Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman is sworn in as the first Senior Enlisted Advisor to the U.S. Space Force.

Space Force Mulls New Opportunities for Enlisted Airmen

Enlisted Airmen who sign up for the Space Force can expect to see a broader range of career opportunities than they had during their time in Air Force, the service’s senior enlisted adviser told Air Force Magazine in an exclusive interview. Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, who formally joined the Space Force April 3 to help chart the fledgling service’s direction, said enlisted personnel could take on multiple specialties over the course of their career. “I don't believe that we'll be able to bin and specialize like they do in the Air Force, so that means their jobs will be different,” Towberman said April 30. “What you're being asked to do may change more than it does in the Air Force just because our small numbers will require that.”
Gen. C.Q. Brown Jr. Assumption of Command

Brown’s CSAF Confirmation Hearing Slated for May 7

Pacific Air Forces boss Gen. C.Q. Brown Jr. will get his shot at becoming the Air Force’s next Chief of Staff at his Senate confirmation hearing scheduled for May 7. The Senate Armed Services Committee plans to vet Brown, Navy Secretary nominee Kenneth Braithwaite, and Deputy Under Secretary Of Defense For Policy nominee James Anderson in its second in-person hearing since returning from an extended recess due to the coronavirus pandemic. SASC will "follow guidelines developed in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician, the Senate Sergeant at Arms, and the Senate Rules Committee to protect the health of members, witnesses, staff, and the public,” the committee said. “This includes maintaining 6-foot social distance spacing in the hearing room.”
Kincade, Wilkie T-38 Crash

Family Calls USAF Report on Fatal T-38 Crash ‘Grossly and Unjustly Incomplete’

A T-38C instructor pilot failed to take control during a dangerous situation as the student pilot made an incorrect input during a formation landing in November 2019 at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., causing the Talon to flip and skid to a stop, killing both, according to an Air Force investigation. The Nov. 21, 2019, crash at the training base killed instructor Col. John “Matt” Kincade, 47, a highly regarded pilot with the reputation as one of the best T-38 instructors at Vance, and 2nd Lt. Travis Wilkie, 23, a student with a “stellar reputation as a hard worker,” according to an Air Education and Training Command Accident Investigation Board report released May 1. Wilkie’s family, in a statement, refuted the findings of the report as “grossly and unjustly incomplete," saying the Air Force is not "doing right by our Airmen and Airwomen by mandating student pilots land in formation in a plane so old that it doesn’t perform as responsively as needed to prevent loss of life.”
050120 PEOs Final

Air Force Realigns PEOs to Give Bombers More Focus, Capture Mobility ‘Synergies’

The Air Force is reshuffling the oversight of its fighters, bombers, and mobility aircraft, separating fighters and bombers and putting tankers and the Open Skies recap program together with other airlift programs. The reorganization is meant to put greater emphasis on bombers and extract the efficiencies of putting all mobility types under one leader. The replacement of Air Force One will retain a separate Program Executive Officer, the new B-21 bomber will still be run by the Rapid Capabilities Office, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will still be run by the Joint Program Office.
Kunsan F-16

Long-Standing Problem with F-16 Landing Gear Caused December 2019 Mishap at Kunsan

A long-standing problem with F-16 landing gear caused the December 2019 crash of a Viper upon landing at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. The documented problems with actuators and brackets on the main landing gear of F-16 Block 32 and Block 40 aircraft prompted an Air Force-wide time compliance technical order, which had not yet been addressed on the 80th Fighter Squadron F-16 involved in the mishap. The pilot was able to eject, and the F-16 was destroyed at a loss of $19.4 million, according to an Air Force investigation released April 29. F-16 units have until March 2, 2022, to implement the order, but after the mishap, the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan fixed its entire F-16 fleet, according to the Air Force.
B52s and F15s flyover New Orleans in support of frontline COVID-19 responders

Barksdale B-52 Loses Panel During New Orleans Flyover

A B-52 assigned to the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., lost an access panel during a May 1 flyover to honor individuals on the frontlines of the fight against the new coronavirus in New Orleans. The panel was recovered, and no one was injured in the incident, but a safety investigation is planned, wing spokesperson 2nd Lt. Aileen Lauer told Air Force Magazine later the same day.
B-1B Lancers return to Indo-Pacific for bomber task force deployment

B-1s Deploy to Guam for First Time Since Continuous Bomber Presence Ends

Four B-1B Lancers and about 200 airmen deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on May 1 as a short “bomber task force” rotation, just two weeks after the service ended its Continuous Bomber Presence mission in the Pacific. The B-1s, from the 9th Bomb Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, will train with other USAF and allied units, and conduct “strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order” in the region. It is the third time within nine days that B-1s have flown in the theater. Two B-1s from the 37th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., flew directly to train near Japan on April 22 and two B-1Bs also from Ellsworth flew directly to the South China Sea.
Afghan Air Force: Professional, Capable and Sustainable

Watchdog: Afghan Air Force Faces Drop in Flying Hours, Available Aircraft

The Afghan Air Force lost 12 aircraft in the first quarter of 2020, an 8 percent drop of its flying fleet. The service also decreased its flying hours by a quarter, according to a new watchdog report. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction states that the USAF-led Train, Advise, Assist Command-Air mission reported a drop of 12 available Afghan Air Force aircraft in the beginning of this year, including six Russian-made Mi-17s that “expired” or were damaged, plus a new MD-530 attack helicopter lost in combat. SIGAR also notes that the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan is no longer reporting the number of Taliban-initiated attacks, as part of negotiations toward a peace process.

Virtual Events: Scowcroft Group’s Miller on Mitchell’s Nuclear Deterrence Series, and More

On March 23, the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies will host a virtual Nuclear Deterrence Series event featuring Scowcroft Group Principal Frank Miller. At a time when nuclear modernization programs are accelerating around the world, proposals to recapitalize the U.S. nuclear arsenal are at the forefront of debates over defense spending. Miller will share his insights into the prospects for U.S. nuclear modernization programs and the value of nuclear deterrence in today's competitive security environment. The think tank will post event video on its website and YouTube page after the live event.

Radar Sweep

Legendary Special Operations Aviator Reveals Bin Laden Mission Details for the First Time

Military Times

It was just 30 seconds into the mission to kill Osama bin Laden in May 2011 when special operations Chinook pilot Chief Warrant Officer 5 Douglas Englen heard the call of “Black Hawk down” come over his radio. Black Hawk 2′s pilot alerted Englen—the pilot in charge of the air operation that night—that Black Hawk-1 had just crashed inside the 9/11 mastermind’s Abbottabad compound.

Snapshot: DOD and COVID-19

Air Force Magazine

Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

USAF Releases M7.2+ Upgrade to More Than 600 F-16s

Jane’s International Defence Review

The U.S. Air Force has released the latest software and hardware upgrade planned for more than 600 of its Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft, the service disclosed on April 28.

Space Executive: Government Can’t Save Every Startup but Can Do a Lot

Space News

As space investors become more conservative during the current economic downturn, they are less inclined to fund long-shot ventures and more likely to support companies that have a government contract. Even in today’s environment “there are still investors out there with capital that they’re looking to deploy toward great ideas,” said Josh Brost, vice president of business development and government affairs at Relativity Space.

MetaVR to Assist USAF Reaper Training

Shephard Media

The Air Force’s Joint Systems Integration Lab ordered an additional 171 MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene Generator licenses for the MALET-JSIL Aircrew Trainer.