Prepositioned Materiel Could Save USAFE Hundreds of Flight Hours in a Crisis
A large portion of European Deterrence Initiative funds are going toward the prepositioning of equipment throughout the theater, which in turn is helping the command rebuild its war reserve materiel that was largely depleted after US forces drew down at the end of the Cold War. The “base in a box” concept, known as the deployable airbase systems facilities, equipment, and vehicles, are very large kits that include everything from fuel trucks and Humvees to mess tents or specialized hospital tents to riot control gear for security forces. The service won’t say exactly how many of these kits it plans to procure, or where they will be based, but officials did say it would take roughly 100 C-17 flights to transport the same amount of war reserve materiel included in just one kit. Read Amy McCullough’s full report from Ramstein AB, Germany.
USAF Intel Officer: China, Russia Leading in Artificial Intelligence
The Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance Thursday painted a threatening picture of technology and artificial intelligence research efforts by US adversaries Russia and China. Read the full story by Steve Hirsch.
House Approves 2018 Defense Authorization
The House on Thursday passed the conference version of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which had been approved earlier this week by House and Senate conferees. Thursday’s 359-54 vote clears the measure for Senate consideration and, if approved, President Trump’s signature. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), in a statement, praised the measure as taking “a major step toward rebuilding our military, reforming the Pentagon, and better preparing this nation for the national security challenges of today and tomorrow.” At the same time, though, he said much of the advantage to the military will be lost if Congress fails to follow up “with an appropriations bill that is both adequate and on time.” —Steve Hirsch
Brown Assumes Command of Pacific Air Forces
Gen. Charles Q. Brown officially took over command of Pacific Air Forces during a Thursday ceremony at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, assuming the top spot of a command facing change and increased importance. “PACAF … will have to continue to rethink how we think about the Indo-Pac region, build upon and ensure agile combat employment and strategic shaping concepts so that PACAF can then provide combat-ready airmen,” Brown said. Brown, who previously served as the deputy commander of US Central Command, also previously ran the air wars in the Middle East as commander of Air Forces Central Command. His command is flying on the frontline of the National Defense Strategy’s “great power” competition against China and Russia, along with operating on the front of the volatile situation with North Korea. “In your new commander, PACAF has a joint airman who is recognized as one of the top team builders, war fighting experts, leaders, and warriors not only in the air force but in the entire US military,” Gen. Seve Wilson, vice chief of staff of the Air Force, at the ceremony. “That’s why he’s the right leader at the right time.” Brown, who received his fourth star shortly before the ceremony, takes over the spot vacated by Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, who is now commander of US Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command. —Brian Everstine
AFMC Commander Pawlikowski Retiring
Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski will retire from the Air Force effective Sept. 1, concluding a career of 36 years of active duty service, Air Force Materiel Command confirmed Thursday. Her successor has not yet been named. Pawlikowski took over as commander of AFMC in June 2015, succeeding Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger. Wolfenbarger and Pawlikowski were the first two women, respectively, to serve as four-star commanders of AFMC. Pawlikowski grew up in New Jersey and was commissioned in 1978 through the AFROTC after receiving her BS in Chemical Engineering from what is now known as the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She received an educational deferment to pursue a doctorate in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and began her Air Force career in 1982. Among her most noteworthy assignments was as Director of the Airborne Laser System Program Office, which created a 747-based chemical-oxygen-iodine laser system capable of destroying a ballistic missile in its boost phase from over 100 miles away. Though tested successfully against multiple targets in 2010, the project was terminated by former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in 2011. Pawlikowski also served as both vice-commander and commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB, Calif.; as commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory; as deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office, and military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, the top uniformed acquisition post in the service. —John A. Tirpak
DOD Releases Final Cloud RFP
The Pentagon on Thursday released the long-awaited final request for proposals for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud — the Defense Department’s move toward a commercial-based cloud network. The department “has an incredibly unique and complex technology estate and finite set of talent and resources,” DOD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy said in a statement. The Pentagon needs help learning from industry how to create an enterprise cloud, the contract will be a “pathfinder” step to do that. Responses are due by Sept. 17. Commercial behemoths such as Amazon and Microsoft are considered favorites for the contract, which is expected to be worth billions over several years. —Brian Everstine
—North Korea reportedly has completed preparations to transfer the remains of US service members killed in the Korean War, according to a South Korean news agency: Yonhap.
— Vice President Mike Pence visited Grand Forks AFB, N.D., where he told airmen to “stay ready” to provide security for the US: Grand Forks Herald.
—Airmen from the 628th and 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadrons from JB Charleston, S.C., and Scott AFB, Ill., worked together with medical researchers from universities in Indiana and Nebraska on a night flight training mission using the Transportation Isolation System on July 18: Charleston release.
—Defense Secretary Jim Mattis earlier this week nominated Brig. Gen. Steven Shaick to receive his second star and take over as chief of chaplains for the Air Force. Col. Ronald Harvell was also nominated to be brigadier general and continue serving as the command chaplain for Air Mobility Command: DOD release.