USAF Specifies Requirements for Contracted Red Air at Nellis
The Air Force is moving forward with plans to contract out up to 5,600 flying hours of realistic advanced adversary air threats at Nellis AFB, Nev. The multi-award contract will be worth a maximum of $280 million for one base year, with four option years. It is part of the service’s overall effort to free up aircraft and airmen for operational missions while meeting the growing demand for Red Air at the US Weapons School at Nellis and in major exercises such as Red Flag. The 57th Adversary Tactics Group and the 99th Contracting Squadron will host an industry day at Nellis on Wednesday to discuss newly released requirements. Read the full story by Amy McCullough.
Pentagon Not Concerned About Supply Routes After Freezing Aid to Pakistan
The Pentagon isn’t concerned about Pakistan cutting off supply routes into Afghanistan following the White House’s decision last week to withhold more than $900 in military aid. The decision is a suspension of aid, not a cut off, and aid will resume once Pakistan takes step to ensure that the terrorist Haqqani network “no longer finds safe haven” in the country, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Robert Manning told reporters on Monday. The White House’s decision to freeze foreign military financing and coalition support funds to Pakistan impacts two years of funding that was authorized for Fiscal 2017 and 2018. The decision has a deadline of September 2018 for Pakistan to show it is taking “decisive movements” in the fight against terror, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters on Friday. Mattis said he is “not concerned” about the overland routes through Pakistan into Afghanistan that are necessary to bring in supplies for the war. Pakistan needs to show resolve in fighting terrorists, “who are as much of a threat against Pakistan as they are against us,” Mattis said. “If you look at the checkered history of what terrorists have done along that border region.” —Brian Everstine
DOD Report Commends US Air Advisers in Afghanistan, Calls for Better Assessments
USAF advisers in Afghanistan have made progress in developing the Afghan Air Force, especially in the mission capability of the A-29 light attack aircraft, a Pentagon assessment finds. However, the training mission command needs better ways to assess how the AAF is progressing. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.
Anti-ISIS Coalition Service Member Dies in Noncombat Incident
A service member deployed for the fight against ISIS died in a non-combat incident Monday in southwest Asia, the US-led coalition announced. The service member’s nationality and service were not disclosed as of Monday evening, and the “circumstances surrounding the death will be released at the discretion of pertinent national authorities,” the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve said in a statement. The death is the first for the coalition in 2018, at a time when ISIS has lost more than 95 percent of the land it once held. The incident is under investigation, according to the statement. —Brian Everstine
Airstrikes Continue to Target Lingering Pockets of ISIS in Syria, Iraq
US airstrikes are continuing at a slower pace inside Syria and Iraq, as operations continue against remnants of ISIS throughout the area. ISIS pockets remain in Syria, and US aircraft on Jan. 7 conducted nine strikes on targets in the group’s holdout of Abu Kamal. These resulted in 11 members of the group killed, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Robert Manning said Monday. Airstrikes are taking place at an even slower pace inside Iraq, with one strike taking place in the past few days. ISIS remains a threat in Iraq, however, as that country’s security forces have cleared dozens of improvised explosive devices around Tal Afar. —Brian Everstine
—The Trump administration is expected to implement an American export push in February to bolster foreign sales of US weapons, “from fighter jets and drones to warships and artillery, according to people familiar with the plan.” Reuters
—A Pentagon report found 181 issues at military launch facilities, 68 of which categorized “major,” involving major space contractors United Launch Alliance, SpaceX, and Aerojet Rocketdyne. The Defense Contract Management Agency said it has told contractors about the issues and they’ve submitted plans to fix the problems: The (Colorado Springs) Gazette
—Iraq’s Air Force now has its very own craftsman-tier (7-level) technicians for the C-130J Hercules. A step toward self-sufficiency in Hercules maintenance, the Iraqis currently pay approximately $140 million a year in contracts for it: CENTCOM
—Next month, retired Maj. Gen. Leonard Patrick, will receive the Order of the Sword. The 35-year Air Force veteran was most recently the vice commander of Air Education and Training Command before retiring Sept. 1, 2016: AETC
—TSgt. Douglas Smits, an explosive ordnance disposal team leader with the 90th Civil Engineer Squadron, has earned a Purple Heart medal. Smits suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2007 while deployed to Afghanistan, a senior airmen at the time: USAF
—Former airman and Korean War veteran, 86-year-old Jerry Van Dyke—younger brother to famous Dick Van Dyke—died Jan. 5: Washington Post