CMSAF Wright visits Whiteman AFB

CMSAF Wright’s Last Message to Airmen Before Retirement

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright called on Airmen to work together and treat each other with dignity in a divisive time, in his parting letter to the service. “Trust that we are all worthy individuals, who deserve respect and deserve to serve with dignity,” Wright wrote. “No matter what the challenges we face, we can always overcome them if we are united. Please don’t let those who are set on dividing us win. Don’t let them drive us apart.” Wright, who has served as the Air Force’s top enlisted leader since 2017, will hand over the job to the next Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, JoAnne S. Bass, during a ceremony Aug. 14 at Joint Base Andrews, Md.
CSAF Transition Ceremony

Brown Outlines Leadership Style, Expectations as New Chief of Staff

As Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. took over as the service’s top uniformed leader, he directed his inner circle to address urgent issues with, at times, imperfect information and to provide direct, unvarnished advice to move the service forward. The guidance to the Air Staff, issued Aug. 6, provides a glimpse of the direct leadership style of the 22nd Chief of Staff as the service prepares for a high-end fight, with specific mentions of the growing threat from China and the “generational” opportunity to restructure that comes along with the creation of the Space Force. “We must make enterprise-wide and clear-eyed judgments about our strategic future as an Air Force and how we enable all Airmen to reach their full potential, quickly adapt to changes in the geopolitical environment, and succeed in a high-end fight,” Brown wrote.
RCO Space Power Forum

Space RCO Presses Forward Amid Reorganization

The secretive Space Rapid Capabilities Office’s workload has taken shape two years after its inception, as the space research and development enterprise changes around it. The Space RCO, which speedily develops cutting-edge technologies at the request of Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, handles capabilities that go “in, from, and to space,” with less bureaucracy and more flexibility than typical research programs, Space RCO Director Michael W. Roberts said during an Aug. 13 Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event. Most of its portfolio is classified, with one unclassified ground control station project. It will not manage the X-37B spaceplane, or fall under the Space Force's Space Systems Command.
Asbestos at Offutt

Offutt Airmen Face Falling Concrete, Asbestos as Rebuild Costs Rise

Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., continues to move forward with its effort to rebuild following last year’s historic flood, despite the coronavirus pandemic, growing costs, and hazardous work conditions. Lt. Col. Chris J. Conover, director of Offutt’s rebuilding management office, told Air Force Magazine the initial price tag was off and could rise further. The Air Force now estimates it will cost more than $1 billion to create a new Offutt, meaning they may need to ask Congress for more help. Meanwhile, makeshift workplaces at the base—which handles intelligence-collecting and nuclear command aircraft like the Rivet Joint, Open Skies, and “Doomsday” planes—are hardly ideal.
RQ-4 2020 rotation of operation in Japan

Global Hawk Learns New Tricks While Congress Mulls Retirement

Air Force intelligence officials will keep improving the RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone until Congress directs them to ditch it, the 16th Air Force commander said Aug. 13. The RQ-4 enterprise is in limbo, as the Air Force wants to retire 24 of the aircraft in fiscal 2021, but lawmakers have not yet signed off on the plan. If the request is approved, the Global Hawk inventory would shrink from around 30 aircraft to 10. “[Airmen are] going to continue to optimize everything we’re doing with the Global Hawk for as long as the Global Hawk’s in our inventory,” 16th Air Force boss Lt. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh said during an online Air Force Association event.
Travis AFB childcare centers implement safety measures amidst pandemic

DOD Gives Military Families Access to Child Care Search Service

The Defense Department is giving military parents access to a subscription-based online service that they can use to find hourly child care services that make the most sense for their families, according to an Aug. 10 release. This service, which they can sign up for through Military OneSource, will let them look for care based on their family’s unique needs and preferences, locate potential providers, pore through their background checks and references, and interview them, according to Military OneSource’s website.

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.

Air Force Academy Begins Coronavirus-Distanced Classes

Air Force Times

The entire class of roughly 4,400 cadets has returned to the academy, and will be attending classes split roughly evenly between online and in-person lessons, academy spokesman Mike Slater said in an email on Aug. 12. Bringing about half the courses online will result in smaller in-person class sizes, Slater said, which will make it easier for cadets to socially distance when they gather.

Moving US F-16s from Germany Will Ripple Far Outside the Black Sea Region

Defense News

The strategic and geopolitical implications of the changes could be even more considerable than first thought and play into a range of areas from Germany’s fighter contest to the way the U.S. Air Force trains for war, former Defense Department and Air Force officials told Defense News.

Air Force Flight Tests B-21 Avionics; Program ‘On Right Track’

Breaking Defense

"I know we're not going to be immune from design flaws," Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office Director and Program Executive Officer Randall G. Walden said of the B-21 program. "We're going to have to work through those, and we're doing some of that today."

Ban on Chinese Products Starts Despite Confusion over Acquisition Rule

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

The second and more arduous deadline for agencies and vendors to ensure they are no longer using certain Chinese made telecommunications products and services is here, and few are happy about it. Industry and agencies alike continue to sound the alarm about the potential and real impacts of the interim rule implementing part B of Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. Under the interim rule, which remains open for comments through mid-September, agencies cannot award new contracts, task orders, or modify existing contracts to any vendor who doesn’t self-certify that they are not using products from Chinese companies like ZTE and Huawei.

Air Force Announces Cancellation of 20OT03 OTS Selection Board

USAF release

The upcoming 20OT03 Officer Training School selection board scheduled for September 14-18 has been canceled. The board focused on the following career fields: 13S—Space Operations; 15W—Weather, 32EXA—Architect/Architectural Engineer; 32EXC—Civil Engineer; 32EXE—Electrical Engineer; 32EXG—General Engineer, and 62EXE— Electrical/Electronic Engineer.