Air Force Hints at Ditching Legacy Programs in Future Budgets

Air Force officials on Sept. 4 foreshadowed major changes to which of its legacy platforms will remain in its upcoming budgets, in the midst of a paradigm shift toward more integrated and data-driven warfare. "The Air Force is leading the way with bold and likely controversial changes to our future budgets," Acting Secretary Matt Donovan said at a Defense News conference. "We need to shift funding and allegiance from legacy programs we can no longer afford due to their incompatibility with future battlefields." Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

Hurricane Dorian Continues North as Bases Take Stock, Look Ahead

USAF bases in Florida and southern Georgia began assessing damage from Hurricane Dorian late Sept. 4 as the storm moved north and set its sights on the Carolinas and southern Virginia. The storm, though it has weakened significantly from its initial Category 5 assessment in the Bahamas earlier in the week, still packs a potentially life-threatening surge and high winds, with flash flooding likely across Georgia and the Carolinas through the rest of the week, according to the National Hurricane Center. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

F-16 Only Air Force Fighter Expected to Hit Readiness Goal

The Active-Duty F-16 fleet has a mission-capable rate higher than 80 percent, making it the only Air Force fighter jet expected to hit a readiness goal set by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Lt. Gen. Mark Kelly, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for operations, said at a Sept. 4 Defense News conference. Mattis issued a memo directing that 80 percent of the Air Force and Navy’s F-35, F-22, F-16, and F-18 fleets each become ready to go when called upon. The deadline is the end of fiscal 2019, or Sept. 30. —Rachel S. Cohen

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Former CENTCOM Boss Outlines Intel Challenges in Current, Future Fights

The US military needs to improve how it gathers and understands intelligence in current conflicts, and to avoid “strategic surprise” from near-peers across the globe, the former top US military officer in the Middle East said Sept. 4. Retired Army Gen. Joseph Votel—who left the military earlier this year as the head of US Central Command and previously led US Special Operations Command—said that in his time overseeing forces, effectively gathering and understanding “big data” received on the battlefield was a major intelligence hurdle. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

USAF Developing “Cyber Flight Plan” to Determine Intelligence Future

The Air Force is developing a new “cyber warfare flight plan” that will lay out a path for merging various types of intelligence in a secure cloud so airmen around the world can access and analyze it, the service’s top intelligence official said Sept. 4. Lt. Gen. VeraLinn “Dash” Jamieson, the service’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and cyber effects operations, said the flight plan is looking at how to develop a network that integrates traditional ISR sensors and platforms in each domain with electronic warfare and cyberspace tools to “give us what we call a collaborative sensing grid.” Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Reserve: If Airmen Can’t Attend Stand-Down Day, Reach Out Anyway

The Air Force Reserve doesn’t want leaders to let Reserve airmen’s attendance at their organizations’ Resilience Tactical Pause days become an obstacle to ensuring they feel supported. Instead, the head of the Reserve’s Headquarters Individual Reservist Readiness and Integration Organization recently urged supervisors to call Reservists who can’t make it to their organizations’ suicide stand-down days to check in on them. Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.

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Outstanding Airmen of the Year Spotlight: TSgt. Kenneth T. O’Brien

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 TSgt. Kenneth T. O’Brien from Air Force Special Operations Command.



Major War Game to Jolt 4 Services, Force Decisions

The Pentagon is kicking off a new series of joint war games and exercises this fall designed to figure out how to confront peer adversaries like China and Russia, as military leaders rush to come up with new ideas for how to fight through what one Army general describes as a “hyperactive” battlefield. The “globally integrated exercises” will include all four armed services, some of the 10 combatant commanders, and several government agencies, who together will try to mesh their various ideas for how to counter threats ranging from information warfare and cyber attacks right up to ballistic missile salvos and potential clashes of fifth-generation aircraft. Breaking Defense

Air Force Space Consortium Funding Could Grow to $12 Billion over the Next Decade

The news that the Air Force is recompeting the management contract of its Space Enterprise Consortium took many by surprise. In a Request for Information posted Aug. 20, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center announced it is doing market research with the goal to select a new contractor next year to manage the consortium, known as SpEC. Space News

DOD Seeks Ethicist to Guide Deployment of Artificial Intelligence

The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, stood up just last year, has plans to hire an ethicist to help guide the Defense Department’s development and application of artificial intelligence technologies. DOD release

Special Operations Command is in the Hunt for a Chaplain Field Ethics Guide

When it comes to providing guidance for troops on the front lines, perhaps few people are in as good a position to help as the chaplains. And with the special operations community finding itself stressed and in the midst of several scandals after nearly 18 years of continuous deployment, US Special Operations Command is looking to find additional ways for those men and women of faith to help get its operators back on track. Military Times

The Navy Is the Fattest but Obesity Rates Are Up Across the Services

The Navy was the most obese and the Marine Corps was by far the least, but the overall rate across the military continued a steady increase, a Defense Department study found. Stars and Stripes via

Boeing Delivers 19th KC-46A Tanker to US Air Force

On Aug. 29, Boeing delivered its 18th and 19th KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelling tankers to the US Air Force. Jane’s Defence Weekly (subscription required)

US, Federal Government of Somalia Target Al-Shabaab Terrorist with Airstrike

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, US Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab terrorist in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on Sept. 3. AFRICOM release

One More Thing

Peak Performance

Inspired by the breathtaking views of the Himalayas and his love for the outdoors, USAF Lt. Col. Rob Marshall, the US Air Force Academy’s director of experiential learning, created the first American military mountaineering team to climb to the summit of every continent’s highest peak. Defense Department Outreach on Twitter