Air Force Explains Electronic Warfare Restructure Following ECCT Review
A new electromagnetic spectrum warfare czar will be installed on the Air Staff, with management purview over a broad swath of electronic warfare and spectrum dominance programs, the Air Force announced Tuesday. The general officer, not yet named, will also be in charge of coordinating USAF’s disparate EMS efforts and creating an EMS training enterprise for not only electronic warfare practitioners, but also rank-and-file airmen, whose awareness of EMS warfare concerns is essential. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.
Air Force Expects $3.3 Billion Disaster-Relief Funding Hole
The Air Force expects it will fall $900 million short on disaster-relief funding in fiscal 2019 and still needs to find ways to fill a $3.3 billion gap in recovery spending, according to a Defense Department comptroller document obtained by Air Force Magazine. The document paints a broader picture of the $5 billion the service says it needs to recover from last year’s hurricanes Florence and Michael, as well as recent storms that flooded Nebraska and Iowa. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.
Preparing for Future Space Fights
SCHRIEVER AFB, Colo.—More than 1,600 miles separate the 2nd Space Operations Squadron’s GPS team from the military space debates churning in Washington. They don’t get the final say over what happens next for Air Force Space Command’s warfighters, but they can control how they prepare. “The largest change we have seen to date is just a better understanding of how large space is, the competition in space, and how we need to be prepared for operating in what could potentially no longer be a benign environment,” Lt. Col. Stephen Toth, 2nd Space Operations Squadron commander, told Air Force Magazine in an April 12 interview here. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.
Pentagon Sexual Assault Task Force Forming Recommendations for Policy Changes
A new Pentagon sexual assault task force, which stood up at the request of lawmakers, is finalizing its report to lay out efforts to prevent assault and care for victims. The Defense Department Sexual Assault Accountability and Investigation Task Force, established on March 27, will provide its report to Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan by April 30 laying out “our approach to eliminate sexual assault” and “enhance our robust and comprehensive military justice process,” the Pentagon said in a Tuesday statement. US Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), a former USAF pilot and squadron commander who said she was raped while serving in the Air Force, requested the formation of the task force in a March 18 letter. Based on her military experience and testimony from victims, McSally said the Pentagon needs a “fresh look” at how it investigates the crimes and how those crimes are prosecuted. The task force includes McSally, experts from each military service, and civilian experts. The report is expected to be the basis for recommendations for the next defense policy bill. —Brian Everstine
Boeing Gets Bomb Production Contracts
Boeing has received two contracts totaling more than $86 million for two different types of munition production. The first contract, for $21.6 million awarded Friday, is for the GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator bomb—the largest conventional weapon in the Air Force’s arsenal. The contract covers four years of orders, with work expected to be completed by July 18, 2023. The second contract, awarded Monday for $65 million, is for Small Diameter Bomb Increment 1 miniature munition and carriage systems. This contract is for foreign military sales to Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Israel, South Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Singapore, and any other approved country in the future. The contract covers work to be completed by April 2029. The SDB order comes as the US and allied nations have faced a munitions shortfall because of ongoing combat operations. Former Air Force Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Heidi Grant said in December the Air Force has directed allies that USAF stocks are too low to lend munitions for future conflicts, and that “you guys need to start putting in your orders.” —Brian Everstine
Pratt & Whitney Gets $201 Million for F-35 Engine Production
The Pentagon on Monday awarded Pratt & Whitney a $201 million contract modification for the next production lot of F-35 engines. The contract covers long-lead materials, parts, and component for the F135 propulsion system with work expected to end in April 2022. The contract covers all US services and international partners, with 34 percent, or $68 million, covering USAF F-35A systems, according to a Pentagon release. This contract is a $7 million drop from the previous F135 low-rate production lot awarded in September.
New Study Shows Grim Outlook for Future of Air Force Pilot Shortage
It’s no secret that the Air Force is short on pilots. In fact at the end of 2018, the service was in need of about 2,000 pilots. However, a new study released by the Defense Department sheds the most comprehensive light on the makeup of the shortage and the exact challenges the Air Force and DoD have in digging out of the hole. Federal News Network
Idahoans to the Air Force: Please Stop Secretly Using Our Cities for Target Practice
A cadre of Idaho residents are suing the Air Force over the “extraordinary and unprecedented” urban training exercises planned to take place in nine cities across the state. Task and Purpose
Homeland Security Official Tapped as New Pentagon Communications Chief
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has selected Jonathan Rath Hoffman, currently at the Department of Homeland Security, as the Pentagon’s new assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, Defense News has learned. Defense News
Falcon Heavy Center Core Toppled after Landing
The center core of the Falcon Heavy rocket that launched a communications satellite April 11 fell over after landing in rough seas, but SpaceX said the mishap won’t affect upcoming launches. Space News
One More Thing …
Take a Look at the F-15E Strike Eagles Returning Home from OIR Deployment
All 18 Strike Eagles sport unique mission markings, nicknames, and nose art given to them during the six-month deployment to the Middle East. The Aviationist