Civilian Personnel Advisory Center officials offer suggestions for ‘new landscape’ of telework

Airmen, Guardians Could Work Remotely Full Time Under New Guidance

Uniformed Total Force Airmen and Guardians can work remotely under new guidance from the Department of the Air Force, building on lessons learned from the past year. The Air Force on May 18 released updated guidance on remote work and telework, which gives service members the chance to work from a location other than their unit's duty station—provided their job allows for it and commanders sign off on it.
Maj. Christopher Richardson DFC

C-130 Crew Receives DFC, Air Medals for Afghanistan Mission

A C-130J pilot received the Distinguished Flying Cross while a pilot and two loadmasters received Air Medals on May 10 for their actions last September, when their aircraft took enemy fire, injuring one on board and damaging the aircraft’s controls. The team returned to base, loaded another C-130J, and the remaining aircrew finished the mission. “Receiving the DFC was extremely humbling,” said Maj. Christopher Richardson, 61st Airlift Squadron pilot, in a release. “As aviators, we put a lot of time and effort into making sure everything goes as planned—sometimes that isn’t how it works out.”
AUAB’s 540-degree protection system

Al-Udeid Operating New Counter-drone System Amid Growing UAS Threat

Al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar, recently adopted a new counter-drone system that lets its operators identify incoming threats and sever the connection between drone and operator. “The goal of the program is to build counter measures for Al-Udeid AB that would pose as a last line of defense against all small UAS threats,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Walters, the 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron's noncommissioned officer in charge of the C-UAS program.

USAF Bases Face $30 Billion Repair Backlog

Brig. Gen. William H. Kale III told House appropriators May 19 to expect a “significant” improvement in military construction funding in the department’s fiscal 2022 budget request, saying key focus areas include the fielding of new nuclear capabilities and bolstering facilities in the European and Indo-Pacific theaters. The Air Force requested $1.4 billion for military construction in its fiscal 2021 budget, a steep drop from the $5.3 billion it received in fiscal 2020. The department has “accepted risk in installation investment” in the past as it “prioritized to the most critical needs.” As a result, facilities have atrophied and the department now faces a $30 billion maintenance and repair backlog, according to testimony.

Korean War Vet to Receive Medal of Honor for Harrowing 1950 Battle

President Joe Biden on May 21 will award the Medal of Honor to retired Army Col. Ralph Puckett Jr. for his actions during the Korean War in 1950. The award will be the first from Biden in his presidency, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will attend the White House ceremony. Puckett, then a 1st lieutenant, was serving with the 8th Army Ranger Company during Nov. 25-26, 1950, when his unit conducted a daylight attack on Hill 205. Over the course of an intense fight, Puckett led the charge up the hill, was grievously injured, and ordered his Rangers to abandon him, but the team disobeyed the order and retrieved him while seriously hurt and pinned down in a foxhole.

Radar Sweep

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Ponytails and Braids: Signs of a More Inclusive US Military

Christian Science Monitor

On a Pentagon stage earlier this year, three senior noncommissioned officers—all men—discussed the merits of changing the Army’s appearance regulations for women. The town hall, broadcast online, turned to whether women should be allowed to wear stud earrings. “I’m just going to be honest: If you’d asked me before, I would’ve said, ‘No, why do we need earrings?’” said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston. But task force testimony from behavioral health specialists helped the men see the matter differently, Sgt. Maj. Mark Clark added. “I will tell you, we learned quite a bit” about how old policies affected women “in a masculine Army.” Earrings “kind of helped bridge the gap” for those “who want to serve and be soldiers, but also want to feel like a female at the same time.”

Cyber Leaders Get Creative in Attracting Talent

Signal Magazine

Every cyber warrior can be a cyber recruiter, according to panelists at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta Virtual Event Series. The United States faces a severe shortage in cyber personnel and in students willing to enter the cyber workforce. That shortage is even more acute in the government and the military, where talented personnel are often recruited by industry for higher pay and other incentives. But every cyber warrior can serve double duty as a cyber recruiter, according to USAF Brig. Gen. Bradley Pyburn, deputy commander of 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber). “None of us should miss the opportunity to be an ambassador. We can’t think about recruiting as some far-off station in a strip mall somewhere. Every time we interact with folks, we have a chance to demystify service to our nation and show them how awesome it is.”

Aerospace Industrial Base Can’t Handle The Future: Mitchell Institute

Breaking Defense

The U.S. aerospace industrial base cannot meet the Air Force’s or the wider military’s emerging needs for rapid innovation to stay ahead of peer competitors, the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies says. “What we found was that the structure and business models of today’s aerospace defense industrial base is not configured to invent, develop, or deliver the force, the future needs, and certainly not at the pace that a technologically peer adversary will demand,” Heather Penney, senior resident fellow at Mitchell, said May 18. “Time is the new offset; adaptation is our new advantage,” said retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, the institute’s dean.

Space Force Launches Billion-dollar Satellite to Warn of Missile Launches


A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying a Space Force missile-warning satellite and two small payloads lifted off May 18 at 1:37 p.m. Eastern from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. The primary payload, SBIRS GEO-5, is the fifth of the Space Based Infrared System network of satellites and hosted payloads in geosynchronous Earth orbit and highly elliptical orbit. The satellites use scanning and staring infrared sensors to detect ballistic missile launches anywhere on the globe.

Russia's Northernmost Base Projects its Power Across Arctic

The Associated Press

During the Cold War, Russia’s Nagurskoye airbase was little more than a runway, a weather station, and a communications outpost in the Franz Josef Land archipelago. It was a remote and desolate home mostly for polar bears, where temperatures plunge in winter to minus-42 Celsius (43 degrees below zero Fahrenheit) and the snow only disappears from August to mid-September. Now, Russia’s northernmost military base is bristling with missiles and radar and its extended runway can handle all types of aircraft, including nuclear-capable strategic bombers, projecting Moscow’s power and influence across the Arctic amid intensifying international competition for the region’s vast resources.

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Desperate For Firepower, the US Air Force Loads Cruise Missiles on Cargo Planes


After less than two years of furious work, the Air Force is close to finishing a parachute missile-launcher that, in theory, converts any big cargo plane into a bomber. Back in March, over White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, an MC-130J transport belonging to the Air Force Special Operations Command dropped an instrumented “deployment box” attached to a G-11 high-altitude parachute. Mostly, it was a test of the box’s stability during a high-altitude drop. But the trial also marked the Air Force’s steady progress toward actually deploying a “missile in a box” and growing, by hundreds, the number of aircraft it can deploy for long-range strikes.

A Starcruiser for Space Force: Thinking Through the Imminent Transformation of Spacepower

War on the Rocks

The U.S. military has launched and operated Earth-orbiting satellites since the Discoverer 1 mission in March 1959. Despite this long-term presence in space, spacepower as a mature military discipline remains in its infancy. However, change is coming faster than many expect. The X-37B spacecraft—the first true military spaceplane—foreshadows the “end of the beginning” for military space as satellites, tiny spaceplanes, and single-use orbital boosters give way to massive fleets of very large, maneuverable, and reusable spacefaring vehicles.

Microsoft and Ball Aerospace Enlist the Cloud to Speed up Space Force’s Data Flow


How will Pentagon planners cope with the torrents of data that are expected to rain down from a constellation of satellites monitoring hotspots from low Earth orbit? Microsoft and Ball Aerospace say they’ve demonstrated that the cloud can handle it—and not just handle it, but process multiple streams of satellite data five times faster than the Pentagon’s target speed. The demonstration of a prototype system was conducted this year for the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit in support of the Commercially Augmented Space Inter Networked Operations Program Office, or CASINO, which is under the aegis of the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center.

If the Pentagon Drops JEDI, Then What?

Defense One

The outlook for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract—the Pentagon’s $10 billion general purpose cloud project—looks gloomier after a federal judge denied a motion to dismiss political interference allegations made by Amazon Web Services. Since January, when the Defense Department sent Congress and media an information paper suggesting such a decision would likely imperil the contract, officials have been repeating the same line: The capabilities meant to be provided by JEDI, which was awarded to Microsoft for a second time in September, are still urgently needed.

One More Thing

Top Aces' F-16 Takes First Flight

Top Aces via YouTube

“Top Aces made history once again as its F-16 fighter aircraft earned [Federal Aviation Administration] certification and took its first flight,” according to the private flight school Top Aces in Mesa, Arizona, on May 18, 2021. “Top Aces is the first private company in the world to operate F-16s under commercial license.”