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​Capt. Peter Shufeldt, an instructor pilot assigned to the 33rd Flying Training Squadron, puts on his helmet and mask before taking off in the T-6 Texan II, May 2, 2019, at Vance AFB, Okla. Air Force photo by Airman Zoe T. Perkins.

​Tackling the Pilot Shortage is a Team Effort

The Air Force and Federal Aviation Administration will work together to address the national pilot shortage, officials announced on May 31. The partnership with the FAA will focus on three key areas: bringing new pilots into the pipeline; making training more efficient; and creating productive partnerships between the government, Defense Department, academia, and industry. Read the full story by Amy McCullough.

Air Force Targets Next-Day Space Launches

A recent Air Force solicitation takes the first steps toward being able to order space launches on just 24 hours notice, a goal that would make the service more responsive to combat developments and avoid the weeks- or months-long waits typical of launches. “The US Air Force is investigating the possible procurement of a capability to rapidly launch and deploy space payloads critical to national security in an ultra-responsive manner,” the service wrote in a May 30 sources-sought notice. “The objective is 24 hours from ‘call up’ notification to on-orbit capability.” Heads of four major American space launch contractors recently said the goal may not be as lofty as it sounds. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

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Air Force Proposes Overhauling Officer Promotions, Career Development

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein issued a memo to commanders across the service on a new way of training and promoting officers that is better tailored to the needs of each career field. Briefing teams will visit installations in June and July to hear from airmen and relay their input to senior leaders. The plan currently calls for splitting the line of the Air Force promotion category, which encompasses 87 percent of the officer corps, into six separate categories, but Shon Manasco, assistant secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, said the service isn’t wedded to that idea and could still expand the number of categories based on feedback from the field. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

Shanahan Pushes Partnerships, Interoperability at Shangri-La

On the eve of his speech at the 2019 IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Asia-Pacific nations can look to US defense spending for reassurance that America will be a steadfast ally. “The fact that we’ve been able to get sizable increases in the budget and then how we’re deploying the budget is really a measure to me, a real indicator, of whether we’re backing up what we’re saying in the [National Defense] Strategy,” he said at a May 31 press conference. He also pushed for countries to consider buying weapon systems that can network with American assets: “People understand that the value of partnering with the United States is a lot more than just the price of one piece of equipment.” Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

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RADAR SWEEP


DOD Bought Phony Military Gear Made in China, Including Counter-Night Vision Clothing That Didn’t Actually Work
The US military, government agencies, and other purchasers bought more than $20 million worth of Chinese-made counterfeit goods designed to look like domestically produced gear from a company that defrauded the government and helped to orchestrate the counterfeiting process between January 2013 and October 2018, Justice Department officials said. Military Times

House Appropriations Committee to Study Space Force Implementation
Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at CSIS, discusses Congress’s reaction to the Space Force, and how the House and Senate differ in their approaches to the concept. Government Matters

Portion of National Museum of the US Air Force Reopened Following Tornado Damage
A portion of the National Museum of the United States Air Force has reopened after Monday's tornadoes damaged a portion of a hangar, according to a spokeswoman for the museum. The hangar housing The Early Years Gallery sustained damage to some metal siding on the building. WHIO-TV

Air Force Chief of Staff to Tour Tornado Ravaged Homes Near Wright-Patt
Gen. David Goldfein will tour The Prairies at Wright Field to view the damage inflicted by an EF 3 tornado on May 27. Around 150 homes were damaged in the Prairies neighborhood including 14 homes that have since been deemed “unhinhabitable,” according to Wright Patt. Dayton Daily News

Navy to Transfer Satellite Communications Responsibilities to Air Force
The realignment does not affect the Mobile User Objective System constellation. Any future narrowband satcom programs will be handled by the Air Force. Space News

Putin Drops Hints About Upcoming National AI Strategy
Russian leader calls for “technological sovereignty” and, somewhat surprisingly, for protecting IP and civil rights. Defense One

Thunderbirds Jet Experiences 'Possible Birdstrike' After Graduation Flyover
A US Air Force Thunderbird opted to depart early and land after apparently hitting a bird following the May 30 Air Force Academy graduation flyover, according to the team spokesman. Military.com

One More Thing …

Here's What It's Like to Run a Carrier as the 'Top Gun' Sequel Films Onboard
Loose lips sink ships, but do they reveal too much about the hugely anticipated "Top Gun" sequel, "Top Gun: Maverick," filmed onboard in February? Military.com