Nearly a year after contracting the coronavirus, Gen. David D. Thompson has a warning for his fellow Americans: Don’t gamble with your health. Thompson, who as the Space Force’s Vice Chief of Space Operations is the second-highest-ranking officer in the newest military branch, tested positive for the coronavirus in October 2020 after coming into close contact with an infected family member.
Airmen at four Air Force Materiel Command installations are helping to beta test the new alternative fitness components announced by the Air Force in July. Volunteer testers at Wright-Patterson, Hill, Edwards, and Tinker Air Force Bases will provide data the Air Force will use to determine if the new components are effective and are assigned proper scoring. The data from the AFMC testers, along with that collected by the other major commands, will be used to finalize the fitness testing models moving forward.
The Space and Missile Systems Center has expanded its pool of potential providers of commercial launch services, bringing the number of companies to 11 who can compete for some 20 expected rapid launch contracts through October 2028. All three of the new additions to the Orbital Services Program-4 Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract vehicle, announced last week, already have been contracted by DOD in some form: ABL Space Systems, Astra Space, and Relativity Space.
Canadian company Lortie Aviation is entering negotiations to buy five of Lebanon’s Hawker Hunter fighter jets after the Ministry of National Defense held three auctions for the aircraft, Defense News has learned. The ministry authorized the Lebanese Armed Forces to issue an agreement of consent with the Canadian firm for the sale of the five Hawker Hunters and spare parts. The parties involved will now negotiate a price. The deal is expected to be worth about $1 million.
The F-35 program began taking a major step the last two weeks toward removing an enormous albatross from around its neck by replacing the much-maligned ALIS logistics system with its sleeker, faster, and younger replacement, ODIN. The move to install ODIN on two of 14 deployments brings the logistics and planning system to units in all three services that are buying the plane.
The Defense Department hopes to one day be able to use commercial rockets to rapidly transport cargo—and potentially troops—from point to point across the globe. While that might sound like a pipe dream to some, experts say the concept is theoretically feasible, but many challenges must be overcome for it to be militarily viable. The Air Force Research Laboratory in June designated its new Rocket Cargo effort a Vanguard program, making it a top science and technology priority.
In episode 34 of the Aerospace Advantage, John Baum and Mitchell Institute dean Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Dave Deptula discuss what it will take to sustain tomorrow’s military with Air Force Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost. No military force can operate for any period of time without a robust flow of supplies. Whether discussing munitions, spare parts, food, fuel, or medical items—the reality is that the scale, scope, and pace of combat operations fundamentally rely on logistics.
Hazing freshmen has long been banned at service academies, including at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. But a military photographer recording this year’s incoming class on the school’s assault course snapped a picture of an academy drill sergeant ready to deliver some “purple haze.” The shot was taken on an obstacle-course event during the academy’s Basic Cadet Training, the six-week boot camp each cadet must pass in the summer before his or her freshman year. In the photo, a drill sergeant—whom the Air Force calls a military training instructor, or MTI—emerges from a purple smoke cloud, his almost-certainly angry face hidden by a black mask.