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​​An F-22 assigned to the 3rd Wing flies over JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, in February. Air Force photo by Jamal Wilson

USAF Looking at F-22 Alert Mission, Organization Changes Following Critical GAO Report

The Air Force will explore alternatives to using F-22s to stand alert for homeland defense and possibly change Raptor squadron organization structures following a Government Accountability Office report that found the current status of the aircraft limits their effectiveness and readiness. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

CENTCOM Waiting on Guidance After Trump, Putin Summit

The US military presence in the Middle East is holding steady without any direction following President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where the leaders talked of cooperation on Syria. “For us right now, it’s kind of steady as she goes,” US Central Command boss Gen. Joseph Votel told reporters Thursday. “We have received no further direction than we’ve currently been operating under.” Putin, during the press conference in Helsinki, said Syria is a point of contact to interact closer, and “the task of establishing peace and reconciliation in this country could be the first showcase example of this successful joint work.” Trump added that they discussed Syria at length and that “cooperation between our two countries has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives.” Votel said Thursday the US and Russia are maintaining their communication line to protect their respective forces, but there has been no other change. “The nature of our interactions with Russian Federation commanders, it is in the area of deconfliction and communication,” Votel said. “And the principal purpose of that is ensuring the safety of our forces, safety of flight, safety of our aircraft and our people on the ground, and ensuring that we are operating in accordance with our international obligations.” —Brian Everstine

“Good Morning, Vietnam” DJ Adrian Cronauer Dies

Former Air Force DJ Adrian Cronauer, whose signature “Good Morning, Vietnam!” line was also the name of a movie loosely based on him starring Robin Williams, died Wednesday in Troutville, Va. A funeral home obituary said the former USAF sergeant, who was 79, had worked as a confidential adviser to the deputy assistant secretary of defense from 2001 through 2009 and represented the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency at meetings within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and at various outside functions, and held the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service. Cronauer also voiced commercials, owned an advertising agency, managed a radio station, was program director of a television station, and was a news anchorman. His other accomplishments include writing the book How To Read Copy: Professionals' Guide to Delivering Voice-Overs and Broadcast Commercials. He was the co-author of the story used for the movie. ​—Steve Hirsch

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Vandenberg Space Operations Center Now “Combined,” in Move to Aid Coordination

The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., Wednesday made the transition to a Combined Space Operations Center, an expected move aimed at improving cooperation with US allies in national security space. “Today’s establishment of the CSpOC is just the beginning, as our CSpOC family will continue to grow as we identify opportunities to work together with like-minded nations,” Gen. Jay Raymond, Joint Force Space Component commander and commander of Air Force Space Command, said, using the abbreviation for the center. CSpOC will direct missions including missile warning; positioning, navigation and timing; optimization and restoration of military satellite communications; theater battlespace awareness using overhead persistent infrared; environmental monitoring; theater support fires; defensive space situational awareness and space defense, according to the release. “We are improving our interoperability—both within the CSpOC and with our partner Space Operations Centers to improve coordination and enhance our individual and collective space capabilities to expand our effectiveness across all domains,” Col. Scott Brodeur, CSpOC director and commander of the 614th Air Operations Center said in the release. —Steve Hirsch

Barksdale B-52s Deploy to Guam, Taking Over for Unit From the Same Home Base

B-52s and airmen from the 96th Bomb Squadron have deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, to take over the continuous bomber presence in the Pacific. The airmen and aircraft are taking over for the 20th Bomb Squadron, from the same home base of Barksdale AFB, La. The 20th deployed to Guam in January, flying hundreds of deterrence missions throughout the Pacific, including deploying to Australia and flying deterrence and training missions to locations such as Diego Garcia. A B-52 from the squadron even helped the Coast Guard rescue a wayward sailing vessel. —Brian Everstine

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RADAR SWEEP


—President Trump’s planned Nov. 10 Washington, D.C., military parade is likely to cost almost as much as the cancelled military exercise with South Korea Trump said was “tremendously expensive,” three defense officials said: CNN.

—Northrop Grumman earlier this year delivered a Battlefield Airborne Communication Node-equipped RQ-4 Global Hawk to the Air Force, the company announced Thursday: Northrop release.

—Hawaii ANG members conducted mass-airdrop operations in Europe last month as first-time participants in exercises Swift Response 18, operating out of a mobile operations center at Ramstein AB in Germany, and Bayonet Strike at Aviano Air Base, Italy: Defense Department release.

—The 173rd Fighter Wing at Klamath Falls, Ore., hosted the first-ever Cascadia Airlift exercise, to train for a large-scale response to a possible earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone: 173rd FW release.

—The Air Force on Wednesday awarded Rolls-Royce a $25.8 million contract for the long-term sustainment of C-130J engines: DOD release.