Barrett at vASC

USAF, USSF Leaders: Capitol Insurrection an ‘Attack on the Foundation of Our Great Republic’

The Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol in Washington, D.C., was an “attack on the foundation of our great republic,” the top leaders of the Air Force and Space Force said in a Jan. 13 letter to the department, reminding service members that “our oath demands that we are unwavering in safeguarding American ideals.” The letter was signed by Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., Space Force Senior Enlisted Adviser Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman, and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass. It was the latest in a series of messages to service members following the insurrection by President Donald J. Trump's supporters as Congress voted to certify the results of the 2020 election.
More than 200 soldiers with the Delaware Army National Guard Soldier are on duty in Washington D.C

SECARMY Clears Guard Troops at Capitol to Carry Weapons

Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy has authorized Guard troops safeguarding the U.S. Capitol in the wake of its Jan. 6 breach by violent supporters of President Donald J. Trump to carry lethal weapons, the District of Columbia National Guard said in a statement shared with Air Force Magazine. These personnel were armed as of around 6 p.m. on Jan. 12, in response to a request from “federal authorities” that was given the go-ahead by McCarthy, according to the statement.
Redstone Arsenal gate

Colorado Pushes Back on Decision to Base U.S. Space Command in Alabama

Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal is the preferred new home of U.S. Space Command, the Air Force said Jan. 13, signaling a major move from the longtime center of military space operations in Colorado Springs, Colo. After the Air Force vetted several cities as prospective SPACECOM headquarters locations, it said Huntsville scores highest on “factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, and costs to the Department of Defense,” the service said in a release. But critics are crying foul, saying President Donald J. Trump intervened in the decision.
India Bilateral

Secret Pacific Strategy Called for Stronger India to Counter China

The White House declassified its Indo-Pacific strategy on Jan. 13, revealing its hopes to bolster the military strength of India as a counter to China. It also aims to strengthen a “quadrilateral” alliance with Australia, India, and Japan to share advanced technology and protect democratic values in the region. National Security Advisor Robert C. O'Brien said the release was meant to convey the “transparency” of U.S. aims in the Indo-Pacific region.
22nd MXS Airmen perform KC-46 gear swing

Boeing Gets $1.7 Billion for KC-46 Production Lot 6

The Air Force bought 12 more KC-46s under a Jan. 12 contract awarded to Boeing for approximately $1.7 billion. The award modification, the sixth production lot for the program, means Boeing is now on contract for 79 of the new tankers. So far, the company has delivered 42 KC-46s to four U.S. Air Force bases. USAF plans to buy 179 of the aircraft, though the program has been plagued by delays and issues with the aircraft’s remote vision system—a suite of cameras and sensors connecting the refueling boom with the operator inside the aircraft. The Air Force and Boeing are finalizing the design of the “2.0” version of RVS, which overhauls the system’s hardware and screens at the boom operator’s station to fix image clarity issues that have limited the aircraft’s test and evaluation process.
Vice Space Operations Chief, Gen. Thompson Interview

Space Force Charts its Own Path for Electronic Warfare

Electronic warfare will be a priority of Space Force members looking to protect military satellites and radars, but don’t expect it to look like the Air Force’s EW units. Space Force Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David D. Thompson said Jan. 13 that—at least for now—electronic warfare officers won’t have their own career field designated by a unique specialty code that is associated with space EW crews. “Many [of] our capabilities have been forward-deployed in the Middle East in support of [U.S. Central Command] operations for well over a decade, in fact, approaching two decades,” Thompson said. “We do also need to evolve our space warfare capabilities into other areas."

Virtual Events: Bierbauer, Cooter, Marks on Mitchell’s ‘Aerospace Nation’

On Jan.22, The Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies will host an installment of its “Aerospace Nation” series featuring the authors of the new book “Never Mind, We'll Do It Ourselves: The Inside Story of How a Team of Renegades Broke Rules, Shattered Barriers, and Launched a Drone Warfare Revolution.” Former Central Intelligence Agency case officer Alec Bierbauer, retired USAF Col. Mark Cooter, and co-author Michael Marks give us an inside look into the story behind the armed Predator program and the dawn of unmanned warfare. The think tank will post event video on its website and YouTube page after the live event.

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.

Mossad Head Briefs Biden Admin on Iranian Nukes, Missiles

Breaking Defense

The head of the Mossad is expected to serve as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main liaison with the new administration, because of his personal acquaintance with the President-elect and many of his senior officials developed while he was head of Israel's National Security Council.

Can Biden Solve the Space Force’s Public Relations Crisis?

Defense News

President-elect Joe Biden, for his part, has given no indication that he will seek to overturn the creation of the Space Force, said Todd Harrison, an aerospace and budget expert with the Center for International and Strategic Studies. “It’s fair to say that if the Space Force did not exist right now, the Biden administration probably wouldn’t create it,” he said. “But now that it does exist, I think that they’re going to work with it and try to continue the implementation of it.”