T-38C Talon's fly soar through the sky

Vance Identifies Pilots Killed in T-38 Mishap

The two airmen killed in a Nov. 21 T-38 mishap at Vance AFB, Okla., have been identified as Lt. Col. John “Matt” Kincade, 47, and 2nd Lt. Travis B. Wilkie. Kincade was an instructor pilot assigned to the 5th Flying Training Squadron at Vance, and was named the top instructor pilot in the 340th Flying Training Group in August. He is survived by his wife and two sons. Wilkie was assigned to the 71st Student Squadron, and is survived by his wife, parents, and sister.

Skyborg, Weapon Swarms, Satellites Chosen as First “Vanguards”

Air Force officials have settled on the three programs they want to adopt as the service’s first “vanguards”: the Skyborg wingman drone, a weapon swarming project, and an experimental satellite effort, Air Force Materiel Command boss Gen. Arnold Bunch said Nov. 21. “We believe they’re going to be game changers,” he told reporters at a Defense Writers Group breakfast. “We believe they can dramatically change the way that we fight and the way that we employ airpower.” Vanguards will pull resources from across the research and development spectrum to speed up prototyping and experimentation.
Hyten Sworn In

Hyten Sworn in as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

USAF Gen. John Hyten on Nov. 21 officially became the 11th vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during a swearing in ceremony at the Pentagon. Hyten previously was the commander of US Strategic Command, and handed over that position to Navy Adm. Charles Richard during a Nov. 18 ceremony at Offutt AFB, Neb. Hyten takes over the position vacated by now-retired USAF Gen. Paul Selva. He was first nominated for the vice chairman position in April, and faced a tumultuous confirmation process after an accusation of sexual assault emerged, following an Air Force investigation that cleared him. The Senate confirmed Hyten on Sept. 26 by a vote of 75-22. Hyten, with an extensive background in space and nuclear operations, is expected to be a key leader in the stand up of US Space Command and in the possible creation of the new Space Force.
Florida Senator Rick Scott visits Tyndall Air Force Base

AT&T Announces Start of 5G Network Rollout at Tyndall AFB

AT&T will start bringing fifth-generation wireless networking to Tyndall AFB, Fla., in early 2020, the company said in a Nov. 21 release. “AT&T is comprehensively rebuilding and modernizing communications infrastructure and capabilities across Tyndall,” the company said. “It is providing future-forward networking capabilities … to support augmented and virtual reality, [the Internet of Things], and a broad array of innovative technologies.” The company is working under a $23.6 million, sole-source contract awarded Sept. 30, according to a spokesman. It will progress through a “rolling plan” based on how quickly the Air Force and other vendors are able to rebuild the base that was destroyed by Category 5 Hurricane Michael in 2018.
KC-46 undergoes WARPs testing

KC-46 Successfully Tests Wing Refueling Pods

The KC-46 has successfully completed testing of the aircraft’s wing refueling pods—a key capability of the new tanker. During the tests at Edwards AFB, Calif., the KC-46 test program used the Wing Aerial Refueling Pods to refuel an AV-8B, F-18D, and F-18G, according to a Nov. 21 Edwards release. Now that the test period has concluded, engineers are reviewing data before the pod systems can be certified by the Aerial Refueling Certification Agency. The KC-46 program faces a long road ahead in testing, with continued problems addressing multiple “category one” deficiencies.
2019 Raincross Aircrew Excellence Award

Charleston C-17 Crew Awarded for Handling In-Flight Fire

A JB Charleston, S.C., C-17 crew recently received an award for how it handled an in-flight emergency, including a fire that caused extensive damage to the aircraft, while transporting a Coast Guard helicopter in Central and South America. The crew of REACH 111 on Nov. 19 was awarded the 2019 Raincross Trophy, recognizing the best in 4th Air Force, for the June mission. During the flight, the C-17 was forced to return to base as a fire spread through the wing and pylons of the aircraft.

Pratt Gets a $762.5 Million Add for F-35 Engines

Pratt & Whitney received a $762.5 million modification to a previously awarded fixed-price incentive fee contract for F-35 fighter engines on Nov. 22. The modification funds 48 F135-100 engines for Air Force F-35A aircraft, and 10 F135-600 engines for Marine Corps F-35B aircraft. The Air Force work is worth $521.5 million and the Marine powerplants represent $241 million of the award; together they fund US engines in the F-35 Lot 14 production. All the funds are obligated immediately and none expire at the end of the fiscal year. About 85 percent of the work will be done at Pratt’s East Hartford, Conn., facilities, with the rest at its Indianapolis, Ind. plant (11.8 percent) and Bristol, UK (2.9 percent). The work is to be completed in April 2022.

Radar Sweep

Navy Secretary Ousted Over Handling of SEAL's Trident Dispute


Defense Secretary Mark Esper is stepping into the commotion over disgraced Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, asking for the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer over the matter and directing that Gallagher keep his trident, the Pentagon announced late Sunday night. Esper lost trust and confidence in Spencer, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said in a statement, "regarding his lack of candor over conversations with the White House" concerning Gallagher.

OPINION: SECDEF Esper, Don’t Make Gates’ Mistakes With Night Court

Breaking Defense

“As he decides what should be sacrificed to align with the defense strategy, he should beware of the Gates trap,” writes Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow with the American Enterprise Institute. “Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates oversaw many efficiency drills on the job. The weapons and equipment cancelations he pushed through led to outcomes that still plague the Defense Department to this day.”

IG Found Former Academy Commandant Misused Travel, Had Poor Command Climate; She Will Seek Redress for Firing

Air Force Times

An inspector general report released Nov. 21 found Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin, former commandant of cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., failed to maintain a healthy command climate, and broke multiple travel regulations. But Goodwin’s attorney on Nov. 21 said the Air Force’s inspector general failed to properly investigate an allegation of toxic leadership, and will seek redress for her removal. He also said she had suffered “bigotry, bias, and discrimination" as a married gay officer at the academy.

What to Expect from Congress’ Cyber Strategy Brain Trust


Lawmakers in May stood up the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, a 16-person panel charged with reviewing US cyber strategy and recommending policy changes to improve the country’s response to digital threats. Nextgov recently sat down with the commission’s co-chairman Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) to discuss gaps in US cyber policy, the high turnover among national security officials, and what we can expect from the commission’s report.

B-52s Complete 19.5-Hour Mission, Live-Fire Training with Army in Hawaii

USAF release

US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bomber aircrews participated in live-fire training operations with the US Army over the Pohakuloa Training Area, located on the big island of Hawaii, Nov. 15 and 18. During the two separate days, two B-52 bombers coordinated with members of the 25th Air Support Operations Squadron and US Army Pacific 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, 2nd Brigade Combat Team joint terminal attack controllers, also known as JTACs, to deliver a mixed payload of unguided, precision-guided, and laser-guided weapons.

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Airman Could Face Court-Martial over Fatal Crash

Albuquerque Journal

More than 10 years in prison. Or nothing at all. Those are two possible outcomes facing a Kirtland Air Force Base airman after he fatally struck a woman with his car in southeast Albuquerque, N.M., earlier this year.

One More Thing

CMSAF Premieres Blueprint Leadership Podcast

USAF podcast

“Now, during this time, you’ll hear from some of my friends and some of my favorite leaders across the Air Force and around the world, and we’ll be discussing all things leadership,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright explains in Episode 1 of the new podcast, which features him in conversation with Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell. “Our goal is to provide insights, tips, and ultimately, we wanna help current and future leaders find their path and reach their leadership goals.”