air force covid vaccine

Air Force Discharges Trainees, Prepares to Discipline Troops Who Aren’t Vaccinated

The Department of the Air Force is preparing to discipline thousands of Airmen and Guardians who will miss a Nov. 2 deadline for full vaccination against COVID-19. As of Oct. 25, an estimated 10,000 Airmen and Guardians remained unvaccinated, with vaccination levels improving only slightly over the past several weeks, the department said. While disciplinary action against uniformed service members will not be administered by their commanders until after Nov. 2, the Air Force recently discharged nearly 40 basic military and technical trainees for refusal to vaccinate.
B-1 bomber

Photos: B-1 Escorted by Fighters From 4 Partner Nations in Flight Around Arabian Peninsula

A B-1 bomber flew with aircraft from four U.S. partner nations Oct. 30 as it circled the Arabian Peninsula during a bomber task force mission. F-15s from Saudi Arabia and Israel and F-16s from Bahrain and Egypt escorted the bomber during a five-hour mission that originated in the Indian Ocean and flew over the Gulf of Aden, Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Red Sea, Suez Canal, Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman.
space force

AF Research Lab’s Newest Executive Hired to Cater to the Space Force

The Air Force Research Laboratory has named the new senior official who will represent the interests of the lab’s Space Force customers and be a single USSF point of contact within the AFRL leadership. The appointment means the changes the lab laid out last year to make it more responsive and useful to its new Space Force customers are finally complete.

Pentagon Cites Safety in Removing 140,000 Afghanistan War Photos, Videos From Public Site

The Defense Department said Nov. 1 that to protect the identity of Afghans who helped U.S. and coalition forces, it has archived more than 124,000 photos and 17,000 videos from the Afghanistan War previously available to the public on its official media distribution site. “We were concerned that [the Taliban] were going to seek out people who helped us over time, or relatives and families,” Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby told journalists. “I think those concerns were valid, and we make no apology whatsoever for making this decision,” he added.

Radar Sweep

Trick Or Treat: Japan Accepts Its First KC-46 Tanker

Breaking Defense

This year Japan celebrated Halloween by taking ownership of its first KC-46 aerial refueling tanker, becoming the first international operator of the often-troubled Boeing plane. Boeing delivered the first KC-46 to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force on Oct. 31, about four years after a $289 million contract was signed in December 2017.

Pentagon Rattled by Chinese Military Push on Multiple Fronts

The Associated Press

China’s growing military muscle and its drive to end American predominance in the Asia-Pacific is rattling the U.S. defense establishment. American officials see trouble quickly accumulating on multiple fronts—Beijing’s expanding nuclear arsenal, its advances in space, cyber, and missile technologies, and threats to Taiwan. “The pace at which China is moving is stunning,” says Gen. John Hyten, the No. 2-ranking U.S. military officer, who previously commanded U.S. nuclear forces and oversaw Air Force space operations.

Weapons-Makers Prepare for Delays as Vaccine Protests Flare Up


Defense and industry officials are sounding warning bells that weapons programs crucial to America's defense could face delays if enough skilled workers walk off the job instead of following President Joe Biden’s executive order for all federal employees and contractors to take the COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 8.

SPONSORED: Re-Engining the F-35: How GE’s AETP Could Boost Speed, Payload, and Range

GE Aviation

Fighter jet engines are an inherent compromise. If you want more power, you pay by giving up range. Want more range? It’s going to cost you in power. Each generation of jet engines has dealt with this unbreakable rule. But maybe there really is another way to meet that challenge. GE’s work in the Air Force’s Adaptive Engine Technology Program overcomes that inherent trade-off by incorporating the ability to change the power dynamics on the fly.

New White House Cyber Director Wants to Fight Like Cobra Kai

Defense One

The first U.S. national cyber director wants the government to take a tougher, more proactive approach to those who threaten America’s networks: degrade their capabilities and demonstrate how they would suffer should they attack. John "Chris" Inglis’ vision for his brand-new office somewhat resembles the match-day strategy employed by the Cobra Kai dojo in the original Karate Kid: Aim to cause your opponent pain. In other words: Sweep the leg.

PODCAST: Fractional Orbital Strike, Advanced Tactical Trainer, UAV Strikes, and Next-Gen AWACS

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In episode 47 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, Mitchell Institute team members talk about some of the top aerospace headlines in the news recently. Whether discussing why the Chinese are pursuing a new strike technology, ACC’s desire to rethink how it trains pilots, whether “over the horizon strikes” with UAVs will continue to present value, and the latest considerations when it comes to replacing the E-3 AWACS, a lot of issues are in play.

Buy American: Biden Sees Industry Pushback as Allies Warn of Trade Consequences

Defense News

President Joe Biden has taken executive action to boost Buy American requirements, but―in spite of loopholes to protect allied countries―not everyone is happy about it. The defense industry is pushing back, wary the protectionist policy will trigger a backlash that shuts out American-made weapons and gear from overseas markets.

Southern Beach Exercise Boosts Lethality, Strengthens Partnerships

Air Force release

The 18th Operations Group partnered with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the 36th Airlift Squadron from Yokota Air Base, Japan, to complete Exercise Southern Beach, Oct. 25-29. The large force exercise primarily focused on offensive and defensive counter air operations, personnel rescue, and airdrop missions. The 44th and 67th Fighter Squadron F-15C Eagles, 909th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotankers, 961st Airborne Air Control Squadron E-3 Sentry aircraft, and MC-130J Commando II aircraft assigned to the 353rd Special Operations Wing all participated in the exercise.

Falcon Heavy Could Launch 3 Space Force Missions in 2022


Two Space Force missions on SpaceX Falcon Heavy rockets that had been scheduled for 2021 have slipped into next year. There is now a third U.S. national security launch that will be added to the Falcon Heavy’s crowded 2022 manifest. USSF-67, a classified national security mission to geostationary Earth orbit awarded to SpaceX last year under a $332 million contract, is “on track for mid-to-late 2022 launch,” a Space Systems Command spokesperson confirmed Oct. 30.

A Few Dozen Airmen Set Up a Mini-Airfield in the Pacific to Train for a Possible War With China

Task and Purpose

Most Air Force bases are city-sized complexes with thousands of employees, heaps of supplies, and layers of infrastructure and bureaucracy to keep the whole thing running. By contrast, Austin Sewell had pinned on the rank of captain just two weeks before the start of Pacific Iron, when he found himself in command of a one-runway, 70-person airstrip that F-15E Strike Eagle attack jet pilots were counting on for fuel and support so they could patrol hundreds of miles of open ocean surrounding them.

US Air Force Adds Scientific Research Office in Australia


The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory is opening a scientific research facility in Melbourne, Australia, to be co-located with that country’s Defence Science and Technology Group. The new office will enhance cooperation between the two countries on basic scientific research that will benefit both militaries.

One More Thing

Air Force Veteran Honored for 50 Years of Safe Flying

The Associated Press via Air Force Times

U.S. Air Force veteran Carroll William Joye loves to fly. “I think it’s the greatest thing in the world that I ever did, other than give my life to God,” the 82-year-old said. Joye has been doing what he loves for a long time. He celebrated his 50th anniversary of flying on July 18. The feat was recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration on Oct. 26.