Roper ABMS

Roper: ABMS Experiment to Highlight Complexity of Future Warfare

The upcoming Advanced Battle Management System experiment will have so much activity in so many places the heads of U.S. Space Command and U.S. Northern Command will be hard-pressed to make sense of it all. And, that's the point, USAF acquisition executive Will Roper said Aug. 25. In a 90-minute “Ask Me Anything” session on YouTube, Roper said he's driving home the point that situational awareness will from now on depend on automated systems, which are designed to collect and interpret combat information and share the results with anyone who needs it. Roper, who described ABMS as the service's top acquisition priority, also predicted that new Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. will be a big backer of the program and will be swift to eliminate legacy systems that don't build future capability.
Dragon Ladies avionics crew

Chinese Military Alleges U-2 Flew Over Training Exercise

The Chinese government is alleging an Air Force U-2 overflew a People’s Liberation Army training exercise, claiming it was a provocative act in a purported no-fly zone. At the same time, the Pentagon is warning allies of China’s military modernization and spreading influence. The Chinese Defense Ministry said the U-2 “severely disrupted regular Chinese training activities,” and ignored bilateral guidelines on aerial and maritime safety, according to Reuters. Pacific Air Forces, in a statement, said “A U-2 sortie was conducted in the Indo-Pacific area of operations and within the accepted international rules and regulations governing aircraft flights." The alleged incident comes as Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper is traveling through the Indo-Pacific on a trip to show the U.S. commitment to the region.
Tinker expands precautions to combat COVID-19

Defense Health Agency Creates COVID-19 Registry to Improve Care Quality

The Defense Health Agency has created a clearinghouse for information about COVID-19 patients’ medical and service histories, journeys with the disease, and clinical outcomes to help it improve treatment quality and keep Defense Department guidance for COVID-19 care current, DHA Director Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place told Air Force Magazine in an exclusive interview. “It's a way of tracking all of those different things so that we can both provide best care to the patients that we do have, but using continuous process improvement with the data within the system to continuously update the guidance that we give to the field on best modalities on how we care for our patients,” Place said.
12th Air Force Commander

Cornish Takes Command of 12th Air Force

Maj. Gen. Barry R. Cornish took command of 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) during an Aug. 21 change of command ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Cornish, previously the commander of the 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force-Afghanistan and commander of NATO Air Command-Afghanistan, took over for outgoing Maj. Gen. Andrew A. Croft. The Senate confirmed Croft for his third star and to be U.S. Southern Command’s military deputy commander. In Afghanistan, Cornish said he saw multiple outside powers competing in an area that is rife with drug trade and other issues, a direct comparison to other nations exerting influence in SOUTHCOM’s region. “We should not be lulled into a complacent sense that we are immune to this exact sort of competition for power in our own hemisphere,” Cornish said.
Vacaville Fire

Guard Aircraft Watching California Fires as Blazes Continue to Spread

Air National Guard reconnaissance aircraft are tracking the spread of record fires across California, with unmanned and manned aircraft providing video to help with the response. The California Air National Guard’s 195th Wing’s 234th Intelligence Squadron is using video feeds from MQ-9s and at least one RC-26 that have been flying above the fires, using damage assessments and predictive analysis to inform crews on the ground, according to a 195th Wing release. There are more than two dozen major fires and lightning complexes across the state, with 615 total wildfires ignited since Aug. 15. All told, about 1.3 million acres have burned across California, according to Cal Fire.
CE clears branches

Air National Guard Completes Iowa Storm Damage Cleanup

National Guardsmen in Iowa played a crucial role in cleaning up after a storm with winds up to 140 miles per hour hit Cedar Rapids earlier this month, uprooting trees, knocking down power lines, and causing power outages across southeast Iowa. Within 24 hours, Airmen from the Iowa Air National Guard's 185th Air Refueling Wing Civil Engineering Squadron based in Sioux City joined Army National Guard Soldiers in Cedar Rapids to clear the way for the power company to restore power.

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 IT Satisfaction Rating Doubles during Pandemic

FedScoop

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Air Force to take rapid action to enhance and scale its telework and remote IT services during the early days of the crisis. As a result, Airmen are much happier with the Air Force’s IT services and support than they were before the pandemic hit.

Podcast: The US Hypersonics Program Matures

Aviation Week Network

Aviation Week editors talk about new developments hypersonics, including the revelation that the Air Force is studying intercontinental-range hypersonics that could be nuclear-armed and confirmation of the creation of a multi-mission platform with a multi-cycle engine that could be the path toward a SR-72 intelligence-gathering vehicle.

F-35 Joint Program Office Ramping Up PBL Analysis

Inside Defense

The F-35 joint program office is ramping up its analysis of a possible performance-based logistics sustainment contract with Lockheed Martin, according to a notice posted this week. In a new justification and approval document, the Navy-led tiger team details its reasons for extending a contract with Systecon North America for consulting services as it finalizes its assessment and response to Lockheed's proposal for a five-year PBL deal the company says could save the program about $1 billion.

Air Force F-16 Squadron Trains with Partners in Poland

Air Force Times

F-16 Fighting Falcons and Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, have deployed to Poland to take part in a joint training exercise, according to the Air Force. The aircraft and personnel have deployed to the 32nd Tactical Air Base in Łask Air Base, Poland, to participate in and support Aviation Detachment Rotation 20.4, officials said in a media release.

DARPA’s Gremlins Pass Second Flight Test

SIGNAL Magazine

DARPA’s Gremlins program is targeting additional tests of the X-61A vehicle later this year after meeting several primary objectives during risk reduction flights at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah in late July. The Gremlins program seeks to develop and demonstrate air launch and air recovery of up to four unmanned aerial systems, known as Gremlins Air Vehicles, within 30 minutes.