Space Force to Adopt ‘Specialist,’ Other New Ranks Feb. 1

The Space Force will drop the rank system it inherited from the Air Force for a new set that combines Air Force and Army names, the service said in a Jan. 29 memo to Guardians. A Space Force spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the memo, which was posted on a Facebook page popular with Airmen. It’s the latest move to forge the new service’s own path forward as it tries to establish a culture separate from the Air Force it came from in December 2019. For example, enlisted Guardians from E-1 to E-5 will be known as Specialist 1, Specialist 2, Specialist 3, Specialist 4, and Sergeant. Ranks will stay the same as the Air Force on the officer side.
USAFA Class of 2020

USAFA Cracking Down on Students for Widespread Cheating Last Spring

The U.S. Air Force Academy has kicked out students and reprimanded others after nearly 250 cadets were suspected of using online learning to cheat on tests and plagiarize assignments last spring. “Infractions ranged from failing to properly cite sources, to using unauthorized online tutoring websites to receive solutions to exam questions in real time, to completing final exams in small groups,” the school said Jan. 29. They were caught through “existing Dean of Faculty academic safeguards,” and most of the 249 students admitted to cheating, USAFA said.

Top ISIS Leader in Iraq Killed in Coalition Airstrike

A U.S.-led coalition airstrike killed the leader of the Islamic State group in Iraq on Jan. 27, a blow to the group’s effort to grow and continue operating. The coalition aircraft were supporting an Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service raid near Kirkuk, which killed the leader “Abu Yasir” and 10 other ISIS members, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said on Twitter. “The Coalition will continue to remove key leaders from the battlefield and degrade the terrorist organization,” Marotto said.
Minnesota National Guard COVID-19 Vaccination

Guard Has Given Out Nearly 38K COVID-19 Vaccines to Troops

As of the afternoon of Jan. 29, the National Guard Bureau had given out more than 37,580 COVID-19 vaccines to its uniformed personnel, with about 4,000 troops having received the two doses needed to grant maximum protection against the virus, Air Force Maj. Gen. Jerry L. Fenwick, director of NGB’s Office of the Joint Surgeon, told reporters during a Jan. 29 press call.
President George H.W. Bush at Fort Stewart

30 Years After Desert Storm: Feb. 1

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.

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.

Mitchell Institute’s ‘Aerospace Advantage’ Podcast, Ep. 8: ‘National Security Space Operations with Chief of the Space Force General Jay Raymond’

Mitchell Institute podcast

In Episode 8 of "Aerospace Advantage," Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond explains his future vision for his service, challenges and opportunities in the national security space domain, and what it’s been like standing up the nation’s newest service. Host and retired Air Force Lt. Col. John Baum and Mitchell Institute Dean and retired USAF Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula also discuss the broader circumstances regarding national security space and the creation of the Space Force. Bottom line: Space is vital to America’s interests, and the Space Force must be empowered for success.

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The World is Facing an Upsurge of Nuclear Proliferation

The Economist

Thirty-one countries, from Brazil to Sweden, have flirted with nuclear weapons at one time or another. Seventeen launched a formal weapons programme. Just ten produced a deliverable bomb. Today nine states possess nuclear arms, no more than a quarter-century ago. Yet the long struggle to stop the world’s deadliest weapons from spreading is about to get harder. In the past 20 years most countries with nuclear ambitions have been geopolitical minnows, like Libya and Syria. In the next decade the threat is likely to include economic and diplomatic heavyweights whose ambitions would be harder to restrain.

OPINION: The Next Steps For the Pentagon's AI Hub

Defense One

“As the two-year-old Joint Artificial Intelligence Center shifts from a projects-and-products shop to the Pentagon’s hub for AI services and support, its leaders are working on priorities for ‘JAIC 2.0.,’ write Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments Senior Fellow Chris Bassler and Active-duty U.S. Navy Capt. Bryan Durkee. “We suggest the center focus on six main efforts.”

DARPA Announces Results of First-Ever Bug Bounty Focused on Hardware Security

Inside Defense

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced the completion of its first ever bug bounty program, with the project validating the agency's work on secure hardware architectures. The "Finding Exploits to Thwart Tampering" bug bounty was held between July and October 2020, with the agency spending the last three months reviewing the 13,000 hours of "hacking exploits" by more than 580 cybersecurity researchers.

Guard Has to Order from D.C. Restaurants After Food Contract Comes Up Short

A food contract between a supplier and the National Guard did not provide enough meals, forcing units still deployed to Washington to buy local, has learned. Because of the mix-up and shortage of meals, the Guard resorted to buying "a large quantity of various food choices off of the local economy," according to Army Maj. Aaron Thacker, a Guard Bureau spokesman.