ABMS Onramp 2

Senate Appropriators Question ABMS Spending

Two years after the Air Force canceled its plan to buy a new fleet of airborne battle management planes, senators still aren’t sure the service has its spending priorities straight for the backup option. “While the committee continues to support the Air Force’s new approach to command and control, the committee notes that the [Advanced Battle Management System] requirements and acquisition strategy remain unclear,” Senate appropriators wrote in legislation released Nov. 10. Their offering is about $100 million short of the Air Force's request for ABMS.
KC-135 refuels A-10s over Afghanistan

Trump Administration to Withdraw More Troops from Afghanistan, Iraq

The Pentagon is reportedly preparing to further withdraw forces from Afghanistan and Iraq by mid-January, despite warnings from the former Defense Secretary and an independent watchdog that violence remains high. CNN first reported Nov. 16 that the Pentagon has issued a “warning order” to begin planning to draw down forces in Afghanistan from the current level of about 4,500 to 2,500, along with dropping the current number of forces in Iraq from 3,000 to 2,500. The move is a sign the Defense Department expects a formal order from President Donald J. Trump to withdraw forces before his term ends on Jan. 20, 2021. Trump has pressured the Pentagon to bring U.S. forces home—tweeting in October that, “We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!”
NASIC Groundbreaking

National Space Intelligence Center Takes Shape

The Space Force is planning its first steps toward a new intelligence center to make the great unknown a little less mysterious. Two pieces of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, will form the basis of a new National Space Intelligence Center, Space Force spokesperson Col. Catie Hague said. Those units are the Space Analysis Squadron and Counter-Space Analysis Squadron. The new center will be established based on “Intelligence Community policy and resourcing decisions," Hague said.
F-16s at Al Dhafra

Spangdahlem F-16s Head to Middle East

F-16s and Airmen from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, deployed to the Middle East last week under a “dynamic force employment” concept aimed at quickly moving forces around the world. The Vipers, from the 480th Fighter Squadron, deployed Nov. 12 to Al-Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, to demonstrate the Air Force’s “agility and [U.S. Central Command’s] commitment to allies and partners to bolster security and stability in the region,” Lt. Gen. Gregory M. Guillot, 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central) commander, in a release. While at Al-Dhafra, the aircraft will train with regional allies and fly combat missions as part of ongoing air wars against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and in Afghanistan.
Airman 1st Class Leonard Cantrell Jr.

Kadena Airman Receives Air Force Achievement Medal for Okinawa Rescue

An Airman from Kadena Air Base, Japan, has received an Air Force Achievement Medal for saving the lives of a mother and daughter at Tataki waterfall in Okinawa earlier this year, the 18th Wing told Air Force Magazine in a Nov. 12 email. Cantrell, an 18th Communications Squadron executive communications technician, described the April 18 rescue as the stuff of serendipity, since he “just happened to be in the right place at the right time”—especially considering the waterfall’s remote location. About four months later, Cantrell’s squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Daniel E. Waid, presented him with the medal in recognition of his actions that day, the wing said.

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.

Subscription Required

Trial in France for Extremist Foiled by 3 Americans on Train

Stars and Stripes

The scene five years ago on the fast train from Amsterdam to Paris is the focus of the month-long trial of Ayoub El Khazzani, with testimony expected from the two U.S. servicemen and their friend, who have been hailed as heroes. (

Top US Air Force General Wants to Go Faster, but the Biggest Changes Won’t Happen for Another Year

Defense News

Shortly after U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. took command this August, he vowed to quickly adopt a radical plan to overhaul the service in preparation for a future fight against an advanced nation, like Russia or China. But the Air Force of the future won’t really begin to take shape until fiscal 2023, after the service wraps up extensive force planning exercises and molds its budget to reflect its findings, Brown told Defense News in an exclusive Nov. 12 interview.

Marine Corps Stands Up Space Unit at Offutt Air Force Base

SpaceNews

The United States Marine Corps activated a new unit called Marine Corps Forces Space Command as a subordinate organization to U.S. Space Command, the service announced Nov. 13. Marine Corps Forces Space Command will rely on space experts who previously supported Marine Corps Forces Strategic Command under U.S. Strategic Command.

SPONSORED: Extending Human Performance Through Technology: The Promise of JADC2

Air Force Magazine

The Air Force’s vision for the seamless, networked warfighting concept known as Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, is all about using information to dominate the battlespace: By interconnecting systems across every domain, U.S. forces would seek to increase the operational decision space for all U.S. commanders, overwhelming adversary commanders and shortening decision-making cycles for any opponent that must react.

After 70 Years of Integration, Military Health System Still Isn’t Addressing Women’s Needs

Federal News Network

Even though some military services have made recent changes—like offering refrigerators for women to store breast milk and trying to find better ways for women pilots to use the bathroom in-flight—a yearlong study by the Defense Health Board suggests the Pentagon is not providing proper medical care to women, and therefore wasting money and hurting readiness.

The Military Times Guide to TRICARE and FEDVIP Open Season

Military Times

Tricare Open Season runs through Dec. 14, and this is the only time of year you can enroll in Tricare or make changes, unless you have a qualifying life event—such as a marriage or birth, permanent change of station move, or retirement.