T-6 Cleared to Fly
The T-6 returned to flight on Tuesday, almost exactly a month after the service’s primary trainer was grounded following reports of hypoxia-like symptoms at multiple bases. The final root cause has not yet been determined, but 19th Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Patrick Doherty said in a press release that several “component failures or degradations” were identified that were “affecting the topline performance” of the On-Board Oxygen Generating System “oxygen pressure, flow, and content, resulting in various disruptions that negatively impacted the human-machine interface.” Read the full story by Amy McCullough.
White House Announces Deal for Next Air Force One
The White House on Tuesday announced a deal with Boeing for $3.9 billion for two aircraft that will become the next Air Force One. The Trump administration claimed the deal is a $1.4 reduction from a $5 billion estimate of the previous cost. The deal is for a cost that is close to the same as in late 2016, when Trump first objected to the rising cost of the program. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.
Lockheed Conducts Multi-Domain Command and Control Experiments
Lockheed Martin has set up a small air operations center at its Center for Innovation in Suffolk, Va., where the company is running multi-domain command and control experiments in partnership with the US Air Force and joint partners, company officials told Air Force Magazine at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium last week. The experiments, which Lockheed is conducting on its own dime, have already identified several barriers, including different lexicons between the air, space, and cyber domains; the need for “real-time, cross-domain knowledge of each domain’s resource and effects timing against targets;” and the need for “virtual, cohesive, and flexible planning teams with trained planners from all domains.” Company officials said the effort is not part of the Air Force’s MDC2 initiative, though Lockheed is working closely with the Air Force and the experiments could help “inform” USAF’s efforts to stand up a shadow operations center. That center will be tasked with rapidly building, prototyping, testing, and fielding software capability. Read the full story by Amy McCullough.
Cyber Command Chief Gives Mixed Picture on Progress
The commander of the US Cyber Command, Navy Adm. Mike Rogers, painted a mixed picture of progress on cyber concerns in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. The hearing took place one day before the committee was to consider the nomination of Army Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, the current head of US Army Cyber Command, to succeed Rogers in the post, which he’s held since 2014. Read the full story by Steve Hirsch.
CENTCOM Aims to Keep “Sufficient Capability” in Syria as it Shifts to Afghanistan
Even though the United States military is shifting its focus in the Middle East back to Afghanistan, US Central Command is still working to ensure it retains “sufficient capability” in the fight against ISIS and as it protects US interests in Syria, the top US general in the region told Congress on Tuesday. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.
US Strikes in Yemen Aimed at Denying Sanctuary to al Qaeda, ISIS
The increase in US airstrikes on al Qaeda and ISIS fighters inside Yemen have hit them in areas where they previously had “sanctuary” to plan external attacks, the head of US Central Command said Tuesday. US aircraft conducted 18 strikes in Yemen in December and January, targeting al Qaeda external operations and arms facilitators. These strikes, coupled with partner operations with other regional nations, have “presented them with multiple dilemmas,” Votel said. At the same time, the US has continued its support, with air refueling and planning assistance, of Saudi Arabia in its ongoing fight with Houthi rebels. Votel on Tuesday was unwilling to specifically talk about this effort in the open, but said US support has helped Saudi Arabia defend themselves in the region. —Brian Everstine
—The Defense Department is requesting $21.2 billion for its military intelligence program in the Fiscal 2019 budget, including both base and overseas contingency operations funds: DOD release.
—The Air Force Research Laboratory’s space vehicles directorate is seeking proposals from industry on how how best to “advance” science and technology that supports “all aspects of space systems:” Space News.
—The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center awarded Leidos Inc. a $25.4 million contract to sustain the automated logistics management support system, which supports the “global supply chain management for supported C2ISR weapon systems:” DOD contract announcement.
—US forces killed two terrorists and wounded another in a Feb. 26 airstrike against al-Shabaab militants near Jilib, Somalia: AFRICOM release.