Southeastern Bases Brace for Hurricane Dorian

Air Force bases across Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina are sending their employees home and preparing their facilities for Hurricane Dorian to sweep up the southeastern US coast. The storm was expected to make landfall on the Florida coast the evening of Sept. 3 as a Category 2 storm, after lingering over the Bahamas and causing serious damage to the islands. The 45th Space Wing at Patrick AFB, Fla., expected winds faster than 58 mph at both Patrick and Cape Canaveral AFS to hit by 10 p.m. Sept. 3. Dorian’s 185 mph winds are tied for second-strongest recorded in the Atlantic basin, and the storm is also tied for strongest wind speed at landfall in the area. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Pentagon AI Leader Optimistic About More Money, New Projects in 2020

A top official in charge of rolling out artificial intelligence across the Defense Department says 2020 will be a “breakout year” for AI capabilities. Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, told reporters at an Aug. 30 briefing that his group’s biggest undertaking in the coming fiscal year will focus on aspects of combat maneuvers and fires that range from intelligence fusion to “all-domain” command and control. The organization is asking for about three times as much funding in 2020 as it received from Congress in 2019. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

Officer Becomes First Female Airman to Earn Army Ranger Tab

An Air Force officer became the first female airman to earn the Army’s Ranger tab last week. First Lt. Chelsey Hibsch is the first USAF woman to graduate from the course since it opened to airmen in 1955, according to an Aug. 30 Air Force release. Almost 300 airmen total have earned the Ranger tab. Hibsch is a former security forces member who will become a flight commander in the 821st Contingency Response Support Squadron at Travis AFB, Calif., the release said. She previously served as an enlisted airman. The famed Ranger school at Fort Benning, Ga., focuses on combat leadership and small-unit tactics, with long, grueling training in all climates and terrains. Only about half of those who enter the Ranger school graduate, according to the release. The training provides an “understanding of how you function when you’re hungry, tired, wet, cold, and worse, then you have to lead a team of individuals feeling the exact same way,” Hibsch said in the release. “You really find out a lot about your teammates and yourself in these stressful situations.” —Brian Everstine

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Lawmakers Urge DOD to Permanently Base SPACECOM in Colorado

Colorado’s congressional delegation again lobbied for their state to be the permanent home of US Space Command, which is setting up shop at Peterson AFB, Colo., until a final headquarters is chosen. Acting Air Force Secretary Matt Donovan is still reviewing six possible locations in California, Colorado, and Alabama that could host the headquarters. SPACECOM encompasses two subordinate commands as well as space centers across the country, and, in “higher states of conflict,” will direct the National Reconnaissance Office’s space actions. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

AFRL-Developed Water Repellent Will Help F-16 Fighter Pilots See During Storms

USAF maintainers will soon be able to use an Air Force Research Laboratory-developed water repellent on the service’s F-16 fleet to help fighter pilots see more clearly during storms. HydroSkip, which has a Windex-like consistency and can be applied once per month in a nearly identical manner to regular polish, keeps rain from accumulating or staying still on aircraft transparencies, an AFRL release explained. The Air Force will keep flight-testing the product even after orders begin to ensure sure it holds up in the field. Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.

Outstanding Airmen of the Year Spotlight: SSgt. Caryn N. Frederick

The Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2019 will be formally recognized at AFA’s Air, Space, and Cyber Conference Sept. 16-18. Air Force Magazine is highlighting one each workday from now until the conference begins. Today, we honor SSgt. Caryn N. Frederick from Air Force Reserve Command.

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The article “Spot Checks Find Mold, Moisture in Dorms at Five USAF Bases” in the Sept. 3 Daily Report misstated the percentage of inspected dorms that had signs of mold or moisture. Evidence of those issues was found in approximately 34 percent of spot-checked dorms.



Air Force Changes Message on Space Force Amid Criticism It Stifled Debate

Air Force Brig. Gen. Ed Thomas: There was uncertainty in the past about who should be engaging the press about space issues. "That time has long since passed and we have moved out.” Space News

Find Your New Job: Retraining Slots Open for More Than 2,700 Airmen

According to retraining statistics provided by the Air Force Personnel Center, there are 1,708 slots available for first-term airmen to retrain into new jobs. There are also 797 retraining slots for staff sergeants, 258 slots for technical sergeants, and 10 slots available for master sergeants. Air Force Times

Warships and Aircraft Ready for First US-ASEAN Maritime Drills

Eight warships, four aircraft, and more than a thousand personnel from the US and ten Southeast Asian countries will join maritime drills kicking off Sept. 2, as part of a joint exercise extending into the flashpoint South China Sea. The first Asean-US Maritime Exercise (AUMX) between the regional bloc and Washington lasts for five days, starting at the Sattahip Naval Base in Thailand and ending in Singapore. Agence France-Presse via

Yokota Air Base Hosts Pacific Unity 2019

The four-day bilateral training event spanning from Aug. 20-23 brought together airmen from throughout the Pacific to team up with Japanese Air Self-Defense Force service members to learn the advanced rapid airfield damage repair skills necessary to respond in wartime contingency operations. USAF release

US Envoy Meets Afghanistan’s President over US-Taliban Talks

A US envoy has met with the Afghan president in the capital, Kabul, to brief him on the latest round of talks with the Taliban as a deal nears on ending America’s longest war, an official said Sept 2. NBC Washington and Associated Press

More Than 100 Military Construction Projects Could Be Put on Hold to Free Up Funds for a US-Mexico Border Wall

The Pentagon is prepared to fund 175 miles of border wall construction, Pentagon officials said Sept. 3, using $3.6 billion in military construction funds that had been designated for 127 projects over the next year. Officials declined to release a full list of the affected projects until the Pentagon has finished notifying the lawmakers who oversee the districts where they are planned, but said that family housing, barracks, or projects that have had contracts awarded or are expected to be awarded in fiscal year 2020 will not be affected. Military Times

OPINION: Women Help Prevent Terrorism. Congress Should Encourage the Pentagon to Pay Attention

“As Congress argues over the 2020 defense authorization bill, there is one issue that should provide common ground: the benefits of investing in women’s contributions to security,” writes Jamille Bigio, a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy Program. “The House has already passed a set of provisions requiring the Defense Department to better draw on women; these should become part of the bill ultimately sent to the White House.” Defense One

In New Book, Retired Air Force Major Claims Alien Was Killed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

Was an alien shot and killed in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey? A new book titled, “Strange Craft: The True Story of an Air Force Intelligence Officer’s Life with UFOs,” claims that a military police officer shot an extraterrestrial being at Fort Dix in the early morning hours of Jan. 18, 1978. Asbury Park Press

One More Thing

The Pentagon Would Like to Borrow Your Underground Lair, If That’s Cool. It’s for “Research.”

The Pentagon’s research arm turned Twitter into a Craigslist post on Aug. 28, soliciting the country for lightly used urban tunnels and underground facilities “able to host research & experimentation.” There was a deadline: Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. Eastern time. But to do what exactly? Washington Post (subscription required)