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​Crew chiefs maintain F-35A Lightning II fighter jets during Red Flag 19-1 at Nellis AFB, Nev., Feb. 4, 2019. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw.

Air Force Asks for Fighters, Tankers in 2020 Unfunded Priorities List

The Air Force wants to buy an additional 12 F-35A fighter jets and three more KC-46 tankers as part of its $2.8 billion fiscal 2020 unfunded priorities list, after requesting no aircraft in last year’s version. Readiness needs top the list of requirements that were left out of the 2020 budget request earlier this month, followed by investments in cyber-hardened space assets, aircraft procurement, and advanced technology development. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

Wilson Promises to Rebuild Offutt

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson visited Offutt AFB, Neb., on Friday, one week after flooding first hit the base. While Offutt has sustained serious damage from the flooding, Wilson promised the Air Force would rebuild it and “make this base even better than it was.” The Air Force is working with the Nebraska Congressional delegation to secure supplemental funding to pay for the rebuild, she said. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

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US Deployments, Airstrikes Will Continue in Syria Even as the ISIS Caliphate is Cleared

US military forces will keep a lingering presence inside Northeast Syria that will be focused on maintaining stability following the defeat of the ISIS caliphate, and airstrikes are expected to continue, the US special envoy to the coalition said Monday. James Jeffrey, who is also the special representative for Syria engagement, said the US policy is to ensure the defeat of ISIS, which “still lives on in cells and in the minds of many people” in Iraq and Syria. US forces will stay on “in limited numbers” in the Middle Euphrates River Valley to continue “stability operations” for “a period of time not to be determined at this point,” he said during a Monday briefing at the State Department. US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces on Saturday declared victory over ISIS’s physical caliphate after routing the group from its final holdout in a Syrian village. —Brian Everstine

B-52s, F-15Es Train in Poland and the Baltics

The Air Force has deployed several F-15Es and B-52s for training exercises in Poland and the Baltics as a “clear and visible demonstration” of its commitment to regional security. F-15Es from RAF Lakenheath, England, deployed to Powdiz AB, Poland, on Monday for exercise Rapid Panther, according to US Air Forces in Europe. During the exercise, the Strike Eagles will fly alongside the Polish air force to “sharpen collective readiness.” At the same time, B-52s that deployed to RAF Fairford, England, earlier this month conducted training flights in recent days in both Poland and the Baltics. The flights have been coordinated with local governments and the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence units deployed throughout the region, according to USAFE. Last week, the B-52s conducted training with NATO Joint Terminal Attack Controllers in Lithuania and Poland, dropping inert munitions during flights with Lithuanian L-39 jets. —Brian Everstine


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Next-Generation OPIR Program Cost Grows By $2B

The service is seeking an additional $2 billion for its Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program, which went underfunded in the fiscal 2019 budget request, over the next five years. As the service has updated its cost estimate—saying in September next-gen OPIR would cost about $11 billion in R&D from 2018 to 2024—the Air Force now anticipates the program will need $13.1 billion over the same time period. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

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RADAR SWEEP


Luke Air Force Base Readies for Additional F-35s to Train Turkish Pilots
Luke Air Force Base expects to receive two additional F-35A Joint Strike Fighters for its pilot training program with Turkey in coming weeks, even as officials debate complexities surrounding the NATO ally's involvement in the program. Military.com

AFW2 Announces 2019 Warrior Games Team
The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, or AFW2, has announced the 2019 Air Force Warrior Games team, which will compete at the Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, Florida, June 21-30. Air Force News

First Air Force JAG Officer to Wear Hijab Featured in Short NBC Documentary
Capt. Maysaa Ouza, the first Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps officer to wear hijab, is featured in a new short documentary from NBC’s Left Field this week. Air Force Times

‘Deploy or Get Out’ Policy May Not Have Forced Out Any Troops At All
Defense officials say no service members have been forced out of the ranks under the Pentagon’s new “deploy or get out” policy put in place last fall, despite comments from the acting defense secretary suggesting tens of thousands of service members were removed from the force in recent months. Military Times


One More Thing ...

Meet the First 'Stealth' Fighter (Created by Nazi Germany)
Northrop Grumman revealed this year it is developing a second flying wing stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider, to succeed its B-2 Spirit. However, it was a pair of German brothers in the service of Nazi Germany that developed the first jet-powered flying wing—which has been dubbed, debatably, “Hitler’s stealth fighter.” Yahoo News