Editor’s Note

The Daily Report will not publish Thursday, Dec. 24-Friday, Jan. 1. We'll be back in your inboxes on Monday, Jan. 4.
Rated officers to join Total Force Aviation Recruiting Team

Review Shows Widespread Racial Disparity in the Department of the Air Force

A massive, 150-page report released Dec. 21 shows wide-spread racial disparities within the Air Force, with Black Airmen reporting distrust with their chain of command and military justice, and a review of data showing Black Airmen are much more likely to face administrative and criminal punishment compared to white Airmen. The Air Force Inspector General’s Independent Racial Disparity Review is based on more than 123,000 survey responses from Airmen, 138 in-person sessions at bases across the Department, and 27,000 pages of responses. The review was launched in June following a nationwide reckoning on race relations in the country, and even those behind the effort were surprised at the response. “The pent-up angst … the volume was surprising,” USAF Inspector General Lt. Gen. Sami D. Said said in a briefing Dec. 21. “When we asked for feedback, I expected to get feedback. But we were just drowned with feedback. So, the Airmen were very eager to tell the story, their story. They wanted their voices heard. So glad we did that element of the review. And I was, at first, like ‘Wow. I realized the response would be high.’ But this was unprecedented, overwhelming. People are eager to talk to use and share their stories.”
Lockheed Martin plans to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne for $5 billion, the company announced on Dec. 21, 2020. Lockheed Martin graphic.

Lockheed To Buy Aeroject Rocketdyne for $5 Billion

Lockheed Martin will buy Aerojet Rocketdyne, maker of rocket motors and hypersonic engines, among other products, in a $5 billion transaction, Lockheed announced Dec. 21. The biggest issue in the potential deal is how comfortable the industry, Congress, and the Pentagon will be with all solid rocket motor work being consolidated with Lockheed and Northrop Grumman. Lockheed CEO James D. Taiclet said that, like Northrop when it bought Orbital ATK, the company will sell to any peer competitor needing such equipment. Lockheed's Missiles and Fire Control and Space divisions would absorb most of the Aerojet work.
Pride Month 5K

10 Years After DADT Repeal, LGBTQ Airmen Say More Can Change

Ten years after the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy began to phase out, gay and lesbian Airmen say there’s more the Department of the Air Force can do to support the LGBTQ community. On Dec. 22, 2010, President Barack Obama signed legislation that led to the repeal of DADT, which for nearly two decades blocked openly gay personnel from serving in the military. The policy formally ended in September 2011 after months of preparation within the Pentagon. Air Force Magazine spoke with several gay and lesbian Airmen who said they are better wingmen since the fall of DADT, and are optimistic about a military where the LGBTQ community is better represented and accepted. All have served for more than a decade, including multiple deployments to the Middle East and elsewhere overseas.
355th Fighter Squadron

355th Fighter Squadron Activated to Fly F-35s at Eielson

Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, now has its second F-35A squadron. The 355th Fighter Squadron officially stood up during a Dec. 18 ceremony at the base, joining the 356th Fighter Squadron, which activated earlier this year. The base will eventually be the home to 54 of the aircraft, and with F-22s at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, will be the home to the highest concentration of fifth-generation fighters in the Defense Department. “The 354th FW has been tasked with standing up two combat-coded F-35A squadrons for a total of 54 F-35As at Eielson AFB,” squadron commander Lt. Col. Samuel Chipman said in a release. “The 355th FS is the final addition to this tasking.”

AFRICOM Operation to Withdraw from Somalia Begins

U.S. Africa Command stood up a task force and began withdrawing forces from Somalia, while at the same time conducting a live-fire exercise to show that American airpower will remain active in the country despite the move. On Dec. 19, AFRICOM activated Joint Task Force-Quartz to oversee the repositioning of troops from Somalia to other bases in the region—called Operation Octave Quartz. The task force, commanded by Special Operations Command-Africa boss Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, comes after the Dec. 4 order from President Donald J. Trump to move almost all personnel and assets from the East African nation. “To be clear, the U.S. is not withdrawing or disengaging from East Africa,” AFRICOM boss Gen. Stephen J. Townsend said in a statement. “We remain committed to helping our African partners build a more secure future. We also remain capable of striking al-Shabab at the time and place of our choosing—they should not test us.”

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.

Free 3-Year Memberships!

Air Force Association

The Air Force Association offers more than $190,000 annually in scholarships, program, grants, and educator awards. AFA is a top supporter of aerospace education, join today to be a part of the force behind the Air and Space Forces. Airmen and Guardians—Active, Guard, Reserve and civilian—are eligible for free 3-year memberships with AFA!

Opinion: How We’re Building a 21st-Century Space Force

The Atlantic

“Speed is a hallmark of our deliberately lean new service. We need to rapidly design, test, and employ the new technologies and innovative operating concepts we will require to compete, deter, and win. The branch’s creation came one year after the Pentagon crafted a new National Defense Strategy designed to pivot toward great power competition and the sophisticated threats it brings, and away from the counterterrorism focus that has marked the past two decades,” wrote Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond.

Trump Officials Deliver Plan to Split Up Cyber Command, NSA

Defense One

Trump administration officials at the Pentagon delivered to the Joint Chiefs of Staff a proposal to split up the leadership of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command. It is the latest push to dramatically reshape defense policy advanced by a handful of key political officials who were installed in acting roles in the Pentagon after Donald Trump lost his re-election bid.

The Military is Scrambling to Understand the Aviation Crash Risk from a New 5G Sale

Defense News

As part of a broader move to boost the 5G industry in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 8 began auctioning a portion of C-band electromagnetic spectrum, a move the committee’s chairman, Ajit Pai, celebrated as “a big day for American consumers and U.S. leadership in 5G.” But, in the weeks leading up to the auction, more than a dozen commercial aviation groups warned the sale could, as one study put it, lead to “catastrophic failures” with the potential for “multiple fatalities.”

Biden’s Profoundly Private Pentagon Pick Joins Twitter

The Associated Press

President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Defense Secretary made his first foray into the world of Twitter on Dec. 21, an uncharacteristic move for a retired general who studiously avoided the public spotlight for much of his four decades in the Army. Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin’s social media debut reflected a recognition within the Biden transition team that the nomination faces hurdles on Capitol Hill from lawmakers who balk at putting a career military officer in what is typically a civilian post. And it suggests they believe Austin will have to sell himself to lawmakers.

The Military Designed Aircraft with Only Men in Mind. Now They are Working to Change That.


In an August memo, the Air Force said that past aircraft configurations had disqualified as many as 74% of Black women, 72% of Hispanic women and 61% of Asian women. “To put it bluntly, the U.S. faces a crisis of scale,” wrote Will Roper, the Air Force assistant secretary for acquisitions. The August memo eliminated height restrictions in place since a 1967 study and directed that all future aircraft acquisition would need to be designed to accommodate 95% of body sizes among the recruitment-eligible U.S. population.

Military May Be Required to Report on Injuries Caused by Ill-Fitting Body Armor


With the passage of the sprawling fiscal 2021 defense policy and budget bill all but inevitable, one U.S. senator is looking forward to a new measure that will require the military to provide properly fitting body armor for female service members, and to develop centralized reporting on the injuries caused by years of requiring women to wear wrong-sized ballistic protection.

Air Force To Test Flying Cars In Springfield In January

Cincinnati Public Radio

The Jetsons' flying car is closer to reality now that the Air Force is partnering with pioneers in the flying car field. Researchers will test and evaluate the technology in Springfield, Ohio, for military and commercial purposes.

Joint All-Domain Awareness

Air Force Magazine

Get a better sense of the drive for greater connectedness between air, space, cyber, land, and maritime forces. Catch up on all-things JADC2 now.

US Warship Transits Taiwan Strait, Prompting Outcry from Beijing

Navy Times

The warship’s move was done “in accordance with international law,” according to a statement from U.S. 7th Fleet. Such trips are regularly conducted in the strait to signal support for Taiwan, which Beijing contends is rightfully part of mainland China.

One More Thing

6 Urban Legends About Wright-Patterson Air Force Base


Wright-Patterson Air Force Base — affectionately called “Wright-Patt” for short — is located just outside of Dayton, Ohio. If you ask the locals or the airmen stationed there, they will tell you about the Air Force Museum, the Oregon District, and maybe even the Dayton Dragons baseball team. But if you get a couple of beers in them or earn their trust by shouting “O-H,” the locals may even tell you about all the alien bodies, ghosts and secret tunnels the Air Force hides there.