Sicknick -deployment to Kyrgyzstan, Operation Enduring Freedom, 2003

Police Officer Killed in Capitol Attack Served in New Jersey Air Guard

The U.S. Capitol Police officer who died from injuries sustained during the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol building is an Air National Guard veteran who served two tours in the Middle East during about six years of service. Officer Brian D. Sicknick died around 9:30 p.m. Jan. 7 due to injuries sustained during the riot, when supporters of President Donald J. Trump stormed the Capitol. Sicknick, who was injured “while physically engaging with protestors,” returned to his division office and collapsed, USCP said in a statement. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died of the injuries.

DOD’s New Counter-Drone Strategy Pushes for Collaboration

The Defense Department is moving out with its first strategy to coordinate and plan for future threats posed by small drones at home and abroad. The Jan. 7 strategy comes after the military has contended with years-long proliferation of quadcopters and other cheap, widely available aircraft that can easily ferry a weapon or spy on Americans. It looks to fill the gaps in splintered service-focused efforts to protect bases and troops from a low-tech problem, and offer a more holistic solution centered on joint training and doctrine rather than procurement. The Pentagon classifies small unmanned aircraft, or those in UAS Groups 1 and 2, as those that weigh up to 55 pounds.

F-35 Readiness for Full-Rate Production Lies With Independent Academic Team

An independent academic team will assess how ready the F-35 is for full-rate production, and its findings will be integrated into a new program timeline, the Joint Program Office reported. The move follows a full-rate production delay by Pentagon acquisition and sustainment chief Ellen M. Lord, which pushed the major milestone into the hands of incoming Biden administration defense leaders.

AGM-183 Hypersonic Weapon Still Awaiting First Flight

The AGM-183 Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon hypersonic missile didn't fly by the end of 2020 as forecast by service acquisition executive Will Roper. Instead, the Lockheed Martin-built prototype made a third captive-carry test, which ended up being yet another dress rehearsal. The Air Force couldn't immediately say when it will try again.
F-16 Damage

Minnesota Guard F-16s, Damaged in Severe 2018 Storm While Deployed, All Return to Service

The last of five F-16s damaged in a severe 2018 storm while deployed to Kuwait returned to service on Jan. 6 after years of work at the boneyard. Twelve F-16 Block 50CMs and 333 personnel from the 148th Fighter Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard were deployed to Ahmad al-Jaber Air Base, Kuwait, for Operation Inherent Resolve when a massive wind storm hit the base in May 2018. Gusts of up to 91 miles per hour collapsed sunshades onto seven F-16s on the base’s flightline, with five of the aircraft sustaining catastrophic damage, according to a wing release. Three of the damaged F-16s had to be shipped to the “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., for in-depth repairs, with the last returning to service Jan. 6.
GO Inspire

New Program to Deploy Generals as USAF, Space Force Ambassadors

A new Air Force Recruiting Service program will deploy USAF and Space Force generals as ambassadors for their services to help underrepresented youth envision a future for themselves in the Total Force. The “GO Inspire” program, which launched Jan. 1, will match general officers “with teams of top Airmen and Guardians,” AFRS wrote in a Jan. 5 release about the endeavor. Together, they’ll reach out to young people “from underrepresented groups, or URGs, across the nation,” with the ultimate goal of encouraging more diverse applications for both services, but especially for space and flying career fields.

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.

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OPINION: Trump's Legacy Could Be Tied to Space Command Basing Decision

The Gazette

“Trump, who leaves office Jan 20, has taken a personal role in the basing process that most past Presidents have avoided,” writes columnist Tom Roeder. “And some sources worry political gamesmanship, which preceded the restart of the process to find a permanent home for the command, also could sidetrack the latest decision.”

Senior Airman Remembered for Humor, Caring Personality, Dedication to Others

The Journal

Remembered for his quick jokes, his caring heart, and his desire to be there for others, the life of Logan Young was celebrated on the evening of Jan. 7 at Victory Church in Winchester, Va. Young, a senior airman and firefighter with the 167th Airlift Wing and 167th Fire Department, was killed Dec. 27 while responding to a mutual-aid call in Martinsburg, W.V. The fire was later determined to be an arson.