Dunford: Service’s Force Structure Plans Need to Focus on Quality Over Quantity
As the Air Force looks to increase its force structure and rebuild endstrength, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said that given the choice between increasing in size and increasing in quality, the latter is needed in the face of budget realities. Speaking May 29 at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., Dunford said the military cannot have an effective increase in just size, without proper training, equipment, and leadership. “When you have to make a choice between capacity and capability, I would go with capability,” he said. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.
DOD: Intelligence Showed “Campaign” of Threats from Iran
US Central Command called for increased intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to watch over Iranian-backed forces and more air support “in the event of an attack” after intelligence showed a campaign of threats from Iran, the two top US military officials said May 29. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.
Colorado Guard F-16s Deploy to Afghanistan
Colorado Air National Guard F-16s and more than 300 airmen from the 140th Wing deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, recently conducted close air support operations as fighting continues in the country. While much of the wing has deployed, there will still be a “significant number” of airmen in Colorado to support the aerospace alert mission, according to a Buckley Air Force Base release. The Buckley F-16s are replacing F-16s from Aviano AB, Italy, that returned from their deployment in late April. US aircraft in Afghanistan have maintained a high operations tempo as combat continues against the Taliban and ISIS, conducting 673 airstrikes in March—more than double February’s total of 327, according to the most recent statistics released by Air Forces Central Command. —Brian Everstine
AFRL Looking into New LEO Technologies
A recent Air Force Research Laboratory solicitation asks industry to pitch new ideas for handling space situational awareness, communication, and geolocation and timing from low Earth orbit, as the Space Development Agency hashes out its own ideas for a plethora of military-use satellites in LEO. “The general mission scenarios of space remain the same, but require new techniques to meet future requirements while keeping cost down, achieving acceptable performance, and maintaining significant advantage over our adversaries,” the May 29 request for information said. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.
Boeing Subsidiary to Upgrade Weapon Planning Software
Boeing subsidiary Tapestry Solutions on May 28 received a nearly 10-year contract worth up to $259 million to develop and support the Air Force’s Weapon Planning Software, which helps the military plan where it will send and use precision-guided munitions in combat. WPS enables joint mission planning for the A-10, B-1, B-2, B-52, F-15E, F-16, F/A-18, and F-35, according to a Boeing release. A Tapestry Solutions official said in the release the updated WPS will be faster, more powerful, and intuitive. The Air Force has indicated it wants WPS to use iterative software development like the agile approach that can help push out upgrades faster. “Tapestry, which is part of Boeing’s services business, brings decades of experience developing mission planning software solutions for military aircraft including the F-15, F/A-18, F-22 and T-38, as well as weapons systems software for the Tomahawk missile and Boeing’s Joint Direct Attack Munition program,” Boeing added. —Rachel S. Cohen
Exclusive: Islamic State suspects sent by US from Syria to Iraq
US forces have quietly sent at least 30 suspected foreign Islamic State fighters captured in Syria last year and in late 2017 to stand trial in Iraq, interviews with the men, Iraqi sources, and court documents show. Reuters
ASU delivers helmet prototypes to USAF
Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) has delivered four prototype helmets to the US Air Force, the company announced on May 22 . ASU is one of the three finalists selected by the AFWERX Fixed Wing Helmet Challenge in November 2018. Shephard Media
Algorithmic Warfare: Inside the Joint AI Center’s Pitch Day
On the 48th floor of 10 Hudson Yards—part of a New York City high-rise complex with boutique shops, offices and restaurants—companies lined up to pitch new artificial intelligence technology to the Defense Department. National Defense Magazine
OPINION: A flat budget will prove fatal for military transformation
This month, the House Appropriations Committee kicked off the annual process of congressional oversight of the Pentagon by passing its bill to fund the military for fiscal 2020. While the committee signaled willingness among the Democratic caucus to support a $733 billion budget, its bill makes clear that the Pentagon’s 2020 budget request is anything but the “masterpiece” that acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan once promised. Defense News
Senate Confirms Army Leaders for Chief of Staff, Vice Chief
The Senate recently confirmed two generals to become the next vice chief of staff and chief of staff of the Army. Military.com
One More Thing…
A Standing Ovation
Watch as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, CMSAF Kaleth Wright, and USAF airmen clap-out Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson as she leaves the Pentagon for the last time as SECAF. USAF on Twitter