chief bass

CMSAF Bass’ Top Priorities For Keeping Talented Airmen, Part 2

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass has made some big waves recently, releasing a memo last month exhorting Airmen to recommit themselves to the service’s professional standards and posting a photo on Facebook last week outlining her top “Things to Get After” to improve life for enlisted personnel. As Bass nears the fourth and likely last year of her tenure as CMSAF, her list of priorities is long. But six in particular were highlighted.
STARCOM Change of Command Ceremony

STARCOM Gets a New Commander at a ‘Hinge in Space Force History’

Brig. Gen. Timothy Sejba took over as the head of Space Training and Readiness Command on July 20, succeeding Maj. Gen. Shawn N. Bratton at a time when the Space Force is looking to upgrade its test and training infrastructure and develop new doctrine and tactics. In a ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colo., Chief of Space Operations Gen. B. Chance Saltzman referred to the change of commanders as a “hinge in Space Force history” and called the leadership of STARCOM “a huge responsibility.”
air force vice commander

Air Force Dropping ‘Vice’ Commander Title; Now It’s ‘Deputy’

The Air Force is switching up how it refers to No. 2 officers for most of its organizations, moving away from the longstanding “vice commander” title to “deputy commander” at all levels from the major commands on down, the service announced. The change is effective August 1, and is being made to better align the Air Force with the terms used by the other military branches.

Radar Sweep

Iran Kicks Off Air Force Drill as US Sends More Fighter Planes to the Region

The Associated Press

Iran on July 23 began an annual air force drill in the central part of country, state media reported, as the U.S. sends more fighter planes to the region to deter the Islamic Republic from seizing commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf area. The official IRNA news agency said 11 Iranian air force bases participated in the drill, dubbed Fadaeian Velyat-11, or Devotees of the Supreme Leader-11. It said an air base at the southern port of Bandar Abbas at the mouth of the strategic Strait of Hormuz is active in the drill.

Russia Accuses Ukraine of Moscow Drone Attack


Russia has accused Ukraine of being behind a drone attack that damaged at least two buildings in the capital Moscow early on July 24. The Russian defense ministry said two drones were "suppressed and crashed", adding that there were no casualties. Russia's state-owned Tass news agency reported that one drone fell close to the defense ministry. Ukrainian officials are yet to comment, but they rarely claim responsibility for attacks inside Russia.

OPINION: To Innovate, DOD Must Be Allowed to Move Faster

Defense News

“The U.S. private sector innovates like no other. American companies quickly adapt to changing market demands, develop and integrate new technologies at scale, deliver products with exceptional speed and compete to win. This dynamic environment has become the benchmark of success in the modern world, but sadly and needlessly, it is often foreign terrain for the U.S. military,” writes Michael R. Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, the chair of the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board, and the former mayor of New York City.

As Israel’s Air Force Reservists Join Protests, Country Faces Potential Turning Point

Breaking Defense

Though Israeli lawmakers passed the first key legislation related to a controversial judicial overhaul July 24, the vote took place amid a backdrop of vocal, widespread domestic protests that have spread into Israel’s military reservist ranks, alarming senior Israeli officials. More than 1,000 Israeli air force reservists announced late last week they could end their voluntary service as their part of the protest. The air force reservists have since been joined by another 10,000 reservists from elsewhere in Israeli Defense Forces, though it’s thought the air force veterans could carry more influence.

New Developments in Warfighter Training

Air & Space Forces Magazine

Driven by advancements in technology and research, the Air Force and Space Force are adapting how they train their warfighters to complete the missions at hand. Keep up with all the latest news on changes and improvements to the services’ training enterprises.

Senate Aims to Sidestep Culture War Land Mines in Race to Pass Defense Bill


The Senate is rushing to pass its defense policy bill this week before Congress leaves for its extended summer recess, and Democratic leaders will need to avoid a flurry of contentious issues to make it happen. The upper chamber enters its second week of debate on the National Defense Authorization Act looking to hold together a bipartisan consensus that’s kept the $886 billion legislation on track so far. And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is looking to strike a contrast with the GOP-led House, which narrowly passed a defense bill loaded with conservative priorities mostly along party lines.

Air Force Says Funding Snafu Hasn’t Cancelled Separations, Retirements

Air Force Times

The Air Force is still allowing Airmen to separate and retire, despite funding woes that could affect when those troops move out of their homes, the service confirmed July 24. “Retirement and separation dates are being requested, processed and approved as normal, and dates of retirement/dates of separation are being established as normal,” spokesperson Ann Stefanek said in an email. “No Airmen are being, or will be, involuntarily extended beyond their desired retirement or separation dates.”

Pentagon COVID-19 Case Registry Is Riddled with Errors, Watchdog Finds

A Defense Department database of military health system patients diagnosed with COVID-19 is incomplete and inaccurate, shortcomings that make it ineffective for steering medical treatment or public health decisions on the illness, the Pentagon's top watchdog has found. A DOD inspector general report released this month found that the department's COVID-19 registry did not contain roughly 7,200 patients who qualified for inclusion and there were errors in 24 of 25 records reviewed by inspectors.

First STARCOM ‘Orbital Warfare’ Exercise Delayed Towards End of Year

Breaking Defense

The Space Force’s first “orbital warfare” exercise, called Red Skies, has been delayed from this summer towards the end of the year, according to Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM). “We anticipate that the inaugural execution of the Red Skies exercise will be near the conclusion of this year. Prior to this, the team will be extensively building out and refining various aspects of the exercise during the latter part of the summer,” a STARCOM spokesperson told Breaking Defense.

Maxar to Begin Production of New Small Satellite Bus


Maxar Technologies announced July 24 that its new satellite bus designed for low Earth orbit constellations passed a critical design review. The company will produce 16 of the Maxar 300 series buses for L3Harris Technologies. Each bus is about the width of a conventional oven. These will be used to build missile-detecting sensor satellites for the Space Development Agency’s Tranche 1 Tracking Layer program.

One More Thing

Why Was the Boeing B-17 Known as the Flying Fortress?

Simple Flying

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, a four-engined heavy bomber developed in the 1930s for the then United States Army Air Corps (later the United States Air Force), ultimately dropped more bombs than any other aircraft of the entire Second World War. Over the course of the conflict, the B-17 would primarily see action in the European Theater, completing missions with distinction across the continent. As the third most popular bomber ever built (after the German Junkers Ju-88 and B-24 Liberator), it is unsurprising that this aircraft would have an iconic name. However, the story of the B-17's name is more complicated than one would usually expect.