Goldfein: Embracing Diversity Isn’t About Being Politically Correct, It’s a “Warfighting Imperative”

Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said embracing people from other backgrounds isn’t just about being politically correct, it’s imperative to being able to fight collectively as a service. “The challenges we face as a nation are wicked hard, and it’s going to take folks with different backgrounds, different life experiences, and different perspectives to be able to come in and sit down together and provide the creative solutions that we as a nation need to be able to fight and win,” Goldfein said. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Pacific Air Boss: Airmen Still Training Despite Changes to Joint Exercises

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo have “reviewed and approved” a decision to “conclude” the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercise series, which typically involves tens of thousands of US and South Korean troops, the Pentagon announced on March 2. However, Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Charles Brown told reporters last week that airmen’s daily flights are still providing valuable training time, in addition to toned-down joint exercises with the South Koreans, as the US military continues to lay low to avoid disrupting the President’s nuclear negotiations with North Korea. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

USAF Not Accepting New Tankers “Until Further Notice”

The Air Force will not accept any new KC-46 tankers “until further notice,” after several aircraft were found to have misplaced tools and other pieces of debris on them, service acquisition chief Will Roper told Air Force Magazine on Friday. Roper and Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Maryanne Miller will visit the Boeing plant in Washington state soon to better understand the scope of the problem, and Boeing has agreed to cover all clean-up costs and to send a team to inspect the six aircraft that already have been delivered. Read the full story by Amy McCullough.

“Strictly Trainer” T-X Now a Candidate for Lead-in Fighter, Aggressor, Light Strike

Though the Air Force was adamant its T-X competition was not intended to also obtain an Aggressor, lead-in-fighter, or light strike platform, Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Holmes said Thursday his staff is already examining the jet for those and other auxiliary missions, which could significantly boost the number of aircraft built by Boeing and its T-X partner, Saab of Sweden. The light strike mission might also be filled by one of the non-selected competing entries in the T-X contest, Holmes said. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.

All Tyndall F-22s Have Arrived at Pacific Bases, But Airmen Won’t Complete the Transition Until Summer

All of the aircraft that had to be relocated from Tyndall AFB, Fla., are at their new Pacific Air Forces homes in Hawaii and Alaska, but it will still take months for all the airmen to make their way to the bases. PACAF boss Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said the F-22s from Tyndall that were reassigned to his command are on the apron at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Space Enterprise Growing Outreach to Partner Nations, Nontraditional Developers

The head of Air Force Space Command said Friday the organization will collaborate with the National Reconnaissance Office during a Space Flag exercise in April before bringing in international partners for the first time in August. International air chiefs also are expected to gather during the Space Symposium this spring as the Air Force eyes efficient, joint ways to control the domain. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

Wilson Raises Concerns About Prospective Space Development Agency

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters Feb. 28 she isn’t sure about the prospect of a Space Development Agency that could step on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s toes, and may not be a standalone research group for long. While Pentagon research chief Mike Griffin is mulling the SDA idea, Wilson questioned whether it makes sense to create a group that could exist on its own for less than a year before it could be rolled into a Space Force. “I have some concerns about what is the mission of this entity, why do we think it would be better than what we currently do, and what exactly would it focus on,” Wilson said during a roundtable at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium. “Some of the programs that have initially been floated as concepts to pursue are currently done by DARPA, and funded partly by the Air Force. … We’re quite satisfied with the work that DARPA’s doing.” The advanced research organization has partnered with the Air Force on several space programs, including communications satellites, surveillance payloads, and space planes. —Rachel S. Cohen

Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban: “AI Is Going to Change Everything”

Even with the most robust manpower, humans can’t predict the future, which is why artificial intelligence “is going to change everything,” Shark Tank star and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said on Thursday at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. But the American quest for an AI edge will require paradigm shifts in culture and technological ethics, he said. Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.



OPINION: Mike Pence: It’s Time for Congress to Establish the Space Force

On Friday, the defense secretary released a legislative proposal at the president’s direction to establish the Space Force, within the Air Force, as the sixth branch of the armed forces. This legislation is the first step toward creating a new, separate military department for space in the future, and our administration will continue working closely with leaders in Congress on both sides of the aisle to get a bill that creates the Space Force to the president’s desk this year. Washington Post

Eglin AFB Gets Money for F-35 Project, But Another Could Be Delayed By Border Wall

The push to make President Donald Trump’s dreams of a U.S-Mexico border wall a reality has called a handful of military construction projects into question, but at least one of the two projects at Eglin Air Force Base centered around F-35 training has been cleared for takeoff. Defense News

Bush Service Dog Joins Ranks at Walter Reed

Sully, the celebrated yellow Labrador retriever that was the service dog of former President George H.W. Bush, has joined the ranks of working dogs at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center here. DOD News

First Air Force Total Force Recruiting School Graduation a Milestone Toward Integration

As the Air Force moves forward on making recruiting a Total Force concept, it reached a landmark Feb. 22, with the first Total Force graduating class at the recruiting schoolhouse. Air Force News

One More Thing …

America’s First Space Force: A Secret Department of Defense Program Had 32 Military Astronauts and Its Own Mission Control

It was called the Manned Spaceflight Engineer Program, and DOD invested billions of dollars in it. Fighters Sweep