AMC, Industry Discuss Privatized Aerial Refueling

Air Mobility Command officials recently met with more than a dozen companies to figure out how the Air Force could use privately owned refueling aircraft to take on certain missions, freeing up USAF tankers for more training and operations. The command on Dec. 17 brought together 14 companies and 40 total participants at Scott AFB, Ill., to discuss the possibility of contracting out “boom-type air-to-air refueling” for training, test and evaluation, foreign military sales and fighter refueling missions, according to an AMC statement.

Lawmakers Fund OPIR Upgrade But Fear Overlap

Congressional appropriators raised a red flag about the future of missile defense and related satellites in the joint fiscal 2020 spending bill, saying the multiple Pentagon offices working on those problems need to do a better job of bringing their ideas together. Central to their concerns is the Air Force’s future Overhead Persistent Infrared system, a satellite constellation that will warn the military about missile launches.

Congress Suggests JASSM-ER Bulk Buy

Lawmakers want the Air Force to study whether it could buy multiple years’ worth of Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range at once to save money. The service looks to boost that stockpile for potential conflict with faraway and advanced enemies like Russia and China.
Loadmasters with the 36th Airlift Squadron out of Yokota AB, Japan, watch as humanitarian assistance bundles they just airdropped parachute down to those in need during Operation Christmas Drop 2019, at Nomwin, Federated States of Micronesia, Dec. 13, 2019. Air Force photo by SrA. Matthew Gilmore.

Andersen Wraps Up Operation Christmas Drop

Operation Christmas Drop, Pacific Air Forces’ trademark yearly training mission that brings humanitarian aid to dozens of islands throughout the region, delivered supplies for 20,000 people in 2019. The week-and-a-half-long exercise included airdropping 176 bundles totaling more than 70,000 pounds of cargo to residents of 55 remote Micronesian islands, according to an Andersen AFB, Guam, release.
Hopper award presentation

USAF Engineers Win Inaugural Top-Level Software Award

The Air Force's 402nd Software Engineering Group on Dec. 10 received the 2019 Rear Adm. Grace M. Hopper Award for Software Maintenance Excellence at the Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards in Spokane, Wash., according to a Dec. 16 Air Force release. This was the first timethe Pentagon-wide award was presented.

Radar Sweep

Appropriators Hit Air Force's 'Disturbing' Diversion of Funds

CQ Roll Call

In what appropriators are calling a “disturbing” development, lawmakers say the Air Force has diverted over the last two fiscal years nearly $1.3 billion from funds to train pilots overseas without telling Congress. The Air Force’s decision to tap the training funding, which is about a quarter of the money in those accounts, for other purposes follows years of military complaints about lacking adequate and predictable resources to properly train pilots and other personnel.

Lawmakers Question R&E Oversight, Pump MDA Funding

Breaking Defense

Despite deep concerns within Congress about Pentagon management of the Missile Defense Agency, the fiscal 2020 defense spending bill released Dec. 16 will swell the Defense Department’s $9.43 billion budget request to $10.4 billion.

DOD Terminates Threat Reduction Advisory Committee

Inside Defense

The Defense Department has terminated the Threat Reduction Advisory Committee, according to a notice in today's Federal Register. In August, the committee held a classified meeting on the "continued viability" of US chemical and biological weapon treaties, and in past years has discussed countering weapons of mass destruction issues related to North Korea, Russia, and other countries.

The Air Force Invites the Cyber Industry to Speed Date

Fifth Domain

The Air Force will hold a pitch day focused on cybersecurity next year, according to an official. Joe Bradley, the director of Cyber Resiliency Office for Weapons Systems, told Fifth Domain in a December interview that—in conjunction with the Air Force’s cyber entities in San Antonio—they plan to hold a pitch day in March or April where companies can come in and potentially win contracts in minutes.

Air Force Awards $50,000 Grant to Help Treat Infertility in Airmen

The Air Force is investing $50,000 in a progesterone-testing kit company that could help service members who are trying to conceive. One year after a study estimated 37 percent of women currently serving report fertility issues, the Air Force awarded a Small Business Innovation Research grant to Proov, a company that makes $40 kits for women to test their hormone levels.

Plan to Ban Tobacco Sales to Anyone Under 21 Will Hit the Military Too

Military Times

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, because troops under 21 won’t be allowed to for much longer. A bipartisan congressional plan to raise the federal minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 was included in a sweeping budget bill expected to be passed into law by the end of the week. And contrary to previous comments from lawmakers, there is no exception in the law for members of the military.

Air Force Moves to Discharge Colorado Sergeant Tied to White Supremacist Group

Denver Post

A sergeant stationed at Colorado’s Schriever Air Force Base faces possible discharge from the military more than eight months after he was identified as a local leader of a white nationalist organization. The Air Force has demoted Cory Reeves one rank from master sergeant to technical sergeant and he now faces discharge proceedings, said Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

One More Thing

Ready. Ready. BREAK. ⁣⁣

F-22 Demonstration Team on Twitter

Watch as Lt. Col. Paul Lopez signals for two F-35s to break away during a flyover earlier this year, during which three fifth-generation fighters flew in a single formation to represent the US Air Force and pay respect to their predecessors.