Ceremonial swearing in

Trump Swears in Brown as Air Force Boss in Oval Office Ceremony

Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. took a ceremonial oath of office Aug. 4 in a surprise event at the White House, two days before he officially becomes the 22nd Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Accompanied by his family and senior Air Force and Defense Department leaders, Brown raised his right hand and took an oath administered by Vice President Michael R. Pence. President Donald J. Trump moved the short ceremony to the Oval Office at the last minute. The Senate unanimously confirmed Brown in a historic 98-0 vote in June. He will become the first African American officer to serve as chief of staff of one of the armed forces, after holding leadership positions in combat organizations around the globe.
1st Helicopter Squadron

Helicopter Pilot Training Experiment Skips Fixed-Wing Courses

The Air Force is trying an experiment that would take its rotary-wing pilots out of the standard Undergraduate Pilot Training program and send them through an all-helicopter course. The goal is to trim months from training, improve pilot quality and free up fixed-wing slots in UPT to increase pilot production, the head of 19th Air Force said in an interview.
Shon J. Manasco

Disagreement over Tata Could Stymie Air Force Leader’s Confirmation

Democratic senators on Aug. 4 indicated they could hold up the confirmation of Shon J. Manasco as Air Force undersecretary as recourse for the Trump administration’s decision to install a controversial official into a key Pentagon policy post without Senate approval. That standoff loomed over an Aug. 4 confirmation hearing that vetted Manasco to be the Air Force’s No. 2 civilian official.
Micronesia Rescue

Air National Guardsmen Help Save Lost Mariners in Micronesia

A five-member KC-135 crew composed of Air National Guardsmen from Hawaii and Pennsylvania helped track down three mariners who got lost in the Federated States of Micronesia on Aug. 2, enabling their rescue a day later. Lt. Col. Jason Palmeira-Yen, Maj. Byron Kamikawa, and Tech. Sgt. Shane Williams from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 203rd Air Refueling Squadron, and Tech. Sgt. Rodney Joseph and Senior Airman Jeremy Williams from the Pennsylvania ANG's 171st Air Refueling Wing subsequently took off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in a Stratotanker and determined the lost mariners' location after about three hours in the air, according to a 36th Wing release.
Minuteman III test

Airmen on Navy Command Jet Test-Launch Three-Tipped, Unarmed Nuclear Missile

A Navy E-6B Mercury nuclear command plane launched a three-tipped, unarmed Air Force nuclear missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in an unusual but long-planned exercise Aug. 4. Sailors and Airmen from Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., aboard the E-6B worked with Airmen from Vandenberg who acted as the alert and operational crews on the ground for launch night. Air Force Global Strike Command does not often test missiles configured with multiple re-entry vehicles, which were phased out to comply with the New START treaty between the U.S. and Russia. The coronavirus pandemic also posed an opportunity to vet the E-6B.
COVID-19 Coronavirus

USAF, DOD Need COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donors to Help Fight Pandemic

The Air Force is helping the Defense Department collect COVID-19 convalescent plasma from individuals who have recovered from the disease in hopes that it can help the military treat other patients, the service announced last month. While the military is now nearly halfway to its goal of collecting 10,000 units of convalescent plasma—or the liquid part of the blood donated by people whose bodies have beaten the disease—it's still seeking potential donors to help it reach that target by Sept. 30. “Currently, we have almost reached 50 percent of our goal and encourage those who are able to donate to do so to help fight this persistent enemy,” Air Force Deputy Surgeon General Maj. Gen. Sean L. Murphy said in an Aug. 4 statement to Air Force Magazine.
Enduring Lightning II

USAF, Israeli F-35s Train Together

American and Israeli F-35s trained together earlier this week, in the second bilateral exercise between the two countries focusing on Joint Strike Fighter operations. The exercise, called Enduring Lightning II, “illustrates the close relationship between the air forces and military echelons and enhances the cooperation of knowledge and capabilities of the F-35 and the IAF's operational abilities,” an Israeli Defense Force statement said.

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.

Raytheon and Rafael to Build Iron Dome in US

Defense News

American firm Raytheon Technologies and Israeli-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have formed a joint venture to build the Iron Dome missile defense system in the United States, the companies announced Aug. 3.

97th OG collaborates with AFWERX, Pilot Training Accelerates

USAF release

While continuing to train the nation's next generation of C-17 Globemaster III, KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-46 Pegasus pilots, the 97th Operations Group has begun to enhance their training in a unique, yet modern way. By using emerging technology combined with the new standards for pilot training, the group has created the Virtual/Enhanced Reality Training, Innovation, and Generation Office program for pilot training.

DARPA’s Stephen Forbes Named Blackjack Program Manager

SpaceNews

Stephen Forbes has been tapped to lead the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Blackjack program, the agency said Aug. 4. DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office launched the Blackjack program in 2018 to demonstrate the value of small satellites in low Earth orbit as an alternative to the Pentagon’s large geosynchronous satellites.

OPINION: A Sitting Target in Space for Russia's Anti-Satellite Weapons?

The Hill

"U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) has revealed evidence that Russia conducted a space-based anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon test on July 15,” writes retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. "This is but the latest in a growing number of counter-space capability tests conducted by an ever-expanding number of countries, and flies in the face of our nation’s policy to not weaponize space. It is time to face reality."

Air Force Modifies Funding for Credentialing Program

USAF release

Department of the Air Force officials recently announced changes to the Air Force Credentialing Opportunities Online, or AF COOL, program. Air and Space professionals will continue to receive funding for approved credentials, though funding for preparatory classes, boot camps, and coursework has been removed.