CSBA: USAF Must Get Bigger, Stealthier, Faster, and More Spread Out

The Air Force isn’t well-structured to carry out the National Defense Strategy, and in order to deter a major war, it must add more and stealthier aircraft, expand its use of unmanned systems, accelerate the development of new technology, and learn to operate from more dispersed locations, according to a new report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
10292019 Tournear_web sized

SDA’s 2020 Plans Take Shape

The Space Development Agency in 2020 is embarking on its first full year of work to put up potentially thousands of satellites that aim to share combat data in new ways and better protect US interests. After standing up in March 2019, working through leadership turmoil, and eventually reaching out to industry to start shaping its design ambitions, SDA boss Derek Tournear said Jan. 21 he expects the agency will float a full plan this spring for piecing together its own systems with what other organizations are developing.

Iraq Training Mission Makes Strides in the Air, Though Pause Persists

The US-led coalition’s air operations may have slowed in the fight against the Islamic State group, but the US Air Force’s mission to train the Iraqi Air Force has started to “pay dividends” as the Iraqis take on more strikes on their own, a top coalition commander said. Much of this training and progress is on hold, however, as the US has turned its attention to protecting troops from Iranian threats, rather than training and anti-ISIS operations, following the Jan. 3 strike on a top Iranian military leader and the resulting ballistic missile attack on al Asad AB, said USAF Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, deputy commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
MQ-9 Reaper Poland

Eastern Europe MQ-9 Detachment Shifts to Romania

The Air Force’s MQ-9 presence in Eastern Europe has moved south again, as the 52nd Expeditionary Operations Group Det. 2 begins flying in Romania this month. The MQ-9s are deployed to Miroslawiec AB, Poland, and this is the second time they have moved to the 71st Air Base at Campia Turzii in Romania. The Reaper presence was last in Romania in the summer of 2019 because of construction at the Polish base, and this time they will remain though late spring. While US Air Forces in Europe did not detail why the Reapers moved this time, their mission in Romania is to “support a range of operations on the continent that support our NATO allies. This includes cold weather operations and participation in various exercises in the region,” a USAFE spokesperson told Air Force Magazine.

Radar Sweep

Trump Minimizes Severity of Head Injuries in Iran Attacks

The Associated Press

President Donald Trump on Jan. 22 minimized the severity of head injuries sustained by US troops during an Iranian missile strike on an Iraqi air base as he was pressed on why he’d claimed no troops had been injured in the attack. “I heard they had headaches and a couple of other things ... and I can report it is not very serious,” Trump said at a press conference in Davos, Switzerland, arguing that potential traumatic brain injuries are less severe than, say, missing limbs.

Pentagon Gives Conditional OK to Resume Saudi Military Training in US

The Associated Press via Military Times

The Pentagon has given the Navy and other military services conditional approval to resume training of Saudi Arabian nationals in the US. Operational training, such as flying and other non-classroom work, for the approximately 850 Saudis at multiple US bases was suspended on Dec. 10—four days after one Saudi trainee shot and killed three US Navy service members at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.

United States Air Force Plans to "Aim High" Leveraging the Science of Neuroplasticity

Yahoo! Finance

Pathwaves, a Miami-based digital therapeutics company, has been awarded a US Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract through AFWERX and the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) to advance the development of the NeuroEmpowerment™ methodology. The Pathwaves NeuroEmpowerment™ platform will, for the first time, provide the US Air Force with the ability to objectively quantify their personnel's level of mental function.

Pentagon Wants to Build One Satellite Per Week

Defense One

One satellite per week. That’s what the Pentagon wants industry to provide under its plans to orbit seven new constellations—each with a different function—by the end of 2020.

Pentagon’s Number-Two Officer Vows to Fix Software Acquisition ‘Nightmare’

Federal News Network

The new vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the Defense Department needs to fix its requirements processes—not just its acquisition procedures—if it’s going to make real progress toward buying and building software as quickly as Silicon Valley does. And as of now, according to Gen. John Hyten, the process is a “nightmare across the board.”

The X Factor of Great Corporate Cultures

Harvard Business Review

When an organization understands, communicates, and celebrates its quiddity, it’s far better able to drive culture and all that culture impacts—from recruitment and training to branding, reputation, and beyond. As the nucleus of values shaping organizational culture and metaphorically bringing it to life, quiddity then activates the culture’s self-reinforcing loop in which the celebrations of its history, traditions, and successes further attract and reinforce the bond with its customers, partners, and employees.

Viasat to Expand US Air Force's Situational Awareness Skills

Yahoo! Finance

Viasat, Inc. recently secured a prime contract from the US Air Force to fortify the tactical data networking capabilities of warfighters. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, worth a maximum ceiling of $90 million, will enhance situational awareness and mission coordination across military branches with improved communication system in a multi-domain battlespace.

CAP Evaluation Deemed Successful by US Air Force

Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Over the course of a week, the Air Force simulated a missing aircraft, a boat in distress, a tsunami on the western shores of the state, and disruption of cell phone services, all occurring simultaneously and on different islands. The goal was to assess CAP’s ability to operate a large Incident Command Post, fly photography and search and rescue missions, perform ground team operations, and coordinate with multiple agencies such as the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the US Coast Guard.

The Pentagon Must Do More to Attract and Keep Good Dentists and Doctors, GAO Finds


The Defense Department needs to do more to track whether its physician and dentist retention and recruitment programs are working, a government watchdog report states. The report concludes that the DOD is not "consistently" tracking what civilians in the same fields earn. And it's not collecting data on retention bonus acceptance rates or determining how much it costs to train a replacement when a physician leaves.

One More Thing

7 Uniforms the Space Force Should Have Borrowed


On Jan. 17, 2020, the official Space Force Twitter account tweeted a photo of Gen. John "Jay" Raymond's new operational camouflage pattern working uniform. Raymond was recently sworn in as commander of Space Force and is its only current member. Many on Twitter questioned the need to "blend in" in space (as camouflage uniforms are meant to do). Others asked why the Space Force needs the expense of new uniforms at all.