Bunch at vASC

AFMC Considers Reorganizing Depots for New eSeries Aircraft

Air Force Materiel Command is beginning to think about how depots and sustainment will evolve now that USAF is embracing the "eSeries" approach to digitally creating future platforms. AFMC commander Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr. said he's also working to build the IT infrastructure needed to make the e-series work, and has set up a new Transformational Capabilities Office to help propel innovative technologies from successful prototypes to programs of record, bringing together portfolio managers, end users, and other stakeholders to choose future "Vanguard" projects.

Current, Former USAF Leaders Stress Importance of Inclusion

Despite its diversity, the U.S. Air Force has an inclusion problem, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass said Sept. 16. “Diversity [means] you ask somebody to the dance. Inclusion is you actually ask them to dance,” she explained in a post-keynote Q&A at AFA's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference. “We need to have people who are actually asking people to dance and be part of that culture, that organization, that mission, and that sense of belonging.”
Bomber Task Force Europe

Ray: Bomber Readiness Surges with Shift to Dynamic Force Employment

The bomber fleet is turning in exceptional readiness and performance since it turned away from the continuous bomber presence and close air support mission, Air Force Global Strike Command chief Gen. Timothy M. Ray reported. In its new dynamic force employment role, the bomber is emblematic of how the U.S. plans to project power, he said. Ray also discussed equipping the fleet with hypersonic weapons and upgrades to the B-52 bomber.
HIRAIN Mission

C-17s Serve as Bombers, Artillery Targeting Systems in AMC Tests

Air Mobility Command is testing how its workhorse strategic airlifter can not only carry in combat weapons systems, but also directly contribute to a fight by dropping bombs and providing targeting data for artillery. As part of the high-tech Advanced Battle Management System “onramp” evaluations earlier this month, AMC C-17s tested dropping joint direct attack munitions, meaning the lumbering mobility jets effectively served as bombers, AMC boss Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost said Sept. 14 during the Air Force Association’s virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference. “This concept, once fully mature, is for the munitions to behave just as if they were dropped from a bomber aircraft,” Van Ovost told reporters.
Here we go again: 403rd Wing evacuates aircraft, continues to fly Tropical Storm Sally

Gulf Coast Air Bases Emerge From Hurricane Sally

Air Force installations along the Gulf Coast are starting to resume operations after Hurricane Sally made landfall early Sept. 16 over Gulf Shores, Ala., as a Category 2 storm. Early announcements indicate the bases weathered harsh winds and rain but avoided widespread damage, though nearby residential and commercial areas were battered. The National Hurricane Center cautioned of “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” in the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama.
USSPACECOM Change of Command

Space Force Official Argues Funding Should Match ‘Huge’ Space Responsibilities

Military space budgets will need to grow to adequately support air, land, sea, and cyber operations as global warfighting grows increasingly intertwined, and as the Pentagon solidifies its plans for offense and defense in the cosmos, a top Space Force official argued this week. "If I was [U.S. Space Command boss Army Gen. James H. Dickinson], I would certainly argue for a budget based on size of [the area of responsibility], because he's got a huge one to defend," Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, the Space Force's deputy chief of space, cyber, and nuclear operations, said during the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. Saltzman's comment underscores the central role space operations promise to play in future joint operations, and foreshadows how the military space enterprise could negotiate with Capitol Hill to let it grow.

AMC Lays Out ‘Contested Environment’ Lessons Learned from COVID-19 Ops

COVID-19’s impacts on Air Mobility Command operations, which increased as the pandemic spread, have provided several lessons learned that mobility forces can use for potential ops in degraded conditions, the command’s boss said. AMC Commander Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, speaking during AFA’s virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference, said the pandemic is the first “thorough contested environment” that mobility forces have faced. It forced aircrews and commanders to think differently about how to get their mission accomplished. “From our personal front door all the way to the foxhole, we had unforeseen limitations on things that, frankly, we had taken for granted,” Van Ovost said.
F-15EX Boeing artist rendering

GE Delivers First F-15EX Engine

The first of 19 engines that will power test models of the new Boeing F-15EX has been delivered, according to GE Aviation. The new fighters enter combined developmental and operational test at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., early next year. The Air Force awarded the first batch of F-15EX engines to GE as a sole source to speed the test process, but has opened the door for Pratt & Whitney to offer a competitive powerplant for the Eagle as well.

ULA Boss Backs New Career Development Program for Space Industry Workers

United Launch Alliance Chief Executive Officer Tory Bruno supports the idea of sending space industry employees for stints in the Space Force, suggesting it could be modeled on an existing Air Force program that lets service members try out private sector jobs. The Space Force wants to bolster its talent pool—particularly for high-demand careers like software development—and help its workforce think outside the box by rotating people between industry and government more often. Bruno pointed to the Air Force’s competitive Education with Industry (EWI) program as a good model for the Space Force’s vision.

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.

How the Military Is Supporting the Historic Race for a COVID Vaccine


The federal government outlined its plans Sept. 16 for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine free to all Americans, with the Defense Department leading the operational planning, oversight, and logistics of distribution—without ever touching the product, senior officials said in a phone call with reporters.

The JADC2 Revolution

Air Force Magazine

U.S. forces are redefining joint operations to be more tightly integrated. Joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) accelerates the speed and complexity of warfare by tying forces together across the air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains. For the latest on what this means to operators and the industry, check out our JADC2 landing page.

Lockheed Unveils Speed Racer UAS to Prove Digital Engineering

Aviation Week Network

Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works division said on Sept. 16 it is developing and will fly a new unmanned aircraft system called Speed Racer to validate that an internal digital engineering process called StarDrive can produce sophisticated flight vehicles faster and cheaper across the full range of the company’s product portfolio.

Military AI Coalition of 13 Countries Meets on Ethics

Breaking Defense

In an extraordinary meeting that highlights how crucial artificial intelligence is becoming to the U.S. and its allies, some 100 officials from 13 democratic countries met online Sept. 15-16 to discuss how their militaries could ethically use artificial intelligence, the first summit of its kind. Hosted by the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, the virtual conference kicked off what JAIC’s calling the AI Partnership for Defense, an international forum it hopes will evolve from broad principles and policy to technical cooperation on data and algorithms.