Editor’s Note

In observance of the federal holiday, the Daily Report will not publish on Monday, Oct. 12. We will resume publication on Tuesday, Oct. 13.
Lt. Gen. Ronald Place visits MCAS Cherry Point

As COVID-19 Spooks Joint Chiefs, DOD Plans Ahead

A top military health official on Oct. 8 defended the precautions taken by the Pentagon as two senior military officials tested positive for the coronavirus, saying Americans should heed the cautionary tale that anyone can contract the disease. “Absent almost total isolation, there's not a great way for us to totally prevent spread,” Defense Health Agency boss Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place said. “Despite all those best practices that we think that we know about how to try to contain this particular virus, it isn't 100 percent effective. … Our senior leaders are following the rules and are role models for those rules.” He noted an eventual COVID-19 vaccine may be mandatory for military personnel.
8th Security Forces train to defend the base

8th Fighter Wing Takes New Approach to Defending Kunsan

The 8th Fighter Wing is repurposing elements of the “agile combat employment” concept to enhance its ability to defend Kunsan Air Base in South Korea, Wing Commander Col. Chris B. Hammond told Air Force Magazine on Oct. 7. Hammond said the wing’s new approach to base security, dubbed “Weapon System Kunsan,” looks to use all on-base manpower and assets more holistically. It also wants to revamp its partnership with South Korean troops who handle security outside of the binational base’s gates.
WGS-11+ satellite

Boeing Passes Preliminary Design Review for New WGS

Boeing won approval from the Space Force to move forward with its newly designed Wideband Global Satellite Communications system, setting the stage for production to begin next year. Passing the preliminary design review allows Boeing to start its final design phase on WGS-11+, which will add to the existing constellation of 10 satellites. Delivery is slated for 2024, Boeing said in an Oct. 7 release. The new system will offer “twice the operational capability of its predecessors, increasing the availability of military-grade communications” to U.S. and allied forces, Boeing said. WGS has been on orbit since 2008.
C-130s vs. wildfires

Airborne Firefighting Units Conclude Busy Season

Air Force C-130s and Airmen wrapped up their firefighting season on Oct. 3 after helping extinguish a record number of blazes in California over more than two months. Since USAF's airborne firefighting units were activated July 22, specially equipped C-130s spent about 600 hours flying 518 sorties in 46 fires. The aircraft dropped more than 1.35 million gallons of fire retardant—the third-largest amount since 2007 and the most since 2013, according to 1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern). Crews from California, Nevada, Wyoming, and Colorado participated.
Security Forces Helmets

Security Forces Getting New, Improved Helmets

Air Force security forces now have a new, lighter, and more comfortable helmet. The Air Force Security Forces Center is sending out new ballistic helmets to replace the Advanced Combat Helmet, which Airmen complained were bulky and uncomfortable. The lower-profile helmet comes with better padding and a railing built in to hold equipment like night-vision goggles and communications gear, according to an Air Force release. The 71st Security Forces Squadron at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., was the first to receive the helmet, which will roll out to all units in the U.S. and overseas.

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

On Jan. 21 at 11 a.m. EST, the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies will host USAFA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark on the next installment of its “Aerospace Nation” series. Clark will share his insights into how the Academy is preparing cadets to face today's global challenges, the implications of the creation of the Space Force for the Academy, what it means to accelerate change in an educational institution, and other Academy priorities. Advanced registration is required. Sign up here.

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.

New Scrutiny On Trump's Gold Star Family Event After COVID-19 Outbreak

NPR

A growing list of attendees to a reception last month for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett have tested positive for coronavirus. But the next day, the annual Gold Star Mother's Day event was held indoors at the White House, and official photos from the reception show very few people wearing masks.

Pentagon Debuts Yet Another Plan to Speed Up Weapons Buys

Military.com

The latest plan to overhaul the Defense Department's hidebound systems for procuring weapons, goods and services is underway—with an emphasis on speed from design to fielding, as well as cutting maintenance costs, Pentagon officials said Oct. 7.

Mitchell Institute Nuclear Deterrence Forum Featuring David Albright

Mitchell Institute on YouTube

David Albright, founder and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, joins the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies to discuss Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the latest on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the implications of Iran’s continued expansion of its ballistic missile inventory—among other topics—during the think tank’s latest Nuclear Deterrence Forum.

US Must Weigh ‘Strategic Impacts’ of Arming the Heavens: Aerospace

Breaking Defense

“U.S. decisionmakers should carefully examine this most fundamental and critical of all space security issues to assess how deployment of weapons in space by any country, including the United States, will affect U.S. strategic interests,” an Aerospace Corporation study released Oct. 6 states.