Air Force Goes All in on Digital Twinning—for Bombs As Well As Planes

Having successfully used “digital twinning” to design and prototype its latest jet trainer aircraft, the Air Force is moving to use the new technology to develop and test weapons, too—building an online Colosseum in which vendors’ systems can virtually fight each other. Col. Garry A. Haase, head of the Munitions Directorate at the Air Force Research Lab, said AFRL plans to stage regular competition events in the Colosseum, each dealing with a different technology area.
01242020 Valykrie

‘Remotely Crewed’ Systems Can Save Money, But Specialized Thinking Needed

The Pentagon could save a lot of money on personnel and increase force structure with expanded use of “remotely crewed” systems, but the diversity of size and application of such systems demands specialized thinking, rather than just lumping them together as “drones,” according to experts at a virtual Center for Strategic and International Studies event March 26.
air force covid vaccine

DOD Expects Vaccines Available to All Troops by May 1

The Pentagon expects the broad military population to have access to a COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, with the entire Defense Department vaccinated by July. Defense Health Agency Director Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, in a March 26 briefing at the Pentagon, said the DOD has vaccines underway at 343 sites, in addition to the 3,000 military personnel working at Federal Emergency Management Agency mass vaccination sites as part of the country-wide push to ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations. So far, the DOD has administered 1.8 million doses of the shots to 1.1 million military members, families, civilians, contractors, and retirees. Of that total, about 600,000 service members have received a shot—about 30 percent of the force, Place said.
B-2 depart Lajes Field for final BTF Europe integration mission

B-1s, B-2s Wrap Up European Bomber Task Force Deployment

B-1s and B-2s wrapped up a bomber task force deployment on March 25, which included several firsts in the Arctic and across Europe. B-2s from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., flew the final sortie of the task force deployment out of Lajes Field, Portugal. While the B-2s were in the Azores, B-1Bs from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, were deployed to Orland Air Base, Norway, for the first time. During the deployment, the B-1s flew nine sorties, including training with Norwegian F-35s, Swedish JAS-39 Gripens, Danish and Polish F-16s, and German and Italian Eurofighter Typhoons, according to U.S. Air Forces in Europe. The B-2s deployed to Lajes Field on March 16, and flew four missions, including flights with the B-1s and Norwegian F-35s in Iceland.
Arctic fox scurries across the flight line at Thule Air Base, Greenland during North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Arctic air defense exercise, Amalgam Dart 21-2, March 22, 2021. The exercise, held March 20-26, provides NORAD the opportunity to hone homeland defense skills as Canadian, U.S., and NATO forces operate together in the Arctic. U.S. Air National Guard photo by 2nd Lt. Crystal Kirchner.

U.S., Canadian Aircraft Train to Protect Arctic Airspace

U.S., Canadian, and NATO aircraft trained together during Exercise Amalgam Dart to quickly position aircraft and protect the northern airspace as the Arctic becomes increasingly important. A total of 27 aircraft and about 500 personnel trained together at multiple bases in Canada, Greenland, and the northern U.S. for a “multi-domain approach to Arctic security,” the Canadian NORAD region said in a statement.

Radar Sweep

PODCAST: Fear the Reaper: MQ-9 Operations Today and Tomorrow

Mitchell Institute Aerospace Advantage podcast

The AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies released episode 15 of its Aerospace Advantage podcast: Fear the Reaper: MQ-9 Operations Today and Tomorrow. The MQ-9 Reaper, its mission enterprise, and the people who operate it have fundamentally transformed what it means to fly and fight. Join us for a conversation with those who fly this legendary aircraft and the experts who designed, built, and sustain it.

Space Force to Launch Fifth SBIRS Satellite in May

Space News

A $1.6 billion Space Based Infrared System satellite arrived at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla. The satellite, made by Lockheed Martin, is scheduled to launch May 17 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, the U.S. Space Force announced March 24.

Air Force Wants White Papers for $975M Cyber Program

Washington Technology

The Air Force has put out a call for white papers from industry to help the service branch further put together a contract for developing and transitioning future cybersecurity technologies into warfighting capabilities. Submissions are due to the Air Force Research Laboratory on April 5 regarding white papers focused on the current fiscal year. AFRL will continue to take in white papers every end of September for fiscal years 2022 through 2025, the Air Force said in a broad agency announcement.

Air Force Seeks 'Ubiquitous Connectivity' From Telework to Bases


The Air Force is launching a scorecard to help steer base modernization efforts. Lauren Knausenberger, the Air Force's CIO, said since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the service had increased focus on telework and improving base connectivity to make warfighters' work more seamless.

DOD Cloud Exchange

Federal News Network

The Department of the Air Force is working with the military as a whole to make weapons systems more interconnected and receptive to data inputs. Now it’s working on a strategy to make it even more of a reality.