Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett

Barrett, Five Other Top USAF Civilians to Leave Posts

Six high-ranking Air Force officials will say goodbye to the service Jan. 14 as they prepare to leave their posts when the Trump administration departs next week. The Department of the Air Force will bid farewell to Secretary Barbara M. Barrett in a ceremony. Also on the way out are acting Air Force Undersecretary Shon J. Manasco, Comptroller John P. Roth, General Counsel Thomas E. Ayres, acquisition boss Will Roper, and Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Energy John W. Henderson, according to the event’s livestream page. Their last day on the job will be Jan. 19, the day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. An Air Force spokeswoman said the department does not yet have a full slate of acting officials to fill the positions that will be open starting Jan. 20.
SERE Pipeline

USAF Finds Key To Raising SERE Graduation Rates

After years of struggling with high failure rates at the Air Force’s rigorous Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape Specialist Apprentice Course, officials think they’ve finally cracked the code. Twenty-six of 28 new SERE specialists graduated on Jan. 7, the highest-ever graduation rate. Of the two who didn’t make it, one dropped because of an injury and will retake the course. In the past, only about half the candidates completed the apprentice course, the longest of three parts in the six-month SERE trainer pipeline, said Col. Nicholas Dipoma, 336th Training Group commander. Although the possibility of great power conflict with Russia and China make these skills increasingly important, the SERE career field is only about 80 percent manned. The field is “healthy enough to function,” Dipoma said, but historically high attrition rates are “unsustainable.”

Collaborative Bombs Fall Short in First Golden Horde Flight Test

A group of networked bombs failed to hit the right target in the Air Force’s first flight test of its nascent weapon-swarming technology last month, posing a new obstacle as the service tries to speed the concept to the battlefield. On Dec. 15, the Air Force Test Center dropped two Collaborative Small Diameter Bombs from an F-16 jet to see whether the modified weapons could work together. The weapons defaulted to hit a fail-safe location instead of their intended target because of an “improper software load,” the Air Force said Jan. 7.
National Guard Support Mission

Guard to Send 10,000 Troops to D.C. Ahead of Inauguration

The National Guard Bureau plans to send 10,000 troops to the National Capital Region in the lead-up to the 2020 Presidential inauguration, with permission to tap another 5,000 if the need arises, NGB Chief Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson told reporters Jan. 11. The U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Capitol Police, and U.S. Park Police have all requested NGB support, he said during a joint press briefing with Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman.

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.

Stealth, Speed, Precision, and Persistence: The Keys to the Aerospace Advantage

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies “Aerospace Advantage” podcast

Join 17th Air Force Chief of Staff and retired USAF Gen. John Jumper and Mitchell Institute Dean and retired USAF Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula to explore how the Air Force can secure maximum value for every dollar it invests. In conversations with “Aerospace Advantage" host and retired USAF Lt. Col. John Baum, these seasoned leaders explore the intersection between technology, concepts of operation, and a continual quest to pursue smart solutions, not just pure low tech mass. A central part of the conversation focuses on cost-per-effect analysis and covers a wide range of air operations—from the skies over Vietnam and Desert Storm, to Kosovo and Afghanistan. These leaders also explore key investment areas that should be prioritized to best address tomorrow’s challenges.

OPINION: The Wrong Way to Gauge Readiness

Defense One

“Mission capable rate is a lagging indicator, a fleet management tool for resource and maintenance planning. When examined in a historical sense, especially when aggregated across a service-wide fleet, the metric is of little utility in measuring the overall readiness of a combat unit. Therefore, claiming the Department of Defense is less capable or ready based solely on MC rates misrepresents actual readiness levels,” writes Matthew Donovan, defense undersecretary for personnel and readiness.

Nebraska Bid to Attract Space Command Includes $107 Million

The Associated Press

Nebraska’s bid to attract the U.S. Space Command’s headquarters to Offutt Air Force Base includes $107 million of public and private money. Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce President David Brown said the local money is meant to help offset the roughly $1 billion cost of building the new headquarters at Offutt.

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Biden Defense Pick to Get Up to $1.7 Million From Raytheon Role


Retired Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Defense Secretary, may get as much as $1.7 million in payments tied to the board seat he’d be giving up at defense contractor Raytheon Technologies Co. “As soon as practicable but not later than 90 days after my confirmation, I will divest my financial interest in Raytheon,” Austin wrote in his ethics agreement with the Pentagon and his financial disclosure report, which are being released Sunday by the Office of Government Ethics. He also pledged to recuse himself for one year from decisions involving Raytheon, the nation’s No. 3 defense contractor.

Scott AFB’s Innovation Hub Receives Air Force Lab Designation

USAF release

Scott Air Force Base’s innovation hub, Elevate, received Air Force approval to be designated a defense laboratory, Jan. 6. The approval marks Scott as the first Air Force innovation cell to become an official defense lab for technology transfer purposes. The designation allows the Elevate team to partner with educational institutions under an Education Partnership Agreement in sharing resources, equipment, and information. EPAs, however, do not allow the sharing of funds.

Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Arrested, Charged in Capitol Riot

Larry Rendall Brock Jr., an Air Force veteran seen brandishing zip tie handcuffs during the pro-Trump siege at the U.S. Capitol, was arrested Jan. 10 in Texas and charged with knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority, according to the Justice Department.

One More Thing

Retired Navy Football Mascot Bill 33, the Goat at Center of Army-Navy Scandal, Dies at 13

The Capital Gazette

In 2012, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington rescued Bill 33 from a median on Army Navy Drive, just outside the Pentagon, after he was abducted from his home at Maryland Sunrise Farm in Gambrills. He was the latest victim in a long-running history of mascot heists. The goatnapping of Bill 33 prompted the Naval Academy to move their mascots’ homes and keep their location, as well as the identities of their caretakers, secret to the public indefinitely.