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​SrA. Connor Shoemaker, loadmaster assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, marshals a K-Loader in position to load equipment onto a C-17 Globemaster III, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 25, 2018. Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Carlton Everhart said the command is talking with private space companies about the possibility of prepositioning materiel in space, saying if AMC keeps its focus solely on the air domain it risks becoming irrelevant. Air National Guard photo by SSgt. Patrick Evenson.


AMC Meeting With Industry to Discuss Mobility Missions in Space

Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Carlton Everhart recently met with SpaceX and Virgin Orbit to discuss how industry could carry military materiel to orbit with the eventual goal of being able to rapidly deliver cargo around the globe. Everhart said the idea is still in its infancy stages, but he said within the next 10 years companies could be launching prepositioned stock into orbit. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Boxes From North Korea Seem to be US Korean War Remains, Officials Say

Indications are that the 55 boxes of remains brought out of North Korea recently by the Air Force contain remains of US service members from the Korean War era, Pentagon officials said Thursday. Kelly McKeague, director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, told reporters he was “guardedly optimistic that this repatriation is the first step of others to account for our missing from the Korean War.” North Korea had said the human remains in the boxes were believed to be Americans from the Korean War, but it was not clear how many individuals’ remains were in each box, said John Byrd, the agency’s chief scientist. When the boxes were examined at Osan AB, South Korea, he said, the team saw remains that were “consistent with what we have found from Korean War recoveries we’ve done over the years,” remains that were “consistent with being Americans” and that “look to have been in a state of preservation consistent with coming from the Korean War era.” In addition, he said, the “material evidence found with the remains was consistent with US military-issue equipment from the Korean War, and also was in a state of preservation consistent with having come from Korean War battlefield sites.” —Steve Hirsch

“PED is Dead:” ISR Roadmap Reaches Long for New Tech

A new secret ISR “flight plan” leans on social media, machine intelligence, and reversing the dwindling value of “Big Wing” intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms for USAF’s future, said Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. VeraLinn Jamieson at an AFA Mitchell Institute event Thursday. Jamieson reported that the 10-year look forward will highlight sensors and the ability of machines to recognize objects and individuals, leaving humans free to consider what the algorithms say and make action decisions faster than enemies in the modern “peer competitor” world. Old-style processing, exploitation, and dissemination (PED) will be replaced by SIAS—sense, identify, attribute, share. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.  

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Wright-Patterson Briefly Shuts Down During Mistaken Active Shooter Report

Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, was closed down for almost three hours on Wednesday following reports of an active shooter at the base’s medical center. At about 12:40 p.m. local time, base security forces and fire department personnel responded to an incident at the Wright-Patt Medical Center on base. The 88th Air Base Wing said in a statement there was a regular, scheduled installation exercise including an active shooter scenario near the building. “An unknown individual called 911 believing that there was a real-world incident occurring within the base hospital,” the base said in a statement. During a sweep of the building, a security forces member “discharged his firearm to open the door and continue the sweep of the facility.” Eventually, it was determined there was no threat and an all clear was given. —Brian Everstine

Everhart: KC-46 Delivery Schedule “Aggressive,” a Lot Left to Do

Air Mobility Command is skeptically optimistic about the new schedule agreed upon by the Air Force and Boeing for delivering the KC-46, but the command’s boss is warning there’s still a lot of work to be done before October. The Air Force and Boeing in June agreed the first KC-46 would be delivered in October, with 17 more delivered by February. “Is the October timeframe going to hold? I don’t know,” AMC boss Gen. Carlton Everhart said Thursday during a meeting with reporters in Washington, D.C. “I look at the historics in the past, and I’ll just leave it at that. I don’t know if it’s going to hold or not.” The KC-46 timeline has repeatedly slipped, with the latest hiccup being problems identified during testing. One of the main deficiencies centered on the aircraft’s remote vision system used by boom operator for refueling, instead of a window used in the legacy tankers. The system at times would not provide a clear picture, and Boeing said the software could be tweaked to improve the quality of the image. Everhart said Thursday this change could work “OK.” “Does it meet the requirements? That’s between the lawyers, the acquisition folks, and the program office,” he said. Everhart said he thinks “there’s a better solution out there,” noting such a fix is being studied. In the meantime, the jet still needs to be certified on more aircraft, including Navy fighters with a centerline drogue system, along with additional FAA certifications. The first delivery will be slow, but after that first one “it’s going to pick up” and more aircraft will be delivered quickly, Everhart said. —Brian Everstine


Air Mobility Command Using Lessons Learned, Exercises to Prepare for Storm Season

Air Mobility Command is preparing for another busy storm season by working out bureaucratic kinks and holding tabletop exercises to ensure an efficient response when called upon, AMC boss Gen. Carlton Everhart said Thursday. Last year, when multiple large-scale storms made landfall across the American south and the Caribbean, AMC aircraft were called up to bring aid. The response was so large that operational missions to US Central Command had to be delayed because of a lack of aircraft available. AMC is now utilizing some of those lessons learned from the 2017 storm season, including the need to have closer relationships with the states to be clear on what is needed, smoothing out the initial command and control process, working with other services to make sure cargo can be effectively delivered, and looking at using other assets, such as remotely piloted aircraft, to quickly identify areas where aid is most needed as well as the best way to deliver it. —Brian Everstine

Defender Challenge Security Force Exercise Set to Return in September

Air Force security forces teams from major commands, as well as teams from the United Kingdom and Germany, are set to compete next month at JBSA-Lackland, Texas, in the revived Defender Challenge, the Air Force said Wednesday. Defender Challenge will return Sept. 10-14 after a 14-year break, pitting teams against each other in “realistic weapons scenarios, simulated dismounted operations, and grueling combat endurance events,” according to the Air Force.  The prize is the Sadler Cup, named for former Air Force Chief of Security Police Maj. Gen. Thomas Sadler. The British have had the trophy since they won it in the last Defender Challenge in 2004. —Steve Hirsch

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Gate at FE Warren Closes in Bomb Threat Incident

Gate one at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., was briefly closed Tuesday because of a woman claiming to have a bomb and several weapons, the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday. The department said in a press release that deputies were dispatched to the gate, but that Air Force police had already handcuffed the woman, Joy Gilbert, who said she was there to meet with “CSI.”  The base gate was closed from about 10 p.m. to about 11:30 p.m. —Steve Hirsch

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RADAR SWEEP


—Flags in Massachusetts were to be lowered to half-staff Thursday to mark the return and burial of the recently identified remains of TSgt. John Brady, who was assigned to the 323rd Bombardment Squadron when the B-17 he was in was shot down over Germany 74 years ago:  Boston Herald.


—The remains of George Van Fleet, an Army Air Force veteran whose plane crashed in the South Pacific 74 years ago, have been returned to Fresno, Calif. His body had been buried on the atoll of Tarawa but later identified: KFSN-TV.

—Members of the armed forces who have been wounded in combat will be exempt from a new Pentagon policy in which service members face separation if they are not deployable within 12 months, the Pentagon has announced: Military Times.