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A USAF B-1B Lancer takes off from Andersen AFB, Guam, on Jan. 11, 2018. Air Force photo by A1C Gerald R. Willis.

​Goldfein Forecasts B-1 Cuts, More B-21s

The Air Force is considering reducing the B-1 bomber fleet and using the savings to pay for a range of bomber fleet improvements, including a speed-up in the pace of B-21 bomber buys and more long-range weapons, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told reporters Sept. 17. Goldfein offered a limited peek ahead at the fiscal 2021 budget request but said he could not “lean forward” with many details because the budget is not yet approved. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.

F-22s, Evacuated from Tyndall, Fully Integrated at New Alaska Base

JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, has fully integrated the F-22s it absorbed from Tyndall AFB, Fla., and increased its mission-capable rates even though the Raptors showed up damaged. Col. Robert Davis, commander of the 3rd Wing at JBER, said the base received seven Raptors from Tyndall after Hurricane Michael struck the base last year. The aircraft are all “up and ready” and flying as if they were original Elmendorf AFB tails—though some still sport the TY tail flash for Tyndall. Read the full story by Brian W. Everstine.

USAF Reviewing More Valor Awards for Possible Upgrade to Medal of Honor

The Air Force is reviewing a “few” valor awards for possible upgrades to the Medal of Honor, following a recent award of an Air Force Cross that was upgraded from a Silver Star, and last year’s award to MSgt. John Chapman. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said Sept. 17 that the service takes “a lot of time, a lot of effort reviewing every award against standards” that other services use to award the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor. Read the full story by Brian W. Everstine.

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Lockheed Martin Proposes PBL Plan to Hit F-35 Operating Costs on Time

A five-year Performance-Based Logistics contract is the best, and possibly only, way to hit necessary operating and support cost goals for the F-35 fighter, Lockheed Martin officials said Tuesday, noting they’ve submitted a white paper to the Pentagon explaining how the approach would work. Lockheed claims they can not only hit the required cost per flying hour, but save the Pentagon $18 billion over the next 14 years. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.

Keep Space Research, Acquisition In-House, USAF Officials Say

Air Force officials are pushing back against the idea that a new Space Force should duplicate certain pieces of the air service for its own research and acquisition purposes. For one, the Air Force should keep space initiatives within its own research laboratory rather than looking to create a separate organization for the Space Force, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s top officer said Sept. 17. Lawmakers have also suggested that the Air Force should get a separate acquisition executive for space, a move that Will Roper, the service’s assistant secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics, recently suggested would be inefficient. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

Schriever Wargame Drives Command-and-Control Change at CSpOC

The military will stand up a specialized command-and-control cell as part of Vandenberg AFB, Calif.’s Combined Space Operations Center, an action item that came out of the most recent Schriever Wargame. That new group, which the annual wargame tested, should be in place by the end of the year, US Space Command and Air Force Space Command boss Gen. Jay Raymond told Air Force Magazine Sept. 17. The two-week Schriever Wargame at Maxwell AFB, Ala., imagined how US, allied, and partner space operators would react to an advanced adversary “seeking to achieve strategic goals by exploiting multi-domain operations” in 2029, with a focus on US European Command, AFSPC said when the event concluded Sept. 13. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

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SPACECOM Growing Military Space Planner Groups

US Space Command will stand up groups in other combatant commands to grow the number of space experts at the managerial level and to better integrate space planning with other operations, US Space Command boss Gen. Jay Raymond said Sept. 17. US Strategic Command—which was previously responsible for space operations—was the first to launch a planning group using personnel who already worked on space issues before the Trump administration formally established SPACECOM at the end of August. It will be followed by US European Command and US Indo-Pacific Command. Those are shells now, but will be built out over time, and SPACECOM will eventually embed personnel in all other combatant commands. Raymond said the idea is modeled after US Cyber Command and will help the fledgling unified combatant command meet the goals of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which envisions a more central role for space as a domain that could be threatened. —Rachel S. Cohen

Air Force OK With Failure on New Rapid Prototyping Acquisition Programs

Becoming less risk-averse in acquisition means not just expecting that some programs will fail, but embracing it. Prototyping programs launched under the recently minted Section 804 fast-track procurement authorities are designed to rapidly get new technology to the warfighter, but that means the people running them have to be rewarded even when they stumble, a senior USAF acquisition executive said at AFA’s 2019 Air, Space & Cyber Conference. Read the full story by Shaun Waterman.

Goldfein on Barrett’s Potential Confirmation: “We Won The Lottery—Again”

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein praised Air Force secretary nominee Barbara Barrett in a Sept. 17 keynote address at AFA’s 2019 Air, Space & Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md. After leading the standing-room-only audience in a chorus of “pending confirmation”—a lighthearted reminder that the Senate has yet to vote on her fate in the position—Goldfein rattled off highlights from her resume, which includes stints as a pilot, astronaut trainee, ambassador, and more. “Ladies and gentlemen, here’s what I’ll tell ya: We won the lottery—again—and we can’t wait to welcome her to our Air Force.” President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Barrett as former SECAF Heather Wilson’s successor via Twitter on May 21. The White House formally submitted her name to the Senate on Sept. 9. During her Sept. 12 nomination hearing on Capitol Hill, she told lawmakers from the Senate Armed Services Committee that her priorities for the role include ensuring the military’s space deterrence capabilities, formulating a Space Force warfighting ethos, attracting, training, and keeping cyber operators in USAF ranks, boosting Air Force work-life balance, and keeping airmen and USAF families healthy and safe, Air Force Magazine previously reported. —Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory

Goldfein Says Full Speed Ahead Toward Space Force, But Make Sure it Stays Integrated

The Air Force is fully behind the push toward a Space Force as a separate, sixth service, but it must be created carefully so that the integration of air and space power doesn’t suffer as a result, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told attendees at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference in his Sept. 17 keynote speech. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.

A New Era of Great Power Competition Means Tough Choices for USAF

The publication last year of the National Defense Strategy marked an official recognition that the war on terror needed to take a back seat to more traditional forms of great power military competition. But the implications of that realization have yet to shake out, according to experts at AFA’s 2019 Air, Space & Cyber Conference. Implementing the NDS is all about setting priorities, and that means deciding what is the Air Force we need—and what is the Air Force we don’t need. Read the full story by Shaun Waterman.

Acting Air Force Secretary: Tenant Bill of Rights Almost Ready

The Defense Department’s tenant bill of rights is “just about ready to” be released, Acting Air Force Secretary Matt Donovan told airmen at a Sept. 17 Air Force town hall at AFA’s 2019 Air, Space & Cyber Conference. “We’ve been working closely with the project owners and the privatized housing managers and with Congress because they’re very interested in this as well,” Donovan said. The Air Force’s plan to get Congressional backing for such a document was first reported by Reuters in February, and a draft version of the joint document was released March 6. Donovan said the military’s four service secretaries have also been meeting with project owners once each quarter to “kind of go over what we feel they should be doing in order to fulfill their obligations on their side of it,” so that they can subsequently ensure the Pentagon provides “the appropriate oversight at the housing management offices.” While he said improving privatized housing is “not a one and done,” he said the Air Force will keep a focus on it to ensure the health and safety of the airmen residing on base.—Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory

Small Businesses Face Big Challenges in Air Force Contracting

Despite the very different nature of the work they do, many small businesses agree that their biggest challenge as Air Force vendors is the complex and lengthy nature of government decision-making processes. Read the full story by Shaun Waterman.

USAF Addressing Pilot Shortage by Improving Leadership

The Air Force is “holding on” as it addresses its pilot shortage, and while the loss has slowed, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said he isn’t ready to say it is over. The service has 67 different initiatives aimed at reversing a pilot shortage, all “designed toward ensuring a flying career in the United States Air Force (is) as rich an experience as we can possibly make it,” Goldfein said. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Goldfein to USAF Commanders: “You’re on a Fitness Program”

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein announced Sept. 17 that he’s using his participation in this weekend’s Air Force Half Marathon at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, to launch a campaign aimed at getting USAF commanders’ fitness up to snuff, which he says will be led “from the top down.” “I don’t know when I’m gonna task you as a commander to deploy to Djibouti or Estonia or somewhere in the Pacific, and expect you to perform the functions of a[n] expeditionary commander in 120 degrees’ heat or 30 below zero,” he said during an Air Force Town Hall at  AFA’s 2019 Air, Space & Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md. “I just know this: that’s not the time to start your fitness program.” Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.


USAF Steps Up Security for Threatened Area 51 Raid

What started as an online joke about storming Area 51 to see aliens has climbed to the highest levels of the Air Force—with the service’s top two officials receiving briefings and approving additional resources for the facility at Groom Lake in the Nevada Test and Training Range. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Correction

The article “Aviano Rescue Squadrons Make First Deployments from Their New Home” in the Sept. 17 Daily Report misstated the aircraft assigned to the rescue squadrons at the base. The 56th Rescue Squadron has HH-60G Pave Hawks and the 57th Rescue Squadron has rescue personnel.

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RADAR SWEEP


Air Force Will Shift Up to $30B for Space, Multi-Domain
The Air Force’s version of the Army’s famous Night Court has found up to $30 billion in weapons money it will take and reinvest it in multi-domain operations and space warfighting capabilities, the top two Air Force leaders say. Breaking Defense

Boeing Wants Government to Force Northrop to Partner on ICBM Replacement
Months after announcing it would not bid on the Air Force’s ICBM replacement program, Boeing is officially lobbying both Congress and the service to force a shotgun marriage with Northrop Grumman, against the latter company’s will. Defense News

Virtual Reality Training—for Pilots, Maintainers, and More—Expands in 2020
One of the top priorities of Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, the newly minted head of Air Education and Training Command, will be expanding the Air Force’s experiment with virtual reality training. Air Force Times

USAF’s Holmes on Expeditionary Operations, Readiness, Improving Cyber Capabilities, Future Fighter
Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of the USAF’s Air Combat Command, discusses increasingly expeditionary operations, improving high-end air warfare skills and readiness, and merging 24th and 25th Air Forces to increase integrated cyber and information warfare capabilities at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference outside Washington, DC. Defense & Aerospace Report

Generation Six: Training for Future Fighter Aircraft
While fifth-generation fighters such as the F-35 are still in their infancy, the aerospace community is already looking ahead to the sixth generation. With aircraft such as the UK’s Tempest on the horizon, Grant Turnbull finds out how future generations of pilots will be trained to use these increasingly complex platforms. airforce-technology.com

Russia, China, Central Asian States Kick Off Massive Drills
Russia, China, and several Asian countries began conducting large-scale military exercises on Sept. 16. The exercises that began with the drill known as "Tsentr-2019" will culminate in the deployment of nearly 130,000 soldiers and conclude Sept. 22, Russia's Tass news agency reported. UPI

FAA Chief to Meet with Boeing Officials, Test 737 MAX Simulator
New Federal Aviation Administration chief Stephen Dickson plans to fly to Seattle this week to fly “newly configured” Boeing 737 MAX software in a simulator and will visit with Boeing officials, the agency said Sept. 16. Reuters

US Military Extends South Korea Curfew Suspension for Three Months
American troops in South Korea received at least three more months without a curfew after Gen. Robert Abrams extended the temporary suspension of the policy on Sept. 16. Stars and Stripes via Military.com

Air Force Defends Alpha Warrior Inter-Service Title
The Air Force won its second straight Alpha Warrior Inter-Service Championship over the Army and Navy on Sept. 14, at Retama Park, Selma, Texas. USAF release

One More Thing …

We Remember
Watch Dwayne O’Brien and the US Air Force Band perform the song “We Remember” at the conclusion of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein’s Sept. 17 keynote address at AFA’s 2019 Air, Space & Cyber Conference. AFA on YouTube