f-35

Contractor Employees Who Object to Vaccines May Not Get Much Backup

As the military’s COVID-19 vaccination deadlines close in, federal contractors such as Boeing, L3Harris, and others are also demanding employees get vaccinated, driven by President Biden's executive order issued Sept. 9. About 63 percent of working-age Americans were vaccinated as of Oct. 7, according to the White House. Assuming those working for federal contractors are roughly consistent with that trend, that suggests thousands of unvaccinated employees stand to lose their jobs if they choose to remain unvaccinated or they fail to get a waiver.
air force installations

C-17 Pilot is Biden’s Nominee for USAF Installations Czar

The Biden Administration plans to nominate Ravi Chaudhary, a former Air Force C-17 pilot and member of the Senior Executive Service with the Federal Aviation Administration, as assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment, and energy. In his last post, he was director of advanced programs and innovation in the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation, where he presided over the nascent private launch industry.
air force refueling

Bomber Task Force Refuels With Airmen-Designed Kit Fit for ACE

Master Sgt. Jason Yunker literally scribbled his hot-pit refueling idea on the back of a bar napkin. As of Oct. 11, it became part of the Air Force's new operational concept of agile combat employment while promising to save his command more than $1 million a year. At Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, the Airmen-invented Versatile Integrated Partner Equipment Refueling kit, or VIPER, refueled a B-1 bomber for the first time following a Bomber Task Force Mission-Europe operation in the Baltic region.

Radar Sweep

​​Prime Contractor Awards Continue on GSA-Administered ASTRO Procurement

FedScoop

The General Services Administration and the Department of Defense have continued to award spots for prime contractors on the 10-year ASTRO procurement. The DOD is the largest sponsor of ASTRO, which is focused on procuring unmanned systems, robotics, and platforms, as well as the services that support such systems.

Plan to Let Troops Cast Ballots Over the Internet Draws Opposition From Security Experts

Military Times

A group of election security experts is urging lawmakers to drop plans in the annual defense authorization bill that would allow online ballot casting for troops serving overseas, saying the security concerns outweigh the potential benefits. “There are solutions to improve military and overseas voting without expanding dangerously insecure voting technology,” the group wrote in a letter to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee this week.

‘Come In Low’: Army Aviation Modifies Training to Prepare for Rivals Such As Russia, China

Breaking Defense

Even with the fielding of the Army’s future vertical lift capabilities years away, the service is adjusting how it trains its aviators to prepare them for new tactics, techniques, and procedures for future wars. For the last 20 years of counterterrorism operations, Army rotorcraft have operated at higher altitudes in battle. But on the future battlefield, the Army will fly in the lower tier of airspace to avoid the anti-access/area denial capabilities of advanced adversaries such as China and Russia.

Pilot Lost Control of Wobbling F-22 That Spiraled to the Ground in Secretive Crash Last Year

Air Force Times

Newly obtained documents offer a clearer picture of an F-22 Raptor’s demise in Florida last year when it crashed near Eglin Air Force Base during training with other fighter jets. The F-22 grew increasingly wobbly upon takeoff, wouldn't turn left, and shortly barrel-rolled into the ground after its pilot safely ejected, according to the Air Force’s investigation into the May 15, 2020, incident that was not previously made public.

Will China Surpass the US in Military Air Superiority?

Voice of America

For decades, the United States' military has benefited from having air superiority over its enemies in all its conflicts around the world. The Pentagon's multibillion-dollar investment in advanced warplanes, weapons systems, satellites, and aircraft carriers has made air power a central part of America's global projection of military might. However, China's People's Liberation Army is rapidly modernizing, and military leaders and analysts say Washington may no longer be able to always rely on its air superiority.

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US Aims to Resume Regular Evacuation Flights From Afghanistan

The Wall Street Journal

The State Department plans to resume regular evacuation flights from Afghanistan before the end of the year to help U.S. citizens, residents, and some visa applicants leave the country, a senior State Department official said, an effort that will require coordination with the Taliban and other governments.

Orbit Fab Signs Technology Sharing Agreement With Air Force Research Laboratory

SpaceNews

Orbit Fab, a venture-funded startup offering a refueling service in space, has signed a technology sharing agreement with the Air Force Research Laboratory, the company announced Oct. 13. Under the cooperative research and development agreement, known as a CRADA, Orbit Fab will share technical details of its in-space refueling port known as RAFTI, short for Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface.

Space Force Recruiters Pitch Military Service to Warriors and Dreamers

SpaceNews

Military recruiters today are being challenged by demographic trends showing a declining population of young people who are eligible and willing to serve. As a new military service, the Space Force is still working on a recruiting strategy to attract the best and the brightest. The results so far are promising, said Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, commander of the Air Force Recruiting Service.

One More Thing

Redesigned Joint Staff Badge Reflects Addition of Newest Military Service

DOD release

The Joint Chiefs of Staff have, figuratively, unsheathed a new sword on the Joint Staff's seal: the Space Force. The seal has been revised to include the Space Force. The change is the first to the "JCS identification badge" since it was established in 1963. "Prior to that, members of the Joint Staff wore the DOD identification badge—the one members of that staff still wear," said David B. Crist, the JCS historian.