Air Policing

Spangdahlem Delivers F-35 Air Power to the Eastern Flank

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany—A Russian cruise missile had just hit Lviv, Ukraine, in late March when a U.S. Air Force F-35 arrived to airspace in nearby Poland. The 34th Fighter Squadron pilot could faintly make out the civilian population and the aftermath of the strike below. “You could see the smoke from where they said the cruise missile hit at the airport,” said Capt. Alex Harvey, 31, who is part of a squadron deployed from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, on a NATO Polish Air Policing mission.
air force arctic climate

IG Report: USAF, Army Must Do More to Prepare Arctic Bases for Climate Change

The Air Force, along with the Army, needs to do a better job of preparing its installations in the Arctic for the impacts of climate change, according to a new Defense Department Inspector General report. The IG report, issued April 13, specifically looked at six bases in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, ​​and found that at all six, officials “did not conduct installation resilience assessments and planning required by DOD directive and public law.”
Air Force rifle

Air Force Fields a New Rifle for Airmen Across Missions

The Air Force is almost finished distributing nearly 1,500 new rifles to security forces, pararescuemen, Guardian Angels, and explosive ordnance disposal Airmen. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is in the final phase of delivering the Squad Designated Marksmanship Rifle after procuring approximately 1,464 of the guns.
posture

U.S. Military Posture Changes Needed in Europe, Pentagon Says

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the security situation in Europe, and the U.S will have to shift its long-term military posture there as a result—but it’s too soon to say how, according to Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby. Kirby also said Russia seems to be trying to “learn from its mistakes” in Ukraine but still has most of its pre-war combat capability, despite its losses.

Radar Sweep

Two-Star Air Force General Faces Judge, Not Jury, in Sexual Assault Trial

Military Times

The first Air Force general officer to stand trial in military court has opted to persuade a judge of his innocence rather than face a jury of fellow high-ranking officers. On April 18, the first day of his court-martial here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley pleaded not guilty to a three-part charge of kissing and groping a woman against her will in August 2018.

PODCAST: Understanding How Adversaries Think: China and Russia in Space

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In Episode 72 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, Daniel Rice of the Mitchell Institute is joined by MI-SPACE Senior Fellow Christopher Stone, CASI Director Brendan Mulvaney, and Air University's Daniel Connelly to explore how the Chinese and Russian worldviews influence their approaches to operating and fighting in space. This comes down to a simple precept: Deterrence happens in the mind of your adversaries.

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Another Pentagon Official Exits, Saying US Is at Risk of Losing Tech Edge

Bloomberg

A senior official responsible for driving technological innovation at the Department of Defense has resigned, saying the Pentagon needs “structural change” and should behave more like SpaceX, Elon Musk’s satellite company that has shaken up rocket launches. “We’re falling behind the commercial base in key areas, so we’ve got to catch up,” said Preston Dunlap, the Air Force’s first ever chief architect officer.

Supreme Court Won’t Shield Airman From Punishment Over Vaccine Refusal

The Hill

The Supreme Court ruled against an Air Force Reserve officer who asked the justices to shield him from disciplinary action over his religious-based refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Lt. Col. Jonathan Dunn was removed from his command and faces additional punishment over his refusal to comply with the military-wide health policy that was implemented last August.

Air Force Secretary Wants Part-Time Space Force Guardians, Not Reserves

Military.com

The Department of the Air Force is pumping the brakes on creating a National Guard or reserve component for the Space Force, opting instead for full-time or part-time Guardians in a new congressional proposal. The legislative proposal, which was submitted to Congress earlier this month and approved by Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, seemingly would combine the Space Force's Active-duty and reserve elements.

Spark Tank Idea Comes to Life Through AFRL Engineers

Air Force release

Imagine a kitchen without a countertop or a garage without a space for its tools and nothing but the floor as a workspace. This is how ground surgical teams have worked for years, but engineers from the 711th Human Performance Wing, part of the Air Force Research Laboratory, are addressing this issue. Two 711th HPW teams created a prototype of a more efficient workstation for clinicians to use in austere environments to significantly improve patient care.

Air Force Pararescuemen Explain Why Jungle Warfare Is So Much Harder to Train for Than Desert Combat

Task and Purpose

An all-expense-paid, two-week trip to Hawaii sounds fun, but maybe not so much if it involves living deep in the jungle with nothing but the ruck on your back. That’s what a group of Air Force pararescuemen from the 38th Rescue Squadron’s Blue Team discovered while training in Oahu recently, the third-largest of the Hawaiian islands. Pararescuemen are specialists in search and rescue and combat medicine, and the goal of the trip was to show the PJs how to track friendly troops, such as a downed pilot, in the dense foliage of a Pacific jungle.

Raytheon Upgrades Nuclear Comms With First Installation for Air Force

Defense News

Raytheon Intelligence and Space installed the first global aircrew strategic network terminal for the Air Force earlier this year, locking in a significant upgrade to existing communications arrays. Put in at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., the system will bolster nuclear command, control, and communications, the high-stakes means through which nuclear strikes are ordered, coordinated, and delivered.

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Air Force Offers Help to LGBTQ Personnel, Families Hurt by State Laws

The Washington Post

In an unusual move, the Air Force recently informed its service members that it will support their families with medical and legal help if they are affected by dozens of new state laws restricting LGBTQ rights, including relocating families if the need arises. The assistance was made widely public in a March 24 news release that initially attracted little attention. It announced a de facto expansion of human rights protections for these military families as states have moved to ban gender-affirming care for minors, restrict teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools, and prohibit trans athletes from playing on girls’ sports teams.

COMSPOC Executive to Join DOD Space Policy Office

SpaceNews

Travis Langster, vice president and general manager of COMSPOC, will be leaving the company to join the Defense Department as principal director of DOD space policy. COMSPOC, previously known as the Commercial Space Operations Center, located outside of Philadelphia, tracks and analyzes orbital data and provides space traffic management services.

Arrival of Final Two F-35s Completes Complement at Alaska Base

The Associated Press

The final two F-35A Joint Strike Fighter jets have arrived at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, near Fairbanks, completing the full complement of 54 aircraft. Col. David Berkland of the 354th Fighter Wing called it “a really significant day for us in terms of the buildup of Eielson Air Force Base.” The base was selected in 2016 to host F-35s, spawning a base expansion that cost more than half a billion dollars.

One More Thing

Royal Air Force Veteran Lays Claim as ‘Britain’s Oldest Facebook User’—Age 106

Birmingham Times

A British Royal Air Force veteran has laid claim to being ‘Britain’s oldest Facebook user’—age 106—and he loves checking his iPad daily. Sprightly David Smith logs on every morning to watch viral videos and message friends. He created his profile in 2017 and still enjoys checking Facebook daily on his iPhone and iPad. The RAF serviceman said he most enjoys watching trending videos of wartime planes and seeing what his pals are up to.

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Celebrating 75 Years of Air and Space Power