Barrett Points to Tanker Retirement, Launch Expansion in Response to Lawmakers
The Air Force will reach the threshold of KC-46 deliveries it needs to start retiring its two older tankers as soon as November, according to the nominee to be the service’s new secretary. Barbara Barrett laid out her priorities in answers to advance policy questions provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee, and reiterated them at a Sept. 12 confirmation hearing. Among a variety of ideas, she argued that the space launch market can sustain four launch providers, as the Air Force, lawmakers, and industry debate how many contractors should be allowed to participate in the National Security Space Launch program. Barrett largely echoed the service’s perspective on readiness, the need to redefine its force structure, and modernization needs. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.
Goldfein to Present Air Force Cross to JTAC for 2017 Afghanistan Action
TSgt. Daniel Keller of the Kentucky Air National Guard will receive the Air Force Cross from Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein on Sept. 13. The medal is the second-highest USAF decoration after the Medal of Honor. Keller is earning the decoration, which was upgraded from the Silver Star, for his actions in Afghanistan on Aug. 16, 2017, when Keller was part of an assault on Islamic State group fighters. Hit hard by an improvised explosive device, Keller helped evacuate other wounded troops, calling in airstrikes on the enemy while simultaneously holding them off with his own weapon. All told, the action lasted more than 15 hours. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.
UAE Considering Combat Rescue Helicopter Buy
The United Arab Emirates is weighing a buy of the same Combat Rescue Helicopter the Air Force is acquiring, and recently received details on how to proceed from the service’s program office, a USAF spokesman told Air Force Magazine. Six countries are eyeing the HH-60W for their own use, but the UAE is the only country to receive price and availability information so far, according to Brian Brackens, a spokesman at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.
Goldfein, Brown Visit Hanoi Hilton
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. C.Q. Brown went to Vietnam in August, visiting a place where their fathers fought and served half a century before. “I realized I was looking at the exact same picture my dad looked at in the cockpit of his F-4,” said Goldfein, recalling his emotions as his plane approached its destination. “I looked down and saw this big river that was flowing very red with mud and I said, ‘Well, there it is, the Red River Valley,’ as it came into view.” Brown said his father completed two tours in Vietnam, working special operations intelligence and subsequently as an advisor to a South Vietnamese transportation unit. Read the full story by Tobias Naegele.
Tennessee Guardsmen Assess Hurricane Dorian Damage in the Bahamas
The Tennessee Air National Guard’s 118th Wing is using its satellite imagery-analysis skills to help the Bahamian islands of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama recover from Hurricane Dorian. The 118th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group’s airmen are using commercial satellite images and off-the-shelf technology to determine the extent of damage to airfields and hospitals on the islands, and to pinpoint “safe routes from airfields to distribution centers, medical facilities, schools, hotels, and freshwater sources,” according to the wing. “The products produced by the airmen are sent to higher headquarters, who then use them to more effectively direct first responders on the ground,” a photo caption accompanying a Sept. 11 release
said. The 118th ISRG can generate damage assessments and reports on the status of infrastructure, determine where hazardous materials could pose problems, and provide products to help with flood relief. The group also assisted with imagery analysis following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma
, and Maria
, as well as after wildfires in its home state
. "This is what we train for,” group Commander Lt. Col. Aaron Wilson said in the release. "This is why America has a National Guard. To save lives at home, to fight our nation’s wars and to build partnerships. We are here to help.” —Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory
Outstanding Airmen of the Year Spotlight: SMSgt. Sylvetris Hlongwane
The article “Pew: About Half of Post-9/11 Vets Say Deployment Harmed Mental Health” in the Sept. 12 Daily Report misstated the percentage of pre-9/11 veterans—with or without combat experience—who finished serving before the Sept. 11 attacks who said deploying was detrimental to their mental health. The correct figure is 17 percent.
US Lawmaker Threatens to Give the Next Attack Plane to the Army
Tired of USAF slow-rolling, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) has already spearheaded legislation allowing US Special Operations Command to seek light attack aircraft. Defense One
Air Force Touts B-1B Bomber’s Potential to Carry Huge Hypersonic Missiles and External Stores
The B-1B may have to fight for its life in the not so distant future, but new upgrades could give it the ammo it needs to survive the budget ax. The Drive
Air Force Nominee Pledges to “Take a Look at” Troops Staying at Trump Properties
The Air Force secretary nominee said she will examine the issue of service members using President Donald Trump’s properties amid a controversy over airmen spending the night at Trump’s luxury Turnberry resort in Scotland. Politico
New Association of Privatized Housing Companies Pushing Back on Some Reforms
In the wake of withering criticism about how they have maintained the military base housing they run, five companies have formed a new coalition to represent their interests. And some have ramped up how much they spend to lobby congress. Military Times
Cyber: DHS, DOD Thrash Out Command Details in Wargames
If your company or city comes under a cyber attack, who ya gonna call? Well, please hold, because the federal government is still working that out in wargames and planning sessions, top officials said on the eve of the 18th anniversary of 9/11. Breaking Defense
UK Military Leaders Laud F-35 While on Journey to Learn How to Use It
The United Kingdom’s navy and air force will be putting their F-35B joint strike fighters through their paces later this year and pairing them with their newest aircraft carrier. National Defense Magazine
US F-15s Came Close to Hitting Parachutists, Report Says
A routine training flight was anything but when two US fighter jets came close to colliding with a pair of parachutists over southern England earlier this year, a report by a British air safety board says. One of the skydivers, outfitted with a helmet-mounted camera, filmed two F-15s passing under them above Cambridgeshire, said a report released in July by UK Airprox. Stars and Stripes (subscription required)
Iran Urges US to “Put Warmongers Aside” After Bolton Firing
Iran’s president urged the US on Sept. 11 to “put warmongers aside” as tensions roil the Persian Gulf amid an escalating crisis between Washington, D.C., and Tehran in the wake of the collapsing nuclear deal with world powers. Associated Press
One More Thing
The Future of Flight is Female, Say Women Pilots Flying from Maryland to Europe
The trans-Atlantic trip aims to inspire new pilots while commemorating the trailblazing women pilots of World War II. WUSA9