Combat Controller to Receive Air Force Cross

A special tactics combat controller will receive the Air Force Cross on Dec. 10 for his actions in a 2017 battle in Afghanistan, where he is credited with protecting more than 150 friendly forces and destroying 11 fighting positions over the course of an eight-hour fight. Staff Sgt. Alaxey Germanovich, from the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, will receive the award—the second highest for valor, behind only the Medal of Honor—from Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett during a ceremony at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.
100th ARW fuels BTF over Sweden

Congress Mandates Bigger Air Force and Increase to 225 Bombers

House-Senate Conferees require a larger Air Force in the final version of the fiscal 2021 defense bill, directing the service to build the 386 combat squadrons it said it needs to meet the National Defense Strategy, and specifically raising the bomber fleet to 225 aircraft, as USAF leaders and various think-tanks have suggested over the last year. “The conferees agree that the current quantity of Air Force combat-coded aircraft incurs a level of risk beyond moderate, and is not aligned with the National Defense Strategy,” according to the joint language.
USAF tape test

USAF Postpones PT Tests Until April, Ditches Waist Measurements

Airmen and Space Professionals don't have to take their fitness assessments until April 2021 as a result of COVID-19, and the Department of the Air Force has empowered commanders to push those tests even further if necessary, according to a Dec. 7 release. When testing finally resumes, however, it will look a little different. After years of debate, the Department of the Air Force is cutting waist measurements from the annual fitness assessments. “Along with removing the waist measurement, we are also exploring alternative strength and cardio components to our current Air Force fitness assessment,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said in the release. “We believe these potential test structure changes will impact Airmen in a positive way and help with a holistic approach to health and fitness standards.”
house funding

Lawmakers Call for More Answers on Military Command-and-Control Plans

The Air Force has four months to figure out exactly what it wants the Advanced Battle Management System to do, as part of a proposed set of congressional oversight requirements. ABMS is the service’s sweeping effort to connect its platforms, not only as attack assets but as intelligence and communications nodes. Its ambitious goals have drawn criticism from those on Capitol Hill and federal watchdogs who say it needs more specific benchmarks. Now, the final draft of the fiscal 2021 defense policy bill wants to see those objectives in writing.

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.

Lawmakers to Vote Dec. 9 on 1-Week CR

Inside Defense

The House plans to vote Dec. 9 on a one-week continuing resolution to temporarily avert a shutdown of the federal government until lawmakers can agree on a final spending deal.

Air Force Launches SpaceWERX Innovation Hub

Breaking Defense

The new SpaceWERX innovation hub, based at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., will cement the service’s effort to bring startups and cutting-edge commercial tech into the Space Force’s industrial base, Air Force acquisition head Will Roper says.

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.

Westover Getting New $43M Hangar to Service Giant Planes

The Associated Press

Westover Air Reserve Base in Massachusetts is getting a new hangar where the massive C-5M Super Galaxy planes at the base can be serviced entirely indoors. Westover officials are in the process of seeking bids from contractors to construct the new $43 million hangar and officials hope to break ground on the project in the spring, an aide for U.S. Rep. Richard Neal tells

A Woman Will Take Command of a Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier for the First Time in US Navy History

Task & Purpose

Naval Air Forces confirmed Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt’s historic selection on Monday, though it’s not known at this point which of the Navy’s 11 nuclear-powered carriers Bauernschmidt will command. This isn’t the first time Bauernschmidt has made history. In 2016, she became the first female executive officer of a nuclear aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln. As such, she was second-in-command of a crew of about 5,000 people.

Organizers Cancel Paris Air Show 2021 on COVID-19 Uncertainty

Aviation Week Network

The board of directors of the Paris Air Show and the board of directors of French aerospace industry association GIFAS made the decision unanimously, describing it as inevitable in a statement Dec. 7. “This reasonable decision was agreed upon unanimously by the Paris Air Show board members in the context of a crisis that has had an unprecedented impact on the aerospace industry,” they said in a joint statement.