The Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of U.S. Military Strength rated each of the military departments as “marginal” due to a smaller-than-needed force structure and poor readiness displayed by the Air Force and Navy. The Army’s overall “marginal” rating represented progress from last year, though, when the service was considered “weak.” The Army’s higher rating was solely due to improvements in readiness, which changed from “weak” to “strong,” reported Defense News. The report also rated the military’s ability to engage in two major conflicts simultaneously as “marginal.” … The Air Force is considering establishing a new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter squadron under the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., the service’s busiest F-35 training wing. Such a move would provide incoming pilots with aircraft equipped with more advanced software and alleviate an ongoing challenge obtaining spare parts for the military’s oldest F-35s, reports Military.com. Those aircraft are part of Lockheed’s earliest initial production batches. … The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC) celebrated its second year of full operational capability this week, a transformation which saw the service consolidate 155 installation and mission support functions previously managed by the major commands and Air Force headquarters into a single, intermediate-level command. AFIMSC has become a center for installation and mission support (I&MS) innovation, helping to “reshape the installation from a platform to deliver services into an integrated weapons system of capabilities,” according to a news release. In 2017, the center launched the Installation and Mission Support Weapons and Tactics Conference to tackle current and future I&MS challenges such as adaptive basing, base resiliency and failing installation infrastructure.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force