F-16

USAF, Family Settle Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The widow of a contractor killed during a friendly fire training incident at the White Sands Missile Range in 2017 sued the Air Force for $24.6 million in damages. The family's lawyer told Military.com they settled for less than that, saying only it was “enough to take care of them for the rest of their lives.” Retired Master Sgt. Charles Holbrook, a former tactical air control party Airman, was killed on Jan. 31, 2017, when an inexperienced F-16 student pilot strafed the wrong target during a live fire nighttime training mission, hitting Holbrook in the head with a 20mm round from his Vulcan cannon and blowing up a nearby civilian rental car, according to court documents filed in the United States District Court of New Mexico earlier this year. A military member also was injured, according to the accident investigation board report.
Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman

Space Force Grappling With How to Define Readiness

The U.S. Space Force is trying to figure out what “readiness” means for space operations, seeking to sever itself from the Air Force’s aircraft- and deployment-centric model. The Air Force’s Air and Space Expeditionary model doesn’t work as a measure of Space Force readiness, Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, deputy chief of space operations for operations, cyber, and nuclear, said in an AFA Mitchell Institute virtual event Oct. 16. Readiness assessments “never had the same flavor, because we never had to pick up and go somewhere and join in a fight,” he said. Today, it boils down to, “do you have enough people to man your consoles 24 hours a day? That is one small, but important piece, of what readiness is” for Space Force.

X-37 Lessons Learned Could Help Space Force Define Future Capabilities

The Space Force is already thinking about future spaceplanes and other platforms that will succeed those now in service, though the near-term focus will be on making existing capabilities more resilient, Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, deputy chief of space operations for operations, cyber, and nuclear, said in an AFA Mitchell Institute virtual event Oct. 16. The two X-37B reusable unmanned spaceplanes that have collectively amassed years in orbit conducting operational and technological experiments will likely not be replaced with something just like them, Saltzman said. Although lessons learned from those systems will “live forever,” the Space Force is looking for a brand new capability moving forward.
New direction for female-specific flight equipment

USAF Looks to Buy Female Body Armor for Guard, Reserve Security Forces

The Air Force wants to procure up to 2,000 more Female Body Armor units for Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve security forces Airmen. The modular, scalable body armor system is designed specifically for women’s bodies, and will protect female defenders against fragmenting munitions, handgun, and small arms threats, with a four-tiered system that allows protection levels to be tailored to different missions, according to a federal contract announcement.

Virtual Events: 6th Annual Schriever Space Forum, and More

On Nov. 20, the Air Force Association's Schriever Chapter will host the 6th Annual Schriever Space Futures Forum—a live, virtual event—featuring appearances by Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John E. Hyten, Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David D. Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center Commander Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, and incoming U.S. Space Command boss Lt. Gen. (sel.) John E. Shaw. Register for free 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.

Thousands of US Troops Will Remain in Afghanistan Past Christmas

Defense One

National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien on Oct. 16 said that some 2,500 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan beyond Christmas, seeking to clarify a series of mixed messages from senior Trump Administration officials and dismissing a recent tweet from the President.

The First Space Force Recruits Are Headed to Basic Military Training

Military.com

The Space Force may not yet have its own boot camp, but the service's very first direct enlistees are about to head to entry-level training nonetheless. Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, senior enlisted leader of the Space Force, said seven new recruits will head to basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, where they'll train alongside Air Force recruits—albeit with a few distinctions.