Shanahan: Space Force Details Coming Soon

The Defense Department must submit its plan to Congress in December detailing what it thinks the new Space Force should look like and how much it will cost to create the service, said Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Friday. He acknowledged the Air Force’s estimate that it will cost $13 billion to establish the new service over the next five years, but he urged reporters to “put that number aside” and wait until details of the Fiscal 2020 budget are released. When asked what the new service will look like, how the personnel will be transitioned, and whether there will be a Space Guard, for example, Shanahan said, “I don’t know.” Read the full story by Amy McCullough.

AMC: No KC-46 Delivery This Month, Deficiencies Still Need to be Fixed

The Air Force will not receive its first KC-46 this month as originally expected, while the program office and Boeing are still working to address five “category one” deficiencies that still need to be remedied, the head of Air Mobility Command said Friday. The original deadline of October will pass, and Boeing has said it still plans to deliver the aircraft by the end of the year. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

DOD Creating Two Fiscal 2020 Budgets to Meet President’s $700 Billion Budget Directive

Though the individual services are moving forward with a single Fiscal 2020 budget, the Defense Department comptroller will pull together two. The first will be the $733 billion budget that’s been in the works for months, while the second will be the $700 billion budget promised by President Trump last week. “We are not going to reverse course on all that planning,” said Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Friday. “ … There are certain things you can’t change. There are near-term costs we’re going to spend in the next year that are on contract and for all intents and purposes are fixed. Then there are other costs where we have knobs to turn in terms of timing.” Hypersonics weapons is one of those knobs, said Shanahan, who said the department must choose whether it’s going to move forward with the number of programs underway or defer them until later. “It comes down to having a judgment call. How fast do we want to modernize? That’s probably the biggest knob we have to turn. So we are building two budgets concurrently, but it will give the secretary a clear understanding of what the tradeoffs are … and then everybody will decide what to do with that.” —Amy McCullough

B-1, Forced to Land During May Emergency, Finally Leaves Texas Airport

The B-1B that experienced an in-flight emergency in May 1 and was forced to land at Midland International Air & Space Port, Texas, finally left the airport and flew to Tinker AFB, Okla., on Friday. The B-1B, from Dyess AFB, Texas, experienced an in-flight emergency and the crew attempted to eject during a training mission. However, the weapons systems officer’s seat ejection system malfunctioned, so the crew decided to stay with the plane and attempt to land it. They landed safely at Midland. In July, the crew received Distinguished Flying Crosses for their actions in saving themselves and the jet. Following the incident, AFGSC grounded its entire B-1B fleet, including those deployed to the Middle East, to address the issue. A Global Strike safety investigation board and maintenance team worked on the aircraft at Midland to return it to a safely operable condition, and on Friday a crew from the 10th Flight Test Squadron flew it to Tinker. The aircraft will undergo depot maintenance and upgrades at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex before returning to Dyess. —Brian Everstine

Reserve Stands Up First ISR Wing

Air Force Reserve stood up its first intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance wing this fall at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, 10 years after the Reserve’s first ISR squadron and four years after the wing was initially expected to become operational. The 655th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing, previously a Group, was initially intended to become a wing in 2014, but that move was delayed because of a government shutdown and sequestration, according to a Reserve release. It officially stood up on Sept. 20, and held a formal ceremony to kick off operations on Oct. 20, according to the Reserve. The new wing consists of two groups — the 655th ISR Group at Wright-Patterson and the 755th ISRG at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., and 14 squadrons across seven operating locations with a total of 1,200 full-time and traditional Reserve military and civilian personnel, according to AFRC. —Brian Everstine



To Improve US Air Combat Readiness, End The Budget Control Act

The United States faces a dangerous imbalance with security threats on the rise and military preparedness ravaged by years’ worth of the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA)-driven defense budget cuts. Forbes

NY Air National Guard Unit Begins Annual South Pole Mission

An annual mission to the South Pole that involves hundreds of members of a New York Air National Guard unit is now underway. Military.Com

RAF Looks to Typhoon-Lightning-Tempest Force in 2030s

Senior UK Royal Air Force (RAF) officers are envisaging operating a mixed fleet of Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning, and BAE Systems Tempest combat aircraft during the 2030s. Janes

Vector Signs Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with US Air Force

Vector today announced it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the United States Air Force Space Command and Missile Systems Center’s Space Superiority Directorate.

Armed and Ready: Ramstein Receives Largest Ammo Shipment in Years

The 86th Munitions Squadron on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, received its largest shipment of ordnance in recent history. Approximately 100 containers with a variety of munitions rolled into Ramstein during the month of October. DVIDS

Russian Official Accuses US of UAV attack on Air Base in Syria

A US Navy P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft controlled a swarm of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that attacked Russia’s Humaymim Air Base in Syria, according to Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin. Janes

AFFT Museum Volunteers Give Makeover to C-7A Caribou

A retired Vietnam-era C-7A Caribou is now sporting its old look thanks to help from volunteers at Edwards Air Force Base. AFMC News