F-35 Red Flag-Alaska

Red Flags Wrapping Up at Nellis, Eielson

The Air Force’s two simultaneous Red Flag training events are set to wrap up this week, with the F-35 participating for the first time in the Alaska version. Red Flag at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and Red Flag-Alaska at Eielson Air Force Base are ending Aug. 14, following about two weeks of intense flying at each location’s training ranges. Both events began in late July and early August, as organizers worked to counter the spread of COVID-19 while still bringing together flying units from across the Air Force for high-level training. “We know our enemies won’t call a ‘time-out’ for this pandemic, so we’ve focused on warfighting integration and strengthened our partnership with our professional aggressor forces to ensure we are ready to defeat any threat,” said Col. William Reese, commander of the 414th Combat Training Squadron.
HH-60W First Aerial Refueling

Jolly Green II Begins Aerial Refueling Tests

The Air Force's new combat search and rescue helicopter completed its first aerial refueling on Aug. 5. Air Force and Sikorsky pilots flew the HH-60W Jolly Green II at 110 knots to connect with an HC-130J tanker during the initial test, which lasted just under two hours. The 413th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin will spend two weeks testing the Jolly Green II's aerial refueling capabilities, according to a USAF release. “The aircraft performed flawlessly during the testing and met all of the program objectives,” said John Biscaino, Sikorsky's test pilot.
Global Hawk Red Flag-Alaska

Russian MiG-31s Allegedly Intercept Global Hawk Over Arctic Waters

The Russian military claims three MiG-31s scrambled to intercept an RQ-4B operating in neutral waters over the Sea of Chukotsk, part of the Arctic Ocean bound in the east by Point Barrow, Alaska, on Aug. 11. The remotely piloted aircraft remained in international territory and the MiGs, which belong to the air defense forces of the Eastern Military District, returned to their bases when the Global Hawk changed directions without crossing into Russian airspace, according to state-run media. The move comes just three weeks after the Department of the Air Force released its first-ever Arctic strategy, which acknowledges Russia’s efforts to militarize the region. “If I were speaking to my Russian counterpart right now, … I would tell him it’s in our best interest to ensure that we adhere to common rules of behavior, just as we have for the last 50 years as we’ve intercepted each other in the Arctic, off the shores of Alaska, off the shores of Russia,” then-Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein said during the rollout of the new strategy. “We can't afford a miscalculation or for one of our Airman to perform below standards.”
AFWERX Fusion 2020

Teams Impress Tyndall with Future Base Tech

The innovation group AFWERX is hunting for new technologies that could revitalize Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., nearly two years after it was crushed by the Category 5 Hurricane Michael. AFWERX’s annual Fusion technology showcase, held online July 28-30, brought 370 exhibitors together to pitch their ideas in front of the military and network with others in the public and private sectors and academia. On Aug. 7, Air Force judges chose 92 teams to get more time with the service and a greater shot at future development and production contracts at Tyndall and other bases around the world. Those teams offered products ranging from facial-recognition technology for base access to a mentorship mobile app.

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.

Unresolved IG Recommendations Piling up at DOD

Federal News Network’s “On DOD with Jared Serbu” podcast

When the Pentagon’s inspector general makes recommendations to Defense Department officials as part of its audit and oversight work, the department’s leadership usually agrees with them. Whether or not they’re actually implemented is another matter.

Air Force Moving Project Maven into Advanced Battle Management System Portfolio

FedScoop

The program office for Project Maven—the Air Force’s first major foray into using artificial intelligence to scan drone footage—is being transitioned into the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) portfolio as the service continues positioning more of its traditional backend IT capabilities to support broader warfighting functions.

In Europe, Pompeo Warns of China, Russia Authoritarianism

The Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Aug. 11 of a rise in authoritarianism led by Russia, China, and Iran that threatens freedoms around the world. Opening a four-nation tour of eastern and central Europe in the Czech Republic, Pompeo paid tribute to American forces that liberated western Czechoslovakia in 1945 and lauded values shared by Americans and Czechs.

Cadets Graduate Inaugural Air Force Junior ROTC Cyber Academy

USAF release

The first class of cadets graduated from the inaugural Air Force Junior ROTC Cyber Academy, Aug. 5, 2020. At the academy, which was held virtually, the 24 graduating cadets built skills in state-of-the-art computing and cybersecurity under the supervision of instructors from Mississippi State University and the Whatcom Community College’s Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense.

One More Thing

Dwarf Planet Ceres Sheds Light On Habitable Planets

Aviation Week Network

The Texas-sized dwarf planet Ceres may be among the smallest Solar System bodies with evidence of potential habitable environments, according to a collection of seven new complementary scientific studies.