Gen. Brown vAWS

Brown: New Force Deployment Strategy Coming, Legacy Not Just Old Platforms

Airmen will have more predictability about deployments under the new force presentation model the Air Force is developing, but the application will make USAF less predictable to adversaries, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said Feb. 24. He also explained what he considers "legacy" systems, to be divested to make room for new capabilities and technologies.
KC-46 at Andrews

Air Mobility Command to Start Integrating KC-46 Into Limited Operations

The Air Force’s next generation tanker is starting to go operational, but in a very limited way, with the goal of freeing up older planes for combat missions. Air Mobility Command announced Feb. 24 it is phasing the KC-46 into operations, by making it available to U.S. Transportation Command for taskings that would otherwise be filled by KC-135s and KC-10s based on what the Pegasus has been cleared to do. This, for example, would be state-based refueling of certain aircraft and possible overseas “coronet” missions to deploy fighters that use its centerline drogue system, such as F/A-18s. AMC boss Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost said during the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium that the goal is to relieve stress on the other tankers, which have been in high demand for both overseas combat deployments and to support exercises and training at home.
Will Roper AFWERX

Going Digital Will Take Courage; Fighter Study Looks to 2040s

Former Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper's transformational ideas on how to buy new systems will stay on track without him, senior service officials said Feb. 24. Digital engineering, agile software development, and open architectures will play a part in all new systems. But sticking to Roper's rapid-refresh ideas about tactical aircraft will take some courage, Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson said.
SEAC at vAWS 2021

DOD to Unveil New Vision for Joint Professional Military Education

The Joint Staff on Feb. 25 will unveil a new vision for developing enlisted leaders, shaping military education to develop noncommissioned officers who can lead joint service members to be better prepared for future wars, the military’s top enlisted leader announced at the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium. “No fight has been unilateral. It has taken a joint effort, a multinational effort to get after the mission at hand. And that is the model we have to follow from now on,” said Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Ramón Colón-López, the first Air Force member to serve in the role. “So, the joint perspective is critical to the success of future missions.”
Perseverance Mars rover

To Inspire New USAF Tech, Look to Mars Rover

Last week, NASA’s Perseverance rover thrilled citizens of Earth when it landed on Mars with the promise of a new chapter in red planet exploration. But the military could also learn a thing or two from the spacecraft’s trip for future research and development efforts, Space Force Chief Scientist Joel B. Mozer said Feb. 24 during AFA’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium. NASA “took a very advanced machine with tons of advanced sensors to a distant, hostile place without real-time communication or [positioning, navigation, and timing] infrastructure,” Mozer said. “They put their package right on target, using automated decision-making and terrain-relative navigation. These are exactly the technologies that we will need to fight wars in the future.”

PACAF Boss Calls for E-7s to Replace Aging E-3 AWACS

The head of Pacific Air Forces is calling for new aircraft in his theater to meet the need for air superiority, including a quick short-term replacement for aging airborne warning and control aircraft and, in the future, the service’s next generation fighter. PACAF boss Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach told reporters during the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium he is advocating for the Air Force to quickly procure the E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft, the Boeing 737-based aircraft already in use by Australia and South Korea to replace aging E-3 Sentrys that have struggled to get in the air. “The fact is, we actually need something relatively quick because of the reliability of the E-3,” Wilsbach said. “It gets harder and harder to get airborne.”
Nathan Diller

AFWERX Aims to Formally Launch SpaceWERX This Summer

AFWERX expects to formally launch SpaceWERX—a center for military-space-centric innovation intended to support Space Force acquisition—this summer, AFWERX director Col. Nathan Diller told reporters at the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium on Feb. 24. “We are expecting very soon—in the coming months—to actually narrow down that space topic into what would be our space prime,” Diller said. “That will be the first prime that will be moving forward under our current plan.”
racial Review

How USAF and the Space Force Can Move Forward on Diversity and Inclusion

The Department of the Air Force’s new Office of Diversity and Inclusion is using the findings of the Air Force Inspector General’s 2020 Independent Racial Disparity Review and the framework the office used during its time as a task force to mold its future efforts, the office's boss and Acting Senior Advisor on Diversity and Inclusion Tawanda R. Rooney said at the Air Force Association’s 2021 virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium. She said her office, which was formally established on Jan. 11, is taking a three-pronged approach to its mission, focusing on how to improve culture, increase diversity, and quantify its progress on both fronts.
Gen. Tod D. Wolters

EUCOM Boss: Russia, China Recognizing Importance of Space as USSF Grows

The creation and growth of the U.S. Space Force comes as Russia and China have recognized the importance of a military presence in space, and the U.S. and NATO need to ensure they have access to the best “indications and warnings” in that domain, the head of U.S. forces in Europe said. USAF Gen. Tod D. Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander-Europe, said during the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium that the U.S. military still needs to improve its presence in space to ensure it can stay ahead of these potential adversaries.

30 Years After Desert Storm: Feb. 25

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.


A Radar Sweep item that ran in the Feb. 24 Daily Report newsletter misstated the rank of retired Air Force Gen. John Michael Loh. He is a retired four-star. The item has been updated online.

Radar Sweep

WATCH: vAWS ‘21 Day 1 Highlight Report

Air Force Magazine

The new enlisted guide to professional military education; the Chief of Staff on force employment and legacy systems; and the KC-46 begins to contribute. All this and more from Day 1 of the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.

Austin Eyes Rolling Back Trump-Era Policy on Special Operations


Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III is considering undoing his predecessor’s last-minute decision to elevate the top civilian Pentagon official overseeing special operations matters, signaling his intent to continue rolling back the policies of the Trump administration.

Air Force Research Laboratory Wants to Add More Vanguard Programs


The Air Force Research Laboratory wants to add more Vanguard programs in the coming year while accelerating development of its existing programs, said AFRL Commander Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle. The AFRL’s Vanguard programs target transformational science and technology components and integrated systems that can demonstrate leap-ahead capabilities.

General Atomics Tests New MQ-9 Reaper System for AI JADC2 Ops

Inside Defense

General Atomics has for the first time flown a new system on the MQ-9 Reaper that will enable the remotely piloted aircraft to use the kind of artificial intelligence and other advanced computing technologies the Air National Guard is pursuing under its Ghost Reaper project.

Air Force Considers Allowing Airmen to Attend Funerals Without Charging Leave

Task & Purpose

The top enlisted leader of the Air Force, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass, told Task & Purpose she is a “firm believer” in creating a bereavement leave category, but there are several hoops to jump through before such a policy can become real, including Congressional approval. And the Air Force is also working with other services to possibly create a joint policy.

FBI, DHS, and Pentagon Officials to Testify on Capitol Riot

The Hill

Intelligence community officials will appear before senators in their second hearing examining the breakdown in security during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security will appear before a joint session of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs panel on March 3.

One More Thing

USAF Engineer Pops the Question During FOD Walk at Laughlin

AIr Force Magazine

Foreign object debris walks are typically all about keeping things—especially garbage and aircrafts’ inner workings—apart. But during a recent safety-driven jaunt at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, two members of the 47th Civil Engineer Squadron decided to tie their futures together.