Here’s How USAF Will Spend $1B in Disaster Aid

The Air Force plans to spend $1 billion in supplemental disaster-aid funding on 15 military construction efforts at three bases, according to a list of the projects obtained by Air Force Magazine. Congress approved the funding in June, but required the Air Force to explain how the money would be spent. Seven projects are slated for Tyndall AFB, Fla., which was hit by Category 5 Hurricane Michael in October 2018. Four will take place at Offutt AFB, Neb., following severe flooding that covered about one-third of the base in March. Another four are planned for JB Langley-Eustis, Va., so it can host the F-22 formal training unit previously located at Tyndall. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

DOD Looks to Grow Small UAS Market Through Public-Private Partnerships

The Pentagon wants to grow its pool of companies that can build small drones for military use through a new public-private marketplace, according to Defense Department acquisition chief Ellen Lord. The Trusted Capital Marketplace “will convene trusted sources of private capital with innovative companies critical to the defense industrial base and national security,” Lord said at an Aug. 26 briefing. It will first focus on small unmanned aerial systems so the Pentagon can get away from commercially made drones that could pass US data to China. The marketplace comes as the Pentagon tries new ways of tapping into the rapidly evolving commercial technology sector to expand its options, save money, and move faster. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

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Suicide Stand-Down Inspires 51st Fighter Wing’s “Mustang Resiliency Campaign”

The 51st Fighter Wing at Osan AB, South Korea, is launching a new effort to make airmen feel more connected to their wing, get rid of obstacles to and stigma surrounding mental health care, support squadron revitalization, and solicit advice about how it can better serve airmen and their families, the wing told Air Force Magazine. The initiative—dubbed the Mustang Resiliency Campaign—will debut on Aug. 30, the day the wing has chosen to take its service-mandated stand-down to address the topic of suicide within USAF ranks, according to a wing release. Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.

B-2s Deploy to Europe for Training

An undisclosed number of B-2 bombers, airmen, and support equipment recently deployed to Europe for “theater integration and flying training,” the Air Force said Aug. 27. The bombers and airmen from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo., are operating from RAF Fairford, England—USAFE’s “forward operating location for bombers,” according to a service release. Air Force Global Strike Command’s bombers regularly deploy to USAFE for training. Most recently, B-52s from Barksdale AFB, La., deployed to Europe for five weeks this spring. B-2s headed to the same base in June 2017. —Brian Everstine

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Outstanding Airmen of the Year Spotlight: SrA. Justin Allen Starks

The Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2019 will be formally recognized at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference Sept. 16-18. Air Force Magazine is highlighting one each workday from now until the conference begins. Today we honor SrA. Justin Allen Starks, from Air Force District of Washington.



Seven Escape Uninjured After Privately Owned C-130 Crashes at Santa Barbara Airport

Emergency crews responded to a Lockheed C-130 aircraft crash at Santa Barbara Airport on the night of Aug. 25. Santa Barbara City Fire said a C-130 aircraft crashed after landing on a runway and then skidded off into an infield at about 10:30 p.m. KABC

Esper Calls for New Basing Investments in the Pacific

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Aug. 27 called for expanding base locations in the Pacific while continuing regular freedom of navigation operations in the region, as part of a broader attempt to stymie China’s influence. Esper, speaking at the Naval War College, called the Indo-Pacific theater “our priority theater,” as the department continues its shift towards an era of great power competition. Defense News

US Hosts Experts from 16 Countries at Indo-Pacific Safety Air Forces Exchange

Members from US Indo-Pacific Command and Pacific Air Forces hosted the annual Indo-Pacific Safety Air Forces Exchange in Waikiki, Hawaii, Aug. 19-23. This year, the exchange involved the participation of 16 countries, in addition to the United States, throughout the Indo-Pacific region. USAF release

Test Agency Approves Fix for Flawed F-35 Light That Blinded KC-135 Crews

A joint-test effort has fixed a dangerous flaw in the F-35 Lightning II that was blinding KC-135 Stratotanker crewmen during night refueling operations. The Aerial Refueling Certification Agency, located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, has approved a redesigned refueling probe light on F-35 B and C models, a decision that will soon clear Marine Corps and Navy Lightning II pilots for night refueling operations with the Air Force tanker, Daryl Mayer, a Wright-Patterson spokesman, told recently.

The First Flight of a Mirage F-1 Belonging to a Private Aggressor Company Has Occurred

The Airborne Tactical Advantage Company, which is now owned by Textron, has put one of the 63 Mirage F-1s it bought from France into the air for the very first time. To our knowledge, this is the first time an F-1 owned by a private aggressor firm has flown in the United States. The Drive

Intel Community’s Secrecy Culture Frustrates DOD Sat Safety Effort

The NRO is slow rolling implementation of DOD’s effort to improve space operations safety by lifting restrictions on the location of classified satellites, insiders say. Breaking Defense

The Pentagon Wants to Bolster DIU’s Cyber Defenses

The Pentagon is looking for vendors to conduct penetration testing and other security services to bolster the defenses of its startup outreach office. Department officials on Aug. 26 began seeking a contractor to provide cyber testing and training services for the Defense Innovation Unit, the now-permanent group charged with adapting Silicon Valley tech for the country’s national security apparatus. Nextgov

One More Thing

X-37B Military Space Plane Breaks Record on Latest Mystery Mission

The US Air Force’s X-37B space plane just broke its spaceflight-duration record. At 6:43 a.m. EDT (1043 GMT) on Aug. 26, the robotic X-37B sailed past the program mark of 717 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes, which was set by the previous mission, known as Orbital Test Vehicle 4 (OTV-4). The current mission, OTV-5, began on Sept. 7, 2017, with a liftoff atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.