168th Wing brings new F-35s to Eielson

Report: USAF Can Relocate Fighter Squadrons, Go Virtual to Improve Training

Air Force fighter jets will lose out on the benefits of upgraded training ranges unless the service also decides to relocate certain squadrons, according to a new RAND Corp. report. The Air Force contends its crumbling, outdated training infrastructure doesn’t offer what Airmen need to learn how to fly against adversary pilots and threats like surface-to-air missiles or communications jammers. Improving those ranges is one aspect of a multibillion-dollar push to modernize air bases and adopt better virtual training tools. But the service risks shortchanging its most advanced fighter fleets—the F-22 and F-35—if it moves forward with range updates alone, RAND experts argue.

B-1B Makes First US Bomber Visit to India Since 1945

A B-1B bomber from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., landed in Bengaluru, India, on Feb. 3 as part of the Aero India trade show, marking the first time a U.S. bomber has landed in India since 1945. The Lancer, there for a Bomber Task Force mission and to underscore warming military ties between Washington and New Delhi, conducted a flyby and went on static display at the show.

Design Gets Underway on DARPA’s ‘LongShot’ Drone

Development of a new breed of unmanned aircraft is now underway, as three major defense companies earned contracts to start designing a future system known as “LongShot.” The LongShot program wants to create an unmanned weapons porter that can be shot from another plane before firing multiple air-to-air missiles itself, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which runs the effort. DARPA announced Feb. 8 it has funded General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman to start design work in the project’s first phase, but did not disclose how much money is part of those contracts.
Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Ronald A. Place

DOD Shipping Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines Overseas for Military Families

The military is shipping the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine overseas for administration to adult military dependents, and shots will be rolled out in a parallel manner to what's happening stateside, Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place said. “We're shipping vaccine overseas right now and moving through a phase model, [the] same phase model we're using here in the United States,” he explained during a virtual town hall co-hosted by the nonprofit Blue Star Families and the American Red Cross. “For the most part, we've not yet reached healthy family members.”
National Guard Support Mission

ANG Deployments to D.C. Expected to Cost $62M

The Defense Department estimates that National Guard deployments to Washington, D.C., that began in the wake of the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol and expanded to provide security before, during, and after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, will cost a total of $483 million by March 15, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said at a Feb. 8 press briefing. Air National Guard deployments are slated to account for $62 million of that total, he added.

30 Years After Desert Storm: Feb. 9

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

Mitchell Institute’s ‘Aerospace Advantage’ Podcast, Ep. 9: ‘Unmanned Wingmen? The Future of Air Combat’

AFA‘s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies “Aerospace Advantage” podcast on Podbean

Episode 9 of the Mitchell Institute’s “Aerospace Advantage” podcast explores the future of manned-unmanned aircraft teaming—one of the biggest developments that will shape the future of air combat. Thanks to advancements in autonomy, machine learning, computer processing power, and the ability to connect and share information, unmanned aerial vehicles and traditional crewed aircraft will partner in incredibly complementary ways. Host retired Air Force Lt. Col. John Baum speaks with combat pilot Col. Don “Stryker” Haley, one of the Air Force’s top experts on the subject, retired USAF Col. Mark Gunzinger of the Mitchell team, as well as two of the leading aerospace industry experts in this realm: Steve Fendley, president of the unmanned systems division at Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, and Mike Atwood, senior director for advanced programs at General Atomics.

JADC2 Strategy to Hit Milley’s Desk in Days

Breaking Defense

The top-level, classified strategy laying out the US military’s new approach to decision-making in any future conflict with peer adversaries—Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2)—is about to hit the desk of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley, says Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, who leads the effort as the head of the J6.

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.

After Reshuffling, Israel Could Create ‘Opportunities’ for Regional Military Cooperation

Defense News

The Trump administration’s decision to move military responsibility for Israel from U.S. European Command to U.S. Central Command will help work toward a collective approach to security in a region where America’s main allies have traditionally been in conflict. That’s the read from Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of CENTCOM, who said Feb. 8 that “bureaucratically, it’s just the thing that makes it a little easier to work those relationships.”

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302 Fairfield Housing Units Sit Vacant. Why? Air Force Won't Turn the Water On

San Francisco Chronicle

For all its promise as an idyllic family oasis, a 52-acre property adjacent to Travis Air Force Base, Calif., in Solano County sits vacant. After 20 years housing hundreds of Air Force families, for the last decade the community’s 302 units have been unoccupied, a victim of the military’s decision to shut off the water and sewer lines that serve the property.

One More Thing

NSC Memo May Spell End Of National Space Council

Breaking Defense

A new White House executive order appears to route all future national security space policy decisions through the National Security Council (NSC), in a move numerous experts and former officials say may signal a Biden administration decision to abandon the National Space Council.