Maj. Gen. John E. Shaw AFWERX

Space Force Will Eventually Put Troops in Orbit, Ops Boss Says

Military troops in the Space Force will someday deploy to orbit, one of the service's top operations officials said Sept. 29. “At some point, yes, we will be putting humans into space,” Maj. Gen. John E. Shaw, head of the Space Force's Space Operations Command and part of U.S. Space Command leadership, said during a conference organized by the AFWERX innovation group. “They may be operating command centers somewhere in the lunar environment or someplace else.” Space Force officials, wary of being confused with NASA, usually emphasize that the new military branch was created to offer satellite services to troops around the world, not to put “boots on the moon.”
Education Fair

Air Force to Reduce Tuition Assistance for Troops

Starting Oct. 1, the Department of the Air Force will only pay for $3,750 of college tuition for Airmen and space professionals each fiscal year, regardless of whether they’re engaged in undergraduate or graduate studies, according to a Sept. 29 release. That's a decrease of $750 per-fiscal-year from 2020 tuition reimbursement rates. Troops facing extenuating circumstances are allowed to apply for waivers, but credit-hour limits aren’t changing, the release noted.
Golden Horde

Air Force Wants Help Teaching its Weapon Swarm How to ‘Think’

The Air Force Research Laboratory wants to make its budding swarm of semi-autonomous weapons smarter. “Golden Horde” aims to connect munitions like Boeing’s Small Diameter Bomb I in a swarm that can work through a list of targets on its own, and that could redirect individual weapons as needed. AFRL still plans to prove whether a group of bombs can collaborate in a coming demonstration, and is trying to decide how to move the initiative from the lab to a formal combat program. Golden Horde is one of three fast-tracked “vanguard” programs that pulls money and resources from across the Department of the Air Force to become a viable option in warfare sooner.
AOMSW

USAF, Navy Practice Joint Air Ops over Persian Gulf

Air Forces Central Command and its U.S. Navy counterpart recently teamed up for a joint air operations in support of maritime surface warfare (AOMSW) exercise in the Persian Gulf, according to a Naval Forces Central Command release. Exercises like the one held from Sept. 23-24 “serve to enhance and solidify” joint-force capabilities by making sure air and naval forces can integrate quickly and safeguard “the maritime domain,” NAVCENT boss Vice Adm. Samuel Paparo, who also commands U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, said in the release. The USAF footprint included F-15Es from the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, as well as support from AFCENT’s Combined Air Operations Center.

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.

Marine KC-130 and F-35 Collide in California

Marine Corps Times

A Marine Corps KC-130J and an F-35B collided into each other at roughly 4 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Tuesday while attempting an aerial refueling, causing the F-35B to crash, the Marine Corps confirmed. The pilot of the F-35B safely ejected from the plane and currently is being treated for any injuries, 1st Lt. Brett Vannier said in a press release.

US Air Force Trainees from Keesler Training at Camp Shelby

WLOX

Trainees from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., are receiving their Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Miss. It provides an opportunity for the trainees to operate alongside Army forces to simulate a realistic military deployment.

US Air Force to Host Inaugural Advanced Manufacturing Olympics

3D Printing Media Network

From Oct. 20-23, the Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office will be hosting the first ever Advanced Manufacturing Olympics. While there won’t be any 10-meter diving at the four-day event, there will be a ton of additive manufacturing and other advanced manufacturing on display.

House Democrats Release Updated Heroes Act

Inside Defense

House Democrats have introduced a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package that, as with an earlier version of the bill, doesn't contain Pentagon stimulus funds for the defense industrial base.

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Navy Chief Fell Ill, Underwent Heart Surgery, Officials Say

The Wall Street Journal

The Pentagon’s Chief of Naval Operations fell ill recently while on a run near his home and underwent heart surgery soon after, according to Navy officials. Adm. Mike Gilday, 57 years old, recuperated at home and returned to the Pentagon on Sept. 28, officials said. Adm. Gilday’s medical procedure hasn’t been previously disclosed.

Riverside National Cemetery Event Marks Coming of American Indian Memorial

The Press-Enterprise

A Sept. 25 ceremony featuring a speech by a U.S. official and a Native American dance marked a milestone in efforts to build an American Indian Veterans Memorial at Riverside National Cemetery. The speech was delivered by Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie. Paul Adkins, chairman of the Riverside National Cemetery Support Committee, said work on the monument will start within a few months now that the National Cemetery Administration has approved plans for the memorial.

Mystery Seizures Haunt Marine Units a Decade after Deployment

The War Horse

Though military neurologists expected a wave of seizures after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they couldn’t have known that this generation’s injuries would differ from those of previous generations. And there does appear to be a surge in seizures—but they’re not what experts originally expected.

One More Thing

DOD Pours Millions of Dollars into Print-on-Demand Drugs

Defense One

On Sept. 28, the Defense Department announced a $20 million contract to On Demand Pharmaceuticals, to further develop machines that can produce drugs at the point of care. ODP’s miniature drug factories are built on research first funded in 2016 by the Battlefield Medicine project of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA’s goal was to create a drug-making machine that could be shipped to harsh environments and mix medicines on demand for a wide variety of illnesses or conditions.