Compass Call: The firsts final flight

DOD Strategy Paves New Path for Electronic Warfare

The Pentagon on Oct. 29 released a strategy for military use of the electromagnetic spectrum that could ultimately spur the creation of a new combatant command to oversee those operations. The Defense Department has waged war via the electromagnetic spectrum for decades, using aircraft like the E/A-18G Growler and the EC-130H Compass Call to jam electronic signals and transmit computer code to other wireless devices. But a growing number of commercial companies, personal electronic devices, and military systems that use wireless wavelength have crowded and complicated the spectrum in the digital age. That’s leading the military to see electromagnetic warfare and spectrum management as intertwined, not independent, concepts that should be coordinated across the department for the first time.
Palletized munitions

USAF Wants to Drop Cruise Missiles from Airlifters

Air Force airlifters are one step closer to becoming bomb trucks after the service awarded Lockheed Martin a $25 million contract to continue developing palletized munitions. The contract, awarded in August and announced this week by the company, includes a demonstration in 2021 to assess the ability of C-130s and C-17s to deliver air-launched weapons, such as Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles. The Air Force already has tested the capability on a special operations MC-130 and a C-17 during the Advanced Battle Management System “on-ramp” demonstration in early September. The roll-on capability, which does not require any hardware changes to aircraft, can fit on any C-130 that carries palletized cargo.
Collins Aeropsace ACES 5 Ejection Seat

Collins Gets $700M to Upgrade F-15 Ejection Seats

F-15 Eagle drivers will get upgraded ejection seats under a new $700 million contract to Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon Technologies subsidiary, awarded on Oct. 29. The new ACES 5 ejection seat will replace the F-15’s older ACES II ejection seat, found in most of the Air Force’s fighter and bomber fleet. Collins, in a release, said its new seat includes improved head, neck, arm, and leg “flail prevention,” along with a catapult that can adjust based on the occupant’s weight. Work will be conducted in Colorado Springs, Colo., and is expected to be complete by Oct. 22, 2030.
Minuteman III test

Watch USAF Test-Launch an Unarmed ICBM in California

Air Force Global Strike Command test-launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in the predawn hours of Oct. 29, AFGSC announced. Such tests help the service ensure the Minuteman's weapon system is accurate and reliable, and yield data that USAF can use to make sure the nation's nuclear deterrent stays “safe, secure, and effective,” according to a command release. The test also helps reassure America's allies and partners, added Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. “We must continue to invest in this viable deterrent, and the Airmen who support this mission, as part of the most responsive leg of our nuclear triad,” he said in the release.
Domestic Violence Awareness

Military Domestic Violence Reports Didn’t Rise During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Defense Department hasn’t seen an increase in domestic violence reports among military families since the new coronavirus crisis began, despite the COVID-19 pandemic reportedly causing a spike in such activity across the globe, the head of the Pentagon’s Office of Military Family Readiness Policy told reporters Oct. 29. However, a lack of reporting may not be a reliable indicator of stagnant or decreasing domestic violence incidences.

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.

Chief Bass on Enlisted Promotions, Developing Leaders, and Creating a Culture of Respect

Air Force Times

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass has already made history as the first woman to serve as a top enlisted adviser in the military. And now, Bass is planning to put an even bigger mark on the Air Force. In an Oct. 26 interview with Air Force Times, Bass said she’s working on a series of short, medium and long-term plans to improve how the Air Force manages its enlisted Airmen.

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US Seeks to Sell Up to 50 F-35s to UAE for $10.4B

Bloomberg

The State Department notified Congress Oct. 29 that it backs the proposed sale of as many as 50 F-35A fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates for $10.4 billion, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Will COVID-Stressed Countries Slow Their Arms Buys?

Defense One

The coronavirus pandemic might prompt U.S. allies to restructure arms deals for American-made weapons, a top State Department official said. But R. Clarke Cooper, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, said there is still an appetite for U.S. weapons overseas—especially F-16 fighter jets and Patriot missile batteries.

4 Startups Tapped to Pilot Capabilities at Defense’s 5G Living Lab

Nextgov

Four startups this week won $50K a piece and an opportunity to pilot and test out their technologies at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar’s 5G Living Lab in San Diego. The chosen companies—COMSovereign, GenXComm, Omnispace, and vRotors—competed against nearly 50 total for the top spots through the National Security Innovation Network or NSIN’s Navy/USMC 5G Pitch Competition. That network is an organization within the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit.

Journey to JADC2

Air Force Magazine

Joint all-domain command and control is driving change throughout the Air and Space Forces. Check out our latest on the quest for greater interconnectedness across the battlefield.

One More Thing

F-16 Fighter Jet Fires Flares at Unauthorized Aircraft Near Trump Rally

Military.com

An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon was scrambled to intercept a civilian aircraft flying near President Donald J. Trump's latest rally in Arizona on Oct. 28, setting off flares to get the aircraft's attention, according to North American Aerospace Defense Command.