Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks arrives at Pentagon

Hicks Takes Over as Pentagon’s No. 2 Official

Kathleen H. Hicks on Feb. 9 reported to work as the highest-ranking woman in Pentagon history, starting as the deputy secretary of defense the day after being confirmed by the Senate. Hicks immediately met with Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and received updates on DOD activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Pentagon statement.
Top AF Civilians; Career Development Sessions at JBSA

Reardon Performing the Duties of Air Force Under Secretary

Anthony P. Reardon is performing the duties of the under secretary of the Air Force under Acting Secretary John Roth, pending permanent nominations to the positions, the department announced Feb. 9. Roth officially designated Reardon as the first assistant to the under secretary of the Air Force to allow him to perform the duties in the role in accordance with both the Federal Vacancies Reform Act and the Department of Defense Directive 3020.04, the Department said in a release. He began serving in the temporary role on Feb. 2. The Biden administration has not yet announced nominees for the roles.
Pease KC-46

Boeing Delivers 44th KC-46, Completing Beddown of the New Tankers at Pease

The 157th Air Refueling Wing on Feb. 5 filled up its KC-46 hangars, receiving its 12th and final Pegasus as Boeing delivered the 44th tanker to the Air Force. A crew from the wing at Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., flew the tanker home from Boeing Field in Seattle. The base received its first KC-46 in August 2019, after divesting its last KC-135 in March the same year. Also on Feb. 5, the 916th Air Refueling Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., received its fifth KC-46.

30 Years After Desert Storm: Feb. 10

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

Tiny Drones Are the Biggest Threat in the Middle East Since IEDs, Top General Says

State and nonstate actors have figured out another cheap way to target U.S. troops, a four-star general warned this week. Small drones anyone can "go out and buy at Costco right now" pose the most concerning tactical development since the rise of the improvised explosive device in Iraq and Afghanistan, Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., the head of U.S. Central Command, said Feb. 8.

OPINION: Will US Army Missile Buys Mean Fewer USAF Bombers?

Aviation Week Network

Once those weapons arrive, the Army will no longer rely on the Air Force’s inventory of bombers and fighter-bombers to hunt and destroy targets deep inside enemy territory. Indeed, the Army also is seeking to introduce in the late-2020s the Multi-Domain Sensor System, which will be able to identify and locate targets from the air and space and feed the data to their own long-range weapons.

The Air Force’s Top Enlisted Leader Opens Up about Her Recent Facebook Firestorms

Task & Purpose

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass apologized for posting an article on her Facebook page late last month that appeared to judge an Air Force pararescueman unfairly. However, she said the number of insulting, disrespectful comments that cropped up against her and the Airmen involved was unwarranted, inappropriate, and could even pose a national security risk.

One More Thing

The Military Wants To Produce Water From Air. Here’s the Science Behind It

Defense One

A promising new way to extract drinking water from air could change how U.S. troops hydrate in remote locations—and might even relieve regional water-scarcity tensions. General Electric recently announced it has received $14 million under DARPA’s Atmospheric Water Extraction project to continue developing a device that can produce enough water to support 150 troops while remaining small enough to be lifted by just four people.