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Airmen from the Hawaiian Raptors conduct an end of runway inspection of several F-22 Raptors as they return from a six-month deployment to the Central Command area of responsibility at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, April 8, 2016. Air Force photo by TSgt. Aaron Oelrich.


Hawaii F-22s Use Real-World Lessons, Any Available Red Air to Prepare for High-End Fight

F-22s from JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, face a broad set of missions, from protecting the US homeland to recent deployments across both the Pacific and Middle East. Unlike other Raptor units, the Hawaii F-22 contingent is small and has a limited amount of “Red Air” to train against. To be ready for the high-end threat, the Raptors get creative about their training and build on lessons learned facing Syria’s anti-access, area-denial capability. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.  


Pentagon Report Points to Benefits of Administration Afghan Strategy

The Trump administration’s August Afghanistan strategy has “breathed new life” into the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) and the country’s government, the administration said last week in its semiannual report, “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan.”  The change to a “conditions-based” approach has also increased doubts among the Taliban as the organization realized the US is “committed to Afghanistan and committed to transforming the ANDSF into a lethal force capable of defending its homeland,” according to the report. The 118-page report pointed to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s offer of peace negotiations “without preconditions” as opening the door for meaningful negotiations. The report, covering events from Dec. 1 to May 31 and submitted under national defense authorization legislation, covers the first campaign season to start under President Trump’s August strategy. —Steve Hirsch

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Innovation Lab, with Star Trek Decal Opens at South Korea Base

The Korea Innovation and Research Center at Osan AB, South Korea, complete with a Star Trek-inspired decoration, began operations last month, the first innovation laboratory on the Korean Peninsula focused on the military. The center is part of 480th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing efforts to get airmen to reach beyond their usual missions, Capt. David Berry, 303rd Intelligence Squadron flight commander, said in a release. The new center includes computers, virtual-reality headsets, whiteboards, and 3D printers. Planning for the new lab began in August and construction began in April, with the opening on June 26. It was estimated it would cost $15,000 to transform the former storage room into the Korea Innovation and Research Center, or KIRC; the renovation included a new paint job and a decal of Capt. James T. Kirk, a play on the lab name’s abbreviation. —Steve Hirsch

Pentagon Issues Digital Engineering Strategy

The Pentagon last week issued its strategy for using digital engineering to design and sustain defense systems. The strategy is aimed at promoting use of digital techniques in these processes, with goals including formalizing use of models in decision-making, incorporating technological innovation into engineering, and transforming the workforce to adopt digital engineering. In a foreword to the strategy, Defense Undersecretary for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin called on the services to develop digital engineering implementation plans “to ensure the Department advances this timely and imperative effort.” —Steve Hirsch

Lockheed Martin, Guardtime Federal Increase Cooperation on Cyber Protection

Lockheed Martin said Monday it is increasing its work with Guardtime Federal, which supports cyber security and similar needs for defense and intelligence agencies and companies, to integrate “integrity and  cyber-related capabilities” into aircraft operations. The new contract, which builds on previous work, concentrates on further cutting “the attack surface of the information supply chain that forwards information to and from operational aircraft systems,” the company said. The companies have been working together since 2015, at first on demonstrations, and are now moving into more operationally oriented projects dealing with potential data manipulation in networked and weapon system cyber physical systems. —Steve Hirsch

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RADAR SWEEP


—With attention focused on the prospect of a Space Force, some strategists are talking about a Space Guard, which would have a similar organization and structure as the Coast Guard: Politico.

—The Maghawir al-Thowra, a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve partner force in Syria, while on patrol interdicted nine ISIS fighters in the 55-kilometer southern Syrian deconfliction zone, officials said Saturday: Defense Department release.

—Defense Secretary James Mattis plans to visit Croatia, to reinforce US support to Southeast Europe to defense ministers of the U.S.-Adriatic Charter, and Norway, where he will meet with Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen and Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide, after the July 11-12 NATO summit, Pentagon officials said Friday: Defense Department release.

—The names of space pioneers James Dempsey, Maj. Gen. John “Jack” Kulpa Jr., Lt. Gen. Forrest McCartney, Hideyoshi Nakamura, Col. Albert John “Red” Wetzel, and James B. Woodford Jr. have been inscribed on the polished black granite Wall of Honor at the Schriever Space Complex at Los Angeles AFB, Calif.: Air Force release.

—L3 Technologies said last week it had acquired Applied Defense Solutions, a software developer and data analytics firm, which L3 said will help its space work: Defense Daily.

—The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental has hired Michael Madsen, a former Air Force colonel, as head of its Washington operations: Defense News.

—The remains of Army Air Force SSgt. Roy Davis, a bomber crew member who did not make it back from a 1944 bombing mission in northeastern New Guinea, accounted for last year, were buried with full military honors June 23 in Ashby, Mass.: Air Force release