Air Education and Training Command Embraces Virtual and Augmented Reality

As Air Education and Training Command moves toward a learner-centric curriculum to train future Airmen, virtual and augmented reality are key to the program's success. Maj. Gen. Andrea D. Tullos, commander of 2nd Air Force, which is responsible for graduating some 150,000 joint force personnel from about 3,400 courses each year, said people often think of 2nd Air Force as a “one-size-fits-all” factory line that pushes out students exactly the same way each time, but she told Air Force Magazine “our vision is very different.” She added, “One of the lessons we’ve learned is that we’re going to have to be flexible enough that different subjects and different kinds of training are going to require different kinds of technology."
NF-16D VISTA becomes X-62A

NF-16D VISTA Redesignated an ‘X’ Plane to Test Skyborg

There’s a new X-plane in the Air Force’s fleet. The Air Force Test Pilot School in June redesignated the NF-16D Variable In-flight Simulator Aircraft as the X-62A, allowing the aircraft to be used for testing the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Skyborg program. The aircraft, originally a Block 30 F-16, has been heavily modified and upgraded since its first flight in 1992 to give pilots a way to simulate different flying conditions as well as the characteristics of other aircraft. AFRL’s Skyborg is a suite of hardware and software aimed at developing the Air Force’s use of teaming manned and unmanned aircraft, also known as a “loyal wingman.”
Athena Sword

ACC to Allow New Mothers to Use Breast Pumps in Secure Facilities

Thanks to a grassroots effort, new mothers serving in Air Combat Command can now use Bluetooth-enabled breast pumps in secure facilities—the latest in a series of steps the Air Force has taken to remove barriers to service. Earlier this summer, the ACC Command Surgeon, ACC Director of Intelligence, and the Special Access Program office approved the technology in secure facilities after Capt. Jennifer McNeill, an F-15E Strike Eagle pilot at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., submitted a request to use a pump, which eventually led to a command-wide process change.

Radar Sweep

F-16s Arrive in Poland for Aviation Detachment Rotation

USAF release

U.S. Airmen and F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, arrived at the 32nd Tactical Air Base, Łask, Poland, to participate in Aviation Detachment Rotation 21.3, a bilateral training exercise with the Polish to enhance partner interoperability, maintain joint readiness, and assure our regional allies.

OPINION: The US Needs a Department of Cybersecurity

Defense One

“Everyone knows the U.S. has a cybersecurity problem and the Biden administration's emergency request for $10 billion starts out by acknowledging we are in crisis. The question is what to do about it. Today the government has a fractured approach to cybersecurity. Just look at the emergency allocation and you’ll see those dollars flowing to at least five different departments and agencies: the General Services Administration, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the federal chief information security officer, and U.S. Digital Services. As the old saying goes, when everyone is in charge, no one is in charge,” writes David Brumley, CEO at ForAllSecure.

Air Force Turns to Virtual Reality to Combat Sexual Assault

Federal News Network

The Defense Department is facing a reckoning when it comes to sexual assault and harassment in the military. The Air Force is now employing new technologies in its prevention training in hopes of combating fatigue and getting Airmen to retain knowledge better. Air Mobility Command (AMC) is piloting a virtual reality program for its military and civilian employees’ mandatory sexual assault prevention and response training (SAPR).

One More Thing

Wanted: Innovative Ideas for Spark Tank 2022

USAF release

Spark Tank 2022, a Department of the Air Force competition in which Airmen and Guardians pitch innovative solutions to operational problems, will accept submissions in early August 2021. To enable participation, interested members will submit ideas through the recently launched Guardian and Airmen Innovation Network portal. GAIN allows personnel to share ideas, critique submissions, and vote on the most promising solutions. Innovation submissions are due via GAIN no later than close of business Oct. 1, 2021. Finalists will be announced in January 2022. The finals pitch competition will take place March 4, 2022, at the Air Force Association’s Aerospace Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla.