Academy Superintendent Tells Racist Slur Writers to “Get Out”
The top leader of the Air Force Academy on Sept. 28 gathered all Academy personnel to tell them he would not tolerate racist slurs at the school. The message from superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria came days after racist phrases, including “go home n****r,” were written on the dormitory message boards of five cadet candidates at the Academy’s Preparatory School. Silveria said the incident must be seen against the backdrop of national events like Charlottesville and Ferguson, and he told the gathered Academy personnel that, “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.” Read the full story by Wilson Brissett.
Coalition Update: 50 Civilians Killed in Airstrikes
Fifty more civilians were killed in 14 separate incidents in Iraq and Syria, according to the latest roundup of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve investigations. The new tally brings the total number of civilian deaths caused by the coalition to 735 in the three-year-long war, in 53,948 separate engagements since the fight against ISIS began in August 2014, according to a US Central Command release. CENTCOM every month releases the results of its investigation into reports of civilian casualties. In August, a total of 168 reports out of 185 were deemed to be non-credible. CENTCOM did not release a detailed timeline of the incidents. There are 350 reports still open and being assessed, according to CENTCOM. Out of all strikes conducted in the air war, the command says .33 percent resulted in a credible report of civilian casualties. —Brian Everstine
Two Troops Injured, Osprey Destroyed in Crash in Syria
Two service members were injured and a US Marine Corps MV-22 was destroyed after a hard landing early Friday in Syria. The two service members were evaluated for injuries and taken to a treatment facility, where they were released, US Central Command said in a statement. The other passengers and crew were not injured. The crash was not caused by enemy fire. The aircraft could not be salvaged and was left inoperable, a defense official told CNN. It was the second time an MV-22 was destroyed after a hard landing in the Middle East this year. In January, a US airstrike destroyed an MV-22 that crashed in Yemen during a special operations raid. —Brian Everstine
McConnell Tankers Deploy to Support French Mission in Africa
Two KC-135s from McConnell AFB, Kan., recently deployed to Spain to continue supporting French operations against terrorists in Mali and across North Africa. The tankers and about 50 airmen from the 22nd Air Refueling Wing deployed to Moron AB, Spain, in support of Operation Juniper Micron. Since 2013, USAF tankers have refueled French aircraft targeting terrorist groups in Mali. “We have no plans to change that level of support, although we constantly examine more efficient ways to provide support to our allies,” US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa said in a release. —Brian Everstine
SMC Releases Final RFP for Classified AFSPC-52 Mission
The Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) released a final request for proposal (RFP) on Sept. 28 for launch services for the classified AFSPC-52 mission. The announcement marks the fifth solicitation in the Air Force’s EELV competitive launch services program, and SMC expects to award a contract for launch vehicle production, mission integration, and launch operations for AFSPC-52 sometime in fiscal year 2018. SMC stripped AFSPC-52 out of its previous solicitation in June due to distinct evaluation criteria. The projected launch date for the mission is the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2020. “This solicitation marks another opportunity to foster competition on the EELV program in an effort to reduce launch costs while maintaining assured access to space with two or more launch providers,” said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, SMC commander, in a press release. United Launch Alliance and SpaceX are currently the only two service providers certified to compete for EELV launch contracts.
Two SBIRS Satellites Complete Critical Design Review
The Air Force announced on Sept. 28 that, after 18 months of evaluation, it has completed critical design review for satellites five and six in the Space Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) program. The satellites, called GEO-5 and GEO-6, will now enter manufacturing and integration, and are scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 2021. With three satellites already on orbit, the SBIRS program provides the Department of Defense with early warning, missile defense, and battlespace awareness. GEO-5 and GEO-6 feature an updated bus that replaces older components and makes use of modern electronics. “The biggest improvement to GEO-5 and -6 is resiliency,” said Col. Dennis Bythewood, director of SMC’s Remote Sensing Systems Directorate, in a press release.
—President Donald Trump will travel to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Hawaii Nov. 3-14. The administration hopes the trip will “strengthen the international resolve to confront the North Korean threat and ensure the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula:” White House release.
—The Air Force wants is looking to buy more Maverick air-to-ground missiles with upgraded laser seekers and new software configurations to help it better target ISIS: Scout Warrior.
Correction: An entry in the Sept. 29 Daily Report incorrectly identified an aircraft delivering equipment to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. It was a C-5. We have corrected the original entry.