KC-46 at Andrews AFB

KC-46s Could Be Available for Limited Ops As Early as June

U.S. Transportation Command is looking too integrate the KC-46 into operations as soon as June, following Air Mobility Command’s move to free up the troubled tanker for ops to relieve stress on legacy refuelers. TRANSCOM boss Army Gen. Stephen R. Lyons recently visited KC-46 officials at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., and said he is “encouraged by recent (Air Force) efforts that will make the KC-46 available for limited mission requirements as soon as June,” the command said in a Twitter statement. The statement is an update from Air Mobility Command’s announcement Feb. 24 that it would clear the KC-46 to be tasked by TRANSCOM this year. AMC boss Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, in announcing the step, said it would be a conditions-based process, with the aircraft only tasked with missions it has been cleared to fly in operational testing.
MDNG Arrives in D.C. to Provide Support for 59th Presidential Inauguration

DOD Extends Guard Presence at U.S. Capitol

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin on March 9 approved an extension of the National Guard deployment to the U.S. Capitol complex for about two months. National Guard troops have been deployed to the building to help U.S. Capitol Police with security in the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection, and the police department has requested an extension of the presence as there are concerns about continued threats. The extension includes about 2,300 troops, about half the amount that had been deployed, according to a Pentagon statement.
RQ-4 at Yokota

INDOPACOM: Deterrence Fund Increase Needed for ISR, Missile Defense in the Pacific

A sharp increase in deterrence funding in the Pacific, at a time when defense budgets are expected to shrink, is needed to prove that the region is the Pentagon’s top priority and to address growing needs in surveillance and missile defense, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command told lawmakers March 9. INDOPACOM Commander Adm. Philip S. Davidson recently announced he is seeking $4.7 billion in fiscal 2022 for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, almost double the $2.5 billion allocated in fiscal 2021. While the Pentagon’s budget request is still in the works, Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 9 he is “encouraged” by the draft’s emphasis on the fund. The $4.7 billion request, just under the $5.5 billion cap Congress put in place when the PDI was created in the fiscal 2021 defense policy bill, includes a large shopping list for INDOPACOM.
Pentagon Press Briefing Room

Austin Slashes Hundreds of Volunteer Advisory Positions

The Pentagon could know within about a week how many volunteer civilian advisers had their terms abruptly concluded by Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III effective Feb. 16, including a list of names. Austin cleared out an “several hundred” volunteer seats on the Pentagon’s 42-plus civilian advisory boards—every seat he has the power to appoint, according to spokespeople. He blamed the unprecedented purge on “the scale of recent changes” to board seats made in the final weeks of the Trump administration, according to Department of Defense spokesperson Susan Gough. She said Austin’s office won’t be able to provide a total count or full list of names until after March 15.
Bone Saw: 9th EBS integrates with NATO allies

Dyess B-1 Supports JTAC Training in Norway, Sweden

A B-1 Lancer assigned to the Air Force's 7th Bomb Wing supported training for foreign joint terminal attack controllers and integrated with Swedish Gripen fighters during a Bomber Task Force mission in Norway and Sweden on March 8, according to a U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa release.

Radar Sweep

Inside the Pentagon’s Plan to Keep Extremists from Joining Up

Military Times

A June report to the armed services committees, posted online March 2, paints a detailed picture of the military’s recruit background check process, including profiles of different extremist groups. It also includes seven recommendations to tighten up DOD’s policies.

Recent Guard UH-60 Crashes Do Not Indicate Systemic Problem, Army Official Says

Defense News

The Army National Guard has seen three UH-60 L-model Black Hawk utility helicopter crashes on U.S. soil in just over a year. Two of those happened within the first five weeks of 2021. But despite the pattern of incidents involving Guard Black Hawks, the Army’s aviation director in charge of operations, plans, and training said he does not believe there is a systemic problem across the fleet.

SDA & DARPA: June Demos to Prove Optical Sat Link Capability

Breaking Defense

"Getting a laser beam on a spacecraft to point to a laser receiver on another spacecraft accurately enough with the right power levels, the right waveforms, etc.,—it's not an easy thing," said General Atomics Vice President Nick Bucci.

SPONSORED: Retiring from Service? Take Advantage of Your FEDVIP Enrollment Period

Air Force Magazine

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is proud to welcome retiring members of the uniformed services to the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). Sponsored by OPM, FEDVIP is a voluntary, enrollee-pay-all dental and vision insurance program. It replaced the former TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP). In general, retired uniformed service members, their families, and survivors are eligible for FEDVIP dental coverage and, if enrolled in a TRICARE health plan, FEDVIP vision coverage.

One More Thing

PODCAST: The Air Force Runs a Competition to Build a Robot You Can’t Even See

Federal News Network’s “Federal Drive with Tom Temin” podcast

Robotic process automation requires robots, in this case, software applications that do things people would rather not. A unit at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is running a challenge competition to come up with bots with the potential to speed up procurement and acquisition.