F-35 AIB

Eglin F-35 Crash Blamed on Landing Speed, but Software, Helmet, Oxygen Also Faulted

Excessive landing speed was the primary cause of the May 19 crash of an F-35A at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., though faulty flight control logic, the helmet mounted display, the jet's oxygen system, and improper training and were all contributing factors, according to an Air Force investigation. An Accident Investigation Board found that the principle reason for the crash was the pilot setting a “speed hold” of 202 knots indicated airspeed for the landing, which was 50 knots too fast, while the jet's approach angle was too shallow, according to the report released Sept. 30. The second main cause was the tail flight control surfaces “conflicting” with the pilot’s apparently correct efforts to recover the jet after it bounced on the runway, a problem the Air Force said was a “previously undiscovered anomaly in the aircraft’s flight control logic.” The plane and pilot “quickly fell out of sync,” as the flight computer commanded nose down while the pilot commanded nose up, attempting to abort the landing and go around. Sensing that he was being “ignored” by the airplane, the pilot ejected, sustaining significant but non-life-threatening injuries.
19th Airlift Wing Airmen return home

Pentagon Publishes Digital-Age Personnel Strategy

The U.S. military’s workforce can’t succeed in the long run unless it fully embraces the digital age, overhauls its lagging information technology systems, and pursues a more flexible and diverse workplace, according to the Pentagon’s new personnel strategy. The document from Pentagon personnel and readiness boss Matthew P. Donovan enshrines many of the realizations the Defense Department has come to over the past several years. “The department’s success depends on a digitally savvy military and civilian workforce that can operate within a security environment fueled by groundbreaking technology, and exploit information as the connective tissue to dominate in competition and conflict,” the strategy said.
E-4B

Search for ‘Doomsday’ Jet Replacement Pushed Into 2021

A formal search for designs for the Air Force’s new nuclear command plane is again delayed into 2021, the service said Oct. 2. The Survivable Airborne Operations Center is meant to replace the Air Force E-4B “doomsday” jet that can send the command to launch nuclear missiles if crews on the ground cannot, and that allows government officials to communicate in times of crisis. The effort is falling into the group of the Air Force’s highest and most expensive acquisition programs, known as Acquisition Category 1. Those efforts cost more than $480 million to develop and more than $2.8 billion to produce. The replacement program's price tag is still evolving.
F-35s arrive at Eielson

Focus on Arctic Comes at ‘Pivotal Time,’ USAF Official Says

The release of the Air Force’s Arctic Strategy comes at a “pivotal time on the timeline of the Arctic,” as global powers exert their influence in an increasingly important region where climate change is also taking its toll, the head of Alaskan Command said Oct. 5. The service in July released its first-ever strategy on the Arctic, which argues the Air Force is the most active and invested U.S. military department in the region. Airmen must remain vigilant, project military power, cooperate with allies, and prepare for possible conflict in the area, the strategy said. Lt. Gen. David A. Krumm, commander of Alaskan Command and 11th Air Force, said Oct. 5 during an online event hosted by the Wilson Center that the Arctic is a “demanding environment, and it’s changing rapidly.”
New ANG Deputy Director makes history as first non-pilot, first female

First Female ANG Deputy Director: ‘There Isn’t a Ceiling’

Maj. Gen. Dawne L. Deskins recently became the first woman and non-pilot to become the deputy director of the Air National Guard. She formally stepped into ANG’s number two spot in July. Though her priority has always been doing the best possible job and being recognized for that effort—rather than the boxes she might happen to check off in the process—she told Air Force Magazine that, with age, she’s come to understand why her personal role in increasing female representation among ANG ranks matters so much. Giving women “a point … to be able to aspire to” is a responsibility she takes “quite seriously,” she said.

Virtual Events: Guastella on Mitchell’s ‘Aerospace Nation,’ and More

On Dec. 8 at 9:30 a.m. EST, the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies will host USAF Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella for a discussion about how the service is maintaining aircraft and pilot readiness, the development of the Advanced Battle Management System, and what it means to optimize force structure design to counter future threats as part of the think tank's “Aerospace Nation” series. Advanced registration is required. Click here to sign up for the live event.

Radar Sweep

Speaker Sessions from AFA’s vASC Now Available

Air Force Magazine

Now you can view video and transcripts from the Air Force Association’s virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference, including interviews with industry leaders and a panel on defense budget transparency.

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.

Subscription Required

Air Force's F-22 Program Now Officially Hill AFB's Baby

Standard-Examiner

After an eight-year process, the Air Force’s effort to transfer its F-22 program to Hill Air Force Base is now complete.Earlier this week, two F-22 program management positions were transferred to Hill from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, wrapping up a process that began clear back in 2012 with a call by Congress to shift the program to a location best suited to handle work on the fifth-generation fighter jet.

Q&A with Joint AI Center Chief Technology Officer

National Defense Magazine

Nand Mulchandani serves as the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center’s chief technology officer. On Oct. 1—the first day back in his CTO position following the confirmation of Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Michael Groen as the new head of the center—Mulchandani spoke with National Defense Magazine Senior Editor Yasmin Tadjdeh about the trajectory of the JAIC, what the future has in store, and how the center is managing through both a pandemic and budget uncertainty.

OPINION: Rules for Space Warfare

Aviation Week Network

“With the creation of the U.S. Space Force, it is imperative to better understand how to fight in space and important to ask the question: Does the nation have the foundational principles by which future space wars can be won?” writes Space Strategies Center President Paul Szymanski.

Subscription Required

US Military Dependent Dies in Collision with Japanese Driver South of Misawa Air Base

Stars and Stripes

The teenage dependent of a U.S. service member died following a two-vehicle accident that seriously injured four others in northeastern Japan. At approximately 11 p.m. Sept. 26, a car carrying four Americans, ages 16 to 19, collided with a vehicle driven by a Japanese man, 49, from Hachinohe city, a Misawa Police spokesman told Stars and Stripes on Oct. 3. The accident happened on a two-way road in the town of Oirase, south of Misawa Air Base, that was wet from rain.

Arlington National Cemetery's Most-Visited Gravesite Reopens to Public

Military.com

The gravesite of President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery reopened to the public Saturday for the first time since access to the cemetery was limited in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitors to the site will have to follow one-way signage, wear masks and socially distance, Arlington officials said in a release.

One More Thing

Robins NCO Earns Airman’s Medal for Heroic Efforts at 2017 Las Vegas Shooting

USAF release

Tech. Sgt. Jordan Benson, an aircraft battle damage repair technician in the 402nd Aircraft Maintenance Group at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., was awarded the Airman’s Medal Oct. 2, at the Museum of Aviation. One of the most prestigious decorations awarded to U.S. Armed Forces members, the medal is presented to military members who, while serving in any capacity with the Air Force after the date of the award's authorization, has distinguished oneself by a heroic act, usually at the voluntary risk of one’s own life but not involving actual combat.