Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III briefs the press

DOD Announces First Steps to Address Extremism After Stand Downs

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on April 9 announced interim steps to counter extremism in the ranks following Defense Department-wide standdowns to discuss the issue, including updating DOD guidance on what defines extremist behavior and updating questionnaires that prospective service members take. In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Austin ordered the standdowns and a review of DOD policies regarding extremism. Now, Austin has created a Countering Extremism Working Group to discuss future actions to continue to address the issue, the Pentagon announced.
Winter weather hits Barksdale

USAF Assesses Damage from Destructive Winter Storms

Winter storms caused more than $4 million in damage to Air Force Global Strike Command bases, with 28 total Air Force installations impacted by the weather earlier this year. AFGSC in an April 6 news release outlined the damage that several of its bases received during the winter storm: F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.; Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.; Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.; Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.; Minot Air Force Base, N.D.; Dyess Air Force Base, Texas; Barksdale Air Force Base, La.; and Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., took damage estimated from $20,000 to more than $1 million. The command estimates total damage to be more than $4 million.
5th generation fighter training

Hawaii F-22s Wrap Up Deployment to Japan

F-22s and Airmen from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, forward deployed to Japan for almost one month to train with Japanese and U.S. Marine Corps aircraft as part of a “dynamic force employment” operation. The Raptors from the Active-duty 19th Fighter Squadron and Air National Guard 199th Fighter Squadron deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni from March 12 through April 5.
151st Air Refueling Wing Deploys

Utah KC-135s Deploy to the Middle East

Utah Air National Guard KC-135s and Airmen deployed to the Middle East on April 5-6 to support combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria. The four KC-135s and 120 Airmen from the 151st Air Refueling Wing will support Operation Inherent Resolve—the ongoing fight against the Islamic State group, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan, and Spartan Shield—the overall U.S. mission in Southwest Asia.

Radar Sweep

Nation’s Oldest Medal of Honor Recipient Dies at 99

Military Times

On April 6, the nation’s oldest Medal of Honor recipient, Charles H. Coolidge, died at the age of 99. The unassuming and quiet Coolidge passed peacefully while surrounded by family at his namesake, the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. With the death of Coolidge, Hershel “Woody” Williams, 97, who was awarded the nation’s highest decoration for his actions on Iwo Jima, is now the Medal’s oldest surviving recipient.

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Former Airman: 'I Just Killed a Bunch of People in Church'

San Antonio Express-News

Sutherland Springs gunman told his parents in surreal call moments after massacre Michael and Rebecca Kelley were busy tending to one of their college-age daughters and her friends at their 28-acre spread in rural New Braunfels on Nov. 5, 2017, when a group text came to their phones.

PODCAST: Flying and Fighting in the B-2

Mitchell Institute Aerospace Advantage podcast

The Mitchell Institute released episode 18 of its Aerospace Advantage podcast: Flying and Fighting in the B-2: America’s Stealth Bomber. Join us for an in-depth conversation with seasoned B-2 pilots—Col. Keith Butler, commander of the 509th Operations Group, and Lt. Col. Christopher Conant, commander of the 393rd Bomb Squadron of the 509th Bomb Wing—who know what it’s like to strap into the jet and fly into harm’s way.

Boeing Sues, Cancels Contracts with Air Force One Supplier


Boeing Co said April 8 it had filed a suit against and canceled contracts with a Texas-based supplier for Air Force One, the aircraft that carries the U.S. President, over delays in completing interior work on the two heavily modified 747-8 planes.

Agility Prime Researches Electronic Parachute Powered by Machine Learning

Aviation Today

The Air Force’s Agility Prime program awarded a phase I small business technology transfer (STTR) research contract to Jump Aero and Caltech to create an electronic parachute powered by machine learning that would allow the pilot to recalibrate the flight controller in midair in the event of damage, the company announced on April 7.