air force chaplain covid vaccine exemptions

Air Force Faces Time Crunch to Process Thousands of COVID-19 Vaccine Exemption Requests

Department of the Air Force policy calls for a decision within 30 days on requests for religious exemptions to mandatory vaccines from Airmen and Guardians within the continental U.S. But with nearly 5,000 Active-duty Airmen and Guardians seeking religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine, the department faces an uphill battle in trying to sort through every request within that timeframe. 

Minot B-52s Fly Bomber Task Force Mission With UK Over North Sea

Air Force Global Strike Command integrated B-52s from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., with B-1s operating from RAF Fairford, England, and a host of British aircraft for exercises over the North Sea on Nov. 10. The Bomber Task Force Europe mission included a targeting activity using conventional and precision-guided munitions to strike air, land, and sea targets that practiced interoperability with coalition forces.

Menendez Opposes F-16 Sale to Turkey Despite its Promise to Buy Russian Jets if Sale Falls Through

Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) told Air Force Magazine he opposes Turkey’s proposal to buy F-16s and modernization kits, calling for human rights improvements first even as the NATO ally threatens to deepen its ties with the Russian defense industry. The New Jersey Democrat has the power to hold up foreign military sales and to stymie the formal notification to Congress.
Moore Cyber Command

CYBERCOM Deputy Likens Cyber Warfare to Mixed Martial Arts

When it comes to sporting analogies, many strategists have urged U.S. cyber warriors to think more like a hockey team—with swift transitions between offensive and defensive plays—than a football team. But U.S. Cyber Command Deputy Commander Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles L. Moore Jr. argues that the freewheeling character of cyber conflict is best analogized to a different sport—the gladiatorial combat known as mixed martial arts.
Air National Guard

Air National Guard’s Modernization Effort is ‘Capacity Issue for Our Nation,’ Bureau Chief Says

The Air National Guard badly needs to modernize its fleet, not only for operations in the homeland but also for its warfighting mission, the head of the National Guard said Nov. 10. Army Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said the ANG’s “entire fighter fleet” needs to be modernized, with aging F-15C/Ds and F-16s swapped out for newer F-15EXs and fifth-generation F-35s.

Radar Sweep

Benefits for Military Burn Pit Victims Could Expand Dramatically Under White House Plan

Military Times

President Joe Biden is directing Veterans Affairs officials to revamp how they evaluate and approve veterans disability claims related to toxic exposure, with an eye toward dramatically expanding the number of veterans and illnesses eligible for compensation. The move, which was scheduled to be announced as part of the White House’s Veterans Day commemoration, comes just a few months after VA officials began granting presumptive benefits status to some victims of burn pit smoke at overseas combat posts.

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Air Force Special Operations General Visits Japan to Gain Insight on Seaplanes

Stars and Stripes

The deputy commander of Air Force Special Operations Command made a quick trip to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, on Nov. 9 to learn more about Japan’s ShinMaywa US-2 seaplane, a version of which the Air Force is also developing. “The US-2 seaplane is definitely of interest to Air Force Special Operations,” Maj. Gen. Eric T. Hill told Stars and Stripes. “We’ve been working a number of issues to try and think about how we get to runway independence,” Hill said. “If you think about the area here, the South China Sea, for instance—if we can turn that into a landing zone for special operation forces, there might be a lot of opportunity there,” Hill said.

Afghan Pilots Who Fled To Tajikistan Are Finally About To Leave With U.S. Help

The Drive

Around 150 pilots and other personnel from the now-defunct Afghan Air Force are reportedly in the process of being relocated from Tajikistan to a third country with the help of the U.S. government. These individuals, including one woman who is very far along in her pregnancy, had fled Afghanistan in fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters as the Taliban swept to power in August. The fate of the aircraft that they brought with them, as well as others that belonged to the Afghan Air Force that are now in limbo elsewhere, remains uncertain.

Officials Break Ground on Special Operations Command North HQ at Peterson Space Force Base


Officials broke ground on the first headquarters building for Special Operations Command North on Nov. 8. It’s being built at Peterson Space Force Base, Colo. The new headquarters will support U.S. Northern Command and the mission of homeland defense. The $44 million project should be complete in September 2023. “This new project will strengthen SOCNORTH’s ability to provide command, control, and coordination of Special Operations in support of USNORTHCOM and our mutual mission of homeland defense and increasing our ability to globally campaign in competition,” said Lt. Gen. A.C. Roper in a prepared statement.

Vandenberg SFB Commander Looks to Agility as Launch Pace Picks Up


A missile test on a Sunday morning and a rocket launch on Monday night helped Vandenberg Space Force Base set a record and move another step toward realizing the future. Col. Robert Long, commander of Space Launch Delta 30, recently spoke about the dramatic changes ahead for the 100,000-acre installation that serves as the nation’s western spaceport. Vandenberg hosted two launches in about 34 hours—the missile-defense test on Sept. 12 followed by the Falcon rocket launch Sept. 13.

The Power of Modern Propulsion

Air Force Magazine

The engines that power the Air Force are the best in the world. But as technology continues to evolve, new improvements promise greater power, range, and other capabilities. Read the latest on advances in aircraft engines and propulsion technology.

Aircraft Model From PLA Air Force’s Anniversary Celebration Video Sparks Speculation

Global Times

An aircraft model that appeared in the latest promotional video of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force released Nov. 9 has sparked speculation among Chinese military enthusiasts, who believe the model with a tailless aerodynamic design could represent an advanced warplane that is yet to be announced to the public. But Chinese military experts said Nov. 10 that there is no need to overinterpret the situation.

Spain’s Defence Ministry Denies Interest in F-35

Defense News

Spain has no interest in the American F-35 fighter jet and is solely committed to the Future Combat Air System that it is pursuing with France and Germany, a defense spokesperson told Reuters. The statement comes after Spanish officials at a defense exhibition in Madrid last week said the Lockheed Martin-made plane was at least a theoretical contender for the Spanish Navy and, if the sea service were to select it, the Air Force.

OPINION: We Spent a Year Investigating What the Chinese Army Is Buying. Here’s What We Learned.


“The so-called arms race for AI has come to define debates about the competition between the United States and China. The idea that the two nations are racing to dominate in AI—and, in particular, that China is surging ahead in this race—has garnered high-profile supporters as well as skeptics. But while much discussion, including the DOD report, has focused on China’s longer-term grand plans to become an AI superpower, it has been less clear what the country is doing in the short term to make those ambitions a reality,” writes Ryan Fedasiuk a research analyst at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, where he focuses on military applications of artificial intelligence and China’s efforts to acquire foreign technology.

Alternative Rocket Builder SpinLaunch Completes First Test Flight


SpinLaunch, a startup that is building an alternative method of launching spacecraft to orbit, conducted a successful first test flight of a prototype in New Mexico. The Long Beach, Calif.-based company is developing a launch system that uses kinetic energy as its primary method to get off the ground—with a vacuum-sealed centrifuge spinning the rocket at several times the speed of sound before releasing. “It’s a radically different way to accelerate projectiles and launch vehicles to hypersonic speeds using a ground-based system,” SpinLaunch CEO Jonathan Yaney told CNBC.