Following Oklahoma’s lead, five additional states are pushing back against the Defense Department’s COVID-19 vaccine policy, putting their objections in a letter addressed to Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on Dec. 14. The governors of Wyoming, Iowa, North Dakota, Alaska, Nebraska, and Mississippi signed the letter.
In December 2015, the Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing became the first in the nation allowed to operate an unmanned aircraft at a commercial airport, but for five years after it received federal permission to fly Reaper drones out of the airport, the New York Air National Guard failed to pay rent to Syracuse’s Hancock Airport.
The Air Force Research Laboratory has released a synopsis of its planned $371 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the development and demonstration of a large-class air-breathing hypersonic missile designed to perform different missions. AFRL expects to issue in January a request for proposals for the Mayhem program aimed at creating a system that would deliver payloads beyond existing technological capabilities and perform missions at wider ranges than current projectiles, according to a notice posted Tuesday on SAM.gov.
Kristyn Jones, a managing director of the federal advisory practice at professional services firm KPMG, will be nominated by President Biden to serve as comptroller and assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial management, the White House said Monday. In her current role, Jones provides consulting services to federal clients in matters related to finance, business management, and technology. She previously served as deputy assistant secretary for financial information management at the Army, a financial manager in the Office of Naval Research, and director of enterprise transition planning for the Department of Defense Business Transformation Agency.
“Do you think telling NASA astronauts that they are in the top third, middle third, or bottom third of their peers in respect to their leadership ability will dramatically increase their motivation to be better teammates or develop professionally? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that rack-and-stacking rocket scientists using a single metric (leadership) is an ineffective method for talent management. This is why NASA employs a talent marketplace model similar to the Air Force, and the rest of the Department of Defense should follow suit and also revise their performance rating systems if they hope to achieve the same levels of performance, engagement, and employee satisfaction,” writes Lt. Col. Reagan Mullin, a colonel assignments officer at Headquarters Air Force.
The race to vaccinate defense workers is now at a standstill after a U.S. district court judge blocked the implementation of the vaccine mandate for federal contractors. The Defense Department issued a memo Dec. 9 instructing its contracting officers to stop enforcing President Joe Biden’s Sept. 9 executive order that required workers for federal contractors to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by Jan. 18.
Civil Air Patrol aircrews are flying storm surveys to assist the National Weather Service and the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency in gauging the official intensities of the tornadoes that ripped into the Midwest on Dec. 10. Civil Air Patrol Kentucky Wing is “working diligently to help the interagency response effort so our Kentucky neighbors can get through these challenging times,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. Kirk Pierce.
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.
Combat aviation advisers are the Air Force’s go-to experts for embedding with and teaching the air forces of other nations—who often have primitive or little flying history—how to fight. Generally pulled from midcareer NCOs and officers, CAAs are selected from 18 different Air Force career fields—from police to medics to pilots—to train foreign aviation forces or even carry out unconventional warfare missions.
Just how many jets, cargo planes, and other military vehicles is Russia deploying to the border of Ukraine? Answering that sort of question is a labor-intensive project for analysts, requiring them to pore through satellite photos to find and classify specific objects. A new tool from data analysis firm Orbital Insight could change that. The multi-class object detection algorithms can detect and classify a wide number of objects of relevance to the military, alerting analysts to events such as buildups or unusual deployments anywhere that can be photographed by satellites.
A group of 505 Air Force senior master sergeants beat out more than 2,200 others to snag a promotion to chief master sergeant, the latest round of an increasingly competitive race to reach the highest grade for enlisted Airmen. The Space Force tapped 10 senior master sergeants for promotion to chief master sergeant of the 45 who were eligible.
The United Arab Emirates is threatening to pull out of a multibillion-dollar deal to buy American-made F-35 aircraft, Reaper drones and other advanced munitions, U.S. officials said, in what would be a significant shakeup between two longtime partners increasingly at odds over China’s role in the Gulf. The Emirati government told U.S. officials that it intended to halt the deal because Abu Dhabi thought security requirements the U.S. had laid out to safeguard the high-tech weaponry from Chinese espionage were too onerous, and the country’s national sovereignty was in jeopardy, officials said.
Counterintelligence, computer hacking, and espionage aren’t just thrilling plot points for fictional spy novels or TV shows. These are true-to-life national security matters that keep Airmen busy in the Office of Special Investigations at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. “Protecting the Air Force’s interests is a big part of the job,” said Jordan Rodrigues, AFOSI Detachment 105 commander. “People think, ‘Oh, this is a small community—nothing like that happens here.’ But yes, it does.”
That’s right: The Walt Disney Company can now add “challenge coins” to a list that includes Marvel, Star Wars, and pretty much everything else.