Transition of Responsibility

Brown Takes Over as Air Force Chief of Staff

Recognizing the “trials and tribulations” of African American military leaders who preceded him, Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. officially assumed the job of Air Force Chief of Staff from Gen. David L. Goldfein on Aug. 6. The two were lauded by Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark A. Milley, and Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett at a Joint Base Andrews, Md., celebration. Brown pledged to make the tough choices necessary to help the Air Force “compete, deter, and win.” He is the first African American officer to lead one of the U.S. armed forces.

RQ-170 Practices Evading Air Defenses with B-2, F-35

Some of the Air Force’s most advanced, secretive aircraft flew together in a large-scale event this week to vet the service's methods for destroying enemy air defenses, and to see how well older planes work with more advanced airframes. The 53rd Test and Evaluation Group's exercise ran from Aug. 4-6 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., bringing together the F-35A, F-22, and F-15E fighters, B-2 bomber, RQ-170 reconnaissance drone, a Navy E/A-18G electronic attack plane, and command-and-control systems from various testing and operations squadrons. Together, they represent some of the most important capabilities the Air Force says it needs to have the upper hand against adversaries with improved anti-aircraft missiles and weapons that block or confuse electronic signals.
KC-46A Pegasus

USAF Weapons School Wants KC-46 Experts in Three Years

The Air Force Weapons School plans to start graduating its first KC-46 experts in three years under a new weapons instructor course, the service said Aug. 5. A syllabus should be approved by next June, and the school anticipates that its first cohort of KC-46 weapons officers will graduate in June 2023, service spokesman 2nd Lt. Richard R. Caesar told Air Force Magazine.
C-17 Beirut

International C-17s Fly Aid to Beirut Following Explosion

Three U.S. Air Force C-17s, plus another from the multinational Strategic Airlift Capability group, on Aug. 6 began carrying aid to Lebanon after a massive explosion in Beirut’s port killed at least 135 people and injured thousands more. The three Globemaster IIIs from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, began flying food, water, and medical supplies to Lebanon in response to the Aug. 4 explosion. U.S. Central Command boss Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. has expressed his condolences to Lebanon Armed Forces Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun and shared his “willingness to continue to work with the Lebanese Armed Forces to help provide aid and assistance to meet the needs of the Lebanese people during this terrible tragedy,” according to an Aug. 6 CENTCOM statement.

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.

UK Facilities for American F-35 Jets Are Delayed and Over Budget

Defense News

The U.S. Air Force is on track to begin permanently basing its F-35 jets abroad next year, with RAF Lakenheath in England set to become the service’s first international F-35 base. But construction on new hangars and facilities necessary for supporting the high-tech stealth jet have gone over budget and over schedule, and many buildings won’t be ready when the first planes arrive in November 2021.

OPINION: Is F-15EX a Good Example of USAF’s Digital Century Series?

Aviation Week Network

“The F-15EX appears to be an excellent example of applying digital engineering tools to revamp key aspects of a mature product,” Aviation Week Network Defense Editor Steve Trimble writes. “But the F-15EX program is not designed to be directly compatible with the U.S. Air Force’s ideal approach to the Digital Century Series initiative, as it has been articulated by Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics.”

2 Offutt Air Force Base Residents Killed in Iowa Crash

The Associated Press

The crash happened early on the morning of Aug. 2 east of the Bellevue toll bridge in rural Iowa, the Iowa State Patrol said. According to investigators, a car driven by Senior Airman Nicholas Johnson, 21, of Union, N.J., went off the roadway and into a ditch before vaulting across the road and hitting a tree.

Air Force Improves Assignment Process for Co-Parents, Considers Custody Agreements

USAF release

The Department of the Air Force recently announced great news for parents—the ability to defer an assignment or be stationed near their children with a court-ordered child custody decree. Assignment authorities will now be able to consider requests for an assignment or deferment to a location near their children, even if the co-parents are not married.

Meet the Only Man to Witness All 3 WWII Atomic Bomb Blasts

Lawrence Johnston was aboard B-29 Superfortress bombers tending to instruments measuring the power of the world's first nuclear explosions in the "Trinity" test in New Mexico, as well as for the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which prompted Japan's surrender and brought the war to a close.

One More Thing

You Can Bid on a Cold War Missile Site


Are you looking to move someplace where you’ll feel protected from all kinds of threats, including COVID-19 and long-range bombs? Then you might want to bid on an historical site up for auction in North Dakota. Because there’s no better place to social distance during a pandemic or a nuclear war than a former Cold War bunker and missile silo site.