AFSPC Mulls Intel, Personnel Questions of the New Space Age

Figuring out how to keep a closer eye on what’s happening in outer space—rather than using space to peer down at the Earth—is among the uncharted capability and personnel issues the Air Force must navigate as a possible Space Force comes to fruition, according to the deputy commander of Air Force Space Command. The Air Force is building its space intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance expert pipeline as it mulls which cyber operators should work with a Space Force. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

Senate to Consider Barrett for SECAF

The Senate Armed Services Committee has scheduled a Sept. 12 hearing to consider Barbara Barrett’s expected nomination for Air Force secretary, according to its website. Barrett served as deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration in the 1980s and has held various positions in diplomacy and aerospace research. If confirmed, she would take over the Air Force’s top civilian post from Matt Donovan, who has served as acting secretary since former Secretary Heather Wilson left for academia at the end of May. President Donald Trump in May announced his intent to nominate Barrett but has not yet formally done so. Politico first reported on the coming nomination hearing, where Barrett is slated to appear alongside Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy as he vies to make his job permanent. —Rachel S. Cohen

Dozens of USAF Projects May Lose Funding for Border Wall Construction

Money for more than 50 Air Force-related military construction projects may be reallocated so the government can build a wall along the southern US border, according to the Defense Department. The Air Force’s share of $3.6 billion in MILCON spans efforts such as range improvements, maintenance hangars, and operations facilities, among many others. Some projects were scheduled to improve Air Force installations, while others affect the service’s operations but are not on its property. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

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USAF Bases Returning to Normal, But Dorian’s Not Over

Hurricane Dorian appears to have spared Air Force bases from widespread damage as it tracks up the East Coast, prompting a slow return to normal operations. Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., officials said after initial inspections that there is some damage to windows, roofs, and roads, plus beach erosion, but that the installations largely have power, clean water, and working heating and cooling systems. Shaw AFB, S.C., plans to resume normal activities on Sept. 6, while JB Langley-Eustis, Va., anticipates a 7-foot storm surge at 2 p.m. the same day. Aircraft have also begun returning to evacuated bases, such as KC-135s heading home to MacDill AFB, Fla. —Rachel S. Cohen

DOD: Contractors Will Need Cyber Certification Beginning Next Summer

Bidders for Air Force contracts, or any Pentagon business, will have to get certified as cybersecure before they can win the work starting next year, according to Katie Arrington, the newly minted chief information security officer for the assistant defense secretary for acquisition. Arrington told the Billington CyberSecurity Summit in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 5 that the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification framework, or CMMC, is out in draft form for public comment. It would start appearing as a requirement in pre-solicitation acquisition documents like RFIs in June. "In the fall, we will start putting it into [actual bid solicitation documents like] RFPs," she said. Read the full story by Shaun Waterman.

B-52s Deploy to Europe, Joining B-2s Already in Theater

The Air Force’s two nuclear-capable bombers are deployed to England, as B-52s arrived at RAF Fairford, England, this week to join B-2s that moved to Fairford for training last month. B-52s and Reserve airmen from the 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, La., deployed to Europe to participate in the multinational Ample Strike exercise, the United Kingdom Weapons School exercise Cobra Warrior, and the NATO Days military show, according to a Sept. 5 US Air Forces in Europe release. KC-135s from the Nebraska Air National Guard also flew to the Czech Republic for this year’s Ample Strike. Since deploying to Fairford last month, the B-2 Bomber Task Force has flown multiple firsts for the stealth bomber. On Aug. 30, two B-2s flew with RAF F-35s for the first time, participating in a training sortie with two of the jets near Dover. On Sept. 5, a B-2 with the task force flew a sortie into the Arctic Circle, which included a night refueling. The flight was the farthest north the aircraft had flown in the European theater, according to USAFE. —Brian Everstine

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US Service Member Killed in Kabul Blast

A US military member and a soldier from Romania were killed in a blast near the Resolute Support mission’s headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sept. 5. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the car bombing, which killed 10 people and injured 42 others, according to the Afghan interior ministry. It took place at a checkpoint in a heavily patrolled area close to the fortified HQ compound and the US Embassy. The blast happened as the US negotiates with the Taliban for an end to America’s 18-year-long war in the country. The Pentagon has not released the name or the military branch of the American service member who was killed, pending next-of-kin notification. The person is the 16th US military employee killed so far this year, compared to 13 last year. —Brian Everstine

Outstanding Airmen of the Year Spotlight: TSgt. Andrew C. Merrylees

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. Andrew C. Merrylees from the Air National Guard.



Pentagon Reveals Fate of Money Paid to Industry after Missile Defense Program Was Canceled

The Pentagon will not seek repayment from industry for money tied to the now-canceled Redesigned Kill Vehicle program, Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Mike Griffin confirmed Sept. 3. Griffin, delivering a keynote address at the 2019 Defense News Conference, said that the money spent still provides a return for the department, even though the program ended in a failure that will set US missile defense efforts back “a few years.” Defense News

Air Force Contends Space Force Should Not Have Separate Acquisition Office

The Senate version of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that creates a Space Force within the Department of the Air Force also proposes a major reorganization of the office that manages the acquisition of Air Force weapons systems. Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Will Roper says he understands the Senate’s motivation, but believes spinning off a new acquisition organization could create more problems than it would solve. Space News

Long-Term US National Space Strategy Needed, Report Finds

The US needs to create a long-term strategy developed across government, industry, and academia to ensure dominance in space, a new report finds.The space strategy should address how the nation will defend its civil and commercial space capabilities, according to a report on the “Future of Space 2060 and Implications for US Strategy: Report on Space Futures Workshop,” obtained by National Defense on Sept 4. National Defense Magazine

Military Plane Accidentally Launches Rocket Near Tucson

An A-10C Thunderbolt II on a training mission accidentally fired a rocket near Tucson, Ariz., early Sept. 5. Davis-Monthan AFB said the rocket, a M-156, hit an uninhabited and remote area near Mount Graham. KOLD

Pentagon Shelves Neutral Particle Beam Research

Defense officials are taking a step back from one of its most ambitious research goals: launching a massive neutral-particle-beam generator, essentially a ray gun, into space to fry the electronics of enemy missiles. The funds will go instead toward more fundamental research aimed at making lasers more powerful, according to Michael Griffin, defense undersecretary for research and engineering. Defense One

Air Force Expands 5G As It Transforms to Multi-Domain Ops: Donovan

Enabling multi-domain command and control is "how the Air Force becomes the quarterback, the play-caller of the joint warfighting force," says Acting Air Force Secretary Matt Donovan. Breaking Defense

Air University Library Digitizes Research, Products for Remote Air Force, DOD Access

The Air University Library is currently digitizing and cataloging 2,500 linear feet of analog resources to make the entire collection of unclassified AU research and products readily available to the larger Air Force and Defense Department communities. USAF release

Cyber Stars: JAF, US Partnership Foils Attacks During Eager Lion 19

The attacks on the network came amidst a US-Jordan cyber training program that is at its most robust in this year’s exercise. Cyber is a key component of Eager Lion, which is US Central Command’s premiere exercise in the Levant region and is a major training event that provides US forces, Jordan Armed Forces, and 28 other participating nations the opportunity to improve their collective ability to plan and operate in a coalition-type environment. US Central Command release

Can POTUS Sign Your MAGA Hat? Experts Weigh In on Recent Campaign Season Controversies Involving Troops

The military uses Defense Department Directive 1344.10 to provide guidelines for how troops can and can not engage politically, but troops still find themselves under scrutiny from time to time. Military Times

One More Thing

LOOK: Air Force Unveils Awesome Alternate Uniform Honoring C-17 Aircraft

Why should fighter planes get all the love? That’s the question the US Air Force Academy seems to address with its newest alternate uniforms. For a game against Hawaii on Oct. 19, the Falcons will wear alternate uniforms that honor the C-17 military transport aircraft, used to move troops and supplies. Saturday Down South