AMC: KC-46 Can’t Deploy for at Least 3-4 Years

Air Mobility Command is pressuring Boeing to speed up its fixes for multiple Category One deficiencies on the KC-46 tanker, especially the aircraft’s remote vision system. “I’m looking at the fact that we’re eight months into accepting our airplanes, and Boeing has not presented a solution that has met all the parameters,” AMC boss Gen. Maryanne Miller told reporters Sept. 18 at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference. “In a couple months, that’s what I’m looking for,” meaning a fix that can meet all the Air Force’s requirements. Read the full story by Brian Everstine and John A. Tirpak.

USAF’s New Info Warfare Group Coming Into Focus

Air Combat Command on Sept. 18 announced that its new organization spearheading information warfare is called 16th Air Force and will tentatively be led by now-25th Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Timothy Haugh, pending his confirmation by the Senate. Haugh is also nominated to receive a promotion to lieutenant general. Sixteenth Air Force is the result of an ongoing merger between 24th Air Force, which manages cyber operations, and 25th Air Force, which handles intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, cryptology, and related fields. It will take on other missions like weather analysis as well. “Can you imagine a world where we’re able to go take some ax in cyberspace, trying to see what their response is, and preposition intelligence tools to be ready to measure that response” ACC boss Gen. Mike Holmes asked. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

Esper Warns of Eroding Air Superiority Advantage

Defense Secretary Mark Esper, not even two months into the job as the leader of the Pentagon, made his first major appearance before airmen on Sept. 19 and reminded them the domination the service has enjoyed in the skies is coming to an end. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

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Most USAF Fighters Won’t Meet 80 Percent Directive, but Process Has Lessons Learned

While the bulk of the Air Force’s fighter fleet will not meet the directive to increase its mission capable rate to 80 percent, the increased funding and focus on readiness under the effort has identified issues Air Combat Command can address to improve the health of the fleet. Air Combat Command boss Gen. Mike Holmes said Sept. 18 at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference he is “really happy with the shift made in the Air Force” to emphasize readiness, moving “significant money” during the fiscal 2019 budget. That trend will continue in the fiscal 2020 budget. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Wright: USAF Considering PT Test Changes to Safeguard Airmen’s Health

The Air Force is considering spacing out the time between when an airmen’s abdominal circumference is measured and when they complete the other components of the Air Force physical fitness test to lessen the likelihood of them going to potentially lethal lengths to pass, CMSAF Kaleth Wright said Sept. 18. Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.

Esper Confident Congress Supports Coming DOD Changes

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sept. 18 he expects Congress will get on board with sweeping changes the Pentagon is planning in future budgets, even if it means lawmakers’ pet projects could be cut. “I think Congress is very anxious for reform,” Esper said at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference. “I think there’s broad appreciation for the challenges we face. They are looking for leadership. And I think, for the most part, they will be supportive.” The Defense Department is revamping its investments to better meet the needs of conflict with advanced adversaries, which requires bigger boosts in long-range weaponry, cyber, electronic warfare, data-sharing networks, and more, while still keeping up with counterterrorism operations in the Middle East. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

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ANG Considering Placing Top Secret-Cleared Support Staff in RPA Squadrons

The Air National Guard is exploring the possibility of placing first sergeants, chaplains, and ANG mental health staffers with top secret clearances in its RPA squadrons so Guard airmen can confide in and seek assistance from mental health and/or emotional support staff without breaking the law, CMSgt. Ronald Anderson, command chief master sergeant for the ANG, told Air Force Magazine in a Sept. 18 interview at AFA’s 2019 Air, Space & Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., near Washington, D.C. Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory



Boeing Starts Assembly of First KC-46A Tanker for Japan

Boeing has started assembling the first of four KC-46A tankers the US State Department approved for Japan under a $1.9 billion deal nearly three years ago. UPI

This is the Pentagon’s Plan for Dealing with Toxic Chemical Contamination on Bases

Back in July, Defense Secretary Mark Esper stood up a task force to address cancer-causing chemicals found in base water sources. Now, it has four months to do its research and report back. Military Times

NATO Chiefs Look to Alliance’s Future

NATO’s military chiefs of defense worked diligently to ensure the alliance is served in deterrence and defense both today and tomorrow, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. DOD release

Collins Aerospace Signs Enterprise Partnering Agreement With USAF

Collins Aerospace Systems and the US Air Force have signed an enterprise partnering agreement to streamline maintenance, repair and overhaul services.

“We Owe Airmen Better” Than Moldy Lackland Dorms, but Situation Improving

The Air Force has finished removing the rampant mold that was infesting some dormitories at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. Air Force Times

Cybercriminals Target Military Online to Set Up Imposter “Romance Scams”

Romance scams are part of a new 200-page report released Tuesday by Vietnam Veterans of America, which has spent the past two years on a study of online trolls and their tendency to target veterans and servicemembers. Stars and Stripes (subscription required)

Lone 737 MAX Criss-Crossed Canada for Pilot Checks During Grounding

While the world’s Boeing 737 MAX fleet remains grounded after two fatal crashes, a solitary Air Canada plane has been spotted in the skies, shuttling between Quebec and Ontario. Reuters

One More Thing

Esper Pleads the Fifth on 2019 Army-Air Force Football Game

Defense Secretary Mark Esper might not be afraid to talk about tough issues—such as Pentagon transparency and the US military’s future in space—but there’s one thing he’s not touching with a ten-foot pole: the 2019 Army-Air Force football game. Following brief remarks at AFA’s 2019 Air, Space & Cyber Conference—his first major address to an Air Force audience since his confirmation as SECDEF—an audience member asked the Army veteran and former service chief to comment on his former branch’s upcoming on-field face-off with USAF. Watch the moment from Day 3 of AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.