62nd APS Airmen conduct new COVID-19 screening at SeaTac

DOD to Loosen Movement Restrictions Despite Recent COVID-19 Deaths

The Pentagon announced May 26 it will start rolling back restrictions on movement, even though a third U.S. service member and two people affiliated with the Air Force recently died from COVID-19. A Wisconsin Army Reservist died of the disease caused by the new coronavirus over the Memorial Day weekend, according to the Pentagon’s daily tally of COVID-19 cases. Additionally, an Air Force civilian and a service contractor also died of the disease in recent days, bringing the Air Force total to four—none of whom were uniformed Airmen. In a May 22 memo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper wrote that while COVID-19 remains a risk, “improving conditions warrant a transition in our approach to domestic and overseas personnel travel to a conditions-based, phased approach to personnel movement and travel.”
Russia deploys military fighter aircraft to Libya

AFRICOM: Russia Deploys Fighter Jets to Libya, Hides Military Insignia

U.S. Africa Command says Russia deployed fighter jets to Libya to provide air support for state-sponsored mercenaries on the ground, and surveillance photographs show Moscow is intentionally hiding the origin of the aircraft. Images show MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-24 Fencer aircraft deployed to Al Jufra Air Field in Libya. AFRICOM says its intelligence shows the aircraft deployed from a home base in Russia, then transited through Syria, where they were repainted to hide Russian military insignia. “Russia is clearly trying to tip the scales in its favor in Libya,” AFRICOM boss Gen. Stephen Townsend said in a release. “Just like I saw them doing in Syria, they are expanding their military footprint in Africa using government-supported mercenary groups like Wagner.”

USAF to Hold BMT at Keesler, Lackland Until COVID-19 Surge Operations End

The Air Force will host Basic Military Training at two locations—Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, and Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.—starting June 2 and lasting until COVID-19 surge operations wrap up, Air Education and Training Command announced May 26. However, the service doesn't intend to host BMT outside of Lackland once the new coronavirus pandemic ends, the command noted in a release. The decision follows a six-week proof of concept held at the Mississippi base that looked to show that the Air Force could host BMT outside of Lackland in case of contingencies.

USAF Tripling Data-Driven Maintenance Efforts in 2020

The Air Force’s fledgling Rapid Sustainment Office plans to triple the number of aircraft using predictive maintenance algorithms in 2020, the service told Air Force Magazine. The Conditions-Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+) program, which started last year, and related initiatives use sensors and algorithms to collect data on which weapon system parts need to be replaced before they fail. As of May 14, the RSO was using predictive maintenance on the B-1, KC-135, C-5, C-130, and F-15. By the end of September, it wants to expand that effort to include the B-52, C-17, AC-130J, MC-130J, CV-22, HH-60, RC-135, MQ-9, F-16, RQ-4, A-10, and Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile.

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

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.

China is Stepping Up Its Preparedness for Armed Combat, Will Spend $178 Billion on Its Military This Year


China's President Xi Jinping has stressed his desire to bolster the nation's military, days after it was revealed the country is to spend $178 billion on its forces this year. Xi is said to have "stressed achieving the targets and missions of strengthening the national defense and armed forces for 2020, while maintaining effective epidemic control on a regular basis," according to state media.

Can NASA and Elon Musk Lift Off?


May 27’s historic launch from Cape Canaveral would make Musk's SpaceX the first private company to carry people into orbit—and open a new era for America's space program. If it works.

DOD Moves AI Development to Air Force’s Cloud One as JEDI Protest Drags on

Federal News Network

Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center director, said his organization has decided to start using the Air Force’s Cloud One environment for its AI work for the foreseeable future. Time is of the essence, he said, since the U.S. military only has about five years before it’s decided whether the United States or China will be the dominant force in AI.

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.

Air Force Seeks Industry Partner for Data Loss Prevention Program

GovCon Wire

The Air Force is looking for a contractor to develop and demonstrate a proof of concept for an enterprise data loss prevention system at a military installation. A solicitation notice posted May 20 stated that the service branch wants a potential vendor to test the POC with at least 100 users and its ability to protect data on-premises or in cloud computing environments.

Army Eyes Kessel Run Model to Boost Software Capabilities

Federal Computer Week

The Army is looking to bolster its in-house software capabilities by building software factories like Kessel Run, the Air Force's agile software development program. The Army's chief technology officer, William Robinson, said the service is planning to emulate the Air Force's model as part of a larger effort to better prepare soldiers to manipulate cloud-based applications, including those that perform data analytics, in the field.