Victoria Coleman

Meet New DARPA Director Victoria Coleman

Victoria Coleman is an outlier. The new director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has spent most of her career outside of the Pentagon, looking in. A native of Greece, she’s one of the few foreign-born people tapped to lead the military’s secretive band of futuristic scientists. She is clear-eyed about the need to bring military software into the 21st century. And she is the third woman to lead the agency since its inception in 1958. Coleman’s perspective will further shape an agency that already prides itself on breaking the mold.

Barrett COVID-19 Negative After Direct Contact with Infected Lithuanian Leader

Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett has tested negative for COVID-19 and is not quarantining even though she recently came in direct contact with Lithuanian Minister of Defense Raimundas Karoblis, who tested positive for the virus shortly after visiting the Pentagon. However, Anthony Tata, who is performing the duties of the under secretary of defense for policy, tested positive for COVID-19 following the Nov. 13 visit, and is isolating at home for two weeks, the Pentagon said in a statement released late Nov. 19. In addition to Barrett, Karoblis met with Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller, Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite, and Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy. All have tested negative, and none are quarantining despite being in contact with Karoblis.
Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson

Space Systems Command to Stand Up Next Summer

Military officials are in the home stretch of making decisions that will shape a future Space Systems Command, as they look to stand up the new organization by early next summer. Space and Missile Systems Center boss Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson said Nov. 20 the Department of the Air Force will sign off on a basic structure for the new command “in the next month or so.” “We're going through a deliberative process where we have several different realistic courses of action for the establishment and activation of ... Space Systems Command,” Thompson said at the Air Force Association’s Schriever Space Futures Forum.
Large Force Test Event

Nellis Hosts Large-Scale Test Honing Tactics, Evaluating New Tech

Ten USAF and Navy aircraft types trained together in a large force event on Nov. 17, which included testing several new technologies and capabilities aimed at degraded communications and contested environments. Large Force Test Event 20.03 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., featured the F-35, F-22, F-15E, F-16, A-10, E/A-18G, HH-60G, EC-130H, KC-46, and KC-135. The event was specifically planned to test four tactics improvement proposals: EC-130H Compass Call electronic attack versus datalinks while preserving Link 16 connections; fourth- and fifth-generation suppression of enemy air defenses contracts; combat search and rescue consequence and CSAR in offensive counter air with A-10s and HH-60Gs; and fourth- to fifth-generation and fifth- to fourth-generation electronic attack effectiveness, according to a Nellis release.

Startups Demo Cutting Edge Cybersecurity Tech in Colorado Springs

The latest cohort of start-ups nurtured by the AFRL’s Space Force Accelerator Program demonstrated their technology recently at the Catalyst Accelerator in Colorado Springs. The eight companies showcased products ranging from bleeding edge innovations using ultra-wideband lasers to store data as photons in motion to new approaches for using mature technology like asymmetric encryption.
Arctic Eagle 2020

Climate Change Will Guide How the Air Force Builds Arctic Infrastructure

The Defense Department must take climate change into consideration when planning critical infrastructure in the far north, officials said during a recent Alaska World Affairs Council event. “The environment is often the greatest adversary that we face when we are undertaking operations,” said Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett, speaking at the Nov. 19 virtual event. In the Arctic in particular, the reduction in permafrost has destabilized hangars and runways, and impacted the “very precise tracking capabilities” the service relies on, she added.
139th Airlift Wing Homecoming

Mideast to Missouri: 139th AW Airmen, C-130s Return from Deployment

More than 110 Airmen from the Missouri Air National Guard's 139th Airlift Wing recently returned from a deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. The troops, members of the 139th Operations and Maintenance Groups, as well as two of the wing's C-130s, were in theater from June to November, wing spokesperson Master Sgt. Michael E. Crane wrote in a Nov. 20 email to Air Force Magazine.
Cape Hedo Okinawa

Search Underway for Missing Kadena Airman

Airmen from the 31st and 33rd Rescue Squadrons and members of the Japanese coast guard are searching for a Kadena Air Base Airman who was reported missing while surfing Nov. 22. The Airman was surfing near Cape Hedo, the northernmost point on the Japanese island of Okinawa, at around 10 a.m. local time, according to a press release from the 18th Wing.

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.

Military Health System Participating in COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

USAF release

Five military medical treatment facilities in the National Capital Region, Texas, and California are participating in a Phase 3 clinical trial testing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in development under Operation Warp Speed. The DOD sites are actively enrolling study participants, with a goal to recruit up to 1,000 volunteers in each of the three market areas towards the total AstraZeneca clinical trial enrollment of 30,000 people.

Air Force Nurses Deployed to North Dakota to Address Hospital Staffing Crunch

Grand Forks Herald

With North Dakota leading the nation's surging COVID-19 outbreak, 60 medical personnel from the U.S. Air Force deployed to help relieve the state's hospital staffing crisis. The team consists primarily of nurses and will divide into specialty units to assist staffs at medical centers in Minot, Bismarck, Fargo, and Grand Forks.