Democrats Gain Control of House, Republicans Keep Senate

Democrats on Tuesday picked up enough seats to gain control of the House for the first time in eight years, while Republicans strengthened their control of the Senate. The House Armed Services Committee remained largely intact, with most of the subcommittee leaders maintaining their seats. However, Colorado Republican Mike Coffman, chairman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, lost to Democrat Jason Crow. Twelve members of the Senate Armed Services Committee were up for re-election, with the biggest loss being Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly, former ranking member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee. Read the full story by Amy McCullough.

Third Iteration of Hack the Air Force is Largest Ever

The Air Force is once again inviting hackers into its network, and it’s willing to pay big bucks to see what they find. Hack the Air Force 3.0, which runs through Nov. 22, is open to 191 countries, making it the government’s largest bug bounty program to date, according to a USAF release. White-hat hackers will be asked to search for vulnerabilities with Defense Department applications that have been recently migrated to a USAF-owned cloud, and bounties will be paid based on the severity of the vulnerability discovered. Last year, the service paid a total of $103,883 in bounties, including a $12,500 award—the highest single bounty in the history of federal bug bounty programs—for finding a bug that could have allowed a malicious attacker to run harmful code on an Air Force network and manipulate other data within it. “Hack the AF 3.0 demonstrates the Air Force’s willingness to fix vulnerabilities that present critical risks to the network,” said Wanda Jones-Heath, Air Force chief information security officer. USAF is collaborating with HackerOne, a security platform that also ran Hack the Pentagon, Hack the Army, and the first two iterations of Hack the Air Force. The Defense Digital Service launched the federal government’s first bug bounty program in April 2016. —Amy McCullough

Keen Sword Helps Keep Aviators Sharp

Ten thousand US service members and 47,000 Japanese troops are participating this month in Keen Sword, a massive bilateral training exercise that aims to increase readiness and improve integration between the two nations. Read the full by Jennifer Hlad who is reporting from Japan.

492nd Fighter Squadron Certifies BAK-14 System in Estonia

The 492nd Fighter Squadron, from RAF Lakenheath, England, certified the BAK-14 cable arresting system at Amari AB, Estonia, Nov. 2. The system, which was funded by the European Deterrence Initiative, safely brings fighter aircraft to a halt in case of emergencies. KC-135s from the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England, deployed along with the F-15Es, refueling and flying in formation with them en-route to the certification event. Read the full story from Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.

Hill Exercises F-35 Muscle

The 388th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah, recently ramped up its operating tempo, generating 150 sorties in two weeks on top of normal flying operations, to test the wing’s ability to operate the F-35 strike fighter in a deployed environment. Hill Air Force Base, which will be home to the first three operational F-35 Fighter Squadrons, is slated to receive its full complement of 78 strike fighters by the end of 2019. During the exercise, the 4th Fighter Squadron and the 4th Aircraft Maintenance Unit focused on aircraft battle damage, downed-pilot recovery, and fighting with limited or no communications. “The tempo gives our airmen a taste of deployed operations,” said Lt. Col. Yosef Morris, 4th FS commander. “We want the first time they see these things to be in a training environment, and not when we’re called upon to deploy during a contingency.” The units practiced loading munitions, operating and launching jets from alternative locations, and worked out of a secure deployable facility. —Amy McCullough


Airman pronounced dead after being found ‘unresponsive’ near Guam’s Tumon Bay

An airman deployed to Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base was pronounced dead Tuesday afternoon after being found “unresponsive” near Tumon Bay, the Air Force said Wednesday. Stars and Stripe

State Cyberspace Protection Units Gear Up for Election Day

An elite cyberspace operations unit within the Washington Air National Guard is working in support of the state’s Office of the Secretary of State through Election Day, Nov. 6, to help secure and protect the Washington State voting system. National Guard News

F-22 Stealth Jets Got 587 Aircraft to Back Off In Their ‘Combat Surge’ Over Syria

US Air Force F-22s recently completed their first “combat surge” in operations over Syria, and in doing so deterred almost 600 Syria, Iranian and Russian combat aircraft in the crowded skies there, the Pentagon said. Air Force Times

Joint Chiefs Chair: Troops at Border Will Not ‘Come in Contact with Immigrants’

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday that U.S. military personnel will not interact with immigrants approaching the US border after President Trump deployed thousands of troops to prepare for the caravan. The Hill

Governor Recognizes Historic All-Female National Guard Command Staff

Governor Larry Hogan on Friday recognized the Maryland National Guard’s first-ever all-female command staff. WVnews

US Seeks to Sustain Taiwanese F-5s Alongside Upgraded F-16s

The US is sourcing spare parts to sustain Taiwan’s ageing fleet of Northrop Grumman F-5 Tiger II fighter aircraft alongside the upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons that the Asian nation has begun to receive. Jane’s

General, Five Others Reprimanded in Connection With 2017 Niger Ambush That Left Four Dead

US Special Operations Command Africa boss Maj. Gen. Marcus Hicks received a reprimand for insufficient oversight of his subordinate officers in connection with an October 2017 ambush in Niger that left four American soldiers dead, the New York Times reported. Stars and Stripes

Japan to Propose Underwater Drones to Monitor East China Sea

Large underwater drones may roam the East China Sea if Japanese plans to deter Chinese vessels near the Senkaku Islands are ratified by Japan’s Cabinet. UPI

NATO Secretary General and Top Military Leaders Visit Afghanistan

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg paid an official visit to Kabul on Tuesday (6 November 2018), accompanied by the Chairman of the Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti. NATO

Army, Navy provide Tyndall much-needed support

While Hurricane Michael created catastrophic devastation to most of Tyndall AFB, Fla., the relief efforts were an instant reminder of the symbiotic relationship between military branches. In the days following the storm, the Air Force came in droves to provide support with the Navy and Army not far behind. ACC release.