ULA launch

ULA, SpaceX Win Space Force Launch Provider Competition

United Launch Alliance and SpaceX will continue in the Space Force’s National Security Space Launch program. Challengers Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin were left to hope for future military launch wins in subsequent competitions. ULA will provide the rockets for 60 percent of Space Force launch missions through 2024, while SpaceX will handle the other 40 percent. Together, they will support up to 34 Space Force and National Reconnaissance Office launches over the next few years.
74th EFS returns from deployment

DOD: Most Troops, Families Must Quarantine Before Traveling Overseas

Most of the Defense Department's uniformed and civilian personnel and their families must complete a risk assessment and quarantine for 14 days before moving overseas to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a new Pentagon memo. Matthew P. Donovan, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, released the latest health protection guidance for the armed forces Aug. 6. Before traveling, service members, civilians, and family members need to determine how likely it is that they are sick or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19.
Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle

AFRL Commander Wants Lab’s 2030 Strategy to Move Faster

More than a year after the Air Force released its “Science and Technology 2030” strategy, the officer in charge of carrying it out says the future should come a little faster. “The strategy is important, but accelerating it, … that's at the top of my list,” Air Force Research Laboratory Commander Brig. Gen. Heather L. Pringle told reporters Aug. 4. “I don't want to wait. I don't want to go slowly.” Speeding up S&T 2030 is one of Pringle’s top priorities as she nears the two-month mark in her new job. She is the lab’s first permanent leader since Maj. Gen. William Cooley was abruptly fired in January amid an Air Force Office of Special Investigations inquiry into misconduct allegations. AFOSI has not responded to questions about the status of the investigation.
Stratotanker cockpit

USAF Looks to Build Planes, Workstations to Fit More Aviators

Tall or small, the Air Force wants to ensure that Americans of more shapes and sizes can fit into its future aircraft. The service on Aug. 4 updated its guidance on the minimum physical size requirements used to design cockpits and aircrew flight equipment, which were originally based on a 1967 survey of male pilots. The parameters established by the 1967 study exclude about 44 percent of women, including 74 percent of Black women, 72 percent of Latino women and 61 percent of Asian American women unless they are granted a waiver, according to an Air Force release.
Lt. Gen. David D. Thompson

Thompson Tapped as Space Force Vice Chief

Lt. Gen. David D. Thompson is nominated to formally become the Vice Chief of Space Operations, the Space Force’s second-highest officer, and is up for a promotion to four-star general, the Pentagon said Aug. 7. Thompson took the job of vice commander of Air Force Space Command in April 2018, after holding the position from 2015 to 2017. The job carried over when AFSPC became the Space Force in December 2019, so the new nomination would establish Thompson within the Space Force’s new leadership structure.
Kadena aircraft participate in Exercise Westpac Rumrunner

Small Part Falls off Kadena-Based F-15

An F-15 from Kadena Air Base, Japan, dropped an “eagle claw” at some point during a training flight Aug. 4, and the 18th Wing is looking into what caused the part to fall. The part is a C-shaped metal object that is about 7 inches long and weighs 8 pounds, a spokesman for the 18th Wing told Air Force Magazine. Eagle claws are there to hold munitions in place, though there were no munitions on the aircraft during the training flight, which took place off the coast of Okinawa.
Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft

Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, 1925-2020

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, twice U.S. National Security Adviser, unelected statesman of international affairs, and adviser to six U.S. presidents, died Aug. 6 at age 95. Scowcroft was a pragmatist who helped the U.S. navigate the collapse of Soviet Communism and the 1991 Gulf War, and predicted the consequences of U.S. wars in the Middle East during the 21st century. He was known for building inclusive and consensus-based approaches to foreign policy.

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.

Pentagon Chief Esper Talks with Chinese Counterpart as Tensions Soar

National Public Radio

Amid deteriorating U.S.-China relations, further aggravated by a highly unusual trip to Taiwan this weekend by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper talked for 90 minutes on Aug. 6 with his Chinese counterpart, Defense Minister Wei Fenghe.

Mitchell Institute Nuclear Deterrence Forum Featuring Ilan Berman, Senior VP, American Foreign Policy Council

Mitchell Institute on YouTube

The Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies hosted American Foreign Policy Council Senior Vice President Ilan Berman for a timely discussion of the potential implications of Iran's impending 25-year strategic cooperation agreement with China. The conversation also covers the latest on the explosion at the Natanz nuclear plant, Iran’s recent military exercises, and the future of U.S. policy toward Iran and the Middle East more broadly.

Pentagon Code Library Will Support Multiple Clouds

Breaking Defense

Military information is too important to store in a single cloud. Although the $10 billion JEDI contract dominates public conversation about military cloud services, the Pentagon’s Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy says the department is creating its own repository of shareable code for managing the constellations of clouds within the Pentagon.

OPINION: Why Giving the Space Force Naval Ranks Might Widen the Schism with the Air Force

POLITICO

“Culturally, the Space Force leadership was raised in an environment where social standing and kudos went to the “warfighters”: fighter pilots and those who could produce effects on the ground,” writes retired Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Garretson, a senior fellow in defense studies at the American Foreign Policy Council and space consultant who previously served as director of Air University’s Space Horizons Task Force. “The result is that, while a small navalist cultural tradition in the Space Force and its precursor does exist, it is not widespread and confined mostly to its intellectuals.”

National Air Force Museum Opens New Exhibit on Air Force One

Springfield News-Sun

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force has announced that it will open a new exhibit titled “Flying the President,” featuring memorabilia flown aboard Air Force One from administrations ranging from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Donald Trump.

One More Thing

Live War Ordnance Discovered at Museum

Norfolk Daily News

The museum shut down early on Aug. 5 after Austin Truex, an intern at the Elkhorn Valley Museum in Norfolk, Neb., found the ordnance among its stored items. The grenade, ammunition, and ordnance were found while reorganizing storerooms in the facility.