‘We’re not moving fast enough,’ Air Force leader says

Published: Monday, January 29, 2018 @ 8:57 AM

Air Force seeking ideas for 2030 technology

The Air Force will launch a nationwide listening tour to find out what technology it may target in the future in the face of adversaries gaining technological advances faster, a top Air Force Research Laboratory leader says.

Air Force researchers have in recent years focused top priorities on developing aircraft and missiles that travel at hypersonic speeds, autonomy in machines like drones, and directed-energy weapons such as airborne lasers and microwave-zapping missiles, but AFRL Chief Technology Officer Morley O. Stone said the goal is to go beyond that.

“We are not moving fast enough, not only with the world around us, but we’re not moving fast enough with the way potential adversaries are looking at and adopting technology,” Stone said.

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AFRL is leading the study ordered by the Air Force’s top leaders: Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. “There’s no part of this study that we’re not driving here from this locale,” Stone said in an interview at AFRL headquarters at Wright-Patterson.

Starting in March and through July, the tour will travel to 14 sites — a number that could grow larger if more institutions show interest by the end of next month in hosting an event, he said.

AFRL has a website — afresearchlab.com/2030 — where ideas can be submitted by anyone.

RELATED: Drones, lasers, hypersonic weapons will be ‘game-changers’

“In a world where far more innovation is happening outside the government than inside it, connecting to the broader scientific enterprise is vital,” Wilson said in a statement.

The tour is scheduled to make stops from coast to coast, though none are in Ohio. The closest stops to Dayton are in Indianapolis between May 6-11 in a forum hosted by the National Defense Industrial Association; and in Cincinnati between July 9-11 in a session partnered with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

“We do so much with the institutions here … that the feeling was let’s go out and listen to those parts of the country where they don’t often interact with the Air Force,” Stone said.

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Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the Air Force must focus not only on technology, but how quickly it can be added to the force.

“Space is a prime example because so much of the innovation right now is coming from outside the government,” he said in an email. “The Air Force needs to develop a better approach to identify new commercial space technologies and services that can benefit the military, rapidly incorporate these technologies and data products into the force (in months rather than years), and adapt its operational concepts and training to take full advantage of them.”

One technology showing future potential is in the emerging area of quantum sciences, Stone said.

RELATED: Report: Air Force has microwave weapon to zap NK’s missiles

“Countries around the world are making huge investments in that area,” the chief researcher said. “There are advancements occurring in that area almost daily so (we’re) trying to figure out how do we stay on top of that … and incorporate some of those advancements into our portfolio as quickly as possible.”

Advances in quantum sciences, which for example studies how matter interacts at the atomic level, could led to more secure encryption of communications “impervious to eavesdropping” and more advanced sensors, he said.

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, an architect of the air war against Iraq in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, emphasized the importance of technology to advance military strategy.

“Advanced technologies drive new concepts of operation that enable advantages over potential adversaries – that is what happened during Desert Storm,” he said in an email to this newspaper.

RELATED: Threats will drive BRAC strategy, Air Force leader says

Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, noted the impact of stealth and precision strike led to an operational plan “that paralyzed and then shut down the fourth largest military in the world. That can happen again by capitalizing on advanced technologies in a similar fashion.”

The retired three-star general added while technology advancements are required, “new warfighting capability will only be realized through a paradigm shift in the manner in which we think about warfare more than simply applying new technologies to old ways of conducting warfare.”

AFRL will turn in its findings to the Air Force’s top leadership later this year.

The Air Force Research Laboratory will launch a workshop and listening tour across the country to gain ideas of what new ‘gamer changer’ technologies the Air Force should pursue through 2030 and beyond.

* Here’s a look at the cities and dates of the events hosted by universities, government agencies and professional societies:

March 11-15, 2018: Minerals, Metals & Materials Society hosted session, Phoenix, Ariz.

March 22, 2018: University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.

March 29-30, 2018: Best Practices from State and Federal Government Organizations, Washington, D.C.

April 22-26, 2018: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Orlando, Fla.

April 26, 2018: University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla.

May 6-11, 2018: National Defense Industrial Association, Indianapolis, Ind.

May 10, 2018: Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.

May 21-24, 2018: Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering, Long Beach, Calif.

May 22, 2018: University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.

June 21-22, 2018: Best Practices from Industry and International Organizations, Washington, D.C.

June 25-29, 2018: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Atlanta, Ga.

June 27, 2018: Texas A&M, College Station, Texas

July 9-11, 2018: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics hosted session, Cincinnati, Ohio

July 26, 2018: University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

(* An AFRL spokesman says not every event is open to the public.)

SOURCE: U.S. Air Force

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Best state for veterans? Ohio isn’t on the list

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 7:09 AM

HINES, IL - MAY 30:  A sign marks the entrance to the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital on May 30, 2014 in Hines, Illinois. Hines,  which is located in suburban Chicago, has been linked to allegations that administrators kept secret waiting lists at Veterans Administration hospitals so hospital executives could collect bonuses linked to meeting standards for rapid treatment. Today, as the scandal continued to grow, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized in public and then resigned from his post. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
HINES, IL - MAY 30: A sign marks the entrance to the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital on May 30, 2014 in Hines, Illinois. Hines, which is located in suburban Chicago, has been linked to allegations that administrators kept secret waiting lists at Veterans Administration hospitals so hospital executives could collect bonuses linked to meeting standards for rapid treatment. Today, as the scandal continued to grow, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized in public and then resigned from his post. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Ohio isn’t one of the best states for veterans, according to a new analysis.

The average officer is only 45 years old — 42 for non-disability enlisted personnel — upon retirement from service, according to WalletHub’s new analysis. Military retirees deal with re-assimilation into civilian life, sometimes facing challenges with the job markets, homelessness, disabilities and Post-Tramatic Stress Disorder.

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WalletHub ranked the best states for the military community, using a data set of 27 key metrics, ranging from veterans per capita to number of VA health facilities to job opportunities for veterans. Ohio didn’t rank in the top 20 states, landing at No. 23. The top states include:

1. Florida

2.Virginia

3. New Hampshire

4. Alabama

5. South Carolina

6. Maine

7. South Dakota

8. Alaska

9. Idaho

10. Texas

11. Montana

12. Minnesota

13. Massachusetts

14. Kentucky

15. Oklahoma

16. Luisiana

17. Wyoming

18. North Dakota

19. Missouri

20. Wisconsin

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Military brides in Dayton can get a free wedding dress this week

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 7:23 AM

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A local organization is giving away wedding dress for military brides this week.

The third annual Marry Me Military for all military brides will take place on Sunday, May 27 in the Grand Ballroom at Holiday Inn Dayton/Fairborn. The event, offered by the United Service Organizations -Central and Southern Ohio, is open to 75 brides from noon to 3 p.m. The event has provided military brides with more than 300 free bridal gowns.

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Each bride can bring two guests. To be eligible for a complimentary wedding dress, brides must be an active duty, guard or reserve military member getting married, or the fiancé of an active duty, guard or reserve military member. If their military member is deployed, they must bring a copy of his/her orders and a short letter of introduction, along with their confirmation e-mail to be granted access to the event.

“We are excited to be able to provide wedding dresses to our military brides on their special day,” said Mia Walthers, center manager of WPAFB USO. “Often funds are low for our military members, so providing a new gown is one way our USO can show support to our new brides and help offset the expenses of the wedding. In the past, several brides told us they would have never been able to afford a dress like the one they got at the Marry Me Military events.”

Deadline to register is May 25.

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AF museum attendance soars on first day of Memphis Belle opening

Published: Friday, May 18, 2018 @ 1:38 PM


            The Memphis Belle exhibit opens at the National Museum of the US Air Force. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
            TY GREENLEES
The Memphis Belle exhibit opens at the National Museum of the US Air Force. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(TY GREENLEES)

Attendance at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force soared Thursday nearly four times above the average for the same date in recent years with the debut of the Memphis Belle exhibit, figures show.

The museum counted 11,066 people in attendance for the unveiling of the reborn icon, compared to an average of 2,421 on May 17 between 2015 through 2017, spokesman Rob Bardua said.

“We are anticipating large crowds for sure,” he said. “You never know the exact number to expect.”

RELATED: ‘It took my breath away,’: Memphis Belle unveiled at AF museum

Memphis Belle activities with more than 160 re-actors, plane flyovers, book signings and movie screenings were to continue through Saturday,

The Belle was the first U.S.Army Air Forces bomber to complete 25 missions over war-torn Europe and return to the United States. The exhibit was revealed to the public on the 75th anniversary of its final mission.

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Did you see the president’s plane? Why it was here.

Published: Friday, May 18, 2018 @ 11:08 AM

A lumbering Air Force VC-25 presidential transport plane know as Air Force One was flying over Dayton and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for more than an hour on Thursday

Spectators of World War II bombers and fighters landing at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force got an extra bonus Thursday.

The plane commonly referred to as Air Force One, a Boeing 747 designated VC-25 in the Air Force, practiced touch-and-go landings on Wright-Patterson’s main runway. The jumbo jet is Air Force One only when the president is aboard.

Two B-17 bombers, a P-51 fighter and a PT-19 trainer, flew to the museum’s airstrip from Grimes Field in Urbana around the same time as part of festivities marking the debut of the B-17 Memphis Belle exhibit at the museum.

RELATED: ‘Memphis Belle’ will rumble over real-life version in Dayton

“Wright-Patt is an ideal location for training the VC-25 crews because we are close by air to the (Washington) DC area, have a long runway and light traffic compared to the DC metropolitan area,” base spokesman Daryl Mayer said in an e-mail. “It was merely a coincidence the VC-25 was training at the same time the B-17 contingent was landing on the (museum’s) runway. Our tower had contact with all aircraft at all times and were in compliance with all safety regulations.”

The World War II aircraft took off later in the day and may return for flyovers Friday but will not land because of weather concerns, said museum spokesman Rob Bardua.

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