First ANG F-35 Pilot Graduates from USAF Weapons School

GAO: F-35 Block 4 Will Keep Slipping Without Realistic Work Estimates

Full-rate production of the F-35 and delivery of the Block 4 upgrade will keep slipping until the simulator is fixed and the Pentagon sets some realistic timetables for software development, the Government Accountability Office reported on March 18. It recommended better automatic tools for assessing how the software is coming along.
DoD tests VR suicidal prevention training at Scott and Travis AFBs

AMC Looks to Virtual Reality to Help Curb Suicides

Two bases in Air Mobility Command are using virtual reality to teach Airmen how to talk to someone who might be suicidal. The Air Force in recent years has been grappling with high levels of suicide in its ranks. In 2019, the department ordered a one-day “resilience tactical pause” to address the issue, only to see the numbers remain high in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic spread. “The need for this work was so obvious,” said Victor Jones, AMC suicide prevention program manager and VR suicide prevention contract owner. “We wanted to provide a training experience unlike anything ever encountered, … a realistic conversational interaction in a simulated environment that would have unparalleled realism in having these difficult, uncomfortable but necessary conversations.”
Department of the Air Force

Here’s How the Air Force Resourced Leaders for Extremism Stand Downs

The Department of the Air Force has given USAF and Space Force commanders and senior enlisted leaders a toolkit to help equip them to carry out Defense Department-directed stand downs to address extremism within their ranks, department spokesperson Lt. Col. Malinda Singleton confirmed to Air Force Magazine on March 18. Singleton also confirmed that a Feb. 17 slide deck entitled “Identifying & Addressing Impermissible Behavior,” which surfaced on the unofficial Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page on March 17, was an authentic part of this departmental resource.

US, South Korea Prepare for Transfer of Wartime Operational Control

The U.S. and South Korean militaries are on schedule for the transfer of wartime operational control authority in 2022 and are taking steps to improve readiness, though the two leaders would not say if large-scale military exercises would return to the peninsula. South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook said the alliance has created the “necessary conditions” for the transfer of operational control of combined forces. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, speaking alongside Suh during a joint press conference March 18 in Seoul, added that the combined force is “ready to fight tonight and we continue to make progress toward the eventual transition of wartime operational control to a ROK-commanded future combined forces command.”
Air Force Gaming

Air Force Gaming Connects Airmen, Guardians Regardless of Age, Rank

Air Force Gaming is launching a global intramural esports league where Airman and Guardians play against each other and wrap up the season with a March Madness-style tournament. The 24/7 resiliency- and retention-focused gaming organization has exploded in popularity, with 14,000 Airmen and Guardians playing on the dedicated Air Force Gaming platform built as an esports hub for the Department of the Air Force. Since their official launch in November 2020, Air Force Gaming participants have logged over 115,000 voice minutes and more than 100,000 text chats between Airmen and Guardians. And senior leaders are starting to take notice.

Radar Sweep

Aerospace Nation: Actualizing ‘Accelerate Change’ with Lt. Col. Mike Benitez

Mitchell Institute on YouTube

The Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies hosted a live virtual Aerospace Nation series event on Actualizing “Accelerate Change” with Lt. Col. Mike Benitez, director of staff for the Air Force’s 53rd Wing. As staff director for the Air Force’s primary operational test wing, Benitez has an up-close view of the Air Force’s efforts to realize USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.’s “accelerate change” directive. He shared his insights into the Air Force’s new Black Flag exercise, the F-35’s move to an agile software development framework, and the joint all-domain operations concept’s unique attributes.

Key Official: Defense Information Operations ‘Not Evolving Fast Enough’

Defense One

The U.S. military isn’t keeping up with information-warfare threats from Russia, Iran, and China, defense officials told lawmakers on March 16, adding that the military needs to prioritize information operations, diversify its information-ops units, and relearn how to coordinate IO across units, forces, and services.

Former National Security Officials Back Stalled Pentagon Nominee

The Hill

More than 50 former national security officials, diplomats, and lawmakers, as well as Jewish communities leaders, threw their support on March 18 behind President Joe Biden’s stalled nominee to lead the Pentagon’s policy shop. In a March 18 letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee, the group argued Colin Kahl, Biden’s nominee to be undersecretary of defense for policy, is “eminently qualified.”

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Air Force Chaplain Cleanses Yokota Air Base Homes Where ‘Odd Things Occur’

Stars and Stripes

The headquarters of U.S. Forces Japan may also be home to supernatural activity, according to a couple who claim to help anyone dealing with paranormal disturbances to rid their homes of unwanted spirits. Chaplain (Capt.) Lance Brown, of Yokota's 374th Wing Staff Agency, and his wife, Karen Brown, who is working on a master's in counseling, have been performing home cleanses, or anointings, for the past eight years in homes where "odd things occur."