B-21 Dyess AFB Rendering

Second B-21 Under Construction as Bomber Moves Toward First Flight

The first flight of the secretive B-21 bomber has slipped to mid-2022, but the program is moving along well, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office director Randall Walden said in an exclusive interview. The second copy of the B-21, which will be used for structural testing, is now on the production line. Walden also talked about mitigating risk with a flying surrogate for avionics and software, and said a previous problem with inlets and thrust is resolved.
MDNG Arrives in D.C. to Provide Support for 59th Presidential Inauguration

Feds Screen National Guardsmen for Insider Threats to Inauguration

The FBI and the Army are screening all National Guard troops supporting the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration for signs of an insider threat to the proceedings, according to the National Guard Bureau. “If there’s any indication that any of our Soldiers or Airmen are expressing things that are extremist views, it’s either handed over to law enforcement or dealt with the chain of command immediately,” NGB Chief Army Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson said in a Jan. 18 release.
A/SD travels to Afghanistan

US Down to 5,000 Troops Across Afghanistan, Iraq

U.S. military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq have dropped to 5,000 troops across both countries, with 2,500 personnel in each, meeting a Jan. 15 deadline from President Donald J. Trump to reduce the military’s footprint in the Middle East. The withdrawal marks the lowest level of American troops in Afghanistan since 2001, and comes amid ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. In Iraq, the remaining 2,500 U.S. and coalition forces will stay in the country “to ensure the enduring defeat" of the Islamic State group.
Vice President Mike Pence

Pence Honors Chuck Yeager’s ‘Great American Life’ at Memorial Service

Vice President Mike Pence honored the life, career, and character of World War II ace and renowned Air Force test pilot Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager at a Jan. 15 memorial service in West Virginia. “Yeager has been an inspiration to every American pilot, and will be throughout time," Pence said. He did not mention the prospect of naming a military base after Yeager, an idea raised by President Donald J. Trump last month.
U.S. and Israeli F-35s participate in exercise Enduring Lightning III

Pentagon Shifts Israel to CENTCOM Responsibility

The Pentagon has changed the combatant command responsible for operations involving Israel, from U.S. European Command to U.S. Central Command, following White House-brokered accords between the country and multiple Persian Gulf states. The update to the Unified Command Plan came as the Trump administration finished its final week in office. President Donald J. Trump's White House has touted the Abraham Accords—normalizing relations between Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates—as a major shift toward improved relations in the Middle East.
Black Sea exercise

Aviano F-16s Practice ‘All-Domain Targeting’ Near Black Sea

F-16 fighter jets from the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, Italy, practiced combat cooperation with the Romanian Air Force while conducting “all-domain targeting operations” in a Jan. 14 bilateral exercise in the Black Sea region, according to a U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa release. It's another example of the growing military partnership between the U.S. and Romania.

30 Years After Desert Storm: Jan. 19

In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, Air Force Magazine is posting daily recollections from the six-week war, which expelled Iraq from occupied Kuwait.

Virtual Events: Scowcroft Group’s Miller on Mitchell’s Nuclear Deterrence Series, and More

On March 23, the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies will host a virtual Nuclear Deterrence Series event featuring Scowcroft Group Principal Frank Miller. At a time when nuclear modernization programs are accelerating around the world, proposals to recapitalize the U.S. nuclear arsenal are at the forefront of debates over defense spending. Miller will share his insights into the prospects for U.S. nuclear modernization programs and the value of nuclear deterrence in today's competitive security environment. 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.

Acting SECDEF Defends Capitol Reaction, Says DOD Is Prepared for This Week

Defense One

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller on Jan. 14, speaking to reporters, said the Defense Department was well-prepared for the historically tense high-security event this week. “At this point, there’s a machine that’s cranking on that,” he told reporters aboard a Defense Department plane.

Capitol Rioters Included Highly Trained Ex-Military and Cops

The Associated Press

An Associated Press review of public records, social media posts, and videos shows at least 21 current or former members of the U.S. military or law enforcement have been identified as being at or near the Capitol riot, with more than a dozen others under investigation but not yet named. In many cases, those who stormed the Capitol appeared to employ tactics, body armor and technology such as two-way radio headsets that were similar to those of the very police they were confronting.

No CMMC Penalty for Companies Hit By SolarWinds Hack

Breaking Defense

“SolarWinds wasn’t normal. No one is going to take that against you and take your certification away against a nation-state actor penetrating in a way that has never been done before — absolutely not,” said Katie Arrington, chief information security officer for the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. “You’re too critical to us.”

One More Thing

REPORT: Desert Storm, 30 Years Later

Mitchell Institute special report

“It is important to remember Desert Storm, not only for the definitive revelations and demonstrations about airpower, but also because of valuable insights that apply to our current and future wars,” writes retired USAF Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.