Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark

USAF Rethinks Relationship Between Conventional, Nuclear Weapons

The Air Force is crafting new policy that envisions more fluidity between conventional and nuclear weapons, as well as a broader range of options to keep others from using their own nuclear weapons. The U.S. has long treated conventional and nuclear warfare as separate concepts, but that’s beginning to change, said Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration. Over the past year and a half, nuclear experts on the Air Staff have crafted an overview of “conventional and nuclear integration,” in which American service members must be able to survive a conflict that involves a nuclear weapon.

‘Mayhem’ Will Be Larger, Multi-Role Air-Breathing Hypersonic System for USAF

The Air Force is pursuing a speedy program for a new air-breathing hypersonic missile, equipped with a modular payload bay that apparently will be used for something other than submunitions, according to a service solicitation. USAF solicited Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon for the work, saying they alone have the expertise to perform. A 15-month program is envisioned, and the Air Force wants the companies to consider teaming arrangements on the propulsion system, air vehicle, and payload integration. The new system still has to fit on fighters and bombers.

Coronavirus Returns to USAFA as School Year Begins

U.S. Air Force Academy cadets are starting a fall semester unlike any other, as the school tries to prove on-campus classes can work amid the coronavirus pandemic. About 4,400 students are back in class at USAFA in Colorado Springs, Colo., after the academy cut short the spring 2020 semester and sent all but the seniors home ahead of an early graduation. Positive COVID-19 cases turned up over the Aug. 15 weekend, the first weekend after classes began Aug. 12. Academy spokesman Lt. Col. Michael Andrews declined to say how many people have tested positive so far.
Bomber exercise

B-1, B-2 Bomber Task Forces Simultaneously Operate in the Indo-Pacific

Two of the Air Force’s three bombers recently flew simultaneous long-range missions across the Indo-Pacific, with two different sets of B-1s training alongside Japanese fighters and Navy ships, while stealth B-2s flew their own training mission in the Indian Ocean. Two bomber task forces are deployed to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, with B-1s at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and B-2s at Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia. On Aug. 17, two B-1s took off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., and flew to the East Sea, where they linked up with two B-1s from Andersen and four F-15Cs from Kadena Air Base, Japan, as well as Japan Air Self Defense Force F-15Js, Marine Corps F-35Bs from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, and the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group for a large force exercise. At Diego Garcia, two B-2s deployed to the Indian Ocean base from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., flew “joint interoperability tactics training” and returned to the base, according to Pacific Air Forces.
Travis Air Force Base Readiness Exercise

California Fire Triggers Personnel, Aircraft Evacuations at Travis

Non-essential personnel and their families evacuated from Travis Air Force Base on Aug. 19 because of the threat of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, 60th Air Mobility Wing spokesperson Capt. Amanda M. Farr confirmed to Air Force Magazine. The base also began evacuating its aircraft around 8:30 the same night, with the wing's C-17s headed to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., its C-5s to Kelly Field at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, and its KC-10s to Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Farr said.

Guard C-130s Fighting California Fires

Specially equipped C-130s are supporting fire responses across California, where numerous blazes have destroyed dozens of homes and prompted evacuations throughout the state. Four C-130s from the California Air National Guard’s 146th, the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd, and Nevada Air National Guard’s 152nd Airlift Wings are activated and flying sorties, dropping fire retardant with the aircraft’s Modular Airborne Firefighting System. The four aircraft conducted 15 sorties on Aug. 18, conducting 12 drops on the Lake Fire north of Santa Clarita, the Salt Fire near Stockton, and the LNU Lightning Complex Fire west of Sacramento, according to 1st Air Force-Air Forces Northern. “The aircraft are working at a quick pace,” said Col. Gregory Berry, commander of the 302nd Air Expeditionary Group, in a statement. “The C-130 crews are flying an average of six drops a day and about five hours a day depending on the fire.”

Virtual Events: Scowcroft Group’s Miller on Mitchell’s Nuclear Deterrence Series, and More

On March 23, the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies will host a virtual Nuclear Deterrence Series event featuring Scowcroft Group Principal Frank Miller. At a time when nuclear modernization programs are accelerating around the world, proposals to recapitalize the U.S. nuclear arsenal are at the forefront of debates over defense spending. Miller will share his insights into the prospects for U.S. nuclear modernization programs and the value of nuclear deterrence in today's competitive security environment. The think tank will post event video on its website and YouTube page after the live event.

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.

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The New Air Force Chief Wasn’t Sure How to Address George Floyd’s Killing. Then He Talked to His Son.

The Washington Post

The general, then commander of Pacific Air Forces, or Pacaf, said he wasn’t sure how he should respond to the killing of another Black man by police. Not yet confirmed as Chief, he did not want to get in the way of anything the Air Force’s top leaders had planned, he said. But then his son asked, “ ‘Dad, what is PACAF saying?’ ” Brown recalled. “Which is code for, ‘Dad, what are you going to say?’ ”

US Drops Death Penalty for ISIS ‘Beatles’

Defense One

The United States will not pursue the death penalty against two British Islamic State group detainees who are accused of beheading U.S. journalists and have been held in indefinite military detention in Iraq, if the U.K. agrees to turn over vital evidence in the case, Attorney General Bill Barr has confirmed in a letter to United Kingdom officials. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh have been held at al-Asad airbase in Iraq since October, where they were moved during the Turkish invasion of Syria last fall over concerns that there could be mass breakouts from the Kurdish-guarded prisons.

Mocana to Provide Cybersecurity Support to US Air Force

Airforce Technology

The Air Force Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contract is worth $1.5 million. As agreed, Mocana will deliver advanced cyber protection for military systems, establishing end-to-end digital supply chain security.

How the Battle over the US Postal Service Is Costing Veterans Dearly

Task & Purpose

While public anxiety over the declining efficiency of the postal service has in recent weeks focused on how USPS would be able to handle absentee ballots during the upcoming November election—an issue that has become a politically charged battle over mail-in voting—those concerns are far more immediate for veterans and countless others across the country who get their medicine through the mail.

One More Thing

Moving Company Illegally Auctioned Off Service Member’s Family Heirlooms and Other Possessions, Justice Alleges

Military Times

Justice Department attorneys filed a lawsuit against a Massachusetts moving and storage company alleging the company illegally auctioned off the belongings of an Air Force technical sergeant while he was deployed—including military gear and mementos that belonged to a cousin who was killed in action, his grandfather’s military service medals, and a dresser that was handmade by his great-grandfather.