DOD Artificial Intelligence Symposium

DOD Pushes Ahead on Training, Global Norms for Artificial Intelligence

Two years after creating the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center to jumpstart AI development, the Defense Department is increasingly looking at how to train people to use that technology. The Pentagon is working on an overarching strategy to educate all DOD personnel on how AI could factor into everything from business and human resources software to combat systems, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Sept. 9 at an AI symposium run by the department. The Pentagon is launching multiple other education and global outreach initiatives to familiarize people with responsible development and ethical use of a game-changing technology.
SPAMGTF-CR-CC 19.2: Al-Taqaddum Transfer

U.S. Military to Pull 2,000-Plus Forces from Iraq

The U.S. military plans to withdraw more than 2,000 troops from Iraq this month, leaving about 3,200 troops in the country to continue advising Iraqi forces and targeting the remnants of the Islamic State group. U.S. Central Command boss Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., speaking in Baghdad, said the move comes as Iraqi forces have made “great progress.” McKenzie did not clarify if the troops would return home or shift to other bases within the area of responsibility. “This reduced footprint allows us to continue advising and assisting our Iraqi partners in rooting out the final remnants of ISIS in Iraq and ensuring its enduring defeat,” McKenzie said.
U.S. Capitol

Thornberry Expects NDAA Conference Report After Election

The House and Senate fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act conference report is not likely to come together until after November’s election, once intense political rivalries subside, the House Armed Services Committee’s ranking member said. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) told the Defense News Conference on Sept. 9 that even though the House version was unanimously passed in committee and received a “strong” vote on the floor, its differences will not be worked out for months because of “the times we are living in.” Thornberry pointed to the provision in the House bill and Senate bills that would require the Pentagon to rename bases that bear the names of Confederate leaders, a measure President Donald J. Trump has said he would veto and one Thornberry acknowledged comes with highly partisan emotions. “I don’t know how that will come out in conference, but I do think we are in a time where neither party is rewarded for compromise and coming together and getting things done,” Thornberry said.
Lt. Gen William J. Liquori Jr.

Space Force Fleshing Out Plans for Satellite Communications Use

The Space Force is drawing up a strategy for its satellite communications enterprise that will govern how it uses a growing array of military and commercial technologies to connect the armed forces. As space assets become a greater priority in the Joint Force, officials want to ensure satellite signals and hardware can weather electronic and physical attacks to continue getting messages through. A new strategy would build on the SATCOM vision paper released earlier this year.
USD for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen M. participates in the online Defense News Conference

Lord: COVID-19 ‘Hit’ on Defense Industry Still to Come

Industry moves to mitigate the initial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic mean the full impact has yet to be felt, Pentagon acquisition and sustainment chief Ellen M. Lord said Sept. 9 at a Defense News virtual conference. Reduced efforts over the past six months will soon be felt in missed deliveries and progress payments, and the Pentagon wants to collect all these impacts and consider them wholesale before providing up to $20 billion in mitigation assistance sometime in early 2021, Lord reported.
16th AF Visits Team Offutt

Air Force Must Change the Way It Thinks to Win New Age of Information Wars

The Air Force has to change the way it thinks, trains, and ultimately fights, including shedding a “geographical mindset,” to win the new wars of the information age and maximize the value of combining cyber capabilities, electromagnetic warfare, and information operations. That was the takeaway from a pair of panels featuring service leaders at this week’s Billington Cybersecurity Summit.

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.

Half of Troops See Coronavirus as a Major Threat for the Military: Poll

Military Times

About half of Active-duty troops surveyed in the latest Military Times Poll believe the ongoing coronavirus pandemic represents a significant threat to military readiness and operations, but respondents were split over whether service leaders have done enough to respond to the problem.

Lawmakers Cautiously Optimistic about Creation of National Cyber Director

Federal News Network

The position—which has support from both Democrats and Republicans and is the brainchild of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission—would serve as the principal advisor to the president on cybersecurity strategy and policy. The role would also consult with federal departments to develop the U.S. national cyber strategy and supervise its implementation.

Mercury Introduces First in Family of Trusted, Secure System-in-Package Products

Mercury Systems release

“Late last year we announced a strategic investment in our custom microelectronics capabilities in support of the DOD’s mandate for trusted microelectronics and to make commercial technology profoundly more accessible to aerospace and defense,” said Tom Smelker, vice president and general manager, Microsystems. “Our customizable RFS1080 RF SiP is the first generally available output from that investment, delivering high-speed RF processing in a compact, rugged package as well as providing customers with a trusted supply of highly integrated processing modules. Through Innovation That Matters®, Mercury Systems is uniquely capable of providing solutions from chip scale to system scale.”

The Latest on JADC2

Air Force Magazine

Joint all-domain command and control is redefining how the U.S. military will operate in the future joint fight—and how systems must be designed today. For the latest on all things JADC2 and to stay tuned to the latest developments, check out our JADC2 landing page.

How One Airman’s Experiences Gave Birth to New Policy on Maternity Uniforms

Air Force Times

When Senior Master Sgt. Genevieve, superintendent of the 13th Reconnaissance Squadron, 926th Wing, became pregnant in 2018, she discovered a problem: Maternity uniforms were in short supply both online and in stores. Genevieve, whose last name has been omitted due to security concerns related to her job and mission, refused to accept the typical solution: wearing tennis shoes and a physical training uniform in lieu of an Occupational Camouflage Pattern uniform. And wearing a uniform several sizes too big was not a viable solution either.

NGA, Department of Defense Launch Initiative to Unlock Economic Potential of Defense Assets

National Governors Association release

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices will work with the Defense Department Office of Economic Adjustment to help states develop and execute strategic, evidence-based action plans for promoting a resilient national defense industry, economic vitality, and increased resiliency within the defense industrial base. Through seven reports and topical and regional workshops in 2020 and 2021, NGA and OEA will provide policy analysis and guidance on how state and territorial leaders can enhance their role in national defense while realizing the economic benefits of a vibrant, resilient defense sector.

Major General Charles Bolden Honored with 2020 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy

National Aeronautic Association release

The National Aeronautic Association is pleased to announce that retired U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy for … “his impassioned commitment to public service in aviation and aerospace as an aviator, astronaut, and leader and his dedication to excellence for the advancement of all humanity.”