Raymond Sworn-in as CSO

Raymond Sworn In as First Space Force Chief

Gen. Jay Raymond was formally sworn in as the inaugural Chief of Space Operations Jan. 14 at a White House ceremony led by Vice President Mike Pence. “The President and Congress have given us a great opportunity to build the force we need to respond to the challenges that we face in the space domain,” Raymond said of the Space Force. “Not only is this historical, but it is critical … to our national security and that of our allies.”
Ellen Lord Jan. 14, 2020 DWG

Lord: ‘Pass Through’ USAF Budget to be Examined

USAF's "pass through" budget idiosyncrasy will get a fresh look in the context of creating Space Force, Ellen Lord said Jan. 14. “As we stand up Space Command and Space Force, I think we are looking at the entire structure of the organization; all resourcing issues from funding to staffing,” Lord told defense reporters at a breakfast in Washington, D.C., Jan. 14. “Everything is on the table,” she said, and while she declined to offer specific comment on what should happen with “pass through” accounting, “we are doing a wholesale look at the entire system.”
63rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit Maintainers Recover Jets in the Sunlight

Turkey Mostly Out of F-35 by March

Turkey will be mostly out of the F-35 by March, and all the way out by the end of 2020, Pentagon acquisition and sustainment chief Ellen Lord said Jan. 14. Lord said there’s been no discussion with Ankara about the disposition of four F-35s owned by Turkey that are in the US, though she has said the aircraft will not be delivered to Turkish soil.

AT&T to Bring 5G Infrastructure to Nellis

Nellis AFB, Nev., will become the second Air Force installation to receive fifth-generation wireless network services from AT&T, the company announced Jan. 14. “AT&T will equip Nellis with 5G infrastructure to support wireless data and voice services connecting the base’s more than 40,000 Air Force personnel, their families, and retirees,” according to a company release. “It will provide wireless high-speed external and in-building connectivity across Nellis’ flight line, facilities, dormitories, and the Mike O'Callaghan Military Medical Center.”
Thomas Bussiere at Minot AFB

Airman Nominated as STRATCOM Deputy Commander

President Donald Trump nominated Lt. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, head of US Northern Command’s Alaska group, to be US Strategic Command’s No. 2 officer, according to a Jan. 13 Pentagon announcement. If confirmed, Bussiere would replace Vice Adm. David Kriete as deputy commander, and serve under Adm. Chas Richard, who took over the top post in November.

Radar Sweep

Amid Iran Tensions, Democratic Hopefuls Joust Over Military Plans

Military Times

One week after Iranian rockets damaged military bases in Iraq hosting US troops, the Democratic candidates vying to replace President Donald Trump attacked his foreign policy plans as short-sighted and laid out their own vision of what the next commander in chief needs to do to make America safer.

Defense Department to Stand Up New Counter-Drone Office

National Defense Magazine

The Pentagon will soon stand up a counter-unmanned aerial system office that will be headed by the Army, said the Defense Department’s top weapons buyer Jan. 14. Following the Dubai Airshow in November, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord visited numerous locations across the Middle East, including US military installations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The US Wants to Intimidate China with Hypersonics, Once It Solves the Physics

Defense One

A set of small, uninhabited Pacific islands, very close to China, may be the destination of some of America’s most sophisticated and controversial future weapons: hypersonic missiles that remain nimble even at five times the speed of sound. On Jan. 10, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said the still-in-development weapons would likely change the future of war.

Lawmakers Voice Concern about a Potential Troop Reduction in Africa

Military Times

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is worried about possibly reducing the US military’s presence in Africa, following reports that the Pentagon is contemplating a drawdown of US troops on the continent to better focus on countering aggression from Russia and China. Spearheaded by Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.), the lawmakers said in a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper that cutting back US troops in Africa was antithetical to the National Security Strategy Congress backs.

Amazon Will Seek to Halt Work on DOD’s JEDI Cloud

Federal Times

Amazon Web Services will ask a federal court to block the Pentagon and Microsoft from beginning work on the Defense Department’s controversial enterprise cloud, according to a Jan. 13 court filing. The joint status report—filed by DOD, Microsoft, and AWS in the Court of Federal Claims—lays out a timeline for the next few weeks of Amazon’s court challenge of the DOD’s award of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud to Microsoft.

Iran Announces Arrests over Downing of Plane That Killed 176

The Canadian Press via Military.com

Iran said Jan. 14 that authorities have made arrests for the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger plane, which killed all 176 people on board and set off protests in the country demanding accountability after officials initially concealed the cause of the crash.

CAP Assists in Response to Earthquakes Across Puerto Rico

CAP release

Civil Air Patrol members are conducting damage assessment in support of various federal, state, and local agencies as part of the response to a series of earthquakes off the southern coast of Puerto Rico since Dec. 28. The Federal Emergency Management Agency requested support from CAP for disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico after a series of earthquakes and aftershocks struck the island.

One More Thing

Space Force Bible Blessing At National Cathedral Sparks Outrage

National Public Radio

The blessing of what's being called "the official Bible for the new US Space Force" at the Washington National Cathedral on Jan. 12 is drawing an outpouring of criticism on social media and condemnation from a prominent religious freedom advocacy group.