Master Sgt. John Grimesey receives the Silver Star Medal

Combat Controller Receives Silver Star for 2013 Battle

Master Sgt. John Grimesey, the flight chief of the 21st Special Tactics Squadron at Pope Field, N.C., on Aug. 14 received the military's Silver Star medal for his actions during a 2013 firefight in Afghanistan. He saved the life of one Soldier and killed more than 30 enemy fighters. Grimesey initially received the Bronze Star medal for the battle, but the Air Force later upgraded the award as part of a service review of valor medals. “I think about it every day. I even dream about it,” Grimesey said of the battle, according to an Aug. 14 Air Force release.
F-15EX Two Ship hard bank

F-15EX Headed to Oregon, Florida as USAF Decides on Fighter Bases

The Air Force will put its F-15EX schoolhouse in the location where the Air National Guard now trains F-15C/D Eagle pilots, at Kingsley Field, Ore., the service announced Aug. 14. Oregon will also receive the first operational F-15EXs, but other Guard units giving up aging F-15C/Ds will either get F-15EX or F-35As, USAF said. So far, the service hasn't announced any Active-duty units that will receive the updated Eagles.
F-16 train over Holloman

DARPA’s AI Dogfighting Tournament Sets Stage for Future Autonomy

Pentagon researchers this week will pit man against machine in an aerial dogfighting tournament to see if artificial intelligence algorithms can outsmart each other and a human F-16 pilot in combat. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s AlphaDogfight Trials will host eight teams that have developed advanced AI that can simulate up-close combat maneuvers in flight. The program bolsters the technology needed for DARPA’s Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program, which wants to automate air-to-air combat and build human trust in machines that can act on their own. “Autonomy in air combat is certainly not new,” ACE Program Manager Col. Daniel Javorsek said in a recent interview. “The fact that it can be performed at human levels is something that's a bit more new.”
Swearing In Class of 2024

Silveria: More Work to Do to Curb Racism, Sexual Assault at USAFA

The U.S. Air Force Academy must set a better example for students to discourage sexual assault, harassment, and other forms of discrimination on campus, the school's outgoing Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay B. Silveria said on Aug. 17. His remarks come at the beginning of the first school year after protests and demonstrations calling for an end to systemic racism and police brutality roiled America earlier this summer. The discussion also follows a January 2020 Pentagon report that showed 40 sexual assaults were reported at USAFA during the 2018-2019 school year, up from 23 the year before.
PRANG receives Disaster Relief Beddown System

Puerto Rico ANG Gets Its Own Disaster Relief Beddown Systems

The Puerto Rico Air National Guard recently received two of its own Disaster Relief Beddown Systems, the 156th Wing announced in an Aug. 14 release. The systems—which allow their owners to erect tent cities to house first responders when responding to emergencies, such as the earthquakes that plagued the territory beginning in December—were reallocated to the PRANG from the North Carolina ANG’s 145th Airlift Wing and the North Dakota ANG’s 119th Wing, according to the release. PRANG previously had to depend on other states to lend out one of 20 systems that were scattered across the United States, which made for expensive asks when natural disasters hit Puerto Rico—since C-130s are normally required to haul the systems between locations—and slowed the PRANG's response time to disasters.

Virtual Events: IAVA, The Mission Continues Host Event on Veterans and Voting, and More

On Sept. 30, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America will host a Facebook Live with The Mission Continues at 1 p.m. EDT addressing the importance of the veteran vote, issues impacting the veteran community, and more. IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler will appear in conversation with TMC President Mary Beth Bruggeman, and the two will take questions from the public and press. People may email press@IAVA.org to RSVP and get call-in information, and tune into the event 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.

Esper Eyes $2.2 Billion Cut to Military Health Care

POLITICO

The proposed cut to the military health system over the next five years is part of a sweeping effort Esper initiated last year to eliminate inefficiencies within the Defense Department’s coffers. But two senior defense officials say the effort has been rushed and driven by an arbitrary cost-savings goal, and argue that the cuts to the system will imperil the health care of millions of military personnel and their families as the nation grapples with COVID-19.

‘No Lines on the Battlefield’: Pentagon’s New War-Fighting Concept Takes Shape

Defense News

For most of this year, Pentagon planners have been developing a new joint war-fighting concept, a document meant to guide how the Defense Department fights in the coming decades. Now, with an end-of-year deadline fast approaching, two top department officials believe the concept is coalescing around a key idea—one that requires tossing decades of traditional thinking out the window.

Maj. Gen. Dunlop Created Toxic Environment in Top Secret Program Office, IG Finds

Air Force Times

The two-star general who last year was fired from running the Pentagon’s office that oversees some of the military’s most secret classified programs repeatedly and publicly berated and belittled her subordinates, the Air Force Office of Inspector General found. Maj. Gen. Dawn Dunlop also once grabbed a subordinate’s hand without consent and scolded her over a “minor issue,” the IG’s investigator said in a January 2020 report, obtained by Air Force Times via the Freedom of Information Act.

Air Force One Just Had a Near Miss with a Drone According to Reporter Onboard

The Drive

Reports are emerging describing a potential near miss with an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) while the C-32A that President Donald J. Trump was flying on was making its final approach into Andrews Air Force base on the evening of Aug. 16. POTUS was returning from Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., when the reported near miss took place.

Lockheed Wins F-16 FMS Deal Worth Up to $62 Billion

Inside Defense

The Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a first-of-its-kind indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract to sell foreign militaries commoditized F-16 fighter jets off the latest Block 70 production line.

AFRL Neurotechnology Partnership Aims to Accelerate Learning

USAF release

The Individualized Neural Learning System, or iNeuraLS, is a new augmented learning platform that will enable rapid learning by closed-loop modulation of cognitive states during skill acquisition. Essentially, the Air Force Research Laboratory team seeks to develop a capability that will give Airmen the ability to rapidly acquire knowledge and skills on the fly through direct brain interfaces with the help of neurotechnologies.

New Policy Allows Privately Owned Firearms on Wright-Patt AFB for CCW Permit Holders

USAF release

Base personnel will soon be able to request approval to transport licensed firearms to and from the installation. Holders of a Federal Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act permit, Ohio concealed carry permit, or another state’s concealed carry permit that has a reciprocity with the state of Ohio, will be authorized upon approval to transport secured, privately owned firearms in their privately owned vehicles.