Acting Air Force Secretary John P. Roth

Acting SECAF’s Goals: Sustain Momentum, Then Pass the Baton

Acting Air Force Secretary John P. Roth is focused on ensuring continuity in the department until a Senate-confirmed successor is secured, championing Air Force and Space Force priorities as the 2022 defense budget takes shape, and “telling the Department of the Air Force’s story,” according to a Jan. 28 departmental release. Roth also said he’s dedicated to helping the department sustain its “momentum on both the air side and the space side,” and keeping its eyes fixed on reaching goals laid out by the 2018 National Defense Strategy. “We can’t afford to sit idle,” he said.
746th EAES unloads cargo in Afghanistan

DOD: Taliban Violence Likely to Delay Full Afghanistan Withdrawal

The Biden administration still wants to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan as long as the Taliban abides by the agreement reached last year, but that hasn't happened yet, the top Pentagon spokesman said Jan. 28. The U.S. reached a deal with the Taliban last year to remove all of its troops by May, provided the group reduces its violence and denounces its ties to al-Qaida. “We obviously are still committed to ending this war, but we want to end it responsibly,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “It’s difficult to see how we get there from right where we are now."
Oregon National Guard assist with COVID-19 vaccine distribution

FEMA Asks DOD for Help Administering COVID-19 Vaccines

The Pentagon is sourcing a request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deploy military personnel to help administer the COVID-19 vaccine, an expected increase to the more than 20,000 Guard personnel already helping across the country. The FEMA request, sent to the Defense Department on Jan. 27, is going through the sourcing stages just like any request for military forces from a combatant command, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a briefing. An executable plan is expected within days, rather than weeks, because “we know there’s an urgency,” he said.

Little Rock C-130s Return from Africa, Middle East Deployment

Airmen and C-130s from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., recently returned from a four-month deployment supporting combat operations in the Middle East and Africa. The Airmen and aircraft from the 41st Airlift Squadron, along with Airmen from the 19th Operations Group, 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron, and 19th Operations Support Squadron supported C-130J operations in U.S. Central Command, which oversees operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and U.S. Africa Command. They returned home between Jan. 19-26.
President George H.W. Bush SOTU 1991

30 Years After Desert Storm: Jan. 29-31

In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, Air Force Magazine is posting daily recollections from the six-week war, which expelled Iraq from occupied Kuwait.

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.

Russian Missile System Spirited Out of Libya by US

The Times (U.K.)

A truck-mounted Russian air defence missile system captured on a Libyan battlefield was flown intact to a US air base in Germany in a covert mission, The Times has learned. The operation was ordered amid concerns that the Pantsir S-1 missile battery, which can easily bring down civilian aircraft, could fall into the hands of militias or arms smugglers in the war-torn north African country.

Biden Seen Likely to Keep Space Force, a Trump Favorite

The Associated Press

To the last moments of his presidency, Donald J. Trump trumpeted the Space Force as a creation for the ages. And while President Joe Biden has quickly undone other Trump initiatives, the space-faring service seems likely to survive, even if the new administration pushes it lower on the list of defense priorities.

OPINION: Are Flat Pentagon Budgets the New Up or the New Down?

Aviation Week Network

“The Biden administration probably will not unveil an outyear spending plan for the Defense Department until the late spring of 2021 at the earliest, and more likely it will come out with the fiscal 2023 budget submission in February 2022,” writes Byron Callan, a contributing columnist at the Aviation Week Network and a director at Capital Alpha Partners in Washington. “The administration should, however, be commenting on some of the bigger changes as different reviews and assessments are completed before that budget plan is released.”

Joint All-Domain Awareness

Air Force Magazine

Get a better sense of the drive for greater connectedness between air, space, cyber, land, cyber, and maritime forces Catch up on all things JADC2 now.

SECDEF Says Germany Is ‘Highly Valued’ Station for American Troops

The Associated Press and Military Times

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III told Germany’s Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in his first conversation with her since taking up his new post that Germany is “highly valued” as a station for American soldiers, the Defense Ministry said Jan. 28.

The Guard Isn’t Going Home. Leaders Fear Retention May Suffer

Air Force Times

On the morning of Jan. 20, two divisions’ worth of National Guard troops—around 26,000, according to National Guard Bureau data shared with Military Times—from 50 states and three territories stood watch in the nation’s capital for the inauguration of President Joe Biden. Some even rode the Metro to their posts, helmets on and rifles slung.

One More Thing

Play USAF’s E.C.H.O.

USAF game

The Air Force’s Enhanced Cognitive Human Ops—or E.C.H.O., for short— is a fun, interactive experience that tests for the cognitive skills that Airmen use every day.