Daily Report

Oct. 26, 2018

Pence: Tyndall F-22 Training, Operations Center Will Be Back by Start of 2019

Vice President Mike Pence, during a Thursday visit to Tyndall AFB, Fla., announced that the base’s schoolhouse and air operations center will be back online by the end of the year. F-22s will fly out of nearby Eglin AFB, Fla., while simulators will be operational at Tyndall, Pence said. The base is reeling from Hurricane Michael which caused catastrophic damage earlier this month, but Pence said the Trump administration has committed to fully rebuilding the base. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Maintenance Team Assessing B-2 Following Emergency Landing

A maintenance recovery team from Whiteman AFB, Mo., is in Colorado Springs, Colo., assessing the B-2 that made an emergency landing. The B-2, which is known as the Spirit of Nebraska, landed on the runway shared by the Colorado Springs airport and Peterson Air Force Base early Tuesday because of what the base and Global Strike Command called a “minor problem.” A recording of radio traffic before the landing, released Tuesday by the Colorado Springs Crime Watch Facebook page, indicates a problem with one of the Spirit’s engines prompted the crew to decide to land. The maintenance recovery team is inspecting the aircraft and determining what repairs it would need to return to flight and go back to Whiteman for further evaluation, AFGSC said Thursday. There is no timeline for the return as of Thursday, and the rest of the fleet is not impacted by the incident. —Brian Everstine

CENTCOM Monthly Report Determines No Additional Civilians Killed in Airstrike

US and coalition investigators, for the first time in the anti-ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria, determined that no additional civilians had been killed inadvertently in airstrikes, according to US Central Command. CENTCOM every month releases its findings into allegations of civilian casualties, which to date have found that at least 1,114 civilians have been unintentionally killed by the coalition since Operation Inherent Resolve kicked off in 2014. The most recent release states that in September, the coalition finished investigations into 104 reports of casualties, and found that none were determined credible. There are still 207 reports open. Since the campaign began, the coalition has conducted a total of 30,247 strikes between August 2014 and September 2018, according to CENTCOM. —Brian Everstine

State Department Official Voices Concerns About Russian Spacecraft

A senior Trump administration official this week repeated her concerns about Russia’s launch a year ago of what it calls a “space apparatus inspector.” Yleem D.S. Poblete, the assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification, and compliance, made the comments Tuesday at a United Nations session on outer space, saying the spacecraft’s behavior has been “inconsistent with anything seen before, including other Russian satellite inspection activities.” Her remarks echoed earlier comments she made in Geneva in August. “We do not know for certain what it is and there is no way to verify its mission,” she said this week. Poblete added that Moscow’s intentions are unclear and pointed to Russian statements on the importance of assimilating new prototypes of weapons into space military units, as well as claims its space troops have taken delivery of a “combat laser system” and that Moscow is developing missiles that can be launched from aircraft to destroy US satellites. —Steve Hirsch

DOD Monitoring Migrant Caravan, But Can’t Confirm Rumored Border Surge

The Pentagon won’t confirm reports that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis plans to order “at least 800 troops” to the nation’s border with Mexico, but officials say it is keeping an eye on a controversial caravan of Central American immigrants seeking entry into the US. “At this time, I can only confirm that the Department of Defense continues to monitor events along the Southwest US border, including the status of the migrant caravan heading north through Mexico,” DOD spokesman Navy Capt. Bill Speaks said in a statement shared with Air Force Magazine. “We anticipate receiving a request for assistance from the Department of Homeland Security and are currently working with DHS to determine the specifics of our support to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).” Speaks reaffirmed DOD support for CBP’s border operations and the welfare of its personnel. The Associated Press report comes days after a USA Today interview with President Donald Trump in which he threatened such a surge to prevent the caravan from entering the US. As of Oct. 24, an estimated 2,100 Guard troops—including approximately 150 Air National Guardsmen from four states—are mobilized along the border. —Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory

Celebrating AFA’s Heritage Brick by Brick

The Air Force Association unveiled its Doolittle Legacy Wall at the association’s headquarters building in Arlington, Va., on Thursday. AFA President, retired Gen. Larry Spencer; AFA Chairman of the Board Whit Peters; Jimmy Doolittle’s granddaughter, Jonna Doolittle Hoppes; and retired Lt. Col. Dick Cole, the last surviving member of the famed Doolittle Raiders cut the ceremonial ribbon. Cole also presented AFA with a signed replica of the Doolittle Raiders Congressional Gold Medal. “The Air Force is kind of a family business in the Doolittle family. My uncle Jimmy served in 9th Air Force during the war and attended flight test training at Edwards Air Force Base. He was in the same class with Bob Hoover and Chuck Yeager. My father, a 30-year veteran, served in the Air Force in Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War, and my cousin Jimmy … flew Skyraiders in Vietnam and ended up the commandant of the test pilot school at Edwards,” said Hoppes. “Each of them would tell you the same thing I’m going to tell you today, the legacy of the Air Force rests on the shoulders of every man and woman who served. And every spouse who stood next to them.” The Doolittle Legacy Wall is meant to honor those airmen. Hoppes said she planned to go back to California and buy three more bricks, one for her uncle, one for her cousin, and one for an airman she met while assigned to Edwards AFB, Calif., who “has served three tours in the Middle East and represents everything that is wonderful about today’s Air Force.” More than 75 AFA members and supporters attended, including Under Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan.


Boeing Adds $179M in Cost Overruns to KC-46 Aircraft as Delivery Draws Near

As Boeing inches toward delivery of the first KC-46 tanker, it will have to eat yet another cost overrun this quarter, worth $179 million before taxes. Defense News

Defense Companies Battle Over Price

Boeing’s recent contract wins spark debate over low winning bids. Wall Street Journal

US Air Force Fleet Suffers Drop In Readiness Amid Pilot Crisis

Keeping the US Air Force’s massive fleet airborne is becoming increasingly difficult. Forbes

Report: Pentagon CMO to be Replaced After Less Than 9 Months on Job

The Pentagon’s chief management officer will be replaced due to a lack of production, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Defense News

Parker Resident who Served in Vietnam: Hurricane Michael Damage ‘Looks Like a B-52 Bombing Raid’

It’s been two weeks since George Nepereny took shelter in his garage, as Hurricane Michael left major damage to his and other homes around Parker. “I equate this to Vietnam,” he said. “This looks like an Arc Light went through here. A B-52 bombing raid, where you’d watch those B-52s coming and drop the Arc Lights. You see big, huge mahogany trees doing cartwheels.” My Panhandle

Analyst Predicts Space Force will Fuel Infighting Among Military Services

More than 70 years after the U.S. Air Force split off from the Army, disagreements linger over whether air forces do enough to support troops on the ground. With plans now underway to create an independent service for space, it would be useful to look back at the history of the Air Force and make sure mistakes are not repeated, cautions Dan Grazier, military fellow at the Center for Defense Information at the Project on Government Oversight. Space News

What Trump’s Proposed Space Force Means for Canada

President Donald Trump’s plan to create a US Space Force would require a multiyear reorganization of military operations, with potential spillover effects on existing partnerships that involve Canada. Politico

Honeywell Wins $1.04 Billion US Defense Contract: Pentagon

Honeywell International Inc has been awarded a $1.04 billion contract for support of auxiliary power units for C-130, B-2, A-10, E-3, and B-1 aircraft, as well as F-15 components, F-16 turbine power units, and ground start carts, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. US News

Lockheed Martin Boosts Sales Targets Despite F-35 Grounding

Lockheed Martin has raised its financial performance targets for 2019 on the back of strong shipments of its F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, with the company expecting its overall backlog to reach $120 billion next year. Jane’s 360

Air Force Completes Water Testing Near Cannon Air Force Base

The US Air Force has completed testing 25 private water sites near Cannon Air Force Base. At three of those sites, the water is not safe to drink, according to Environmental Protection Agency standards. ABC7 Amarillo

Colombia, US Review Counter Narcotrafficking Air Program

The Colombian Air Force and US Southern Command strengthen information and air technology exchange programs. Dialogo-Americas

Combat Raider 19-1 Keeps Forces Ready, Lethal

Aircrew from all 8th Air Force bases flew over the Powder River Training Complex together for the first time during Combat Raider 19-1 on Oct. 16-18. They coordinated with joint tactical air controllers from the Royal Canadian Armed Forces and JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., who helped coordinate simulated air strikes from the ground. AFGSC

German Triton Programme on Course for 2019 Contract, Renamed Pegasus

The German Air Force’s plans to field the Northrop Grumman RQ-4C Triton high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle is proceeding to plan with a procurement contract expected to be signed late next year, a senior service official said on 24 October. Jane’s 360

Secretary Mattis Travels to Bahrain, Czech Republic

Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis departs Oct. 25 to participate in the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain. Secretary Mattis will address the conference and meet with key leaders on a broad range of security issues. DOD release.

Pilot Pulls Off Brilliant Sideways Landing During Bristol Storm

See the video at: CNN