100th ARW supports F-16s over Black Sea

Esper: Keeping Mildenhall Open Makes ‘Obvious Strategic Sense’

RAF Mildenhall, U.K., will remain open and keep its American refueling and special operations missions through the 2020s, reversing the Pentagon’s original 2015 plan to consolidate bases and infrastructure across Europe. The Pentagon last week announced broad plans to downsize the troop presence in Germany, including keeping the 100th Air Refueling Wing and 352nd Special Operations Wing at Mildenhall instead of moving them to Germany's Spangdahlem Air Base in 2022. The 2015 European Infrastructure Consolidation plan was unpopular and long targeted for change, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Aug. 5. He did not offer specifics on why it is strategically beneficial to remain in the United Kingdom instead of Germany.

Air Force Formalizes New Approach to SERE Training

Air Education and Training Command is officially moving forward with changes to its survival, evasion, resistance, and escape course, after testing out new approaches in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Air Force wants to sharply cut how long all students spend in the program, known as SERE, but especially for those least likely to need the skills it teaches. Officials have been discussing updates to SERE for more than a year. 19th Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Craig D. Wills expects the changes will free up about 46,000 training days and around $35 million each year. Fighter and bomber pilots will likely get the 19-day course, flight attendants the five-day track, and mobility crews about 12 days.
Mess Dress Skirt

Skirting Tradition: Air Force OKs Mess Dress Pants for Women

Women serving in the Air Force and Space Force may now wear pants with their mess dress uniforms, the Department of the Air Force announced Aug. 4. Previously, these service members’ only option for mess dress bottoms was a floor-length skirt. “We hear you,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright said in a USAF release. “This is a bit of good news for some of our teammates who’ve wanted this change for a while now. A small thing, but one that I hope can go a long way to helping Airmen realize that we listen, we hear, and we care.” These policy changes will be part of the next update to the Air Force instruction that deals with dress and appearance.
13th DANG Change of Responsibility Ceremony

Loh Takes Over as Air National Guard Director

Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh received his third star and became the Air National Guard’s 13th director in a July 28 ceremony at the Pentagon. He succeeds Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, who retired Aug. 1, ANG spokesperson Lt. Col. Devin T. Robinson told Air Force Magazine on Aug. 5. Loh is the former Colorado adjutant general. Less than a week later, the District of Columbia Air National Guard’s 113th Wing welcomed a new commander as well.
Chief Master Sgt. Tony L. Whitehead

Whitehead Named National Guard Bureau Senior Enlisted Adviser

National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson tapped Chief Master Sgt. Tony L. Whitehead as the bureau’s next senior enlisted adviser, NGB announced Aug. 5. Whitehead, who has spent nearly 40 years in uniform, succeeds Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Kepner in the role. Whitehead most recently pulled double duty as command chief master sergeant for the Continental U.S. NORAD Region and Air Forces Northern.
Tirpak Goldfein 4th Star

The Goldfein Years

Gen. David L. Goldfein ends his tenure as USAF's 21st Chief of Staff today, handing uniformed leadership of the service to Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. In "The Goldfein Years," appearing in our July/August issue, Editorial Director John A. Tirpak talks to the outgoing chief about his legacy in the job, particularly Goldfein's spearheading of Joint All-Domain Command and Control, and his efforts to ensure it continues beyond his advocacy. He also discusses pushing more authority into the hands of squadron commanders; his initial reluctance to bring on the Space Force as a separate service; efforts to get more blue-suiters into joint command positions; laboring to smooth relations with Capitol Hill, and the necessity of staking USAF requirements with "The Force We Need." Goldfein also offers how he thinks the Air Force will see permanent changes as a result of the nation's struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virtual Events: AFA’s Virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference

The Air Force Association’s virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference continues today with a keynote from Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass at 9 a.m. EDT and another from Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper at 10 a.m. EDT. Conference attendance is free for military members and defense civilians, and rates for industry participants are discounted for AFA members (and from traditional rates for in-person participants). Registration is open now and space is limited, so early sign-ups are encouraged.

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.

In New Interview, Trump Talks Afghanistan, Russia, and More

HBO on YouTube

In a recent interview aired on “Axios on HBO,” President Donald J. Trump spoke with Axios National Political Correspondent Jonathan Swan about topics including the COVID-19 crisis, U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan, China, and Russia.

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Gen. David L. Goldfein, Bypassed to Be Trump's Top Military Adviser, Retires

The Washington Post

Goldfein, 60, will step down as Chief of Staff of the Air Force and retire on Aug. 6. He will be replaced by Gen. Charles Brown Jr., a fellow fighter pilot who has commanded Pacific Air Forces for the past two years, during an Air Force ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md.

Watch: ‘Aerospace Nation: AFWIC Global Futures Report’

Mitchell Institute on YouTube

AFA's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies hosted an "Aerospace Nation" talk on Aug. 5 featuring the authors of the Air Force Warfighting Integration Capability (AFWIC) Global Futures Report. The report lays out four scenarios to shape how the Defense Department and the Department of the Air Force can think of national security in unconventional, perhaps unlikely ways. Lt. Col. Jake Sotiriadis, AFWIC’s chief of strategic foresight and futures, and others discussed how the U.S. Air Force can adopt a flexible, forward-looking strategy and how that helps the service pursue the resources it needs.

DOD Space Agency’s Programs Don’t Have to Be Perfect but Have to Be Fast

SpaceNews

The Pentagon’s new space agency is working to develop a network of satellites in low Earth orbit to serve as the eyes and ears of military forces in the field. While typically it would take the Defense Department a decade to field such systems, the Space Development Agency plans to have satellites in orbit within two years. Derek Tournear, director of the SDA, said the agency selected as its motto “semper citius”—Latin for “always faster”—to emphasize the idea that putting good-enough capabilities in the hands of troops soon is preferable to delivering the perfect solution too late.

NRO Taps A.I. for Future ‘Hybrid Architecture’

Breaking Defense

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will be crucial to NRO’s efforts to use large constellations of small satellites in the future to fill the huge appetite within the Intelligence Community and the military services for remote sensing data, Director Chris Scolese says.

DOD CIO Attempts to Remove Non-Technical Obstacles to Digital Transformation

Federal News Network’s “Federal Drive with Tom Temin” podcast

For Defense Department Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy, digital transformation was never just about the cloud. This is why making the Air Force’s dev/sec/ops program, known as Platform One, a DOD-wide, enterprise-wide service is an important milestone.

Navy, Marines Locate Sunken AAV, Human Remains

USNI News

The Navy and Marine Corps identified the location of the amphibious assault vehicle that sank off the coast of San Clemente Island last week using a remotely operated search and rescue system.

Mobility Airmen Transport Humanitarian Aid to Nicaragua

USAF release

Airmen assigned to the 22nd Airlift Squadron delivered equipment and supplies to Managua, Nicaragua, July 26 during a Denton Program mission. The Denton Program is an unfunded government program that allows non-government organizations to donate humanitarian aid for movement by the U.S. Air Force on training missions.