Air Force cyber security technicians with the 355th Communications Squadron review work orders at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., Sept. 26, 2018. Cyber security technicians are tasked with safeguarding operational and communications security for installation computer and phone systems. Air Force photo by Airman Frankie D. Moore.
An aeronautics professor at the US Air Force Academy will run the Pentagon’s new Hypersonic Vehicle Simulation Institute, bringing 10 to 15 percent of the program’s applied science research to the Colorado Springs, Colo., campus. The service said in a Jan. 31 press release that the HSVI, which launched last year, will work with other universities to improve modeling and simulation for hypersonic weapons using $6 million in grants issued over the next three to five years. “Having inaccurate estimates for designing to mitigate the high heating on hypersonic vehicles impacts the weight and volume of the design, which can take away from the size of the payload,” HSVI Director Russ Cummings said in the release. The school owns two high-speed wind tunnels on campus, which test how systems work when traveling at more than 3,000 mph. USAFA’s boost in hypersonic-capabilities research feeds into the Defense Department’s overall push to develop weapons that can fly five times the speed of sound, in competition with China and Russia. —Rachel S. Cohen
The Defense Department will send about 3,750 more Active Duty troops to the US-Mexico border for a 90-day deployment in support of US Customs and Border Protection, though the service-by-service deployment breakdown has not been determined, the Office of the Secretary of Defense confirmed to Air Force Magazine on Feb. 4. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan approved the deployment on Jan. 11, according to a Feb. 3 OSD statement. This round of DOD support at the border will include "mobile surveillance capability through the end of September 2019, as well as the emplacement of approximately 150 miles of concertina wire between ports of entry,” according to the statement. DOD will continuously assess mission-specific force-composition needs, it continued. Rep. Adam Smith first broke the news of a planned influx of troops at the border—citing a 3,500 figure—in a Jan. 31 press release about a letter he sent to Shanahan criticizing Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood for leaving details about an Active Duty border surge out of his Jan. 29 HASC testimony on DOD border support. “At best this was an error in judgement, at worst this was knowingly withholding information from this committee as it performs its oversight responsibility," Smith wrote. Approximately 2,250 National Guard troops are also at the border as part of Operation Guardian Support, OSD said, with about 150 of those coming from the Air National Guard, the National Guard Bureau confirmed to
Air Force Magazine. Active Duty and Guard deployments to the border will continue through the end of fiscal 2019,
Rood testified on Jan. 29.—Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory
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