Attempt to Block Space Corps Fails, House to Vote Friday
The House Rules Committee on Wednesday voted against a proposal by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) to block efforts to create a separate Space Corps within the Air Force. During the debate, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) accused the Air Force of using national security space as a “money pot” to fund air dominance. Air Force Space Command chief Gen. Jay Raymond in a Wednesday op-ed published in Defense One defended the Air Force’s current strategy in space. Read the full report by Wilson Brissett.
House Affirms LRSO, Rejects BRAC in Floor Debate
The House on Thursday rejected amendments to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that would have delayed development of the Long Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO) and allowed another round of base realignment and closure (BRAC). The Republican-led House also rejected defense spending limits proposed by Democratic members. In total, 210 amendments are being considered in several marathon floor sessions ahead of Friday’s expected vote on the full NDAA. Read the full story by Wilson Brissett.
Bombing Suspect a ‘Disgruntled’ Former Airman
The suspect in the Monday bombing of an Air Force recruiting center in Bixby, Okla., served for two years in the Air Force, along with more than two years in the Air National Guard. Benjamin Roden, 28, faces federal charges in connection with a pipe bomb that exploded at the building near Tulsa. No one was injured in the blast. Roden was arrested Tuesday and appeared in court on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. The Oklahoma Air National Guard said Roden enlisted in April 2012, and joined the Air National Guard in 2014. He was discharged from the 138th Fighter Wing in April as a senior airman. Prosecutors called Roden “disgruntled” and said he had “turned to hate.” Roden reportedly tried to join the Marine Corps after leaving the Air Force. “They would not accept him, and he believed, at least our investigation revealed, he believed it was the Air Force that was keeping him from becoming a member of the marines,” Acting US Attorney Loretta Radford said, according to News On 6. —Brian Everstine
USAF Cancels AOC Contract with Northrop
Years in the works, hundreds of millions of dollars over its initial budget, and in May paused for lack of Fiscal 2017 funding, the Air Force on Thursday terminated its contract with Northrop Grumman to update the service’s air operations center. USAF, instead, is going to enlist the help of airmen to modernize the AOC. Read the full story by Gideon Grudo.
Iraqi Officials Call for More Coalition Support Following Mosul Liberation
Though Iraqi forces can claim “a military victory” following the liberation of Mosul, they will need continued support from the US-led coalition and trust of the citizenry to fully beat ISIS, a top Iraqi military officer said Thursday. Speaking at a Pentagon briefing, Iraqi Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool said what the Iraqi military achieved in Mosul is something “that will be told in war colleges in the Arab world, and the world entirely, for years to come.” But, what happens next will take time. Iraqi forces need to “extend bridges of trust with our citizens” to be able to collect intelligence on remaining ISIS factions in Mosul, along with coming fights in Tal Afar and Nineveh Province, Rasool said. Continuous support from the US-led coalition, both in airstrikes and in advice on the ground, is required to keep the momentum going, though Rasool said he is confident he has enough troops to continue on to Tal Afar and keep Mosul safe. —Brian Everstine
USAF Needs to Speed Up Acquisition or Face Growing Threats
The US Air Force must hasten its acquisition process in order to keep up with adversaries who are “exploiting commercially available technology,” according to a new paper from AFA’s Mitchell Institute. In “Acquisition at the Speed of Combat, Not the Pace of Bureaucracy: Enabling Progress in Reform,” Mitchell visiting fellow and former Air Force Magazine special content editor Michael Sirak argues the acquisition community must exercise the same tenets it demands of its airmen: boldness and innovation. Sirak points to the laborious examples of handgun, carrier, and aircraft acquisition to illustrate trials shared among the services. “Recognizing that substantial and accelerated acquisition reform is needed, there is ample evidence suggesting that attention also focus on addressing the fundamentals of the process— elements like leadership and basic organizational structure,” Sirak wrote.
Trump, Macron Plan to Work Together on Syria Plan
President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to work together on what happens in Syria after the war, the leaders announced during a joint appearance in Paris. France is already a large part of the US-led coalition against ISIS—the country has repeatedly sent an aircraft carrier to the region to contribute to the aerial campaign—and Macron said Thursday that France and the US should put together a “contact group” to look at diplomatic initiatives and “to put in place a road map for what will come after the war.” The two leaders talked about a possible cease-fire initiative in Syria, in addition to a current ceasefire established with Russia in the southwest of the country. “We’re working on a second cease-fire in a very rough part of Syria,” Trump said. “And if we get that, and a few more, all of a sudden you’re going to have no bullets being fired in Syria. And that would be a wonderful thing.” —Brian Everstine
—There were 8,000 less technical sergeants eligible for promotion this year after the Air Force cracked down on PME requirements: Air Force Times
—NATO condemns July 4 North Korean ballistic missile launch and expresses support for ongoing efforts to place greater sanctions on the regime in Pyongyang: press release.
—F-35s in the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah, recently began training to load weapons onto external pylons for the first time, allowing the aircraft to carry more munitions. The external pylons will be widely employed with the Block 3F upgrades later this year: press release
An entry in the July 13 Daily Report incorrectly stated the Air Force had awarded a $409 million contract to United Technologies for research on next-generation thermal, power, and controls. The Pentagon prematurely announced the contract award and has issued a correction. We have updated our original entry.