Tyndall Rebuild Effort Needs Integration Chief, Designers
Officials running the reconstruction effort at Tyndall AFB, Fla., last week laid out a 12-part plan to rebuild the base decimated by Hurricane Michael last year, and are ready to hire someone to make sure all the pieces work together—if and when they get the money to do so. Brig. Gen. Patrice Melancon, executive director of the Tyndall Program Management Office, said the service believes it not only needs someone to coordinate the work within each zone, but it also needs an integrator who oversees the entire project. The Air Force will also explore new maintenance sensors and public-private partnerships for energy resilience. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.
White House: Bomber, Carrier Deployment to Middle East is a Message to Iran
The US military is deploying a bomber task force and the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to US Central Command in a move the White House says puts Iran on notice. The bombers and carrier group “send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests, or on those of our allies, will be met with unrelenting force,” National Security Advisor John Bolton said in a Sunday statement. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.
Improperly Installed Engine Part Caused T-6 Crash
An engine part that was improperly installed during contract maintenance caused a T-6 Texan II to crash in September, Air Education and Training Command said in a recently released investigation. The instructor pilot and student pilot from the 559th Flying Training Squadron at JBSA-Randolph, Texas, were able to safely eject from the T-6 before it crashed about five miles northwest of the base, destroying the plane at a loss of $5.7 million, according to the AETC report. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.
All Systems Go for Final Launch Services Solicitation
The Air Force late Friday published a final request for proposals for Phase 2 of the National Security Space Launch program, signaling confidence in its way forward even as industry and lawmakers have raised questions about the initiative’s viability. NSSL aims to find companies whose rockets can replace the Russian-built RD-180 engine, which powers United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V. ULA, Northrop Grumman, SpaceX, and Blue Origin are expected to compete. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.
STRATCOM’s New NC3 Center Suggests Program Changes
A new Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications Enterprise Center at US Strategic Command has begun suggesting changes to make future Air Force and Navy NC3 systems more coordinated and capable, the center’s director tells Air Force Magazine. In a recent interview, Elizabeth Durham-Ruiz, the center’s director, said the Office of the Secretary of Defense is reviewing “some opportunities for alignment” between certain NC3 programs, but declined to provide details on how those might change. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.
Congress Debates F-35 Sale to Turkey, DOD Looks at Alternatives to Turkish-Produced Parts
Bipartisan lawmakers in both chambers of Congress have introduced bills aimed at blocking the sale of F-35s to Turkey if it purchases the Russian-made S-400 missile system. The bill is sponsored in the House by Reps. Mike Turner (R-Ohio); John Garamendi (D-Calif.); and Paul Cook (R-Calif.) with a companion bill in the Senate from Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.). Turner in a statement said though Turkey is an ally, it is “choosing to jeopardize its F-35 partner status for dealings with the Russian federation.” The country has said it is a “done deal” to buy the S-400 system despite concerns from US and NATO. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said last week there are still talks with Turkey to dissuade them from the decision to buy the missile system. However, he is also meeting with Lockheed Martin and United Technologies Corp. to find ways to move ahead with F-35 production if the Joint Program Office needs to cut off the seven Turkish companies that produce parts for the jet. “They are our strategic partner,” he said, though “S-400s and F-35s don’t go together. That’s a big bump.” During a visit to Turkey on Monday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with that country’s leadership and credited them with “active contributions to collective defense of the alliance,” according to a statement. —Brian Everstine
Former US Officials Sign Open Letter in Support of DOD’s Space Force Proposal
A group of 43 former Defense Department, Air Force, and intelligence officials signed an open letter that expresses “strong support” for establishing the US Space Force. The letter says the Space Force will “develop military space culture and ethos.” SpaceNews
Pompeo Insists North Korea Nuclear Deal Still Possible Despite Weapons Test
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted Sunday that a nuclear disarmament deal between the US and North Korea was still possible, despite the country’s launch of several short-range projectiles into the sea one day earlier. The Guardian
Trump Looks to Boost Service-Academy Sports with Duty Waiver for Pro Athletes
President Donald Trump said Monday that he wants to allow top athletes from service academies to defer their military duty so they can play professional sports. NBC News
After Losing Her Legs in Iraq, Senator Hopes to Take Her Daughters There One Day
Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth, who lost both her legs when her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Iraq in 2004, visited the country late last month for the first time since her injury as part of a congressional visit touring the Middle East. Military Times
Oracle Sends Eight Letters to Lawmakers Asking for Stronger Oversight of DOD’s JEDI Program
The letter is the latest way Oracle is turning up the heat on the Pentagon and its plans for a single award cloud contract. The software giant also has a protest pending before the Court of Federal Claims. Federal News Network
One More Thing …
How to Refuel a B-2 in Flight
One of the most difficult aerial maneuvers the B-2 does is to refuel in mid-air. Find out how that happens. Defense News