Spangdahlem AB F-16s participate in large force exercise

U.S. to End Spangdahlem Air Base’s Mission, Remove 11,900 Personnel From Germany

The Pentagon will begin to wind down the U.S. military presence at Germany's Spangdahlem Air Base, pulling out Air Force F-16s and canceling plans to move tankers and special-operations forces to the European hub, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper announced July 29. The decision marks a major force restructuring aimed at shrinking the U.S. mission in Germany, a key strategic location for American military operations across the globe. Germany hosts one of the largest contingents of U.S. troops in the world. In a joint briefing with Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John E. Hyten, and U.S. European Command boss Gen. Tod D. Wolters, Esper said that the Defense Department will move 11,900 people out of American military installations across Germany. Of those, 6,400 will return to the U.S., while the rest relocate elsewhere in Europe.
ABMS December Demo

Companies Big and Small Gear Up For ABMS Bid

About four dozen companies are gearing up for a technology competition unlike most in the Pentagon as they vie for spots in the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System. ABMS is the Air Force’s multibillion-dollar vision for a massive network of data-processing software, cloud storage, communications hardware, and other tools to connect the force more efficiently. After about two years of planning in earnest, the service is now bringing in a broad collection of defense contractors and commercial companies to fight for a place on that team. Conversations with the competitors offer a clearer picture of how the network might come together with artificial intelligence algorithms, data visualization interfaces, far-reaching radios, and more.
KC-46A Pegasus

Boeing Reports Another $151 Million KC-46 Charge

Boeing must pay another $151 million out of pocket for the KC-46 program, the company announced in an earnings call July 29. This time, the company incurred the extra cost because the coronavirus pandemic is slamming the aerospace industry. Parts and work for the new tanker are turning out to be more expensive than Boeing had budgeted for because commercial jet production has slowed during the pandemic, in turn shrinking the bulk manufacturing that was expected, the company announced in its second-quarter earnings report.
Maj. Gen. Nina Armagno at Space Symposium

Space Force Boss’s Office Staffs Up

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper nominated multiple Airmen for promotions July 29 as they head to new leadership positions within the Space Force. Maj. Gen. Nina M. Armagno, Maj. Gen. William J. Liquori, Maj. Gen. Bradley C. Saltzman, and Maj. Gen. Stephen N. Whiting will rise to the rank of lieutenant general upon confirmation by the Senate. The three officials will become part of the inaugural leadership slate in the new Space Force’s top office as the service builds its organization.

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.

Correction

The article "Smart Investment Can Avoid Future Storm Devastation at USAF Bases, Official Says" in yesterday's Daily Report misstated the location of Offutt Air Force Base. It is an installation in Nebraska.

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.

Pentagon’s Longstanding Audit Failures Also Pose a Recruiting Challenge

Federal News Network’s ‘Federal Drive with Tom Temin’ podcast

As part of its efforts to get itself on a firmer financial management footing, the Pentagon wants to infuse its accounting workforce with new blood. But imagine trying to run a recruiting campaign when most of the candidates you’re targeting suspect your organization is a hopeless cause. That’s about the size of the challenge the Defense Department faces as it works to replace the growing cadre of retirement-eligible senior civil servants in its financial management workforce with new personnel who might be able to help the Pentagon finally earn a clean opinion on its financial statement audit.

OPINION: Three Urgent Questions for the Air Force’s New Chief of Staff

Defense One

“The service has too long delayed the hard choices that would prepare it to deter China,” write Mara E. Karlin, director of strategic studies and associate professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Jim Mitre, chief strategy officer at Govini and an adjunct research staff member with the Institute for Defense Analyses.

Air Force IG on Racial Study: ‘No Preordained Outcome’

Air Force Times

The Air Force’s inspector general said July 28 that his investigation into racial disparities in the service will base its findings on hard data, not anecdotal evidence from its survey, and that he hasn’t leapt to any conclusions.

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DroneShield Readies AI-Driven C-UAS Systems for USAF

Janes

DroneShield’s first contract win with the U.S. Air Force was driven by its use of artificial intelligence in its counter-unmanned aircraft systems products, with plans to further develop the technology across its range in the coming years, the company has told Janes.

Iran Launches Underground Ballistic Missiles During Exercise

The Associated Press

Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched underground ballistic missiles on July 29 as part of an exercise involving a mock-up American aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz, highlighting its network of subterranean missile sites.

One More Thing

Are Squid Teeth the Secret to Building ‘Self-Healing’ Robots? The Army Thinks So

Army Times

Scientists working with the Army are employing a natural self-healing process using squid teeth in ways that could allow future engineers to manufacture self-fixing parts in soldier clothing, prosthetic legs, personal protective equipment, and even robot parts. The polymer they’ve been able to reproduce is based on a natural protein in the ring teeth of a squid that repairs itself when damaged.