The Pentagon

As COVID-19 Cases Mount, Pentagon Limits Who Can Come to Work

The Pentagon is imposing new limits on how many people may come to work as the number of COVID-19 infections continue to rise in the National Capital region. Beginning Sept. 9, Pentagon offices will be limited to 40 percent of capacity as the Pentagon institutes Health Protection Condition “Bravo+.” “We continue to see a steady increase in coronavirus disease … cases and positive test results in the National Capital Region,” wrote Michael B. Donley, the director of administration and management at the Pentagon, a role sometimes dubbed “Mayor of the Pentagon.” “Data suggests the COVID-19 Delta variant may be more transmissible than the original strain of the virus,” he added.

New Rules to Attend AFA Conference: Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID Test Now Required

Attendees to the Air Force Association's 2021 Air, Space & Cyber Conference must present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within the prior three days to attend the conference in person Sept. 20-22. After two consecutive virtual conferences, AFA's Air, Space & Cyber Conference returns next week live and in person at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. In addition to the vaccination or test mandate, masks must be worn indoors during the conference, except while eating or drinking, according to Prince George's County, Md., rules.
Haiti earthquake

SOUTHCOM Concludes Haiti Humanitarian Mission

U.S. Southern Command wrapped up its humanitarian mission to Haiti on Sept. 3 flying the last of 671 missions after the island nation was ravaged by an earthquake and tropical storm. The logistics were achieved thanks the Arkansas Air National Guard, Puerto Rico National Guard, Special Operations Command-South, U.S. Joint Task Force-Bravo in Honduras, and SOUTHCOM’s own assets, none of which were deployed globally at the time.
Outstanding Airmen of the Year Valerie Graw

Outstanding Airmen of the Year: Staff Sgt. Valerie Graw

The Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2021 will be formally recognized at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference from Sept. 20 to 22 in National Harbor, Md. Air Force Magazine is highlighting one each workday from now until the conference begins. Today, we honor Staff Sgt. Valerie Graw, a cyber operations controller with the 88th Communications Squadron Cyber Operations Center.

Radar Sweep

US Air Force Accused of Trolling China Military During Recon Op


Researchers in Beijing accused the United States Air Force of trolling the Chinese military with an insulting call sign Tuesday while conducting consecutive reconnaissance missions off northeastern China. The Peking University-affiliated South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI) said overflight operations by an American RC-135S Cobra Ball took the aircraft within 26 nautical miles of China's coastline.

New US Air Force Study Asks: What’s the Right Number of F-35s?

Defense News

A new tactical aircraft study underway could make certain what has until now been a suspicion: The U.S. Air Force is unlikely to purchase all of the 1,763 F-35A jets in its program of record. The service is undertaking the study as it readies its fiscal 2023 budget and grapples with reducing the types of fighters it flies from seven to four main platforms by 2030, as prescribed by the service’s Chief of Staff.

Air Force Awards 55 Spots on $46B Digital Engineering, Analytics Support IDIQ

The U.S. Air Force has named 55 awardees on a potential 11-year, $46 billion contract to perform work related to model-based systems engineering, weapons and enterprise analytics, digital engineering, Agile processes, and open systems architecture. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida received 58 offers for the multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.

OPINION: Why Israel’s Transfer to US Central Command Could Help Deter Iran

Defense News

“Warming Arab-Israeli ties offer a major opportunity to align key partners against common regional threats. The catalyst for improved Arab-Israeli relations is the Islamic Republic of Iran’s longstanding effort to develop a nuclear weapons capability as well as Tehran’s determined campaign to create, cultivate and co-opt terrorist proxies across the Middle East to attack both Arab and Israeli targets,” writes Bradly Bowman, the director of the Center for Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where Behnam Ben Taleblu is a senior fellow.

PODCAST: Adversary Insights: Understanding Chinese Airpower

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In episode 38 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, host John Baum is joined by Dr. Brendan Mulvaney and Ken Allen of Air University's China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI), Cristina Garafola of RAND, and Dan Rice of the Mitchell Institute to better understand the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). This is the first in a series of episodes that will explore the China threat in multiple dimensions.

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Big Aerospace Contractors Bet on Space Refueling Startup

Wall Street Journal

Northrop Grumman Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. have invested in a spacecraft refueling startup, deepening the aerospace industry’s investment in space-based services. The military and aerospace contractors joined a more than $10 million financing round for San Francisco-based Orbit Fab Inc., which plans to launch two refueling shuttles as early as next year, said Orbit co-founder Jeremy Schiel. The companies declined to disclose the amounts. Orbit Fab said it has now raised $17 million in funding.

Space Force Delays Selection of Weather Satellites

Space News

The U.S. Space Force was expected this year to choose which vendors will build next-generation weather satellites for the Defense Department. But the competition is being extended until 2022 to give the teams more time to fine tune their designs, a program official said.

SPONSORED: Cutting-Edge Digital Solutions for USAF ICBM Modernization


As the new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) is developed and fielded, the Air Force must also update its missile launch facilities and support infrastructure, launch control centers, squadron and wing support infrastructure, and command and control systems, as well as policies, processes, procedures, security, the supply chain, and even the workforce. All must adapt to the coming changes, even as the existing systems must remain ready and continuously on alert, ready to deploy on very short notice.

One More Thing

Air Force Names 2020 Athletes of the Year

USAF release

Every year, the Air Force recognizes one male and female military member for their athletic accomplishments. Each installation nominates candidates by submitting packages that highlight their top athlete’s sports-related achievements, military awards, and civic recognition from the past calendar year.