Air Force Association Celebrates 75th Anniversary

The Air Force Association is celebrating 75 years of educating, advocating, and supporting the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force. AFA was incorporated on Feb. 4, 1946, to form a grassroots network across the country to educate the public about air power and to advocate for the Air Force to become a separate military service branch. Less than 18 months later, in September 1947, the Air Force gained its independence. Under the leadership of Gen. James Harold Doolittle, its first president, and generations of volunteer and professional leaders since, AFA became a critical advocate and supporter of air power, space power, and the means and resources needed for a ready and robust national defense. “AFA has been the force behind the forces for the last 75 years,” said AFA President, retired Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright. “It’s the privilege of a lifetime to be able to dedicate my time and energy on behalf of Airmen, Guardians, and their families."
Spangdahlem AB F-16s participate in large force exercise

Plans to Draw Down in Germany on Hold as New Administration Considers Options

Plans to significantly reduce the U.S. footprint in Germany are now on hold as the new administration reviews the decision and its impacts, the head of U.S. European Command said Feb. 3. In July, then-Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and EUCOM boss Gen. Tod D. Wolters announced that DOD would remove nearly 12,000 troops from Germany, shift F-16s from Spangdahlem (the base's only flying mission), and halt plans to move tankers and special operations forces from England to Germany, among other changes. But once Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III took charge, those plans immediately stopped, Wolters said.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III

Austin Orders Stand Down to Address Extremism in the Ranks

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on Feb. 3 ordered a military-wide “stand down” over the next 60 days to have units discuss extremism in the ranks, the Pentagon announced. The stand down, similar to the Air Force’s 2019 resiliency tactical pause to address suicide, directs individual units to select a day to cut back on its operations to discuss the growing problem. The order comes as senior DOD officials have said the department is struggling to grapple with the problem of extremism in its ranks.
Tawanda R. Rooney

Air Force Establishes Office of Diversity and Inclusion

The Department of the Air Force on Jan. 11 officially stood up its Office of Diversity and Inclusion, according to a Feb. 2 release. The office’s job is to cultivate an “equitable environment for all Department of the Air Force personnel” by finding and fixing “policies and procedures” that might have adverse impacts on underrepresented troops, and eliminating “barriers and other practices” that might impede their careers in the Air and Space Forces, the release explained.
Pleus and Hudson

Pleus: US Capitol Attack Reverberated on the Korean Peninsula

While the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building happened thousands of miles away from his office at Osan Air Base, South Korea, 7th Air Force Commander and U.S. Forces Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Scott L. Pleus said the event’s aftershocks still were felt on the Korean Peninsula. “People ... here are watching, just like people all across the world, right?” he said during a Feb. 2 installment of the Air Force Association’s “Air and Space Warfighters in Action” virtual discussion series. “So for all of us that are ... deployed, whether we're PCSed or we're actually ... in a deployed status, what happens in the United States affects us, because that's where our families are, that's where our hearts are, that's the flag we wear, that is the flag we gave an oath to. And when you see something like that where you see extremism, it is not only incompatible with our service, it goes against our moral fabric."
Supporting the warfighter from the thermosphere

Space Force Makes Its Pitch to Woo Other Troops

Active-duty Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines will soon be able to apply for jobs in the Space Force, as the new service begins to include people outside of the Department of the Air Force for the first time. The Space Force is looking for about 30 members of the Army and Navy departments to come on board this year, before ramping up to several hundred next year. “We're going to need that joint expertise,” Brig. Gen. David N. Miller Jr., the Space Force’s deputy chief operations officer, said in an online town hall Jan. 28. “You have an advantage, coming from another service, that we need to latch onto. We value that warfighting experience that you may bring ... into the space cadre.”
1st Cavalry Division prepares for Exercise Defender Europe

EUCOM Moving Ahead with Massive ‘Defender Europe’ Exercise Despite COVID-19

U.S. European Command is moving forward with its biggest exercise—expecting about 31,000 personnel from 26 countries—despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but officials are ready to scale back if health concerns require it. The annual Defender Europe exercise will bring together air, land, and sea participants to operate in 12 countries from the Baltics to Africa in late spring and early summer. Last year’s exercise had to be dramatically scaled down as COVID-19’s spread shut down much of the world.
509th Bomb Wing B-2 Red Flag 21-1

Red Flag 21-1 Readying Airmen, Guardians for Great-Power Competition

The 2021 iteration of the annual Red Flag combat air exercise at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., is focused on great power competition, two of the minds behind the event told Air Force Magazine on Jan. 29. With 27 unique scenarios (a mixture of offensive and defensive situations) inspired by the 2018 National Defense Strategy, this year’s exercise kicked off Jan. 25 and will run through Feb. 12. About 2,400 people are taking part, and USAF aircraft representation includes the A-10, F-15E, F-16, F-22, F-35, B-1B, and B-2, according to a Nellis release.
USS Missouri Desert Storm

30 Years after Desert Storm: Feb. 4

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

Space Force Considering Role in Tactical Intelligence Mission

Inside Defense

Asked on Feb. 3 during a Defense Writers Group virtual event whether the mission resides within the Space Force's portfolio, Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond said though the mission has traditionally fallen to the intelligence community, the service is exploring whether it can develop a low-cost, small satellite to contribute to the broader capability.

Army, Navy Funds Unlikely for Space Force Until 2023

Breaking Defense

"The last thing Congress intended when creating the Space Force was to end up with four different space forces," says the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Todd Harrison in a new analysis promoting a roles and missions review.

VCSAF Visits Malmstrom AFB, Sees Accelerating Change

USAF release

Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., welcomed Gen. David W. Allvin during his first visit to the field as the Air Force’s Vice Chief of Staff, Jan. 29. The visit provided Allvin the opportunity to meet with—and personally recognize—the 341st Missile Wing’s Total Force Airmen who support, safeguard, and execute the nation’s long-range precision nuclear strike capability.

SPONSORED—VIDEO: 4 Principles of Agile JADC2 Development

Air Force Magazine

Innovation has always been a hallmark of the U.S. Air Force. But with the accelerating pace of technology development, the service needs a new approach to modern design to make the latest technologies profoundly more accessible.

Foreign Training Programs Could Become a Priority in Biden Administration, Experts Say

Medill News Service

As the world witnessed President Joe Biden take his oath of office on Jan. 20, he vowed to “repair our alliances and engage with the world once again” as a “strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security.” At the Pentagon, that could mean foreign military training programs, some of which came under attack during the Trump administration, could regain their previous status as what former Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper called a “critical long-term investment.”

One More Thing

Check Out These Fascinating, Declassified Photos of The A-12 Oxcart RCS Tests Inside Area 51

The Aviationist

In another remarkable chapter in the history of the A-12 Oxcart (as well as the M-21/YF-12A/SR-71 family of Lockheed Skunk Works aircraft), Mr. Thornton D. “TD” Barnes, prolific author and former Area 51 test engineer, has provided a series of fascinating photos from the early radar cross section tests of the Lockheed/CIA A-12. The photo series was posted to Facebook by TD Barnes in the last few days.