B-1 Wing Test

Correction

The structural fatigue test of the B-1B bomber, which began in 2012 and was initially expected to take five years, will wrap up in 2021, an Air Force Materiel Command spokesman told Air Force Magazine. The test will stress the B-1 to 28,000 hours on the wing and 27,000 hours on the fuselage. It also will inform the Air Force about whether it can get the B-1 to its planned 2032 retirement, and whether it's cost-effective to repair some of the fleet with heavy structural damage.
Acting Secretary Christopher C. Miller

Acting SecDef Issues Vision for the Pentagon

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller on Nov. 16 issued a three-pronged set of priorities for his time leading the Pentagon, intended as an annex to his Nov. 13 message to U.S. troops that called for a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. “Building on the message and vision I set forth on Friday, I am now providing a more finite and precise statement of my goals while leading this organization,” Miller wrote.
Rep. Mac Thornberry

Thornberry: Georgia Senate Runoffs Could Derail Bipartisan NDAA

The drama of the twin Georgia Senate runoff elections looming in January could seep into negotiations over the 2021 defense policy bill, a key GOP lawmaker warned Nov. 17. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), who is retiring this term as ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, is one of the “Big Four” lawmakers tasked with cobbling together a compromise on defense issues from nuclear weapons development to troop deployments. But a gridlocked Congress has been slow to advance its policy and spending bills during a heated election season that will now stretch two months longer.
Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.

Brown: Diversity Push Changing Personnel Decision Process

Diversity and inclusion are now focal points in Air Force personnel decisions, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr said on Nov. 17. In the aftermath of race-related protests and discussions across the country, the Air Force implemented a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, received hundreds of thousands of responses to a survey on diversity, launched an Inspector General review of racial inequality in military justice and promotion, among other efforts. These steps, combined with the climate across the nation, have changed how the service talks about race. “As an institution, and as a nation, we are more apt to talk about diversity, more so than we have in the past. Now, we’ve got to get past talk. … It’s what we do. It’s how we actually bring in ... individuals and give them the opportunity,” he said.
28th Wreaths Across America Day at Arlington National Cemetery

COVID-19 Won’t Keep Wreaths Across America Away from Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery’s decision to forbid the nonprofit Wreaths Across America from placing holiday wreaths on the graves of the fallen veterans laid to rest on its hallowed grounds—as well as at the United States Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery in Washington—this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been reversed. “I am very pleased to report that today we were able to have these discussions with the cemetery's leadership team, and they have informed us of their willingness to work with us to develop other options to allow the safe placement of veterans' wreaths this December,” Wreaths Across America Executive Director Karen Worcester told reporters on a Nov. 17 press call.

Evans Takes Medical Leave from Lockheed Aeronautics

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Vice President Michele A. Evans is taking extended medical leave, the company said Nov. 17. In her absence, F-35 vice president and general manager Greg Ulmer will serve in both capacities, pending her return. A company spokesperson said Evans was “diagnosed last year with a non-COVID related medical issue and continues to undergo treatment.”

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.

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Trump Sought Options for Attacking Iran to Stop Its Growing Nuclear Program

The New York Times

President Trump asked senior advisers in an Oval Office meeting on Nov. 12 whether he had options to take action against Iran’s main nuclear site in the coming weeks. The meeting occurred a day after international inspectors reported a significant increase in the country’s stockpile of nuclear material, four current and former U.S. officials said on Nov. 16.

The Pentagon Failed Its Audit Again, but Sees Progress

Defense News

The results of the Pentagon’s third-ever audit added another clean organization to its list, which represents a clear win, according to Thomas Harker, the acting Defense Department comptroller. But he also stressed that it would be years before the Pentagon can truly say it has passed its audit cleanly.

US Successfully Intercepts ICBM with Ship-Launched Missile in Historic Test

ABC News

In a first-of-its-kind test, the United States has successfully used a small ship-fired missile to intercept a target intercontinental ballistic missile, according to the Missile Defense Agency. The successful test shows the U.S. military now has another missile defense system capable of defending against North Korean ICBMs aimed at the U.S.

MDA Pushes New Boundary in Releasing Flight Test Animation Video

Inside Defense

The Missile Defense Agency, which spends more than $1 billion annually on testing, did something completely new today as part of announcing the most significant flight test on its 2020 calendar: it made public a two-minute animation of the event to help explain what goes into a complex ballistic missile defense scenario such as this week's Flight Test Aegis Weapon System-44 (FTM-44) that stretched across multiple time zones and military test ranges.

Pentagon Expands Hypersonics Transition Office

National Defense Magazine

The Defense Department’s joint hypersonics transition office is working with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division to expand its engineering expertise, according to the group’s director.

Navy Makes Major JADC2 Push, Linking Sensors & Shooters

Breaking Defense

After two years of relative silence about all-domain operations, the Navy is throwing more weight behind the Pentagon’s effort to link everything from submarines to drones flying high overhead on one shared network, assigning a group of admirals and a team from the defense industry to tackle the problem and find ways to link into the joint all-domain command and control initiative.

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.

Study: As Space Industry Offers More Services, Government Missing Out on Opportunities

SpaceNews

Commercial companies in the space industry are offering increasingly sophisticated services that previously only governments could provide. That shift has been apparent for years but many U.S. defense and intelligence agencies are still not seriously considering using these services as alternatives to traditional government programs, says a new study by the Aerospace Corporation.

NSA Spied On Denmark as It Chose Its Future Fighter Aircraft: Report

The Drive

Reports in the Danish media allege that the United States spied on the country’s government and its defense industry, as well as other European defense contractors, in an attempt to gain information on its fighter acquisition program. The revelations, published online by DR, Denmark’s Danish public-service broadcaster, concern the run-up to the fighter competition that was eventually won by the U.S.-made Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter.