Roper: Fixing Software Development Necessary For Future Success

The Air Force’s new acquisition chief said one of his biggest challenges is fixing the way the service acquires and develops software. If done correctly software upgrades should be a continuous process, Will Roper told reporters on Friday. However, that’s nearly impossible under the current acquisition rules. “Across the Air Force, we have to get better at software,” said Roper. Rethinking the acquisition system will take some time to put in place, he said, but it “has to be done because I can’t imagine building anything for the Air Force in the future that isn’t software intensive.” Read the full story by Amy McCullough.

USAF B-52s Train Near South China Sea

The Air Force conducted a training mission that sent two B-52H Stratofortress bombers to the South China Sea area Tuesday, the Air Force told Air Force Magazine Friday. The B-52s, deployed from Barksdale AFB, La., left Andersen AFB, Guam, and “transited to the vicinity of the South China Sea,” according to the statement from Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman Lt. Col. Lori Hodge. “The B-52Hs conducted training and then transited to the vicinity of Okinawa to conduct training with USAF F-15C Strike Eagles, before returning to Guam,” she said in the statement. Continuous Bomber Presence missions, she said, are designed to maintain US readiness. —Steve Hirsch

Pilot’s Failure to Deconflict Caused 2016 F-16 Collision in Georgia

Two South Carolina Air National Guard F-16C pilots failed to deconflict airspace after one of the pilots ran low on fuel, causing them to collide during training in Georgia in June 2016, according to an Air Force investigation released Friday. The pilots were able to eject, suffering minor injuries, though both F-16s were destroyed. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

10 Tech Startups Pitch Ideal to Air Force at Boston Demo Day

Ten startup companies pitched ideas to Air Force leaders, including Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Seve Wilson, and potential investors April 20, the Air Force announced. The Techstars Autonomous Technology Accelerator for the Air Force Demo Day in Boston brought together “potential investors, airmen, tech sector experts, government employees, and small startup companies with ideas of how to improve the Air Force’s drone systems,” states a USAF release. Among those ideas were a nanotechnology paint and bonding substance able to block electronic signals, tracking tools for supply chains and logistics, and resilient drones. Wilson pointed to “massive disruptions in politics, economies, social society, and technology,” with technology pushing the others, he said. “We want to see what these companies have to offer, and are hoping to work toward being able to access startup ideas quickly, in order to be the disruptors of our adversaries,” he said. —Steve Hirsch

USAF Receives More A-29s for the Afghan Air Force

The Air Force in late April received two more A-29 Super Tucanos for the Afghan Air Force, bolstering the AAF’s fleet as fighting season picks up. The aircraft were delivered five months earlier than expected, according to a Sierra Nevada/Embraer news release. The AAF plans to have a fleet of 26 A-29s, which are the main component of the country’s fleet along with MD-530 strike helicopters and the forthcoming AC-208 armed version of the C-208 light airlifter. The Afghan Ministry of Defense said earlier this month that A-29s are conducting more than one third of all airstrikes in the country, including US aircraft, according to TOLO News. For more on USAF’s role in training the Afghan Air Force, see Building Momentum in Afghanistan from the September 2017 issue of Air Force Magazine. —Brian Everstine

USAF Removes Requirement for NCO, SNCO Distance Learning Courses

Active Duty airmen no longer have to complete noncommissioned officer and senior NCO distance learning courses, known as Courses 14 and 15, according to changes announced this week by Air Education and Training Command. Under the new rules, Active Duty members will instead attend in-resident professional military attendance courses at the noncommissioned officer and senior NCO academy. Guard and Reserve airmen can complete the courses through distance learning or in-residence. “Ultimately airmen are always encouraged to focus on their own self-improvement and life-long learning,” Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel, and services, said in a release. “However, because our enlisted members have a 100 percent opportunity to attend in-residence NCO and SNCOA, this change provides airmen greater flexibility and reduces redundancy in professional military education.” The change was based on feedback from a review committee, working groups, and input from students and instructors.



—The first Red Flag-Alaska exercise of 2018 started on Friday: Eielson release.

— Air Force: No risk of chemical leak from F-16 crash in western Arizona: Havasu News.

— A USAF B-52 flew alongside F-15Cs from RAF Lakenheath, England, and Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16s as part of exercise African Lion in Morocco: USAFE release.

—Fifty-four airmen from the Iowa Air National Guard’s 133rd Test Squadron returned home last week from a six-month deployment to the Middle East where they helped provide command and control for US Central Command: Iowa Guard release.

—The 621st Contingency Response Wing at JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., this month hosted military representatives from Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zambia, as part of the African Partnership Flight: AFRICOM release.

—The North Atlantic Council on Friday held its last meeting at the headquarters building NATO has occupied since 1967. NATO is moving to a new building across the street and the transition is expected to be complete by June: NATO release.