Air Warfare Symposium 2020

Goldfein: Take Risk Now to Buy Future Capability

Members of Congress who've heard the Air Force's explanation of why it's trading capacity now to get connectivity later back the move, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told reporters February 27. But he expects a lot more explanation will be needed. “The risk is real,” Goldfein said. If money was unlimited, “We would not be asking commanders to take short-term risk. But if you don’t do that, you never buy your future.”

For Missile Warning in Iraq, Thank the Space Force

A top Space Force official here argued the case for why the new service needed to become a standalone organization, praising Airmen at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., for their role in warning U.S. troops overseas about the recent Iranian missile attack on an Iraqi air base. “Those missiles flew for six minutes,” Space Force Vice Commander Lt. Gen. David Thompson said Feb. 27 at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium. He recalled a conversation with a U.S. Central Command official who said: “If those Airmen on crew that night, specifically the warning officer at the warning station, if she had not done her job better than her training, … today we would be talking about dead Americans at [al-Asad Air Base].”
022720 Jolly Green II

Combat Rescue Helicopter Named the ‘Jolly Green II’

The Air Force’s new combat rescue helicopter will be named Jolly Green II. The new helicopter, slated to replace the HH-60G Pave Hawk, will carry on the name of the venerable Vietnam-era HH-3E, which flew combat rescue missions from 1967 to 1995. Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett unveiled the name during her keynote at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 27 with an early production model on-site.
Lt. Gen. Thompson speaks at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium

Space Force Finalizing Personnel Decisions, Legislative Proposal

The Department of the Air Force is finished internally coordinating which USAF units will move into the Space Force and is awaiting Secretary Barbara Barrett’s approval, a top space official said Feb. 27. The first group of people who will be asked to re-commission and re-enlist into the Space Force are those with the specialty codes 13S, or space operators, and 1C6, or the enlisted equivalent. Those personnel will likely come in by the end of September, Space Force Vice Commander Lt. Gen. David Thompson said. The second group will be the intelligence officers, engineers, acquisition experts, and other related career fields who are crucial to space operations. They may begin joining the Space Force sometime in fiscal 2021. The Space Force is also within days of delivering a legislative proposal to Capitol Hill to shape the fiscal 2021 defense policy bill.
Gen. Mike Holmes, Air Combat Command

Holmes Lays Out ‘Fighter-Like’ Roadmap

Air Combat Command is shifting from a "fighter roadmap" to a "capabilities" roadmap that will capture many of the things fighters do today, but likely with new types of unmanned systems and "attritable" aircraft, Gen. Mike Holmes told reporters Feb. 27. The idea of a fighter squadron may also evolve, and there may not be 55 such squadrons in the future, he added.
Gen. Mike Holmes, Air Combat Command

Holmes Sees Need for Roles and Missions ‘Deconfliction’

The Air Force doesn't begrudge the Army its long-range fires to counter adversaries like Russia, but Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Holmes said the services need to work together to prevent excessive duplication of effort. “We don’t have a monopoly on national technical means to go find targets,” Holmes said of Russia and China. Their long-range fires “are ubiquitous, and designed to keep us at a distance, and go after our strengths. I’m happy we’re building additional long-range fires capabilities, but we just have to make sure we’re able to target them.”
022720 Awards

AFSOC Reviewing Valor Awards for Possible Upgrade

Air Force Special Operations Command is collecting evidence that may bolster a few valor cases for upgrades, possibly even to the Medal of Honor. The review is using hindsight to determine “where did we perhaps undershoot in terms” of the award nomination, Air Force Special Operations Command boss Lt. Gen. James Slife said Feb. 27 at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium. While he would not offer specific cases, he said the command is "doing a comprehensive search for the evidence that is out there.”
70 ARS Refuels F-35As

AFRC Re-Examining Possible F-35A Basing Locations

While NAS JRB Fort Worth-Carswell, Texas, is slated to become the primary home of Air Force Reserve Command’s future F-35As, AFRC is now reexamining three bases it has deemed “reasonable alternatives”—Whiteman Air Force Base, Mont., Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., and Homestead Air Reserve Base—to ensure it “didn’t miss anything,” Air Force Reserve boss Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee told Air Force Magazine on Feb. 27. A “more robust study” is also slated for Carswell, he said. The other three bases might get F-35As later on “based on suitability and what mission sets the Air Force” requires of the Reserve, Scobee said in an interview on the sidelines of the Air Force Association’s 2020 Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla.
Ballistic missile attack brings an unprecedented amount of media to Al-Asad Airbase

USAF: 3 Airmen Suffered TBIs in Al-Asad Attack

Three U.S. Airmen are undergoing treatment for "mild Traumatic Brain Injuries" as a result of the Iranian rocket attack on al-Asad Air Base, Iraq, the Air Force confirmed Feb. 27." These Airmen are accounted for in the 112 service members with TBIs as reported by DoD on Wednesday," Department of the Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Carrie Volpe said in a Feb. 27 email to reporters. This new total reflects a 3-service-member jump since Feb. 10.
Goldfein awarded Order of the Sword

Goldfein Presented with Order of the Sword

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein on Feb. 27 received the highest award USAF enlisted personnel can bestow, the Order of the Sword. Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright presented the award, and large sword, during a speech at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium, saying it demonstrates the “incredible support (Goldfein) provided enlisted airmen.”

Radar Sweep

Patrick AFB, Cape Canaveral Soon to be Renamed Space Force Bases

Space News

Preparations are underway to officially transition Florida’s Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to the U.S. Space Force. There is still no firm date for the actual name change but it could happen sometime in March, said Brig. Gen. Douglas Schiess, commander of the 45th Space Wing and director of the Eastern Range.

New GPS Sats Can Maneuver & Resist Jamming

Breaking Defense

AFA 2020: Not only will the Space Force’s new positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) constellation, called NTS-3, provide jam-resistant capabilities to troops on the battlefield, the satellites will be able to rapidly redeploy to provide coverage where it’s most needed, says Bill Gattle, president of L3Harris Space Systems.

Al-Qaeda, ISIS Affiliates Team Up in West Africa

The Associated Press

The only place in the world where fighters linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group are cooperating is in West Africa’s sprawling Sahel region, giving the extremists greater depth as they push into new areas, according to the commander of the U.S. military’s special forces in Africa.

Pentagon Policy Chief's Firing Was Part of White House Purge


The White House demanded the ouster of Pentagon policy chief John Rood last week after the former industry executive opposed the administration on plans to pull U.S. troops from Syria and its policy toward Chinese tech giant Huawei, six current and former Trump administration officials tell POLITICO.

Opinion: Beware a Peace Deal That May Spell War

Defense One

Americans, so we are told, don’t care about foreign policy. Every poll shows it is a low voter priority. But Americans do care about U.S. troops and their ability to safeguard our country, prevent war, and preserve our way of life. That matters. In that spirit, every American should pay attention to the Feb. 28, announcement of a peace deal with the Taliban that the Trump administration is expected to sign. It might not create peace, wrote Tara Sonenshine, former U.S.undersecretary of State for public diplomacy in Defense One.

Faster Acquisition

Air Force Magazine

The Air Force is leveraging emerging technologies and new legislation to accelerate acquisition decisions and streamline sustainment. Read more here.