Senior Air Force officials pledged to improve Airmen’s access to mental health care and urged commanders to play a more active role in supporting their troops, suggesting that suicides are again on the rise. Secretary Frank Kendall, the service’s top civilian, and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass, its senior enlisted leader, encouraged Airmen and Space Force Guardians to seek out wider support systems in a question-and-answer session on Facebook.
The National Reconnaissance Office has kicked off a pilot program to collect data from satellites that track emitters of radio frequency signals—a long-awaited extension of the spy sat agency’s commercial data gathering portfolio. NRO announced that Aurora Insight, HawkEye 360, Kleos Space, PredaSAR, Spire Global, and Umbra Lab won awards under NRO’s Strategic Commercial Enhancement’s Broad Agency Announcement Framework.
The Air Force’s top enlisted leader recently rolled out the service’s first “Purple Book,” a primer on the joint force for rank-and-file Airmen. The 39-page booklet introduces Airmen to high-level policy such as the National Defense Strategy and describes the Air Force’s place in the bigger military picture. It’s one piece in a slew of changes aimed at better educating enlisted Airmen and holding them to higher standards of performance.
The Space Force’s next “tactically responsive space” experiment will feature an attempt to launch a satellite within 24 hours of receiving the “go” order, said Lt. Gen. Michael A. Guetlein, head of Space Systems Command, in what would be a drastic reduction in turnaround time. “What we have challenged that team to do … is to rapidly respond to a real threat with an operational capability using operational crews on operationally relevant timelines,” Guetlein said.
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), a key congressional proponent of establishing a Space National Guard, said he would consider an alternative proposal endorsed by Space Force leaders and by the Biden administration. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond support creating a hybrid Active-Reserve component that provides full-time and part-time service options.
In Air Force Doctrine Publication 1, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. wrote that “Victory goes to the rapid integrator of ideas.” These ideas derive from Airmen whose innovation and problem-solving skills address the complex challenges that come with a rapidly evolving global environment. One of these rapid integrators is Tech. Sgt. Kevin Flanagan, an operational test imagery analyst at the 410th Test and Evaluation Squadron who built an entire range of radar targets used to test the accuracy of U-2 and RQ-4 Global Hawk sensors.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force has teamed with the U.S. Air Force for a month of advanced tactics training in Missouri and Arizona. The RNZAF No. 40 Squadron deployed to the Advanced Airlift Tactical Training Center “to develop the crew’s proficiency to conduct tactical missions in austere environments.”
The United States wants space to be a peaceful domain for scientific and commercial pursuits, said Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall. But preventing a conflict over space assets is going to become increasingly difficult, he said, due to the strategic value of satellites and the proliferation of technologies that can be used to destroy them.
War is a serious business, and so is the art of moving troops, weapons, ammunition, and equipment to where the battles are fought. For the U.S. military, that task falls to U.S. Transportation Command. One of the military’s 11 unified combatant commands, it oversees a worldwide armada of aircraft, ships, trucks, and trains that are in constant motion ferrying people and equipment to where the U.S. and its allies need them. TRANSCOM has a serious job, which is why the command’s mascot may surprise you: It’s a winged seahorse named ‘Spunky.’ And as happy-go-lucky as that may sound, the image symbolizes different aspects of the command’s important mission.