What a Biden Administration Means for Defense

Major news outlets declared former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. the President-elect on Nov. 7, ushering in a new era for the military under a Democratic administration. Biden has secured enough electoral votes to win the presidency, though Trump has pledged to challenge state results in court based on unsubstantiated allegations of election-official misconduct. Biden’s election as the next commander-in-chief will usher in a middle-of-the-road approach to defense policy that draws on priorities from both the Barack Obama and Trump administrations, experts said. Budget austerity could affect the status quo more than Biden expected.

Pease Receives 2 KC-46s, Including 1 Previously Delayed by Electrical Issues

The New Hampshire Air National Guard received its eighth and ninth KC-46 on Nov. 6, one of which was delayed for more than a month due to electrical issues. The 157th Air Refueling Wing at Pease will receive 12 of the tankers. Pegasus No. 8 was originally expected to be delivered the week of Sept. 28, but the Defense Contract Management Agency discovered an electrical issue on the aircraft during a pre-acceptance inspection. Since Boeing did not have a tanker readily available to complete the inspection process, delivery was delayed until Nov. 6. Separately, on Nov. 6 another KC-46 experienced a minor issue while taking off from Boeing Field south of Seattle. Crews on the ground saw “light smoke” coming from the plane’s right main landing gear. The aircraft landed shortly after at the company’s Paine Field in Everett, about 30 miles north, where no smoke or other problem was “noted on landing,” Boeing said in a statement. During post-flight inspection, crews noticed excessive grease on the aircraft’s main landing gear, which was likely the cause.
space domain awareness

SPACECOM Boss Talks Wielding, Defending Satellites in Combat

Pentagon officials are slowly offering a clearer picture of the roles satellite and radar systems play in the joint fight, after U.S. Space Command launched anew last year as part of a massive revamp of military space resources and doctrine. SPACECOM boss Gen. James H. Dickinson on Nov. 5 provided a peek into how the U.S. might respond to an enemy attack on the ground control systems that talk to military communications satellites, disrupting their ability to send data to troops around the world. He also offered an anecdote about space's role as the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq ousted Islamic State militants from Raqqa.
31st Fighter Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Jason E. Bailey

Dynamic Force Employment in Aviano’s 31st Fighter Wing

The 31st Fighter Wing's embrace of dynamic force employment—a type of concept of operations that emphasizes quick deployments and multirole Airmen—will transform various aspects of how Airmen based out of Aviano Air Base, Italy, do business, its commander said during a virtual all-call on Nov. 6. “That ability, what was known and will be known for the future as dynamic force employment, that's the kinda global capability that we need to train to, organize to, and it is different,” 31st Fighter Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Jason E. Bailey said during the Zoom call. “It causes us to think about how we move stuff, how we move people, how we position warfighters in the right places, what capabilities go with, and how.”
Air Force, Moody receive first Jolly Green II

Moody Receives First Two Jolly Green IIs

One of the Air Force’s main rescue bases received USAF's first two HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopters. The 23rd Wing and 347th Rescue Group received the next-generation rescue helicopters, which will replace the HH-60G Pave Hawk, on Nov. 5. Aircrews from Moody’s 41st Rescue Squadron, along with the 413th Flight Test Squadron and 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Duke Field, Fla., ferried the aircraft from Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky Training Academy to the Georgia base, according to a press release. The Air Force has been testing and evaluating the new helicopter at Duke Field, including extreme temperature, aerial refueling, and other tests. The service wants to buy 112 of the helicopters as part of a $7.1 billion procurement program. The upgraded helicopter includes improved defensive systems, hover performance, electrical capabilities, avionics, armor, and other systems.

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 COVID-19 Is Affecting the Defense Industrial Base

Aviation Week Network

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated some of the risks that have always existed in the defense industrial base. Although government assistance and a robust Pentagon budget have helped offset initial trials, more challenges are looming.

Journey to JADC2

Air Force Magazine

Joint all-domain command and control is driving change throughout the Air and Space Forces. Check out our latest on the quest for greater interconnectedness across the battlefield.

One More Thing

Travel to Space Without Leaving The Ground

Sierra Nevada Corp. interactive

Check out Sierra Nevada Corp.’s new digital interactive that lets you take a virtual voyage to space—into low-Earth orbit and to the International Space Station, to be specific—and back again with the company’s Dream Chaser spaceplane. The interactive is best experienced in Google Chrome, SNC notes.