Department of the Air Force

Air Force Seeks New Ways to Nip Extremism in the Bud

As Airmen and Guardians pause their daily routines to consider the spread of white supremacy and other far-right ideologies in their ranks, their discussions will fuel department-wide changes to how the Air Force responds to extremism. “There are many offices involved with creating the content for … this stand-down day, to include the Department of the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s office, the Diversity and Inclusion office, the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence, and the Inspector General’s office,” Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Col. Lindy Singleton told Air Force Magazine. The department could find new ways to track and respond to extremism among troops as result of the talks.

US Threatens Retaliation After Erbil Rocket Attack Kills 1, Injures 9

U.S. officials are threatening a military response after a Feb. 15 rocket attack on a base housing Americans in Iraqi Kurdistan killed one person and injured nine others. About 14 107mm rockets were fired near Erbil late on Feb. 15, with three impacting the air base, according to Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The rockets killed one non-American contractor and injured nine—eight civilian contractors and one U.S. service member. It's not clear if any of the wounded civilians are American. The base in the city of Erbil is one of the largest remaining U.S. outposts inside Iraq and a launching point for operations against the Islamic State group.
Ballistic missile attack brings an unprecedented amount of media to al-Asad AB

DODIG: Pandemic Made CENTCOM Base Security Investigation Impossible

The Defense Department Office of Inspector General is ending its analysis of U.S. Central Command’s ability to protect key assets under its purview from missiles and drones due to COVID-19-related travel rules, it announced in a partially redacted memo published Feb. 11. The pandemic’s persistence impedes the DODIG’s “ability to perform the project efficiently due to security classification concerns,” wrote Andre M. Brown, acting assistant inspector general for evaluations programs, combatant commands, and overseas contingency operations, in the memo.

AFSOC Boss: Armed Overwatch Procurement Decision May Come as Early as 2022

Air Force Special Operations Command expects to conduct an armed overwatch flying demonstration “in the coming months” and U.S. Special Operations Command may make a procurement decision as early as 2022, AFSOC boss Lt. Gen. James C. “Jim” Slife said Feb. 16. “I think we can do that at relatively low risk based on what we've seen from the vendors who have indicated that they intend to bring platforms to demonstrate for us in the coming months,” he said during an AFA Mitchell Institute “Aerospace Nation” virtual event.

Nuclear Missile Program Passes Review, Moves Closer to Production

Northrop Grumman’s design for a new nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile is moving forward after the Air Force signed off on the latest development milestone in November, the company announced Feb. 16. The company passed a benchmark known as the engineering and manufacturing development baseline review, which looks at whether a program is on track to meet a basic set of technical user requirements, data, and configuration specifications. The review is the first step toward handing over responsibility for those criteria to the Air Force.
F-35 deploys to Europe for the first time

Lakenheath’s F-35s Get a Nickname: Valkyries

The Air Force’s first overseas F-35A unit has a nickname: the Valkyries. The 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, U.K., announced Feb. 16 that Valkyries is the winning nickname for the 495th Fighter Squadron, picked from about 700 different suggestions submitted by the public in fall 2020. The list was whittled down to five finalists, with Valkyries beating out Archangels, Sabres, Sentinels, and Swordsmen, according to a wing release.

30 Years After Desert Storm: Feb. 17

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

Austin to Press NATO Allies on Defense Spending


The news signals that Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III will not markedly depart from former President Donald J. Trump's policy, itself a continuation of former President Barack Obama's, to pressure NATO allies to put more resources toward defense.

The Drone Defense Dilemma: How Unmanned Aircraft Are Redrawing Battle Lines

Defense News

Peter Roberts, the director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute, said the world is waking up to the reality of modern warfare. “For a while there was the romantic view that either drones or tanks or missiles would win wars on their own,” he said. “There is no silver bullet on the battlefield, and this is an era which is rediscovering that.”

US, European Fighters in Mideast Share ISR Data Well

Breaking Defense

With potential French Rafale jet sales to Egypt and the UAE in the works, one crucial issue arises, especially in the face of the Iranian threat: Can they share data with the American fighters that pervade so much of the region?

Report: Iran and Russia Begin Joint Naval Drill

The Associated Press

The Iranian and Russian militaries have kicked off a joint naval drill in the Indian Ocean aimed at boosting security of maritime trade in the region, Iran’s state TV reported on Feb. 16. Units from Iran’s Navy and the powerful Revolutionary Guard’s navy will take part in the exercise, dubbed “Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021,” in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, spanning a stretch of about 17,000 kilometers (10,600 miles).

Oversight Offices See Glimmers of Progress in DOD, VA Electronic Health Records

Federal News Network

The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs still have a very long way to go before they achieve the long-sought objective of a fully integrated electronic health record infrastructure. But a pair of recently released oversight reports show that the multibillion dollar EHR programs, both of which had rocky starts, have made meaningful progress in just the past year.

Purdue to Co-Lead DOD-Funded Project to Advance Adoption of Lead-Free Electronics

Purdue University release

A new consortium funded by an award from the U.S. Department of Defense has selected Purdue University to co-lead its first project aimed at advancing the adoption of lead-free electronics in defense systems. The Defense Electronics Consortium, to be established and managed by the U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics, is designed to address the defense risks created by the contraction of the U.S. electronics manufacturing sector over the last 20 years.

Veterans Used Their Military Training to Plot Violence in Capitol Riot, Feds Say

Retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Edward Caldwell had a plan leading up to the violent Jan. 6 takeover of the U.S. Capitol, according to federal prosecutors. The 66-year-old former Reserve intelligence officer wanted to transport weapons into Washington, D.C., by boat—possibly with three four-man sniper teams who could "go hunting after dark" for "cockroaches who prey on the weak." That's according to new court documents that allege Caldwell and other veterans who forcibly busted into the Capitol last month relied on military training to prepare for the breach.