Fleet Readiness

Aviation Week Network

The U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 and EA-18G fleets have experienced a dramatic turnaround. In 2017, less than half of the Navy’s Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets were able to fly. Now, 80% of its carrier-based fighters are ready for missions. The solution involved fixing a single component within the General Electric F414 engine.

Inhofe Places Hold on FCC Commissioner Nomination

Inside Defense

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced July 28 he has placed a hold on the nomination of Mike O'Rielly for another term as a commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission until O'Rielly publicly commits to vote to overturn the FCC's decision to approve Ligado Networks' L-band network.

One More Thing

Space Force Makes History with All-Female 2 SOPS Crew

Space Force release

Schriever Air Force Base’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron, the providers of GPS signals to billions of users worldwide, made history July 23 when a crew of eight women space operators gained satellite control authority of satellite vehicle number 76.