Wilson Says Bigger Air Force Needed to Face Current Threats

Even though the US has the world’s best Air Force, the service needs to be bigger in light of challenges the country now faces, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said. “America needs more from its Air Force, and the Air Force is too small for what the nation is asking us to do,” she said. Read the full story by Steve Hirsch.

USAF ISR Chief: US Must Monitor Russian, Chinese Investment, Innovation, RTD&E

Lt. Gen. VeraLinn Jamieson, USAF’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, said the US must monitor Chinese and Russian strategic investment, innovation, research, test, development, and evaluation as part of its approach to great power competition during a Sept. 5 panel discussion on military service intelligence priorities. “Russia’s not really sitting by idly,” she said, noting how the country has used Syria as a “proving ground” for things like “hypersonic missiles that they’re able to launch from their MiG-31s” as well as “all sorts of munitions, from surface-to-surface cruise missiles, to aircraft, to command and control,” she said. Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.

Inhofe Succeeds McCain as Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee

The Republican Conference on Wednesday approved Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) to succeed the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) lauded Inhofe’s selection on the Senate floor, saying Inhofe filled in for McCain “during a difficult year,” and he “helped lead the committee in passing crucial legislation that honored the example of his predecessor and the volunteers who defend our nation.” Inhofe, who has been a member of the committee since 1995, said the country “is facing new and unprecedented threats that are different from anything we’ve seen before.” It is his priority “to address these threats while maintaining a staunch commitment to service members and their families, as well as continue the bipartisan tradition of rigorous accountability and oversight of the Defense Department,” he said. The full Senate was expected to formally affirm the selection before the end of the week. Also, on Thursday, the committee released subcommittee leadership and membership changes. Inhofe was replaced as chair of the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), and Sen. Jon Kyl, who was selected to replace McCain in the Senate, will be on the subcommittees on Airland, Strategic Forces, and Seapower. —Steve Hirsch

Administration North Korea Rep Stephen Biegun Headed to Asia

The Trump administration’s special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, will visit Seoul, South Korea, Beijing, and Tokyo next week, the State Department said Thursday. Biegun was appointed to his post last month and is responsible for leading US efforts to reach President Trump’s goal of North Korean denuclearization. He directs all US policy on North Korea, leads negotiations, and heads US diplomatic efforts with allies and other partners. State would not provide information on the trip beyond the announcement, which said Biegun will meet with counterparts and continue efforts toward denuclearization. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is slated to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang on Sept. 18-20 for the third denuclearization summit. Kim has said his goal is for the Korean Peninsula to be denuclearized by the end of President Trump’s first term, which ends in 2021, reported Reuters. —Steve Hirsch

Air Force Awards Boeing $208.3 Million Infrared Pod Contract

The Air Force Wednesday announced it had awarded a $208.3 million contract to Boeing for F-15 Legion Pod infrared search and track pods, which are designed to allow pilots to detect and track objects emitting infrared radiation. However, the systems themselves do not give off radiation, as does radar, which makes them harder to detect. “The ability to search, find, and track targets in radar-denied environments can be the difference between life and death for F-15 aircrews,” Chris Wedewer, Boeing’s director of F-15 US Government Modernization said in a statement emailed to Air Force Magazine Thursday. “This leading-edge capability allows the Air Force to stay well ahead of the threat,” he said. Engineering, manufacturing, development, production, integration, testing, and deployment work on the contract will be performed in St. Louis and Orlando, Fla. And is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2020. —Steve Hirsch

USAF to Unveil Future Force Structure, Squadron Levels at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference

The Air Force in less than two weeks will unveil the results of a nine-month review of its squadron structure in the face of growing great power competition, Secretary Heather Wilson said Wednesday. USAF has used wargames, simulation, and modelling to determine its needed force structure and will outline its requirements and goals during keynote addresses at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Sept. 17-19 in National Harbor, Md. Read the full story by Brian Everstine. (Editor’s note: This story original ran in the Sept. 6 Daily Report, but the link to the full story was broken.)



—Wounded Warriors who cannot commit to an additional four years of service now will be eligible to transfer their post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits to their dependents beginning in July 2019: Military.com.

—A Safety Investigation Board is looking in to the June 26 crash of an RQ-4 Global Hawk off the coast of Spain: The Drive.

—Russian officials concluded a tiny hole found a spacecraft attached to the International Space Station was actually drilled and not caused by a micrometeoroid strike as originally suspected: The Washington Post.