USAFE conducts CJADC2 demonstration

Pacific ABMS On-Ramp Canceled Due to Budget Cuts

The Air Force canceled its Pacific-based Advanced Battle Management System on-ramp later this year after it already cut back the scope of its most recent event in Europe because of Congressionally mandated budget cuts. Congress, in the fiscal 2021 defense policy bill, questioned the need for the wide-ranging exercises and claimed the Air Force does not have clear priorities for the effort. Because of these restrictions, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe-led event last month was smaller than originally planned, with the command contributing some of its own funding.
Red Flag 21-2 Take-offs

F-35 Full-Rate Still Months Away, But Won’t Signal Production Surge

A Pentagon declaration that the F-35's initial development is complete is still months away, but even when it comes, it won't trigger a surge in production of the fighter. “I don’t think you’ll see a large deviation” in production when full-rate is declared, according to the F-35 Joint Program Office. “When we finally cross the line on Milestone C, we’re not suddenly going to get additional manufacturing capability.”
Department of the Air Force

Heraldry Reviews Are Done, But Don’t Expect a Report.

When Department of the Air Force leaders in December ordered comprehensive reviews of all organizational heraldry, symbology, awards, mottos, and more, to identify issues that might impede their drive toward increased diversity and inclusion, they gave commanders 60 days to make any necessary changes. Anything deemed “derogatory to any race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, age, or disability status”—including callsigns, if commanders chose—was fair game, spokesperson Maj. Holly Hess told Air Force Magazine. But the findings of these commander-led inquiries won’t be compiled into a comprehensive report, said department spokesperson Ann M. Stefanek. Rather than spot checks for compliance, the reviews were intended to focus commanders’ attention on inclusion and review heraldry with that in mind, she said.
B-2 Spirit arrives at Lajes Field AFB, Azores

B-1s, B-2s Fly Together Near Iceland, Highlighting Importance of Arctic Ops

Two B-2 Spirits and two B-1B Lancers linked up near Iceland for a training mission March 16, highlighting the importance the Air Force is placing on the Arctic region. The four bombers flew a “long-range integration” in the high north, flying together off the coast of Iceland during the night to “refine the skills necessary” to operate in that environment, U.S. Air Forces in Europe said in a press release.

Biden: Meeting Deadline for Afghanistan Withdrawal Will be ‘Tough’

President Joe Biden cautioned it will be “tough” to the meet the May 1 deadline to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan, telling ABC News he's “in the process of making that decision now.” Under the deal with the Taliban, announced in February 2020, the U.S. would draw down to 2,500 forces by January 2021 and completely withdraw by May 1. Biden said his administration is working with allies, “as well as the government,” as it reviews its options.

Virtual Events: Scowcroft Group’s Miller on Mitchell’s Nuclear Deterrence Series, and More

On March 23, the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies will host a virtual Nuclear Deterrence Series event featuring Scowcroft Group Principal Frank Miller. At a time when nuclear modernization programs are accelerating around the world, proposals to recapitalize the U.S. nuclear arsenal are at the forefront of debates over defense spending. Miller will share his insights into the prospects for U.S. nuclear modernization programs and the value of nuclear deterrence in today's competitive security environment. The think tank will post event video on its website and YouTube page after the live event.

Radar Sweep

General Says North Korea Could Test New Intercontinental Missile ‘in the Near Future’

The Hill

The head of U.S. Northern Command says North Korea may begin testing an improved intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) “in the near future.” Air Force Gen. Glen D. VanHerck said in prepared testimony before the Senate Armed Services panel that North Korea "indicated that it is no longer bound by the unilateral nuclear and ICBM testing moratorium announced in 2018, suggesting that Kim Jong Un may begin flight testing an improved ICBM design in the near future."

Congressional Democrats Urge Biden to Cut Defense Spending


A March 16 letter signed by 50 House Democrats urges President Joe Biden to reduce the Pentagon’s budget to pay for other activities. The letter is intended to influence the President’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2022, which the administration is expected to submit to Congress in early May.

Competition Stiffens for Promotion to Senior Master Sergeant

Air Force Times

Snagging a promotion to Air Force senior master sergeant is becoming even harder, as fewer than 7 percent of eligible Airmen made the cut in the latest selection round announced March 16. Only 1,194 of 17,107 eligible master sergeants earned a promotion to senior master sergeant this time, for a selection rate of 6.97 percent, according to the Air Force Personnel Center. That’s down from 7.62 percent in February 2020.

SPONSORED: Improving Distributed Decision Making

Air Force Magazine

As Airmen have transformed dining rooms into desks and serve as technical support for their children’s remote learning, bigger challenges persist. How does an organization such as the Air Force transition from an in-person prioritization and planning process to an equally effective digital alternative during and after the pandemic?