Goldfein and Wright: USAF Needs to Have ‘Difficult’ Conversations About Race

The Air Force needs to have a sustained, uncomfortable, but important discussion about different life experiences to begin to address racial disparities across the service, the top uniformed Airmen said June 3. Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright hosted a two-hour virtual discussion June 3, taking a wide range of questions on racial biases within the service and across the nation. The current civil unrest sweeping the country is, to an extent, going on inside the Air Force and members of the service need to start talking with each other to broaden their perspectives, they said. “We’ve got to have the difficult conversations that produce a greater understanding of each other inside our Air Force, where we are a profession of arms, where everybody matters, everybody’s valued, and everybody’s background is important,” Goldfein said.
Esper Press Conference

Esper Changes Course, Keeps Active-Duty Military in D.C. as Racial Tensions Flare

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on June 3 abruptly reversed a plan made earlier in the day to send home a portion of the Active-duty troops called to Washington to quell civil unrest in the National Capital Region, following a meeting at the White House. The Defense Department has deployed 1,600 Active-duty Soldiers to D.C., flown in by several USAF mobility aircraft. The Associated Press reported the Army was told earlier on June 3 to send 200 troops home, but the plan was canceled hours later. Esper has come under increased scrutiny in recent days by several high-ranking former military leaders, including former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, for allowing the military to be used as political pawns amidst the turmoil.
Grand Forks AFB

USAF Identifies Airmen Killed in Grand Forks Shooting

The Air Force identified the Airmen killed in a June 1 shooting inside a dormitory at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., as Airman 1st Class Natasha Raye Aposhian, 21, and Airman 1st Class Julian Carlos Torres, 20. Both were assigned to the 319th Reconnaissance Wing. Aposhian’s parents told Stars and Stripes their daughter was a victim of domestic violence. The Air Force declined to confirm details of the case, citing an ongoing investigation, but said Torres was rushed to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.
National Guard Bureau hosts roundtable discussion on National Guard’s role in the Space Force

CBO Projects Space National Guard Price Tags

Creating a Space National Guard could cost nearly $500 million a year, plus additional one-time costs, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found in a new analysis. CBO studied two options: one based on an existing proposal for a smaller Space National Guard, and another on a notional, larger proposal for a Guard with up to 5,800 people. A smaller organization would cost about $100 million each year, while a larger model could need up to $490 million annually. National Guard Bureau leaders want to repurpose existing Guardsmen who handle space missions into the Space National Guard to keep costs down.
Russia MOD Presser

Putin Nuclear Retaliation Statement Seen As Nothing New by Pentagon

A recent defense decree by Russian president Vladimir Putin says that country can use nuclear weapons to retaliate against non-nuclear attacks—such as with hypersonic weapons or massive cyber action—if the intent is to disable Russian command and control. The statement, which laid out conditions for nuclear response, came just after the Russian Defense Ministry discussed what it called “provocative” actions by the U.S. and NATO, to include B-1 bomber flights near Russia. But officials with the U.S. State Department and Department of Defense, speaking on background, said the policy isn't actually new and doesn't signal a change in the nuclear posture of either the U.S. or Russia.
Mitchell Report Rollout

Why the U.S. Is Driving Allies to Buy Chinese UAVs

U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles are the best in the world, but allied nations are barred from acquiring those systems under a 1987 voluntary non-proliferation agreement that classifies them as equivalent to nuclear weapons. Now a new report from the Mitchell Institute of Aerospace Studies argues the risks of maintaining that policy are too high, and the rules must change or China will be the beneficiary as U.S. allies are driven to Chinese arms.
B-52s in the Arctic

B-52s Train With Norwegian Fighters in the Arctic

Four B-52s flew directly from North Dakota to the Arctic, integrating with Norwegian F-35s and F-16s for a long-duration strategic bomber task force mission on June 3. The mission is the latest in a series of bomber flights to Europe, which have recently featured the non-nuclear-capable B-1. In this flight, the four nuclear-capable B-52Hs flew from Minot Air Force Base and refueled from KC-135s assigned to both the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England, and the 168th Air Refueling Wing at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, according to a U.S. Air Forces in Europe release. The bombers linked up with the Norwegian aircraft for training over the Arctic Ocean and the Laptev Sea.

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.

Army Develops Model to Aid Epidemic Predictions

National Defense Magazine

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Army researchers have developed a new mathematical model that could improve future disease outbreak predictions based on how information mutates as it is transmitted.

KBR to Provide Avionics Product and Lifecycle Analysis for USAF

Airforce Technology

KBR has won a $33.5 million task order to provide product and lifecycle analysis of common avionics to the U.S. Air Force’s 638th Supply Chain Management Group and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. All common avionics for the USAF are managed by the SCMG and AFLCMC, including the Global Positioning System, precision attack systems, ground radio communications, RQ-4 Global Hawk, B-52 Stratofortress, and the E-3 airborne warning and control systems.

Rapid Acquisition & Sustainment

Air Force Magazine

The Air Force and U.S. defense establishment are breaking down barriers and injecting speed, innovation, and creativity into the procurement system. Check out our new page to learn more about these efforts.