Spark Tank-Winning Idea Saves Time, Money

A crew chief and production superintendent from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., took home the 3D-printed trophy in the Department of the Air Force’s Spark Tank innovation contest for a simple idea he predicts could “solve a lot of issues across the aircraft community.” Master Sgt. Justin Bauer pitched his idea, “Innovative Approach to C-130 Wheel Repair,” at the 2021 Spark Tank finals during the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium on Feb. 26.
Acting Air Force Secretary John P. Roth

Roth Talks Transition Amid Administration Change, COVID

Acting Air Force Secretary John P. Roth is shepherding the Department of the Air Force through the first months of the year as the nation awaits President Joe Biden’s pick for a permanent Secretary. Handing off the Air Force and Space Force to a new administration should be smooth and transparent, Roth said Feb. 26. He praised the vaccine rollout within the Air Force and Space Force as well.

F-15Es Conducted Strike on Iranian-Backed Militias in Syria

Two USAF F-15E Strike Eagles conducted the Feb. 25 strike on infrastructure used by Iranian-linked militias in Syria, dropping seven precision-guided munitions on a border crossing complex in a move designed to send a message in the region, the Pentagon said. The F-15E mission destroyed nine facilities near the Abu Kamal border crossing with Iraq and damaged two more in the complex, Defense Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters Feb. 26. The complex is an “entry control point” that the militias, Kait’ib Hezbollah and Kait’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, used to bring weapons and fighters into Iraq.
Secretary of Defense visits NORAD and USNORTHCOM

NORTHCOM, NORAD Needs to Modernize Faster, Change Thinking to Improve Deterrence

U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command are working to combine disparate data streams for a more complete picture of a threat, while also developing ways to protect North America from advanced threats by getting “left of launch” and into an adversary’s thinking. NORTHCOM and NORAD boss Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, speaking during the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium, said his commands need to move faster to bring in new technologies to improve protection and deterrence. This includes using big data and artificial intelligence to bring together feeds and information sets. “Much of the awareness exists today, but it’s in stovepipes. It’s not analyzed in a timely manner where operational commanders and strategic decision makers can actually utilize it,” VanHerck said.
Pentagon Press Briefing Room

DOD Commission to Look at All Options to Combat Sexual Assault

The Pentagon’s new Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military has 90 days to find ways to combat the problem within the ranks, and the group will consider all options to address an issue that has “shattered the dreams” of many service members who joined with optimism about their service. “This commission is dedicated to the service members who suffered from sexual assault, both those who have come forward and shared their stories at great personal cost and those who suffered in silence and who continue to suffer in silence, alone and also at a great cost,” said Lynn Rosenthal, who has been appointed to lead the commission, in a Feb. 26 briefing.

ACC Moving Forward with ‘Reforge’ Experiment Amid Funding Concerns

Air Combat Command is trying to move forward with an experiment it hopes will pave the way for a larger overhaul of fighter pilot training, despite pandemic-era complications. The command is working through the contracting process for the resources it needs to test the “Reforge” idea, ACC boss Gen. Mark D. Kelly said. Kelly believes the Air Force will include funding for Reforge in the fiscal 2022 budget request, but that a five-year spending plan needs to materialize.
Air Force top officials visit JBSA missions for first combined trip

AETC Adds Human Performance Layer to UPT 2.5

Air Education and Training Command has incorporated a focus on human performance optimization—which includes personal resilience, health, fitness, diet, and mental performance—into its Undergraduate Pilot Training 2.5 program, 19th Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Craig D. Wills said at the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.
Water after the Storm

ANG Helps Texas Recover from Winter Storm Uri

Nearly 140 Air National Guard personnel from Texas and Kentucky have responded to parts of Texas that were devastated by Winter Storm Uri, ANG Director Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh told reporters Feb. 26. The polar vortex ravaged Texas’ power grid and deprived many citizens of running water.

30 Years After Desert Storm: Feb. 27-28

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

WATCH: The 2021 vAWS Day 3 Highlight Report

Air Force Magazine

Acting Secretary of the Air Force John P. Roth, NORAD’s Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, U.S. Space Command’s Gen. James H. Dickinson, Spark Tank, and more from Day 3 of the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.

Mitchell Institute’s ‘Aerospace Advantage’ Podcast: Episode 12

Mitchell Institute’s “Aerospace Advantage” podcast

The Mitchell Institute is proud to release episode 12 of its “Aerospace Advantage” podcast: “Securing Tomorrow’s Skies: A Conversation with ACC Commander General Mark Kelly.” One of the Air Force’s key mission areas is gaining control of the sky—a crucial objective given that no military function can succeed if subject to attack from hostile airpower. While the service is in the midst of modernization with types like the F-35, it must also think about the capabilities it seeks to procure in future decades. Gen. Kelly provides insights into this process and how he expects the mission to evolve given the future threat environment.

Air Force Relieves Danielson as Wing Commander at Vance

Enid News & Eagle

Col. Timothy Danielson has been relieved as 71st Flying Training Wing commander at Vance Air Force Base, the Air Force announced Feb. 26. Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, 19th Air Force commander, relieved Danielson for a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to effectively command the 71st FTW, according to the release.

Another Trio of Chinese Military Satellites Successfully Deployed

Spaceflight Now

Weeks after the launch of an earlier trio of Chinese military satellites, another trio of spacecraft successfully took off Feb. 24 aboard a Long March 4C rocket on a clandestine mission that analysts believe may involve spying on foreign naval forces. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported the Yaogan 31 satellites “will be used for electromagnetic environment surveys and other related technology tests.”

Water Near Arizona Air Force Base is Tainted in Latest Case

The Associated Press

The U.S. Air Force says it will be distributing bottled water to thousands of residents and business owners near its base in suburban Phoenix until at least April, marking the latest case of chemicals from military firefighting efforts contaminating the water supply in a nearby community.

Former Air Force Contractor Pleads Guilty to Illegally Taking 2,500 Pages of Classified Information

Justice Department release

A former contractor with the U.S. Air Force pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio on Feb. 25 to illegally taking approximately 2,500 pages of classified documents. According to court documents, Izaak Vincent Kemp, 35, of Fairborn, was employed as a contractor at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) from July 2016 to May 2019, and later as a contractor at the U.S. Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC).

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Pushes Huge Rocket Debut to 2022, Blames Space Force


In a statement Feb. 25, the company said "the schedule has been refined to match the demand of Blue Origin's commercial customers." The statement goes on to explicitly note that this is because Blue Origin lost out on a big government contract. "This updated maiden flight target follows the recent Space Force decision to not select New Glenn for the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 Launch Services Procurement (LSP)."

One More Thing

Her Father Was a Tuskegee Airman. She's Sharing His Legacy

CU Boulder Today

It wasn’t until Chin was older that she realized the full significance of her father’s passion for flying: Jack Chin, the son of a Chinese immigrant father and a mother with African American and white ancestry, served during World War II as a Tuskegee Airman—the name for members of a segregated unit in the U.S. Army Air Forces who became the first Black military pilots in the country’s history. Chin enlisted at just 17 and graduated from the last class of Tuskegee Airmen in 1946. To commemorate Black History Month, Karen Chin sat down with CU Boulder Today to share memories of her father, who died in 2000—and to reflect on what she hopes younger generations will take away from the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.