Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Air Force’s new Chief didn’t waste time or mince words in his vision document, aptly entitled “Accelerate Change, or Lose.” General Charles Brown, Jr., is sending up flares, and policymakers should pay attention. The time is ripe, he asserts, while still in the early years of a new defense strategy, having just stood up a new service in the Space Force, and during a pandemic,” writes Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Joint all-domain command and control is redefining how the U.S. military will operate in the future joint fight—and how systems must be designed today. For the latest on all things JADC2 and to stay tuned to the latest developments, check out our JADC2 landing page.
The New US Air Force Chief has a Reputation of Only Asking for What He Needs. He’s Going to Need a Lot.
In September 2016, when the U.S. Air Force’s new chief of staff, Gen. David L. Goldfein, took the stage at the service’s largest conference, he spoke of the heavy responsibility of leading the service. He said the portraits of former chiefs had eyes that followed him like “a Harry Potter movie,” and he recounted his own experience as a young F-16 pilot in combat for the first time during Desert Storm. Then he used the speech, like his predecessors had, to lay out his goals for the Air Force. For his successor, Gen. Charles “C.Q.” Brown Jr., who will make his first address to the service during the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference on Sept. 14, coming in “guns blazing” might be the only option.
As perceived security threats mount in Earth's orbit, countries around the world are following the example of the United States and creating their own "space forces." Nine months ago, in December 2019, the U.S. Space Force was born. The new military branch was created with a focus to protect the nation's satellites and other space assets, which are vital to everything from national security to day-to-day communications. Now, countries including France, Canada, and Japan are following suit, as leaders from those countries' "space force" analogs said Sept. 10 during the 2nd Summit for Space Sustainability, an online event hosted by the nonprofit Secure World Foundation.
President Donald J. Trump nominated Maj. Gen. Robert J. Skinner for appointment to the grade of lieutenant general with assignment as director, Defense Information Systems Agency/commander, Joint Forces Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network, Fort George G. Meade, Md.
Senior Airman Jason Khai Phan, 26, of Anaheim, Calif., died Sept. 12 in a single-vehicle non-combat related accident while conducting a routine patrol outside the perimeter of Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
The Air Force typically doesn't get a lot of credit for close-range ground combat missions, but there is one unit that has fought alongside Army Rangers almost every day since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Since its initial deployment in October 2001, elements of the 17th Special Tactics Squadron have deployed with units of the 75th Ranger Regiment for more than 6,900 days and counting. The headquarters and two operational detachments of the 17th have been in a continuous rotation of combat deployments in the 19 years since 9/11, according to an Air Force news release.
Aerospace company Boom Supersonic this week announced a contract with the U.S. Air Force to develop a supersonic plane for transporting diplomats and high-ranking government officials. The contract will fund research into building new, mission-appropriate configurations of its conceptual supersonic passenger plane, called Overture. Boom has designed the Overture, which is still in development, as a single-aisle business class plane, with seats laid out in a 1-1 configuration. With the new funding from the Air Force, Boom plans to explore ways to customize the plane—both inside and out—for government work.
The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate is spearheading an international alliance of principal investigators across government, academia and industry to accelerate quantum enabling technologies. The 18 research teams from around the world who have qualified for awards for their potentially game-changing quantum research and innovations were announced as part of the live, virtual “Million Dollar International Quantum U Tech Accelerator.”
Air Force Remains Tight-Lipped on Details Even as It Begins Promoting Possible Two-Game Football Season
Behind guarded gates, Air Force is preparing for a possible two-game football season in ways it is opting not to share. The Falcons kept Navy (Oct. 3) and Army (Nov. 7) on the football schedule even as the Mountain West’s postponement of fall sports took away the other games on the 2020 slate. This past week, Air Force began promoting the home game against Navy and the series for the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy on social media. The team is also practicing at regular-season levels (20 hours a week) and has held at least one scrimmage. So, it would seem all signs point toward a two-game season this fall. But the Falcons aren’t ready to talk about it.