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​CMSgt. Terrence Greene, then-command chief for US Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force, prepares for an interview at Misawa AB, Japan, on Feb. 23, 2018. Greene now serves as command chief for Air Mobility Command. Air Force photo by A1C Collette Brooks.

​USAF: Leaders Should Share their Own Stories to Keep Resiliency Push Going

The service is encouraging senior leaders to be forthcoming with their own personal stories to connect with airmen and ensure discussion continues, following the recent stand-down implemented to focus on mental health amid a dramatic increase in suicides. “Us, as leaders, need to open up and show our brokenness,” said CMSgt. Terrence Greene, the command chief master sergeant for Air Mobility Command, in a recent interview. “We’re not perfect, we’re going through challenges in our lives.” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein in late July ordered a one-day “resilience tactical pause” to address the issue of suicide across the Air Force. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

RAND Outlines Improvements Needed to Tackle Nuclear Modernization

Air Force Global Strike Command needs to beef up its planning and advocacy for its future intercontinental ballistic missile and long-range bomber if it wants to successfully modernize its enterprise in an era of financial and technological challenges, the nonprofit research organization RAND Corp. said in a new report. Over the next few decades, the Air Force plans to bring on the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent, Long-Range Standoff Weapon, B-21 bomber, new helicopters, and overhauled nuclear command, control, and communications systems. "This ambitious set of programs will be fielded by [AFGSC], a relatively young command with a relatively small staff that has limited experience in fielding new systems," RAND said. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

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Hawaii National Guard to Get Space Control Squadron

The Hawaii Air National Guard will stand up a new space control squadron beginning next summer. The Air Force approved Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai as the preferred alternative for an Air National Guard Space Control Squadron, bringing 88 new Guard positions, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said. The squadron will be the latest new space control unit in the Air National Guard. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

“Global Lightning” SATCOM Project Expanding to AC-130, KC-135

An Air Force investigation into how the service could piggyback on the commercial industry’s broadband Internet satellites for better communication is moving forward to include two key combat platforms—the AC-130 and KC-135. The experimentation and prototyping effort, known as Defense Experimentation Using the Commercial Space Internet, or “Global Lightning,” is run by the Air Force Research Laboratory. AFRL, under the program, has partnered  with companies like SpaceX, Iridium, OneWeb, L3Harris, and others from 2018 to 2022 to put communications terminals on aircraft and see how well they share data with satellites and their associated ground terminals. USAF is also looking into the possibility of leasing commercial space Internet as a service, rather than buying large amounts of equipment itself. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

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Iran to Fuel Centrifuges in New Step Away from Nuclear Deal
Iran will start injecting uranium gas into over a thousand centrifuges at a fortified nuclear facility built inside a mountain, the country’s president announced Nov. 5, in Tehran’s latest step away from its atomic accord with world powers since President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal over a year ago. Associated Press via Politico

N. Korea says US Terrorism Blacklist Hinders Nuke Diplomacy
North Korea said Nov. 5 the US redesignation of Pyongyang as a sponsor of terrorism is dimming prospects for nuclear diplomacy between the countries. The North’s statement comes as the country is escalating its pressures on the United States over a stalemate in nuclear negotiations. Last week, North Korea test-fired projectiles from what it called a newly developed “super-large” multiple rocket launcher in the country’s first weapons test in about a month. Associated Press

MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator Takes Off: Magnetic Field GPS and a DOD Smart Speaker
The Air Force and MIT are kicking off 10 joint research projects aimed at finding Artificial Intelligence solutions fast for some of the service’s key operational problems, such as building a simulated co-pilot (dubbed R2D2) and navigating without GPS. Breaking Defense

Booz Allen Launches New “App Store” for AI
Across the government and military, agencies are working to harness artificial intelligence for a variety of applications. A new product created by Booz Allen Hamilton aims to streamline the adoption of AI platforms through an easy-to-use “app store.” National Defense Magazine

OPINION: Protecting US Bases Increasingly Requires Hardening Civilian Infrastructure
“As the House and Senate work to complete the DoOD Appropriations and the National Defense Authorization Act, they need to prioritize resilience efforts not only at military installations, but the communities that surround them,” writes John Conger, director of the Center for Climate and Security and former principal deputy defense undersecretary (comptroller). Defense One

AFRL Experts Collect Aircraft Shelters' Acoustics Data to Ensure Aircraft, Personnel Safety
Acoustics researchers in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing are collecting and delivering acoustics data from hardened aircraft shelters, or HAS, around the world—data that customers can then use to certify that F-35 Lightning II airframes and the personnel working inside are safe. USAF release

40 years later: How the Iran Hostage Crisis Shaped the Future of Special Operations
Exactly 40 years ago today, a group of Iranian militants seized 98 people at the US Embassy in Tehran—marking the start of what is known as the Iran hostage crisis. While the hostages were released from captivity 444 days later, an unsuccessful, covert mission known as Eagle Claw to try to rescue the hostages months afterwards is what served as a catalyst for changing special operations forces. Military Times

Senator Wants to Expedite Valor Medals for Dog Team that Took Down ISIS Kingpin
A New Jersey Democrat is urging the Pentagon to expedite service medals for the military K9 unit responsible for taking down notorious Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Sen. Bob Menendez, the lawmaker responsible for introducing legislation to create the Defense Department's first official award for military working dogs, sent a letter last week to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, advocating for speedy commendations for the handlers and dogs involved in the Oct. 26 raid.

Turkey says it Captured Slain IS Leader’s Sister in Syria
Turkey captured the elder sister of the slain leader of the Islamic State group in northwestern Syria on Monday, according to a senior Turkish official, who called the arrest an intelligence “gold mine.” Associated Press

Air Force Tests Plasma Reactor to Degrade, Destroy PFOS, PFOA
Civilian researchers completed a two-week field demonstration here Sept. 25 using an innovative plasma technology to degrade and destroy perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid, known as PFOS and PFOA, in groundwater. USAF release

One More Thing …

Concerns Rise Over Possibility Chinese Could Use TikTok to Collect Troops’ Data
Despite a national security review over the increasingly popular social media app TikTok, Defense Department officials are not yet issuing any specific guidance regarding the Chinese-owned platform, used by service members in both a personal and official capacity. Military Times