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USAF Capt. John Graziano was killed when his T-38C Talon crash at Laughlin AFB, Texas, on Nov. 13, 2018. USAF photo.


47th Flying Training Wing Identifies Airman Killed in T-38 Crash at Laughlin

The pilot killed in a Tuesday night T-38C Talon crash at Laughlin AFB, Texas, has been identified as 28-year-old Capt. John Graziano, of Elkridge, Md. Graziano was an instructor pilot assigned to the 87th Flying Training Squadron at Laughlin, according to a Wednesday evening release from the 47th Flying Training Wing. The second airman involved in the crash has been identified as Capt. Mark Palyok, a fellow 87th FTS instructor pilot, who was "treated for his injuries" at Val Verde Regional Medical Center in Del Rio, Texas, and released. Read the full story from Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.

California Air National Guard Activates to Fight Massive Wildfires

All five California Air National Guard wings have activated airmen in support of firefighting efforts. Two MAFFS-equipped C-130s from the 146th Airlift Wing at Channel Islands Air Guard Station in Ventura County, Calif., were activated on Sunday, but they couldn’t fly their first mission until Tuesday because of winds. Meanwhile, the Woolsey fire is getting dangerously close to Guard base. In Northern California, airmen assigned to the 195th Wing have set up a tent city near the destroyed town of Paradise, are providing security, and the wing’s intelligence analysts are monitoring live feeds from remotely piloted aircraft and other ISR platforms to help plot fire lines and inform evacuation decisions. Read the full story by Amy McCullough.

Vice Chief Wilson Says 386 Squadron Goal May be Adjusted

USAF’s goal to grow to 386 squadrons—rolled out in September at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference—may be adjusted to account for “new operating concepts” and changes in budgets, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Seve Wilson said at an AFA event Wednesday. While he didn’t say how much the number might move, he acknowledged that USAF’s goal of increasing the number of fighter squadrons from 55 to 70, aired in the spring, has been scaled back to 62 fighter squadrons, the number possibly having been affected by changes in “the way we fight.” Wilson also touted greater efficiency in USAF’s acquisition system and forecast a long recovery time for hurricane-damaged Tyndall AFB, Fla. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.  

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EA/EW Study WIll Reveal USAF ‘Not Paying Attention to Spectrum Dominance’’

The Air Force electronic attack/electronic warfare Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team study underway for a year will be outbriefed at the “webtech” meeting at Nellis AFB, Nev., in January and there could be some kind of public release of the findings soon after, USAF Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Seve Wilson told reporters Wednesday. “I think what you will find is, in general, we haven’t been paying attention to spectrum dominance,” Wilson said. “Almost everything we do” goes by wavelengths, he noted, from communications and navigations to radars and weapons, and failing to dominate spectrum warfare “means we go back to World War II” levels of capability in key areas if an enemy overpowers the US in this domain. —John A. Tirpak

USAF to Take Lead in Multi-Domain Command and Control with “Five Eyes” Nations

The Air Force expects to take the lead in multi-domain command and control among the so-called “Five Eyes’ nations—Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and the US—which have agreements on the sharing of signals and other types of intelligence. Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Seve Wilson told reporters following an AFA industry breakfast that he was headed to a Five Eyes meeting Wednesday at which he expected to discuss pooling their efforts on a number of initiatives to avoid duplication of effort. Besides MDC2, Wilson said hypersonics is one where there could be sharing of effort and information. This is the second such USAF meeting with the Five Eyes countries, he said. “It’s about … who should take the lead” in various areas, Wilson said. “We’ll look through the things that they’re really good at, things we’re good at”—he specifically mentioned hypersonics—and try to come up with “outcomes,” he said. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore, I want to see results,” he added. —John A. Tirpak


Study Warns Congress of Erosion of US Military Power, Air Force Capacity

The rise of China and Russia, coupled with the sustained harm done by budget cuts under sequestration, has atrophied US military superiority to a “dangerous degree,” an independent commission warned Congress on Wednesday. The National Defense Strategy Commission, a collection of bipartisan former lawmakers and military officials, was convened under the Fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act to review the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy. Its final report, released this week, call on the Pentagon and Congress to increase the size of the Air Force and grow the industrial base so it can build more weapons to ensure the military is prepared for a large conflict. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

House Armed Services Committee Leaders Appoint Members to AI Commission

The leaders of the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday appointed the former head of Google’s parent company and a top Microsoft researcher to serve on the newly formed National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) appointed Eric Schmidt, the chairman of the Defense Innovation Board and previous executive chairman of both Google and its parent company Alphabet, to serve on the committee. Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) selected Eric Horvitz, a technical fellow and director of Microsoft Research Labs, to serve on the committee. The commission, established in the Fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, will review advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and associated technologies with national security implications, according to a committee release.

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Operation Roundup Targets ISIS Remnants
Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve and its partners continue to pursue the lasting defeat of ISIS in designated parts of Iraq and Syria. CENTCOM

US Air Force KC-135 Damage in Australia Interrupts Bomber Training Mission
A US Air Force Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker was damaged Tuesday during a ground-handling incident at an Australian airport. Defense News

Norway Says Russia Jammed GPS Signal During NATO Drill
The Norwegian Defense Ministry said Tuesday that Russian forces in the Arctic disturbed GPS location signals during a recent large NATO drill in Norway. C4isrnet.com

Trump Nominates Retired Gen. John Abizaid To Be Ambassador To Saudi Arabia
President Trump on Tuesday announced the nomination of retired Army Gen. John Abizaid as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia — a move that would fill a vacancy that has been open since the administration's first days. NPR

One More Thing:

MacDill’s Military Working Dogs, Handlers Train at Adventure Island
From vigorous barking to dashing through water-based obstacles, military working dogs and handlers with the 6th Security Forces Squadron participated in water aggression training to maintain full spectrum readiness at Adventure Island amusement park in Tampa, Florida, Oct. 29. Air Force News