Derek Tournear, the Pentagon’s assistant director for space within the department’s
research and engineering branch, became acting director of the Space
Development Agency on June 24, less than a week after the agency’s
founding director, Fred Kennedy, left the post.
Although this is the Air Force’s second F-35 deployment to Europe, it’s the first time the fifth-generation fighters have intensely operated with partner nations and regularly forward deployed to new locations.
Despite extended delays and some continuing problems, the Air Force’s KC-46 operating base is now flying a steady stream of firsts and setting milestones.
Despite the Air Force’s enthusiasm in rolling out data-driven, proactive aircraft maintenance initiatives over the past few years, a top official says someone needs to champion those efforts and shoulder the cost if they are to continue.
MQ-9 Reapers will keep their slew of air-to-surface weapons, but the Air Force is holding
off on adding air-to-air missiles to the drone’s arsenal for now, the
service’s program executive officer for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and special operations forces said.
The Air Force’s acquisition head wants to go back to a golden era of fighter jet production by taking advantage of future engineering technology and the brains of both major manufacturers and small startups.
The White House on June 21 announced the intent to officially nominate Army Secretary Mark Esper as the next Defense Secretary, hours after former acting Defense Secretary and expected nominee Patrick Shanahan was ceremoniously walked out of the building.
The F-22 fleet is turning in a substantially better mission capable rate, but won’t hit the 80 percent level former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said must be met by the end of fiscal 2019.
The Air Force is likely to redesignate the B-52H as the B-52J once it receives a slew of modifications adding up to a “major modification,” Brig. Gen. Heath Collins, service program executive officer for fighters and bombers, told reporters June 20.
In a series of tweets posted to his personal Twitter account on June 21, President Donald Trump explained his rationale for halting a planned US military strike against Iran after it used a surface-to-air missile to take down a US Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk drone variant on June 19.
Kennedy, a publicly enthusiastic proponent of the Pentagon’s vision for
a new space architecture, is stepping down from his role as inaugural
director of the fledgling Space Development Agency after only a few
and the Air Force are working on a type of “bug bounty” focused on
addressing cyber deficiencies, but this time on aircraft.
Air Force is abandoning its “Gray Wolf” swarming cruise missile
development program to instead funnel funding toward “Golden Horde,” an
effort to get existing munitions to cooperate in combat.
Iranian surface-to-air missile shot down a US drone over the Strait of
Hormuz around 11:35 p.m. GMT on June 19, US Central Command spokesman
Navy Capt. Bill Urban said in a statement.
Gen. Duke Richardson, who will soon take over as the Air Force’s top
uniformed acquisition official, told members of industry on June 19 they
should resist if the service tries to add unneeded requirements to
programs, and he told his own acquisition officials they should heed
industry’s requests in this regard “unless it hurts.”
Force Special Operations Command’s CV-22 fleet is raising alarm amid
low readiness levels and combat availability concerns as it heads into
multiple years of upgrades.
The Pentagon’s top sustainment official thinks the F-35 can still achieve its
planned cost-per-flying-hour targets, because there are still years to
go before the notional deadline and progress is rapidly being made.
Air Force is developing a new air-to-air missile, dubbed the AIM-260,
that offers longer range than Raytheon’s Advanced Medium-Range
Air-to-Air Missile and would be used to counter the Chinese PL-15
Col. William Goldfein, father of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David
Goldfein, passed away quietly after a long illness June 18. He was 87.
when the Air Force’s head of acquisition is pressed for answers about
program progress, it’s about problems. But when Will Roper gave an
update on the Combat Rescue Helicopter program this week, he had only
“really good” things to say about industry.
Raytheon begins work under the first production contract for its Joint
Precision Approach and Landing System, it is planning more displays to convince the Air Force the system would help USAF aircraft touch down in austere locations.
The House on June 19 approved a $690.2 billion 2020 defense spending bill as part of a larger four-bill appropriations package that also funds the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, State, and Energy for a total package worth $982.8 billion.
Nicolas Chaillan, a cybersecurity adviser in the Office of the Secretary of Defense with roots in commercial industry and the Department of Homeland Security, has joined the Air Force to oversee daily software development as chief software officer.
Air Force readiness grew by about 15 percent over the past year, but
the service must revamp its approach to managing aircraft and other
weapon systems to handle less predictable, more complex combat
environments, Air Combat Command’s chief argued here.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is stepping down from his position and withdrawing from consideration for the Pentagon's top job, and President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that Army Secretary Mark Esper will be named the new acting Secretary.
The Air Force on June 12 conducted the first flight test of a new
hypersonic weapon, carrying the prototype on a B-52 out of Edwards
AFB, Calif. The base released a video of the test on June 17.
Joint Staff has jumped into an ongoing debate over where the Pentagon’s
secretive Strategic Capabilities Office should sit, arguing that
wherever the research group lands, its key purpose should be to continue
supporting warfighters in the field.
F-15Es from Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., touched down at Al Dhafra AB, United Arab Emirates, on June 13 as part of a further buildup of US forces in the Middle East.
Air Force expects to wrap up foreign object debris checks of the 11
KC-46 tankers it has already accepted within the next few weeks, Air Force
Assistant Secretary for Acquisition Will Roper told Air Force Magazine
in an interview at the Paris Air Show.
Raytheon announced June
18 it is working with the V-22 joint program office to use a new
artificial intelligence capability to predict when repairs are needed on
US officials went to the Paris Air Show this week looking to raise concerns with
allies about European efforts to increase defense spending and
procurement, which they say could unintentionally push American products
and interests out.
The first flight of a prototype hypersonic weapon on the wing of a B-52 last week means hypersonics are becoming real, the Air Force’s head of acquisition said June 18.
Northrop Grumman and Raytheon announced June 18 they are teaming up to develop hypersonic scramjet weapons.
same week as the experimental “wingman” drone Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie
took its second flight, the Air Force’s head of acquisition said
operators are calling for swift action to begin buying the aircraft.
Air Force appears to be renewing its push for a Miniature Self-Defense
Munition that could protect aircraft in dangerous combat environments,
though government and industry are mum on the program’s progress over
the past few years.
Martin is looking at dramatically increasing the range of the F-35 by
adding external fuel tanks while also planning to expand the suite of
weapons the aircraft can carry.
Martin still considers Turkey an integral part of the F-35 team, even
though the country has not made any efforts to reverse its plan to buy
the Russian-made S-400 air defense system and it faces imminent removal
from the program altogether.
Air Force is still finding foreign object debris inside new KC-46s,
with the most recent items discovered this past week, even as it
continues its “cultural dialogue” with Boeing to address the company’s
response to FOD inside the tankers, Will Roper, the Air Force’s
assistant secretary for acquisition, said June 17.
Pentagon’s Inspector General, in an audit released June 13, said
Lockheed Martin provided parts for the F-35 fighter that didn’t have
required electronic logs, but the company got its incentive fees anyway.
world’s largest air show kicked off with France, Germany, and Spain
pulling the cover off the New Generation Fighter, a concept that will be
jointly designed by Dassault and Airbus as part of the three countries’
future combat air system.
One American MQ-9 was shot down by a Houthi SA-6 surface-to-air missile over Yemen on June 6, and another was targeted by an Iranian SAM in the Gulf of Oman shortly after the attack on two ships there, US Central Command said June 16.
Four months into the job, Space Development Agency Director Fred Kennedy made the case for why the Pentagon needed another space acquisition group, even as lawmakers raised questions in a draft version of the 2020 defense policy bill.
Martin has been in talks with US Transportation Command about providing
Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports to the US Air Force, either as
a sale, lease, or “fee for service” platform, to supplement the Air
Force’s aging tanker fleet.
KC-46 assigned to McConnell AFB, Kan., the new tanker’s first operating
base, refueled two F-16s earlier this month, kicking off initial
operational test and evaluation.
Martin is continuously assessing its F-35 supply chain and eyeing
potential alternate vendors, for just such a case as Turkey’s expulsion
from the multinational program, company executive vice president for
aeronautics Michele Evans said on June 13. It’s likely the Turkish
eviction won’t have much effect on cost or schedule of the program writ
large, she said.
House Armed Services Committee backed the creation of a Space Corps in a
bipartisan voice vote early June 13 during the markup of the 2020
defense authorization bill.
Senate Armed Services Committee on June 12 voted to confirm Gen. Jay
Raymond as head of the revived US Space Command and reapproved him to
lead Air Force Space Command, according to a SASC press release.
Donald Trump unveiled his plan for the livery of the next Air Force One
during a June 13 television interview, though the new paint scheme may
require Congressional approval.
the floodwaters that covered this base in March could emerge a new
opportunity for the 55th Wing: the chance to be a key hub for the Air
Force’s emerging information dominance organization.
Partisan seams appeared during the House Armed Services Committee’s lengthy debate over whether to deploy a new low-yield nuclear warhead on submarines, putting members’ deeply held disagreements about nuclear policy on display.
Martin took the unusual step June 12 of issuing a point-by-point
rebuttal of a press report describing deficiencies with the F-35 family
US pushed further to exclude one long-term partner in the F-35 program
the same day as it publicly reached out to another potential customer
with a June 12 flyover in downtown Washington.
Air Force is taking money out of the KC-46 program to keep older
KC-135s flying because of delays to the Pegasus program, while some Air
Force commanders are hesitant to let their aircraft be refueled by the
new tanker—further delaying the schedule, according to a new Government
Accountability Office report.
and airmen from RAF Lakenheath, England, have touched down in Turkey to
fly in the large Anatolian Eagle exercise there for the first time
Air Force’s pilot shortage has “leveled off,” and more pilots are now
looking to stay in service, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein
said June 11.
power competition may be the focus of the Pentagon’s latest strategy,
but the 55th Wing here says handling evolving threats is just another
day on the job.
The Office of Management and Budget this week came out against
a 2020 “minibus” spending package, slated to be taken up on the House
floor June 12, which largely denies funding for President Donald Trump’s
Space Force and a barrier at the southern US border.
F-35 squadron that deployed to Europe in late May has transitioned from
Aviano AB, Italy, to Spangdahlem AB, Germany, where they will be based
for the rest of their summer-long deployment.
Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), the House Armed Services Committee’s top
Republican and former chairman, will bring up an amendment this week to
raise the panel’s spending recommendation to $750 billion in the 2020
defense policy bill.
House Armed Services Committee will consider an amendment to create a
new military space organization as it marks up its 2020 defense policy
bill June 12, according to the panel’s chairman.
“merger of equals” between Raytheon and United Technologies into the
new Raytheon Technologies would vault the No. 3- and No. 8-ranked US
defense contractors, respectively, into a joint No. 2 position, just
behind Lockheed Martin, and is touted by the two companies’ CEOs as a
“platform agnostic” concern not dependent on any particular program.
The Defense Department and Lockheed Martin have reached a tentative agreement on the next lot of F-35s, with options for a multi-year buy worth about $34 billion for 478 aircraft total, including foreign partners and customers.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein on June 10 assigned a new senior budget official and a new leader for NATO air forces in Afghanistan.
aircraft and personnel are deployed throughout the European theater
this week supporting everything from large-scale multinational exercises
to Swiss flight evaluations.
The Japan Air Self Defense Force F-35 pilot who crashed in April likely experienced spatial disorientation before diving directly into the sea.
Air Combat Command on June 4 announced the new Thunderbirds team for
the 2020 season.
June 12, Turkey will be out of the multinational F-35 program unless it
immediately cancels an order for Russian S-400 Triumf air defense
systems, the Pentagon said June 7, laying out a series of economic and
military steps that would end all of Turkey’s involvement in the program
in the next six weeks.
2018, the US aerospace industry recorded “another standout year,” with a
nearly six percent increase in exports, the Aerospace Industries
Association said June 6, presenting its mid-year interim statistical
report on the health of the industry.
is both a tool and a domain in modern warfare, playing a critical role
in helping the US and allies make more rapid decisions—while at the same
time enabling capabilities designed to bog down the enemy’s
decision-making processes, according to USAF Lt. Gen. Brad Shwedo,
director for command, control, communications, and computers/cyber and
chief information officer for the Joint Staff.
The Defense Department is starting to design flight equipment with female aviators in mind.
DOD leaders are heading to Paris later this month with the goal
to tout US aerospace industry, aiming to increase interoperability with
American-made products around the world and strengthen American
businesses, the Pentagon’s head of acquisition said June 6.
US and France marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day together on the
shores of Normandy, commemorating the battle and 10,000 fallen allied
soldiers who President Donald Trump said “won back this ground for
the Air Force sets its sights on a future that relies less on
mission-specific aircraft and more on what a network of assets can
accomplish together, the 55th Wing here argues you can’t count out their
Col. Clarence “Bud” Anderson, who was assigned to the 357th Fighter
Group, is the leading living ace in the P-51 Mustang, scoring more than 16
kills and becoming a triple ace in World War II.
Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten, who has led the Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis AFB, Nev., since July 2017, was relieved of command on June 2 due to a “loss of confidence in his ability to command,” according to an Air Combat Command release.
AFB, Nev., already is busy planning for the reactivation of the 65th
Aggressor Squadron, even though it’s not slated to start receiving F-35
strike fighters until early 2022.
cluster of big contract wins last year, which came in billions below
Air Force estimates, may soon signal that USAF will have to change its
cost estimating system, Gen. Arnold Bunch, head of Air Force Materiel
Command, said in an exit interview from his post as top uniformed
three months since a “500-year flood” washed over one-third of the
crucial military base here, 55th Wing officials are eager to put
disaster-aid funding to use.
House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee is moving to limit
development of new nuclear weapons as outlined in the Pentagon’s plans,
including fully blocking the proposed low-yield warhead.
United States is still the best there is in space, but its advantage is
eroding as American adversaries actively work to counter US space-based
capabilities while bolstering their own capabilities, USAF Gen. Jay
Raymond told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 4.
continued sustainment problems plaguing both the F-35 program and
broader military readiness are a major focus of the House Armed Services
readiness subcommittee mark of the 2020 defense policy bill, which
calls for limiting acquisition funding until the F-35’s issues are
A B-52H deployed from Barksdale AFB, La., recently trained with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group in the US Central Command area of responsibility, according to a Navy release.
Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office have delivered the 400th
F-35—an F-35A model to Hill AFB, Utah—and surpassed 200,000 flight
hours, Lockheed announced June 3.
defense authorizers this week endorsed the Air Force’s decision to buy
Boeing’s F-15EX—but with a catch.
B-1 availability is raising alarm at the House Armed Services
Committee, which is asking the Air Force to report back on several
aspects of a readiness recovery plan for the conventionally armed
Indo-Pacific is the Defense Department’s “priority theater,” but the US
military’s advantage over countries such as China and Russia—which are
looking to increase interest and influence in the region—is “eroding,”
forcing the department to re-evaluate its posture and strategic
objectives in the area and placing an even greater emphasis on
strengthening partnerships, according to DOD’s first Indo-Pacific strategy report.
The Air Force on May 30 commemorated MSgt. John Chapman, the first airman to receive the Medal of Honor for actions since the Vietnam War, with a life-size statue and replica of the award at a squadron where airmen entering his career field train.
Air Force and Federal Aviation Administration will work together to
address the national pilot shortage, with a specific focus on
cross-agency collaboration, officials announced.
the eve of his speech at the 2019 IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in
Singapore, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Asia-Pacific
nations can look to US defense spending for reassurance that America
will be a steadfast ally.
recent Air Force solicitation takes the first steps toward being able
to order space launches on just 24 hours notice, a goal that would make
the service more responsive to combat developments and avoid the weeks-
or months-long waits typical of launches.
Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein
issued a memo to commanders across the service on a new way of training
and promoting officers that is better tailored to the needs of each
Donald Trump praised the “record number” of space operators in the US
Air Force Academy’s Class of 2019 in a speech at the Colorado school’s
graduation ceremony May 30.
Air Force doesn’t plan to cancel any upcoming training exercises as it
waits for Congress to pass a disaster-aid supplemental funding bill,
despite what the service’s vice chief of staff told lawmakers earlier in
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, suffered “minimal damage” after multiple tornadoes touched down late on May 27.
many as 24 F-35 strike fighters and more than 250 airmen assigned to
the Active Duty’s 388th Fighter Wing and the Air Force Reserve’s 419th
FW—USAF’s only combat-coded F-35 wings—will relocate to Mountain Home
AFB, Idaho, while the runway at Hill AFB, Utah, closes for construction,
according to a base release.
Pentagon consciously decided to funnel more money into research and
development rather than grow the military in the short term in the 2020
budget request, acting Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist said May
30 at the Center for a New American Security.
A recent Air Force Research Laboratory solicitation asks industry to pitch new ideas for handling space situational awareness, communication, and geolocation and timing from low Earth orbit, as the Space Development Agency hashes out its own ideas for a plethora of military-use satellites in LEO.
Central Command has called for increased intelligence, surveillance,
and reconnaissance to watch over Iranian-backed forces and more air
support “in the event of an attack” after intelligence showed a campaign
of threats from Iran, top US military officials said May 29.
the Air Force has put forth plans to increase the size of its force
structure, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford
said May 29 that given the choice between increasing in size and
increasing in quality, the latter is needed in the face of budget
President Donald Trump has nominated Maj. Gen. Mary O’Brien for a third star and assignment as deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, cyber effects operations, at USAF headquarters.
The Middle East’s largest military aerial port of debarkation officially opened on May 19 as “Cargo City” became operational in Kuwait.
has transmitted a request for pricing of 32 F-35A fighters along with
logistics support and training to the US government under the Foreign
Military Sales program, Polish and US officials confirmed Tuesday,
marking that country’s first official step toward purchasing the
tornadoes touched down late on Memorial Day near Wright-Patterson AFB,
Ohio, damaging about 150 off-base military homes but leaving key parts
of the Dayton installation largely untouched.
Senate Armed Services Committee’s $750 billion 2020 defense
authorization bill asks the Air Force to settle on an “optimum” bomber
and fighter force structure built to counter Russian and Chinese
last month of ISIS’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq ended
with 900 airstrikes from US and coalition aircraft, an increase from the
previous month as US-backed fighters routed the last town from the
surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft housed at Offutt AFB, Neb.,
are prime candidates for modern maintenance approaches that use additive
manufacturing and predictive analytics, the state’s senior senator
Pentagon is sending more intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance
aircraft and another fighter squadron to the Middle East as part of a
deployment of 1,500 personnel to “improve our force protection and
safeguard US forces” from Iranian threats, Acting Defense Secretary
Patrick Shanahan announced May 24.
The Senate has confirmed a series of key USAF leadership roles, including new Air Force Materiel Command and Air Education and Training Command chiefs, new bosses at Air Forces Northern and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Office, and more.
Martin delivered its 196th F-35A Joint Strike Fighter to the Air Force
this week, surpassing the total of 195 F-22s—test and production—that it
delivered to the service between 1996 and 2011.
Senate Armed Services Committee endorses a Space Force in its version of
the 2020 defense policy bill, becoming the first defense oversight
panel to explicitly greenlight the proposal this year.
The Senate on May 23 approved a new supplemental aid bill, providing the Air Force with $1.67 billion
to cover construction and operations at Tyndall AFB, Fla., and Offutt
AFB, Neb., following natural disasters that caused widespread damage to
Air Force needs to look to new ways of penetrating enemy airspace as
its idea of what should replace the B-52H Stratofortress takes shape,
Peter Fanta, deputy assistant defense secretary for nuclear matters,
said this week.
Launch Alliance this week announced its new Vulcan Centaur rocket
passed its critical design review, a system-level vetting that marks the
end of the design phase.
appropriators aren’t sold on the need to fund three high-priority Air
Force development projects intended to help tackle counterterrorism
missions and “great power competition” simultaneously.
The House Appropriations Committee expressed a lot of gripes about how the Air Force is handling the rapid development and fielding of hypersonic technology and weapons in its fiscal 2020 budget language.
NATO and the US are “very, very” focused on resolving the differences with Turkey as the country reportedly faces a new deadline to decide between the F-35 and Russian-made S-400 system, the head of US European Command said May 22.
B-52 flew alongside two F-35As and two Qatari Air Force Mirage 2000s in
a formation over the water in Southwest Asia as the bombers continued
their public flights to “defend US forces and interests in the region.”
the second time in two days, four USAF F-22s intercepted Russian Tu-95
bombers and Su-35 fighters entering the Alaskan air defense
identification zone, the North American Aerospace Defense Command
Boeing gears up for the Paris Air Show, its sales pitch to countries
shopping for a new or first aerial tanker capability will be that the US
Air Force will pay to keep the worldwide KC-46 fleet up to date, saving
countries money and assuring them the product will have long-term
President Donald Trump said on Twitter this week he plans to nominate Barbara Barrett, former chairwoman of The Aerospace Corporation’s board of trustees and a past Federal Aviation Administration deputy administrator, as the Air Force’s 25th Secretary.
Force Secretary Heather Wilson used her last public appearance in the
Washington area shortly before she retires to share her thoughts on
leadership, and gardening.
House appropriators want to pull more than $200 million from a key missile warning satellite program in fiscal 2020 and are linking it
to the future of the Pentagon’s new Space Development Agency, according
to the report accompanying the House Appropriations Committee’s version
of the 2020 defense spending bill.
Department officials are laying the groundwork for a Space National
Guard even though the Pentagon’s Space Force proposal did not include
provisions for a reserve component, the head of the Air National Guard
said May 21.
first MH-139 for the Air Force—which replaces the UH-1N Huey in the
roles of nuclear missile field support, VIP transport, and some other
missions—is in production at Agusta-Westland facilities north of St.
Louis, Mo., and if there are no hiccups, it will fly by the end of the
year, Boeing officials reported.
Boeing has delivered three more KC-46As to the Air Force, bringing the total number of tankers sent to the service to 11.
appropriators this week are using the 2020 budget cycle to weigh in on
the Air Force’s future force plans, calling into question the service’s
fighter procurement strategy and arguing Congress needs a bigger say in
20 years after the Air Force first embarked on its search for a new
combat search-and-rescue helicopter with the CSAR-X program, the
helicopter that will replace the legacy HH-60G Pave Hawk flew for the
first time May 17 in Florida.
made up 30 percent of applicants for the Air Force Academy’s class of
2022, marking a school-high for female candidates, the service’s
personnel chief said May 16.
Pentagon’s new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center is ramping up its
work, adding two new areas of focus—cybersecurity and robotic process
automation—and expanding its outreach to academics and foreign allies,
its new chief scientist said.
F-16 crashed near March ARB, Calif., while flying an afternoon training
mission for the North American Aerospace Defense Command May 16, the
Air Force Reserve said in a release.
new provision of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act clears the
way for fully fledged joint operations in cyberspace involving both
military personnel and those from civilian agencies like the Department
of Homeland Security, officials said Thursday.
The armed services should hurry up and order more V-22 tiltrotors if they want them, because the program of record is rapidly being built out and there’s a risk of a break in the production line, potentially higher costs, or closing of the line, Boeing has advised.
The Air Force has asked industry to submit proposals for an autonomous drone that can rescue downed aircrew in remote or hostile environments.
The Air Force is planning to revamp its officer promotion system this fall, completely overhauling how the service develops officers and allowing for more flexibility within various career fields.
Air Force Undersecretary Matthew Donovan will take over as acting Secretary June 1 after Secretary Heather Wilson steps down, the Pentagon announced May 15.
order to avoid the National Defense Strategy and National Military
Strategy from becoming academic studies that just sit on a shelf, the
Joint Staff is overhauling how it wargames, the head of planning of the
Joint Staff said Wednesday.
sees a potential market for up to 2,600 of the T-X advanced trainers in
variants ranging from trainer to light strike and light fighter, said
William Torgerson, senior director of T-X program integration at the company.
The Air Force has brought back another B-52 from the boneyard. Tail No. 60-034, known as “Wise Guy,” touched down at Barksdale AFB, La., on May 14.
F-15Es and airmen from Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., recently proved a new type of deployment for the Air Force, with a small team of jets and multifunctional airmen standing up a small operating location.
State Department on May 15 pulled non-emergency US personnel from its
embassy in Baghdad and the consulate in Erbil, while allied training of
US-backed forces inside Iraq also was canceled as tensions with Iran
continue to rise.
The Air Force on May 14 officially announced the six candidate bases to potentially host the headquarters of the new US Space Command.
Boeing’s vice president for advanced F-15 programs, Prat Kumar, said the company is encouraged by the House Appropriations defense subcommittee’s version of the fiscal 2020 funding bill, which provides initial funding for the F-15EX.
after a British general and senior coalition member told reporters
“there was no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and
Syria,” US Central Command issued a statement saying that’s not true.
appropriators boosted the Air Force’s fighter procurement plans in
their version of the fiscal 2020 defense spending bill, adding 12 F-35As
on top of the Pentagon’s request and funding the start of the F-15EX
US-led coalition has not seen an increase in threats from
Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria despite proclamations from top US
officials that there are “very, very credible” threats from the
The House Appropriations defense subcommittee wants to ban the Pentagon from spending 2020 funding on the new Space Development Agency until after defense leaders send Congress a report on the organization’s future.
Special Operations Command recently overhauled its special operations
weather career field to reflect the changing nature of its mission,
renaming it Special Reconnaissance.
Air Force is taking the biggest hit of all the services as the Pentagon
reprograms funds to build a wall along the southern border, with about
half of the procurement costs coming from appropriated USAF projects.
B-52 from the recently deployed Bomber Task Force to the Middle East
flew its first mission on May 12, alongside F-15Cs and F-35s to “defend
American forces and interests.”
five years since the 65th Aggressor Squadron was inactivated, the Air
Force announced Thursday the squadron will return with F-35As to provide
improved training for fifth-generation fighter aircraft.
F-35 program will likely experience both schedule delays and cost
increases if Turkey is pushed out of the program, but the Pentagon is
working on ways to mitigate the potential fallout in that event,
Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord
said in a May 10 press conference.
The Air Force will award a contract for light attack aircraft this
fall after a formal solicitation expected this month, according to a
presolicitation notice the service posted on May 8.
Mad Hatter, the Air Force-led software coding effort tackling the F-35’s troubled Autonomic Logistics Information System, delivered its initial applications to the flightline at Nellis AFB, Nev., last week, a service official said May 9.
The Air Force, for the second time in about a week, test launched a
Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from Vandenberg AFB,
facilities at Offutt AFB, Neb., can’t be saved in the aftermath of a
blizzard whose floodwaters covered one-third of the base in March, while
another 10 can still be repaired, according to an Air Force spokesman.
Two more B-52s deployed to US Central Command on Thursday, bringing the bomber task force in the Middle East to a total of four aircraft from Barksdale AFB, La.
the effects of natural disasters and updating antiquated buildings top
the list of Air Force-related concerns in the House Appropriations
military construction, veterans affairs subcommittee’s fiscal 2020
spending bill, which lawmakers approved May 9 with a vote of 31-21.
The White House on Thursday announced President Donald Trump will nominate Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to take over the Pentagon permanently, a move long expected but delayed by a recently closed ethics inquiry.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated Lt. Gen. Brad Webb to take over as commander of Air Education and Training Command. The Pentagon also
announced that USAF Maj. Gen. David Nahom has been nominated for his
third star and to be deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and
Saab of Sweden will build a new facility in West Lafayette, Ind., for production of “major structural sections” of the Air Force’s new T-X advanced trainer, as well as other items.
initial work plan that acts as a blueprint for establishing a Space
Force, signed by Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, heads to Capitol
Hill, but the plan remains “long on questions and short on answers,”
said Maj. Gen. Clint Crosier, director of the Space Force planning task
force, at an AFA Gabriel Chapter luncheon on May 8.
Martin has made its opening offer to the F-35 Joint Program Office for
negotiations on production Lots 12-14, and it expects to deliver on its
previous agreement to get to $80 million a copy or less—for the airplane
and engine—by 2020.
than half of the 4,700 issues Air Force commanders found during a
walkthrough of nearly 10,000 military homes in February have been fixed
so far, the service's top installations official recently told
first B-52s comprising the Bomber Task Force landed in the Middle East
on Wednesday, part of a “direct response” to a number of “troubling
indicators” from Iran prompting the US to change its military posture,
the head of US Central Command said Wednesday.
F-22s are back at Tyndall AFB, Fla., at least for a two-week exercise.
the Pentagon moves ahead in its pursuit of hypersonic weapons, the
defense community has mixed opinions on whether the new missiles should
be considered as strategic assets—driven by the principle that simply
owning them should dissuade adversaries from using their own, and would
be devastating if deployed.
Force B-52s will deploy to the US Central Command area of operations
along with the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group in response to
“recent and clear indications” that Iranian forces were preparing to
possibly attack US forces, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.
The US-led coalition is limited in its ability to collect intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in key regions of the Iraq and Syria border as ISIS forces regroup and plan attacks, a Defense Department watchdog says in a new report.
A new Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications Enterprise Center at US Strategic Command
has begun suggesting changes to make future Air Force and Navy NC3
systems more coordinated and capable, the center’s director tells Air
US military is deploying a bomber task force and the USS Abraham
Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to US Central Command in a move the White
House says puts Iran on notice.
running the reconstruction effort at Tyndall AFB, Fla., last week laid
out a 12-part plan to rebuild the base decimated by Hurricane Michael
last year, and are ready to hire someone to make sure all the pieces work together—if and when they get the money to do so.
engine part installed improperly during contract maintenance caused a
T-6 Texan II to crash in September, Air Education and Training Command
said in a recently released investigation.
Air Force on Friday night published a final request for proposals for
Phase 2 of the National Security Space Launch program, signaling
confidence in its way forward even as industry and lawmakers have raised
questions about the initiative’s viability.
least two decades of a “very aggressive modernization effort” has
brought China’s military to the cusp of a nuclear triad for the first
time, along with dramatic progress in developing hypersonic missiles and
an air force with a long-range power projection capability, the
Pentagon warns in a new report on that country’s military power.
As space grows more contested, command and control will rely as much on the systems in orbit as the data they collect and share. Maj. Gen. Kim Crider, the new mobilization assistant to Air Force Space Command boss Gen. Jay Raymond, aims to better harness that information by creating a repository where situational awareness and observation data from space-based sensors can be stored and accessed by warfighters on multiple security levels.
Defense Innovation Board on Friday published its extensive look at the
flaws in the Pentagon’s software development processes, and recommended
steps to move it away from a 1990s-era view that connects its
acquisition to that of hardware.
early test of an experimental system that serves as the precursor to a
fighter jet’s laser weapon successfully shot down multiple air-launched
missiles last month, the Air Force Research Laboratory said Friday.
Comparative testing of the Air Force’s F-35 and A-10 to measure their performance in combat search-and-rescue, close air support, and airborne forward air control missions wrapped up earlier this spring, and should spur conversations about how best to partner fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft in combat, the Pentagon’s top weapons tester said Thursday.
F-35 program is driving toward two goals to drop the Air Force
variant’s cost per flying hour over the next several years, seeking to
hit $34,000 per flying hour by 2024 and $25,000 by 2025, the head of the
F-35 Joint Program Office told lawmakers Thursday.
Gen. Tod Wolters took over command of US European Command and became
NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe during a Thursday ceremony.
Pentagon is announcing new steps to combat sexual assault, including
designating sexual harassment as a standalone crime and creating a
program to catch offenders, as a newly released report shows the
increasing prevalence of assault in the military.
The Air Force’s new fleet of MH-139 helicopters, provided by Boeing and Leonardo, is expected
to cost nearly $19 billion over the course of its life, the service
said in a report to lawmakers that Air Force Magazine viewed this week.
Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian received his fourth star and took over as
commander of US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa and NATO Allied
Air Command during a ceremony Wednesday at Ramstein AB, Germany.
The Air Force test launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile early Wednesday from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
boost funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and ignore a Pentagon
initiative to buy new “legacy” F-15EXs, according to a letter to the
chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services and
Appropriations committees from 128 retired general and flag officers.
property from six military installations that were shut down in the
last Base Realignment and Closure round from 2005 will take at least six
years longer than expected because the Air Force needs to spend that
money to address drinking water contamination, according to the
service’s top installations official.
Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas)
on Wednesday suggested the Defense Department should consider hiring
contractors for tasks at America’s southern border instead of relying on
Two hypersonic missile
development projects jointly underway between the Air Force and the
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are in a “race” to see which
will fly first, but DARPA’s director said he expects it will happen by
the end of this year, or early next.
T-6 training aircraft crashed Wednesday afternoon in Oklahoma during a
training flight. The pilot and co-pilot were able to safely eject.
US military is struggling to improve the readiness of its F-35 and F-22
fleets, though other airframes such as the F/A-18 have made
“significant progress,” Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told
lawmakers on Wednesday.
The Senate on Monday confirmed a series of senior nominations, including the heads of US European Command, US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, and US Africa Command.
A master plan that dictates how
the Air Force will rebuild Tyndall AFB, Fla., is complete, but starting
Wednesday, the service won’t be able to carry out most of the blueprint
until it receives additional money from Congress.
The Air Force’s F-35A made its combat debut in Iraq Tuesday, releasing a Joint Direct Attack Munition against an ISIS tunnel network and weapons depot in Wadi Ashai, Iraq, US Air Forces Central Command said.
US military and diplomatic leaders came out in support of Venezuelan
opposition leader Juan Guaido’s uprising on Tuesday, calling for new
leadership to take over.
The Air Force on Monday awarded Boeing another $5.7 billion for 10 years of work on the KC-46 tanker.
The Air Force’s three depots are plagued with expired equipment and have shown steadily decreasing on-time performance, prompting two of them to be listed in overall “poor” condition, the Government Accountability Office states in a new report.
Northrop Grumman is taking the lead on standing up a new coding center dubbed “LevelUp” that will help field the secretive Unified Platform for US Cyber Command, a company spokeswoman said Monday.
Efforts by some on Capitol Hill to pull US support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen would backfire and further harm civilians, a top Pentagon official said Monday.
Gen. David Thompson, the vice commander of Air Force Space Command, is
all in on the idea of launching a giant network of satellites into low
Earth orbit—an idea under debate within the Department of Defense for
how realistically useful it may be and for which missions.
The Pentagon should
reconsider its operational requirements for the F-35 in light of the
program’s struggle with reliability and maintainability, and expedite
creating a business case for the Block 4 update of the jet before
pursuing any more development contracts, the Government Accountability
Office said in its annual review of the Joint Strike Fighter.
US military and allies, particularly in Europe, need to strengthen
their relationships through steps that don’t really make news, such as
increasing training opportunities and the interoperability of common
equipment, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Monday.
revived push for commercial technology is underway within the Air
Force, but the service has more to learn before it can make the most of
Col. Clarence “Bud” Anderson was honored April 24 at the third annual
Mitchell Institute Heritage Dinner, in Arlington, Va.
Gen. Richard Clark, Air Force deputy chief of staff for strategic
deterrence and nuclear integration, said Thursday the service is taking
steps to ensure the upcoming generation of nuclear enterprise leaders
are well-rounded and identified from an early age.
American F-35 fleet is falling far short of operational readiness
goals, and the main culprit is a shortage of parts, according to a new
Government Accountability Office report.
military’s advanced research laboratories and warfare centers turned
the Pentagon courtyard into a science fair Thursday, highlighting
advanced research into future weapons systems in an effort to bring each
service’s efforts together.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff USAF Gen. Paul Selva said
Thursday the Air Force’s intercontinental ballistic missiles may need a
fourth refurbishment program to extend their viability before the
Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent becomes available in the late 2020s.
training ranges in the Pacific are severely limited in how they can
train pilots and need to be upgraded as the military brings in new
aircraft, the Defense Department Inspector General states in a recent
Defense Department Inspector General on Thursday cleared Acting Defense
Secretary Patrick Shanahan of allegations that he violated an ethics
agreement and promoted his former employer, paving the way for a
possible nomination to take the job permanently.
An F-15C pilot’s improper maneuvers during a June 2018 training flight near Kadena AB, Japan, caused the Eagle to enter an uncontrollable spin and crash into the sea, according to a Pacific Air Forces accident investigation released Wednesday.
is the US-led effort going in Afghanistan? For the most part, that is
classified. And needlessly so, according to the top US watchdog for
new Air Force report suggests elevating a cross-cutting Air Force
Research Laboratory team to “prioritize and coordinate” the lab’s entire
autonomy portfolio at a crucial moment for development in that area.
short-lived air campaign targeting Taliban drug infrastructure in
Afghanistan had almost no impact on Taliban operations and the US tally
of costs imposed was wildly inflated, even though the operation marked
the F-22’s first combat in that country and the first use of a B-52’s
enhanced weapons launcher, the watchdog for Afghanistan said
months after Lockheed Martin’s first GPS III satellite launched from
Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., Raytheon says it is changing some aspects of
its Operational Control System’s software based on how OCX is performing in real life.
Air Force is seeking a contractor to study whether the Civil Air
Patrol’s fleet offers the right mix of capabilities for current and
future missions, according to a recent Federal Business Opportunities
first B-1B bombers returned to flight this week following a nearly
four-week stand-down due to issues with drogue chutes in the aircraft’s
A historic Northrop N-9M, an early 1940s aircraft that began the “flying wing” design that ultimately led to aircraft such as the B-2 Spirit bomber, crashed Monday in California killing the pilot.
Air Forces on Monday conducted a large-scale exercise, in which
aircraft from several units scattered to multiple operating locations to
ensure they could continue operating if forced to abandon a base.
Air Force on Saturday resumed deliveries of its next-generation tanker
after the second pause due to continued problems with debris in the
United States will no longer provide aircraft and maritime support in
the search for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A that crashed into the
Pacific Ocean on April 9, but it will continue to provide assistance in
other ways, such as helping to determine the cause of the crash.
If the Air Force wants to be able to do more in space, its science enterprise must follow.
USAF begins to put the lessons it learned from a yearlong
study of electromagnetic spectrum dominance into practice, an Air
University-led team’s second annual summit this month promises to
continue shaping how the government sees the emerging domain.
Michael, the massive storm that directly hit Tyndall Air Force Base and
the Florida Panhandle in October, has been upgraded to a Category 5
storm—the first to make landfall in the US since Hurricane Andrew in
B-1 bomber fleet remains grounded three weeks after inspectors
identified issues with a Lancer’s drogue chute system, but Air Force
Global Strike Command boss Gen. Timothy Ray approved a recovery plan on
leaders and the family of retired Lt. Col. Richard Cole said goodbye to
the last of the Doolittle Raiders during a Thursday ceremony at
Air Force Research Laboratory boss Maj. Gen. Bill Cooley told reporters Thursday the lab will start soliciting ideas within the next several months to meet the goals of the service’s new “Science and Technology 2030” strategy.
heroic actions of a USAF special operations helicopter pilot, who saved
multiple American lives during a secret 1969 mission in Laos, are
getting a renewed look as a Congressman is urging the Pentagon to
upgrade the previous award of an Air Force Cross to the Medal of Honor.
head of Air Force Global Strike Command believes the bomber force needs
to grow, but he thinks it’s too early in the development cycle of the
B-21 Raider to decide by how much because the jet’s final cost is not
Three KC-46s and 10 KC-135s fled McConnell AFB, Kan., on Wednesday as a storm approached the base.
next estimate of the cost of the GBSD will
likely go up due to expected higher costs for military construction, but
swift progress in developing the missile itself leads the head of Air
Force Global Strike Command to believe the ultimate cost will be “tens
of billions” less than now projected.
Air Force plans to appoint a new chief technology officer to direct the
$2.8 billion science and technology enterprise and consider which
future tech areas would benefit the service the most.
officials are expected to meet this week to discuss a $623 million
reprogramming request needed to buy parts for the Next-Generation
Overhead Persistent Infrared program and keep prototyping moving
quickly, the Air Force’s acquisition executive recently told reporters.
The Air Force is restructuring its KC-135 fleet as it brings on more KC-46s, moving 12 of the legacy tankers from McConnell AFB, Kan., to Fairchild AFB, Wash.
Air Force expects it will fall $900 million short on disaster-relief
funding in fiscal 2019 and still needs to find ways to fill a $3.3
billion gap in recovery spending, according to a Defense Department comptroller document obtained by Air Force Magazine.
The 2nd Space Operations Squadron’s GPS team doesn't get the final say over what happens next for Air Force Space Command’s warfighters. What they can control is how they prepare.
Close on the heels of Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Holmes’ teaser on the results of a year-long review of electronic warfare,
the Air Force on Tuesday gave some more specifics on how it will add
new organizations and structure to better address electromagnetic superiority in the coming years.
will be more USAF fighter programs in the coming years, but each will
yield fewer airplanes as the service moves toward a new “Century Series”
of rapid turnover projects, Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Holmes
said in an interview.
Force F-35As deployed to the Middle East for the first time on Monday,
arriving in the United Arab Emirates for combat operations across the
Air Force Association's StellarXplorers program recognized the winners
of the fifth season of its National High School Space Challenge at an
April 14 Awards Banquet in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Air Force will roll out a new strategy by the end of 2019 detailing its
plans to improve satellite communications coverage by working with both
traditional and commercial providers, the head of the Air Force Space
and Missile Systems Center said April 11.
President Donald Trump on Thursday nominated Navy Adm. Bill Moran to be the next Chief of Naval Operations.
Air Force Association's (AFA) CyberPatriot program crowned the winners
of the 11th season of its National Youth Cyber Defense Competition on
Wednesday, April 10 in Baltimore.
Defense acquisition reform—a cottage industry in Washington for decades—is a red herring, the Air Force’s acquisition chief said Friday.
493rd Fighter Squadron had a different sort of change of command
earlier this year, with the handover of leadership taking place during a
combat mission in the skies over Iraq and Syria.
US Strategic Command is working on a plan to turn over global sensor and satellite management for hypersonic missile warning and defense to US Space Command, STRATCOM chief Gen. John Hyten said this week.
Puerto Rico Air National Guard will transition away from its flying
mission to contingency response and combat communications, the National
Guard announced Thursday.
Future nuclear command, control, and communications data should pass through a network of military and commercial systems so complex that adversaries can’t figure out how to stop it, the head of US Strategic Command said this week.
Air Force needs to increase its combat fleet beyond the service’s “Air
Force We Need” assessment and develop new advanced weapons systems if it
expects to remain competitive in this new era of great power
competition, according to a congressionally mandated think tank report.
There will be a new electronic warfare czar on the Air Staff, following the Air Force’s yearlong review of its EW enterprise.
Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Armed Services
Committee grilled USAF and Defense Department leaders for nearly three
hours on Thursday, trying to determine whether it really is necessary to
create a sixth branch of the military dedicated solely to space.
President Donald Trump has nominated USAF Maj. Gen. Eric Fick for a
third star and appointment as director of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program.
The Air Force announced planned tweaks to how it manages promotions and vets prospective instructors and recruiters.
Search and rescue crews on Wednesday found debris from a Japan
Air Self-Defense Force F-35 that went missing during a Tuesday training
flight out of Misawa AB, Japan, as USAF and US Navy aircraft joined the
search for the pilot and aircraft.
Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Wednesday the US may eventually
demonstrate its offensive space capabilities in order to deter potential
newly established Space Development Agency promises to chart the first
steps of a “comprehensive architecture” to address eight critical
defense priorities by the end of September, the organization’s director
said here Tuesday.
United Launch Alliance Chief Executive Officer Tory Bruno sat down with Air Force Magazine Tuesday to talk about the future of launch services and military space.
Air Force tactical air control party airman on Tuesday received both
the Silver Star and Bronze Star Medal with Valor for two separate
missions in the same deployment to Afghanistan last year, where he is
credited with saving members of the Army Special Forces team he was
Lt. Col. Dick Cole, who served as co-pilot to Jimmy Doolittle on the
first US offensive action against Japan in WWII, and who was the last
surviving member of the Doolittle Raid, died in Comfort, Texas, on April
9, at the age of 103.
Air Force will begin receiving KC-46s again within weeks, following a
second round of inspections after more foreign object debris was
discovered in the aircraft. However, the service now needs to send the
aircraft it has already received back to Boeing for more checks.
Space Council Executive Secretary Scott Pace is urging Congress to take
up the Space Force proposal as part of the fiscal 2020 defense policy
bill, instead of considering it under standalone legislation as a key
House lawmaker has suggested.
US Strategic Command
chief Gen. John Hyten this week was nominated to become the next vice
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the second Air Force general in a
row to hold the position. His nomination was submitted to the Senate
Three of the companies vying for two spots in the second phase of the Air Force’s National Security Space Launch program next year disagree about whether the service should delay its final request for proposals.
Air Force’s base infrastructure is the most at-risk of all services
from climate change, with Hill AFB, Utah, facing the most danger,
according to a recent breakdown from the Pentagon.
Force Secretary Heather Wilson joined the leaders of the Navy and Army
last week for a summit on sexual assault and harassment at the service
academies and in the nation’s universities, with the goal of better understanding the depth of the problem.
head of the California Air National Guard and a wing commander in the
state have been relieved of command after an Air Force Inspector General
report and a newspaper investigation found a culture of reprisal.
satellite launch provider Rocket Lab will launch three experimental Air
Force research satellites this month as part of the Rapid Agile Launch
Initiative (RALI), a partnership between the Pentagon’s Space Test
Program and the Defense Innovation Unit.
began to return to Barksdale AFB, La., on Friday after almost one month
of training alongside allies across Europe and northern Africa.
US Africa Command for weeks claimed to reporters and to Congress there had been no civilian casualties as part of more than two years of ongoing airstrikes inside Somalia. However, on Friday, the command admitted that an internal investigation at a lower level inside AFRICOM determined a woman and a child were killed in a strike more than a year ago, but that determination did not make it to AFRICOM leadership until this week.
Strategic Command’s Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications
Enterprise Center (NEC) recently reached initial operational capability,
the latest step toward restructuring and updating those assets under
The Air Force’s decision to allow enlisted airmen to fly the RQ-4 Global Hawk may now be paving the way for further opportunities for those personnel in space operations.
mulling the change for about three years, the Air Force announced
Thursday its two organizations overseeing cyber, intelligence,
electronic warfare, and more will merge to create a new numbered Air
Force for information warfare.
new round of sequestration would cut the Air Force’s budget by about
$29 billion if the US busts its spending limits set by the 2011 Budget
Control Act, service Secretary Heather Wilson told senators Thursday.
production lines are facing long delays in parts deliveries, a fact
that would be exacerbated if Turkey is removed from the program and
Turkish parts providers are cut off from the supply chain, the head of
the joint program office told lawmakers on Thursday.
Two new autonomous aircraft concepts that promise to redefine the Air Force’s unmanned fleet are moving forward.
House Armed Services Committee members on Wednesday questioned how the various services’ space assets will fit together and whether creating new space organizations will render existing agencies useless, including the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center.
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg used his appearance before a joint
session of Congress to play down disputes within the Alliance and to
emphasize the importance of the group to US security.
on Wednesday pushed back on the US ultimatum of either the F-35 or a
Russian-made missile defense system, reiterating that the S-400 purchase
is a “done deal.”
Air Force will spend the bulk of its fiscal 2020 acquisition dollars on
global precision attack programs over special access programs, a role
reversal from last year, according to a new report from the service released Tuesday.
big-wing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance planes like the
RC-135 variants could go the same way as the E-8C Joint STARS, which
the Air Force is replacing with a network of sensors and satellites
instead of a dedicated jet.
The University of Texas System Board of Regents officially announced Tuesday Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson will become president of UT at El Paso effective Aug. 15.
Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan thinks the F-35 impasse with Turkey
will be resolved, and that country will agree, as the US has requested,
to buy the Raytheon Patriot air defense system rather than the Russian
US does not have a comfortable advantage over Russia in Europe, but
that could change if budgets continue to increase and the US bolsters
the size of its forces and influence in theater, the nominee to take
over US European Command said Tuesday.
Air Force again stopped accepting next-generation KC-46A tankers from
Boeing after more debris was found hidden in closed compartments, the
service said Tuesday.
the current fight against extremism is the top American concern in
Africa, the rise of Russia and China will shape the US mission on the
continent in the long-term, the nominee to take over US Africa Command
Invisible Wounds Center at Eglin AFB, Fla., will soon become part of a
new, state-of-the-art medical center specializing in traumatic brain
injury, post-traumatic stress, and pain thanks to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a nonprofit that builds treatment facilities for US military service members dealing with TBI and PTS.
will invest more than $260 million into a new storage facility in
central Poland, near Powidz Air Base, for the US military, Jens
Stoltenberg, the organization’s secretary general, announced Monday.
US government has taken steps to block the shipment of F-35 parts and
technical information to its NATO ally Turkey—a development and
production partner on the multinational strike fighter—because of
Ankara’s refusal to terminate its planned purchase of Russia’s S-400 air
Most of the aircraft that fled Offutt AFB, Neb., as floodwaters inundated the base in mid-March returned last week as the base gets back to normal operations.
Twenty-four F-22 Raptors recently plodded down the runway at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, in
the fleet’s largest-ever elephant walk, which was accompanied by an E-3
Airborne Warning and Control System and a C-17 cargo plane.
Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) is worried
the Air Force’s launch services procurement plan could undermine its
ultimate goal of “maximizing and sustaining fair and open competition”
in the space launch sector, he told service Secretary Heather Wilson and
Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord in a March 28 letter.
Army Gen. Richard Clarke Jr. took over command of US Special Operations Command during a ceremony in Florida on Friday.
from Dyess AFB, Texas, recently returned home, leaving the Middle East
without a USAF bomber presence—a rare occasion after 18 years of war.
Pentagon on Friday put forward a defense of its internal ethics process,
which has received scrutiny as the Defense Department Inspector General
has opened an investigation into Acting Defense Secretary Patrick
Shanahan’s dealings with his former employer, Boeing.
Air Force’s National Security Space mission won’t offer enough work
through 2026 to warrant bringing three launch-services providers on
board, although those companies could find other opportunities in the
private sector, a service official told lawmakers Wednesday.
C-130Js and more than 50 service members are delivering almost 275 tons
of food and medical supplies to Mozambique following a devastating
cyclone earlier this month that has killed more than 750 people in
Mozambique and Malawi.
Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie assumed command of US Central Command
during a ceremony Thursday, taking over for retiring Army Gen. Joseph
The Air Force is weighing the pros
and cons of using both major solid-rocket motor providers—Aerojet
Rocketdyne and Orbital ATK—in the later stages of the Ground-Based
Strategic Deterrent program, after the Defense Department voiced
concerns about the state of that industrial base.
Air Force Global Strike Command on Thursday grounded its B-1B Lancer fleet, for the second time within a year.
Afghan government and security forces will not be able to exist
following a US withdrawal without extensive foreign support, the
Pentagon’s Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction said
Andrew Marshall, the Pentagon’s top strategist through eight presidential administrations, died March 25, at age 97.
lawmakers on Capitol Hill are confident an agreement on how to create a
Space Force is within reach, although the path forward remains murky.
Trump on Wednesday awarded the Medal of Honor to Army SSgt. Travis
Atkins, who was killed in Iraq in 2007 when he bear-hugged a suicide
bomber, saving three fellow soldiers.
Ellsworth AFB, S.D., is the preferred location to receive the first operational B-21 bomber and formal training unit beginning in the mid-2020s, the service announced Wednesday.
While the US has made large-scale changes to its joint exercise schedule with South Korea to help
diplomatic efforts with North Korea, the Kim Jong Un regime has
continued a “slate of full spectrum” training, the head of US Forces
Korea said Wednesday.
proposed purchase of F-15EX “advanced Eagles” will allow the Air Force
to avoid having to ground F-15C squadrons as the aircraft age out
without any new construction or downtime, Air Force Secretary Heather
Wilson said Wednesday.
President Donald Trump has nominated Lt. Gen. David Berger to get a fourth star and to succeed Gen. Robert Neller as Marine Corps Commandant, according to a Marine Corps release.
The Air Force and Congress should look at extending the plan to install
new radars in F-16s—beyond those specifically tasked with protecting the
homeland—to improve the capability of the whole Viper fleet and create
consistency across the Total Force, the head of the National Guard said
Air Force this week officially proposed moving the F-22 training unit
to JB Langley-Eustis, Va., as Tyndall AFB, Fla., continues its recovery
from Hurricane Michael.
Tyndall AFB, Fla. and Offutt AFB, Neb. will require $1.2 billion in
fiscal 2019 and $3.7 billion across 2020 and 2021, even as the final
price tag continues to evolve, the Air Force said Wednesday.
Gen. Jay Raymond was nominated Monday to become the first commander of the new US Space Command, the Air Force has confirmed.
President Donald Trump has nominated Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian for a
fourth star and assignment as commander of US Air Forces in Europe-Air
House Armed Services Committee is clashing with the Pentagon over a
decision to shift up to $1 billion in Army funding to pay for fencing
along the southern US border, a move the department decided to make even
though it may mean losing its ability to reprogram money.
Air Force needs to modernize its current C-130H fleet and buy more
C-130Js as the current fleet of H-models, most of which are flown by the
Air National Guard, are aging out and getting more expensive to fly,
the head of the National Guard told lawmakers on Tuesday.
Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville was nominated to lead the service on Monday, according to the Senate.
Air Force wants to buy 12 additional F-35A strike fighters and three
more KC-46 tankers as part of its $2.8 billion fiscal 2020 unfunded
priorities list, after requesting no aircraft in last year’s version.
Air Force is significantly ramping up research and development funding
for the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program in its
fiscal 2020 budget request after underfunding the program in 2019.
Air Force will rebuild Offutt AFB, Neb., after the base suffered
serious damage from extensive flooding, Air Force Secretary Heather
Wilson said Friday as she toured the inundated base.
US-backed forces leading the fight against ISIS on Saturday announced
the terror group’s last holdout had been defeated, finishing off the
physical caliphate of a group that once held vast swaths of land in Iraq
Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan had little to do with the Pentagon
Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office's push to buy new Boeing
F-15s in the Air Force’s fiscal 2020 budget—a move the service
ultimately allowed—because of worsening fighter fleet shortfalls, a
senior defense official said March 22.
Afghan Air Force is increasing capability and capacity for its strike
platforms, which has “brought lots of change to the battlefield,” an
Afghan pilot told Air Force Magazine.
Force is reviewing its emergency training procedures and analyzing past
autopilot-related mishaps following two crashes of new Boeing 737 MAX 8
aircraft, but doesn’t believe that its KC-46 tanker—which has a similar
Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS)—currently
endangers military aircrews.
The Air Force is unveiling a new approach to how it will maintain and update its bases, requesting $2 billion in the fiscal 2020 budget to start keeping infrastructure safer for longer. But urgent needs at Offutt AFB, Neb., and Tyndall AFB, Fla., could complicate that plan if the Air Force doesn’t get the supplemental funding it wants to restore the storm-wrecked bases.
acquisition chief Ellen Lord said work is already underway to meet one
of 10 key recommendations the Defense Innovation Board issued in its
congressionally mandated report on improving software acquisition, to be
delivered to lawmakers next week.
Russia continues its information and cyber warfare operations on the
continent, the United States is ramping up its presence in the region,
the top US uniformed official said Thursday.
US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Commander Gen. Tod Wolters, President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next commander of US European Command, discusses his priorities for the region, how US forces need to exercise, and where the US needs to improve its posture.
US government will have a hard time justifying giving Turkey the most
advanced fighter aircraft if it also fields advanced Russian-made
surface to air missiles, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said
The Air Force is finally moving forward with plans to replace the locator beacons used to find ejected aircrew in the case of an emergency years after an urgent request for replacements.
high-power microwave programs, the shyer cousin of lasers in the
directed-energy limelight, will become more visible as the Air Force
tests them over the next few years.
Waters are receding at Offutt AFB, Neb., days after serious flooding inundated the base. Offutt also reopened its gates, though the base is not back up and running yet.
Systems is about six months away from proving whether its new
command-and-control software holds up in a live Air Force experiment.
Numerous USAF construction projects, especially ones in Europe or
those focused on new aircraft, could be on the chopping block if the
White House’s request for emergency funding to build a border wall is
approved, according to a memo the Defense Department sent to Congress on
The C-17s that flew aid intended for Venezuela last month touched down at a volatile time in that country. The high-profile mission required an intricate dance on a small Colombian airfield, increased security, and in-depth intelligence briefings of possible threats coming from the hostile Venezuelan regime. But for the JB Charleston, S.C., aircrew, it is all part of what a C-17 does and “we were more than happy to do it,” the mission commander said.
Africa Command on Tuesday pushed back against allegations of civilian
casualties from US strikes in Somalia, claiming that in more than 100
strikes in that country since 2017, not a single civilian has been
new firefighting foam the Air Force began using in June 2018 to reduce
toxic contamination of groundwater might actually be more harmful to the
environment than the chemical agent it replaced, according to the
Environmental Working Group, a nonpartisan, non-profit environmental
Air Force Physiological Episodes Action Team has recommended the
service stand up two new program offices to help it monitor and reduce
the number of hypoxia-like incidents in its trainer and fighter fleets. The
move comes as both the Air Force and Navy work to overhaul the On-Board
Oxygen Generation systems in their T-6 trainer fleets, following a
spike in such incidents and an extended grounding last year.
Space Development Agency plans to spend $525 million through fiscal
2024 on several studies and prototyping projects aimed at building a new
constellation of small satellites in low-earth orbit, according to the
Defense Department’s 2020 budget request.
costs for the Air Force’s two new nuclear missiles will continue to
rise in fiscal 2020—albeit by small amounts, according to budget
documents released this week.
Air Force removed 60 C-130H aircraft from flying status last month as
it replaced propellers built prior to 1971 that were prone to cracking,
officials revealed during a recent congressional hearing. All but five
of the aircraft, which are undergoing previously scheduled maintenance,
have since returned to flight.
Air Force expects to spend more than $1 billion on light attack
aircraft through fiscal 2024 even though it isn’t sure which platforms
that money might buy.
AFB, Neb., is beginning to analyze the damage from extensive floods
that wrecked the base and surrounding region, but while dozens of
buildings took on water, the base’s strategically important aircraft
Air Force plans to spend $7.86 billion over the next five years buying
80 F-15EXs, new Eagles to replace aging F-15Cs that service leaders said
they did not initially want.
The Air Force will expand its contractor-run adversary air from one to three locations in 2020, freeing up airmen “to practice their own skills rather than spend time simulating the skills of our adversaries,” according to recently released fiscal 2020 budget documents.
software-coding teams are popping up around the Air Force to build on
the success of Kessel Run in Boston, the service’s acquisition executive
Lockheed Martin announced Thursday that Bridget Lauderdale, who had headed up the F-35 sustainment unit, will become the boss at the company’s Integrated Fighter Group.
President Donald Trump
on Friday nominated USAF Gen. Tod Wolters to be the next commander of US
European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.
Air Force’s F-22 fleet may not reach its 80 percent mission-capability
goal by the end of September due to “all of the permanent
change-of-station moves” required after Tyndall AFB, Fla., was
devastated last fall, Secretary Heather Wilson told lawmakers this week.
F-15EXs could preserve years of readiness that might otherwise be lost
if units transitioned to an all-new airplane, and the fighter could have
application to new missions such as a hypersonic missile launch
platform, Air Force Director of Strategic Plans and Requirements Maj.
Gen. David Krumm told Air Force Magazine Thursday.
Pentagon’s decision to add new F-15EXs to its budget request for the
Air Force, a move not requested by the service itself, was based on a
lack of capability and capacity of the current fleet and the presumptive
cheaper cost of the Eagles, the military’s top uniformed officer told
lawmakers on Thursday.
scaled-down exercises in South Korea, which replaced massive war games
following ongoing discussions between the US and North Korean leaders
have not led to a degradation of readiness, Acting Defense Secretary
Patrick Shanahan said Thursday.
on the House Armed Services Committee consider themselves bipartisan,
but won’t support the next National Defense Authorization Act if it
includes certain prohibitions raised by the Democratic majority,
Strategic Forces Subcommittee ranking member Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio) said
Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan on Tuesday signed a memo establishing a
Space Development Agency as the new face of Pentagon-wide space research
Force needs a nearly $1 billion infusion of funds in fiscal 2019 to
start recovering Tyndall AFB, Fla., a down payment before it starts
major construction in the coming years, service Secretary Heather Wilson
told reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
Air Force plans to buy six light attack aircraft—three Sierra Nevada-Embraer
A-29 Super Tucanos and three Textron AT-6B Wolverines—for continuing
experiments toward a potential light attack aircraft program, on which
the Air Force would partner with other countries, according to Air Force
Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.
and development would get a 13 percent boost in fiscal 2020 versus the
previous enacted year, rising from $30.1 billion to $35.4 billion,
according to budget documents and Air Force officials.
Air Force on Tuesday unveiled a nearly $166 billion budget request for
fiscal 2020, marking a $9.8 billion increase that invests in Boeing’s
F-15EX, starts a Space Force, and aims to add 4,400 airmen.
Air Force leaders have pushed a case for 72 new fighters a year as
essential in meeting the requirements of the National Defense Strategy,
there was no evidence of a move toward a larger force structure in the
service’s fiscal 2020 budget request.
contractors will be at maximum effort under the fiscal 2020 Air Force
budget, rebuilding stockpiles whittled to perilously low levels by the
conflict in Syria, and adding capacity against war reserve levels
demanded by the National Defense Strategy.
Pentagon aims to substantially increase its budget and avoid mandatory
spending limits by moving the bulk of its proposed growth into overseas
contingency operations wartime funding—an account safe from
Congressionally imposed limits.
a large Pentagon budget increase and new emphasis on missile defense
under the Defense Department’s Missile Defense Review, the Missile
Defense Agency is taking a slight budget cut in its fiscal 2020 budget
request and faces delays on key programs.
The Air Force plans to spend $13.8 billion on its space enterprise in fiscal 2020, a nearly 17 percent increase over fiscal 2019 that includes a small amount of funding to stand up a new Space Force headquarters within the service.
The Air Force’s remotely piloted aircraft community hit a milestone March 1 as the combined MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper fleet surpassed four million flight hours.
The Air Force will hand off its computer networks’ end-user services to
Unisys Corp. as part of a second experiment exploring whether commercial
industry should oversee the military’s information-technology
The White House on Monday would not deny rumors that President Donald Trump
plans to nominate Patrick Shanahan to be the permanent defense
Lt. Gen. James Slife is slated to take over as head of Air Force Special Operations Command, replacing Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, the Defense Department said in a nomination announcement Thursday.
Air Force on Monday resumed receiving KC-46 tankers, with a Pegasus
flying to Altus AFB, Okla., after a foreign object debris inspection at
Boeing’s production facility.
An Air Force pilot program that helps Active Duty servicewomen transition to civilian life or into the Reserve or Guard should be expanded across the Defense Department, a new report from the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services said Monday.
How do organizations outside of the Air Force cultivate an innovative culture? On our recent visit to Lockheed Martin's Orlando Innovation Center, Operations Manager Matthew Bartoe explained how employees transform ideas into action.
White House’s fiscal 2020 budget request proposes a large increase in
Pentagon funding, largely coming from an almost $100 billion jump in the
overseas contingency operations fund.
Dunlap, an executive of national security analysis at Johns Hopkins
Applied Physics Laboratory, started his new job as chief architect of
its Advanced Battle Management System, which eventually will replace the
legacy JSTARS aircraft, last week.
Force Secretary Heather Wilson will resign effective May 31 to become
president of the University of Texas at El Paso, the service confirmed
The Pentagon on Friday ratcheted up
its threats to Turkey—a NATO ally—if it proceeds with its planned
purchase of the Russian-made S-400 “Triumf” surface-to-air missile
Fifty-nine small businesses from 24 states came together in New York City on March 6-7 to pitch their innovative ideas to the Air Force in the hopes of breaking into the daunting world of military contracting.
US drawdown plans take shape, the Pentagon’s leaders in Africa and the
Middle East emphasized their partnerships with local air forces in
congressional testimony Thursday.
Joseph Votel, the military’s top official in the Middle East, took
responsibility for the Pentagon’s failure to recoup $331 million in
refueling costs from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, saying
“well-developed protocols” fell by the wayside.
Force plans to improve the quality of privatized on-base housing
through steps such as giving base commanders more oversight and
improving communication with airmen to earn back their trust, top USAF
officials told lawmakers on Thursday, as all three military services
also proposed a draft “bill of rights” for military housing tenants.
commanders from Air Force sexual assault prosecutions would threaten
Total Force discipline and readiness, and challenge current efforts to
combat assault within the service’s ranks, the Air Force Judge Advocate
General told Senate legislators Wednesday.
The new, fully operational USAF MQ-9 base in Poland will begin flying over the Baltics to give the US and NATO better early warning and a better understanding of the potential battlespace as NATO pushes to further deter Russia, the head of USAFE said.
Air Base 201 — the new headquarters for USAF MQ-9 operations in Africa
and the biggest Air Force-led construction project in history — will be
operational this summer, the head of US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces
new Trump Administration executive order has rescinded an Obama-era
mandate aimed at increasing transparency of US airstrikes and their
human toll around the world.
Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot and squadron commander, on Wednesday said she was raped
by a superior officer during her Air Force career and that she almost quit the
service after the horror of how she was received after sharing her
Air Force should revive the Air Expeditionary Force concept it
developed in the 1990s to manage force rotations and use it as a
force-sizing tool to define requirements, AFA’s Mitchell Institute for
Aerospace Studies argues in a new policy paper.
experimental test rocket used to refine the Air Force’s understanding
of hypersonic flight has passed its critical design review, the service
The Air Force is mapping out the unprecedented capabilities it will need in a next-generation tanker, laying out an aggressive timeline for the “KC-Z” while it is only just getting the KC-46 to operational status. It’s not expected at this point that the KC-Z will be stealthy, however.
years of constant deployments to the region, the Air Force’s stealth air
superiority fighter is not currently flying overwatch in Iraq and
Syria, as the service tries to mend its F-22 fleet to meet readiness
requirements and reassesses how it is basing its Raptors.
Air Forces is “surveying” its capabilities and relationships with
allies in the area, to better understand what airfields it has available
to more quickly respond to peacetime and wartime needs.
Air Force this week announced a new business operations plan, outlining
specific goals to push for over the next two years as it works to
rebuild readiness, strengthen alliances, and reform business practices.
Air Force Research Laboratory is spending more time fostering its
partnerships with its Army and Navy counterparts to avoid duplicating
science and technology efforts, lab commander Maj. Gen. William Cooley
told Air Force Magazine Feb. 28 at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium.
leaders at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium believe the Air Force is saying
the right things about spurring faster development of new technologies
and capabilities, and they are happy to oblige, provided the service
accepts that speed involves risk.
Air Force knew the Puerto Rico Air National Guard was struggling with
its mission and it was working to fix the issue even before the fatal
WC-130H crashed in May 2018 killing all nine airmen on board, the deputy
director of the Air National Guard told Air Force Magazine in an
interview on Friday.
Force Life Cycle Management Center Commander Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry
already has a to-do list for his future boss, once a four-star head of
Air Force Materiel Command is confirmed.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and CMSAF Kaleth Wright tackled the topic of social media during a joint appearance at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium on Friday.
Former Air Force Chief of Staff retired Gen. Mark Welsh outlines five keys to leading in disruptive times.
with the most robust manpower, humans just can’t predict the future.
Thus, artificial intelligence “is going to change everything,” Shark
Tank star and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said on Thursday at
AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium.
Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and South Korean Defense Minister
Jeong Kyeong-doo have “reviewed and approved” a decision to “conclude”
the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercise series, the Pentagon announced.
nations will play a larger role in the Air Force’s military space
enterprise this year as the service works to ensure its long-term
dominance over the final frontier.
the aircraft that had to be relocated from Tyndall AFB, Fla., are at
their new Pacific Air Forces homes in Hawaii and Alaska, but it will
still take months for all the airmen to make their way to the bases.
diversity and acceptance across the Air Force isn’t just about being
politically correct, it’s a “warfighting imperative,” USAF Chief of
Staff Gen. David Goldfein said Friday.
years of insisting the T-X competition was only meant to yield an
advanced T-38 trainer replacement—and very explicitly not a future
Aggressor or in other roles also filled by the T-38—the Air Force is now
considering it for precisely those and other missions.
The Air Force will not accept any more KC-46 tankers “until
further notice,” the service’s acquisition chief told Air Force Magazine on
Raytheon is spending its own money to upgrade the software in its Joint Precision Approach and Landing Systems (JPALS), retired US Navy Rear Adm. C.J. Jaynes, executive technical advisor for precision landing systems at Raytheon Intelligence, Information, and Services, said on Thursday.
The Air Force temporarily stopped accepting new KC-46 aircraft this week after
foreign object debris was found in several tankers, though service
officials are expected to make a decision soon about whether to resume
flights, the service’s acquisition chief said Thursday.
are new F-15s in the Air Force’s fiscal year 2020 budget, but the
service didn’t ask for them, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson revealed
for merging Air Force Air Combat Command’s cyber and intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance enterprises will take shape this
spring, and officials will announce their path forward this summer, the
command’s top general said at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium on Thursday.
Jonathan Maas and his prototype of a new, renewable-energy-based
chemical agent detector is the winner of the 2019 Spark Tank.
Air Force needs to shift more training into virtual reality because
even its best ranges are far too small to train in thanks to
advancements in aircraft and threat systems, the commander of the Air
Force Warfare Center said.
Air Force’s two geographic major commands do not have the resources and
posture needed to fight a large-scale war against a near-peer
adversary, and would likely never get to a place where they are 100
the Air Force expects to execute the National Defense Strategy, it must
restore readiness, which is “first and foremost about people,” Air
Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in her keynote address at AFA’s Air
Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla.
The Defense Department's push to embrace cloud computing and AI through high-profile, top-level initiatives needs some time to mature before they can work with similar projects managed by the services, said Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s chief information officer.
bipartisan group of eight senators on Tuesday introduced a sweeping
$13.6 billion disaster-relief funding package that includes $1.1 billion
for Air Force installations affected during the 2018 hurricane season.
The Air Force Association's annual Air Warfare Symposium runs Feb. 27-March 1, in Orlando, Fla. The theme of this year’s conference is “Innovation: Future Force Faster.”
US Strategic Command will evaluate proposals for designing a new nuclear command,
control, and communications enterprise that were submitted last week,
then use those ideas to form the foundation for future system
Strategic Command will continue sharing some responsibilities for space
operations with the future US Space Command as a way to maintain
stability, the four-star head of STRATCOM told senators Tuesday.
The first flight of the Air Force’s next generation combat rescue helicopter has been pushed back until May
as design flaws and other issues have pushed the program out of an
accelerated schedule and back toward the original baseline schedule.
Rolls-Royce has officially selected the F130, a variant of the commercial
BR700, as its entrant in the B-52 re-engining competition, and will
build the powerplant at its freshly renovated Indianapolis, Ind.,
facility if it wins the contract.
The Trump administration should not trade away military might and deterrence capabilities as part of a potential deal to denuclearize North Korea, researchers in Washington argue ahead of the second meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam this week.
The Air Force is struggling to define its roles both as a warfighter and as an enabler for the other services to fight. This “identity crisis” is affecting the service’s competition for resources within the Defense Department, the RAND Corp. writes in an extensive new report on military culture.
A federally funded research-and-development center could bridge the gap between the Air Force’s space enterprise vision and companies that need to work together in new ways, an Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center official said Friday.
USAF and United Kingdom Royal Air Force aircraft on Friday flew over
the site of a 1944 B-17G crash in Sheffield, England, thanks to decades
of work by a local man who was a boy when he saw the Flying Fortress go
Pentagon is ruling out using any military housing funding to pay
for the proposed border wall, and will look instead at military
construction projects that have not been awarded yet or recapitalization
and modernizing projects to cut in order to pay for the project.
US is reportedly planning to leave about 400 peacekeeping forces inside
Syria in what is now a reduction in forces as opposed to a full
withdrawal, a move the top US officer said is not a change in the main
overall anti-ISIS fight.
A fatal A-29 crash last summer, which led the Air Force to prematurely end flights during the second phase of its light-attack experiment, was caused by the pilot’s “overcontrol” after dropping a bomb, according to an accident investigation report published Feb. 22.
An Air Force OC-135B is conducting Open Skies Treaty observation flights over Russia over the next few days, the first time the specially equipped aircraft has flown in that country in almost a year and a half because of an “impasse” between the US and Russia.
Twenty special operations airmen will undertake an
11-day, 830-mile ruck from JB San Antonio-Lackland, Texas to Hurlburt
Field, Fla., in memory of late combat controller SSgt. Dylan Elchin and the 19 other special tactics airmen killed in combat since 9/11.
head of the Air Force Expeditionary Center on Wednesday relieved Col.
Ryan Marshall, the commander of the 621st Contingency Response Wing,
because of a loss of confidence due to alleged conduct unbecoming an
small technology companies this week began a three-month program with
the Air Force and Techstars, an organization that helps businesses gain a
foothold in the military and commercial markets.
The gig economy is headed for the Air Force Research Laboratory.
A new Air Force initiative
looks to improve squadron health and readiness by targeting negative
health behaviors that can lead to potentially avoidable sick days, according to an Office of the Air Force Surgeon General release.
number of airdrops conducted in Afghanistan last year increased nearly
1,900 percent from 2017, and the airmen tasked with providing this
capability to US and allied forces on the ground did so at a perfect
The Air Force on Tuesday tapped United Launch Services and SpaceX to provide launch
services for six National Security Space missions, together worth
nearly $740 million, under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle
The KC-46 kicked off its next phase of testing by refueling a
stealth aircraft for the first time, the Air Force announced.
The Air Force officially updated its stance on retaining non-deployable airmen in a Feb. 19 memo, which dictates all airmen must be “fit for duty and maintain a wartime mission-capable status,” according to a Tuesday release.
The budget the Trump Administration will present to Congress in a few weeks begins to move the Air Force toward a force structure level that will meet the requirements of the National Defense Strategy, service Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.
President Trump on Tuesday formally instructed the Pentagon to plan for a Space Force as a sixth military branch within the Department of the Air Force, a precursor to a possible separate service in the future.
USAF C-17s flew aid intended for Venezuela from Florida to Colombia on
Saturday, in response to a request from the US-recognized leader of the
Force Secretary Heather Wilson says Global Strike Command’s proposal to
retire the B-1 and B-2 bombers as B-21s enter the force — while
retaining the B-52 — remains the service’s plan for its bomber fleet.
Force officials are crafting a new master plan to rebuild Tyndall AFB,
Fla. after finding many of the bases’ structures once thought
salvageable may be demolished instead.
Republican senators urged President Trump in a Feb. 14 letter not to
buy a new variant of Boeing's F-15 at the expense of the F-35.
Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria detailed past,
present, and planned initiatives to tackle sexual assault, sexual
harassment, and culture- and climate-related issues at the
school—including increased on-campus video surveillance and making
students expelled over sexual misbehavior repay the Air Force for the
cost of their education—in testimony submitted to House legislators on
Cyber Command views its existing cadre of cyber warriors as a starting
point for growth as the Pentagon pivots to compete with more tech-savvy
adversaries, the command’s top general told lawmakers Thursday.
US will coordinate any planned moves in Afghanistan closely with NATO
as peace talks continue with the Taliban and will not leave the fight
unilaterally, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Thursday.
MQ-1B Predator lost its connection to flight crew systems and crashed
during a combat mission on Aug. 21, 2017, the Air Force announced
federal grand jury has indicted a former Air Force Office of Special
Investigations special agent on charges of “delivering national
defense information” to Iran, the Department of Justice announced
Muellner, retired Air Force lieutenant general, fighter pilot, test
pilot, a classified programs specialist, a top technologist for Boeing, a
senior leader of the aerospace industry, leader of a number of
aerospace societies and associations, and former Air Force Association
chairman of the board, died Feb. 11 in Newport Beach, Calif. He was 75.
US military has not seen North Korea make a “verifiable change” in its
nuclear capabilities since President Trump and North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un first met last year, though there has been a “palpable”
reduction in tension in the region, US Forces-Korea Commander Gen.
Robert Abrams told Senate legislators on Tuesday.
Pentagon needs to work quickly to develop new artificial intelligence
tools and capabilities to protect the country and complement military
operations, as China and Russia are making their own progress in
weaponizing AI, the Defense Department says in a new strategy on AI
Force Secretary Heather Wilson pushed back on a recent Government
Accountability Office report that said the Air Force still suffered from
a maintainer shortage and lacked an overall strategy to keep
experienced airmen in uniform, saying it focused on outdated data and
did not fully take into account Air Force efforts to recover from the
the Air Force has said it needs to grow its airlift and mobility
squadrons, and has repeatedly expressed a need for more tankers, a new
US Transportation Command and Pentagon study claims there is not a need
for more mobility aircraft in the next four years.
Army, Navy, and Air Force’s top civilian officials recently signed a
joint communications interoperability memorandum, hoping their future
combat systems will not face the same inherent inability to share data
as legacy platforms do.
Education and Training Command kicked off its KC-46 era on Friday as
Altus AFB, Okla., accepted two of the new tankers for the service’s sole
Pegasus training schoolhouse.
year was busier for US aircraft operating in Afghanistan than any year
in at least a decade, with more strikes conducted in 2018 than the
previous three years combined. At the same time, US aircraft rapidly
increased operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
promotion rates for remotely piloted aircraft pilots, which were a point
of concern for the community during its 2013 review of overall morale,
have increased to rates commensurate with those of other aircraft;
however, more oversight of the process is needed, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.
The Air Force has a four-point plan to shrink the number of non-deployable airmen in the Total Force from 6.8 percent to less than 5 percent, according to written testimony that CMSAF Kaleth submitted to House legislators on Feb. 7.
Defense Department’s three service Secretaries emphasized they need
timely, reliable funding to build on the gains made in fiscal 2019, as
the Trump administration’s fiscal 2020 budget appears set to come out
more than a month after its legally mandated release date in early February.
French Air Force this week took a major step toward modernizing its
fleet and supporting its industry by teaming up with Germany to begin a
study for a sixth-generation air combat system.
companion pieces of bipartisan legislation aimed at protecting
transgender service members and securing transgender civilians’ right to
join the US Armed Forces were introduced in the Senate and House of
Representatives on Feb. 7.
military needs more eyes in the sky to effectively stem the flow of
drugs from South America, the head of US Southern Command told the
Senate Armed Services Committee this week.
Air Force is slated to have an operational capability with the
Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon by late 2020, and with a separate
and more advanced capability six months after that, according to service
acquisition chief Will Roper.
Air Force is working hard to replenish its stocks of precision-guided
munitions, but the service’s chief buyer is concerned about the
industrial capacity to meet USAF’s needs.
from the 79 countries that make up the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS
met at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to plan a
“new stage in an old fight,” as the US conducts its “well-coordinated”
drawdown in Syria, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
remaining deficiencies plaguing the KC-46 tanker are a tale of two
problems: a simple hardware fix that should be done on a short schedule
and a complex software fix that will likely take more time to address.
The Air Force has been slower than it could have been in developing its way forward on the Airborne Battle Management System,
a new way to handle the mission currently flown by the E-8C Joint
STARS, but the schedule should pick up soon, as the service has just
selected who will lead the effort.
Gen. Kevin Schneider took command of US Forces Japan and 5th Air Force
from Lt. Gen. Jerry Martinez on Tuesday at Yokota AB, Japan.
Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday he will meet for the second time with
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam.
Donald Trump on Tuesday night vowed to bring American troops home from
the Middle East, while pledging to build up the US military presence
along the southern border.
Central Command is exploring better ways to share its combat assets
with neighboring geographic commands in response to the Pentagon’s
growing focus on other advanced militaries instead of counterterrorism,
according to CENTCOM’s top general.
Nearly half of female US Air Force Academy cadets—46 percent—were sexually harassed during the 2017-2018 academic year, though only one formal report was received by the school, according to a DOD report on sexual assault and harassment at the nation's military academies.
Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright Brothers Institute, and
University of Dayton Research Institute will release the first scenario
for its “Swarm and Search AI Challenge” this week, though teams
officially have until Feb. 12 to register.
threats are proliferating faster than the Defense Department can
discover and address them in operational evaluations, and the military
needs additional, more advanced cyber “Red Teams,” the Pentagon’s top
testing official recently said in his annual report.
in testing have pushed back the first flight of the Air Force’s Combat
Rescue Helicopter program and could further delay a production decision,
though the prime manufacturer has previously pushed to accelerate the
Despite a Director of Operational Test and Evaluation report that said the F-35’s readiness hasn’t much improved in the last year, the Air Force thinks it can get its fleet up to an 80 percent mission capability rate by the end of the fiscal year, as directed by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
The Air Force will propose buying new F-15X aircraft in the fiscal 2020 budget,
but won’t seek Light Attack aircraft yet, making those choices to
accommodate the National Defense Strategy, the Air Force’s top uniformed
acquisition official said Friday at an AFA breakfast on Capitol Hill.
United States will begin withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range
Nuclear Forces Treaty over the next six months, a move backed by NATO,
as the Trump administration argues it is strategically unwise to remain
in a pact Russia flouts.
National Nuclear Security Administration has canceled its previous plan
to refurbish a warhead for use on the Air Force’s future land-based
intercontinental ballistic missiles as well as on the Navy’s
submarine-launched ballistic missiles, according to a December 2018 NNSA
report to Congress that Air Force Magazine viewed Jan. 29.
Defense Department needs an additional $395.6 million in federal funding
to fix or replace its facilities in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin
Islands that were damaged during the 2017 hurricane season, according to
a Jan. 2 DOD report that was viewed by Air Force Magazine this week.
A trio of House Armed Services Committee Democrats wants the Defense Department to revise its January 2019 climate change report.
Afghan Air Force does not have enough UH-60 Black Hawk pilots or any
maintenance for the helicopters, which will cause a delay in the
implementation of the new airframe and increase costs, a Pentagon
watchdog said in a report released this week.
Royal Netherlands Air Force on Wednesday rolled out its first
operational F-35A during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth,
Texas, facility that at times resembled a rave rather than a corporate
space industry members and a top Air Force Space Command official this
month downplayed the idea that a recent spate of layoffs—including about
600 SpaceX employees—may indicate deeper sustainability problems in the
nearly $400 billion global space sector.
Air Force MQ-1B Predator experienced an electrical failure and fell
from the sky during a combat mission at an undisclosed location in the
Middle East on Aug. 17, 2017, according to an investigation released
issues took center stage on a national security-heavy day on Capitol
Hill Jan. 29, as lawmakers and defense officials discussed how to mine,
protect, leverage, and combat information as a cornerstone of modern
The Air Force Academy is hiring enlisted airmen as accredited faculty instructors for the first time, according to a Jan. 28 release.
Duty and National Guard troops will continue to deploy to the US-Mexico
border through the end of fiscal 2019, Under Secretary of Defense for
Policy John Rood told House legislators on Tuesday.
Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Tuesday said his history with
Boeing does not influence his business decisions in the Pentagon, though
he still swiped at the performance of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 as it
comes online across the services.
has sharply increased its overall defense spending, a move that has
helped the organization strengthen parts of its collective defense, but
that increase should just be the beginning, Acting Defense Secretary
Patrick Shanahan said Monday.
the US and Taliban have agreed to a framework for peace in Afghanistan
are “encouraging,” but there are no plans yet for a full withdrawal from
the country, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Monday.
Force Space Command officials will meet with industry representatives
at Peterson AFB, Colo., in February to discuss the future of integrated
satellite communications, which will also help the service decide which
space pathfinder programs to pursue.
Air Force began its next era of aerial refueling on Friday, as the
first two KC-46s left their production facility in Washington and landed at
McConnell AFB, Kan., to begin service.
Air Force’s fiscal 2020 spending on space programs will look similar to
the funding profiles included in the fiscal 2019 budget, the vice
commander of Air Force Space Command said at a Jan. 25 AFA Mitchell
America’s nuclear triad will cost the Defense and Energy Departments
$494 billion through Fiscal 2028, according to a new 10-year outlook from the Congressional Budget Office.
Air Force is beginning to think about more powerful laser weapons that
could replace a less-advanced beam on a fighter jet, according to an Air
Force Research Laboratory document posted earlier this month.
The Air Force is reforming how it evaluates enlisted airmen.
More than 100 US airmen from around the Pacific and Washington, D.C. are in the Philippines this week for the seventh iteration of Bilateral Air Contingent Philippines (BACE-P), a bilateral training exercise and subject matter expert exchange.
air commandos assigned to the 67th Special Operations Squadron were
awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on Tuesday for their actions in a January 2017 raid inside Yemen.
created bipartisan commission considering whether women should be
required to sign up for selective service released its interim report
this week, noting the panel is still mulling the idea of allowing women
into the draft.
new slate of lawmakers will run House Armed Services subcommittee
hearings in the 116th Congress, as Democrats take control of the chamber
for the first time in nearly a decade.
round of bonus pay for aviators announced this week continues the Air
Force’s effort to entice pilots to remain in the service.
Air Force recently canceled its fledgling initiative to prototype a
high-energy laser for base and aircraft defense because it is still
fleshing out its directed-energy priorities, an Air Force Research
Laboratory official told Air Force Magazine.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an order paving the way for the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military to go into effect while lawsuits against the President’s order continue. But it’s still not clear whether the SCOTUS decision means the ban can immediately be implemented.
A tornado with “estimated peak wind of 90 mph” struck Tyndall AFB, Fla., Saturday evening, just a few months after the base was nearly destroyed by a hurricane. No one was injured, but the high winds destroyed some of the new construction on base, officials said.
The Air Force won’t be issuing a request for proposals for a new light attack aircraft as expected, and will in fact expand its “campaign” of experiments to include larger and more powerful aircraft, possibly including jets, Undersecretary Matt Donovan said Friday.
Air Force Undersecretary Matt Donovan said the Air Force has to seek quick ways to recapitalize its fighter force, and suggested the F-35 just isn’t coming online fast enough.
of the Air Force’s 35 “mission assurance priority installations”
located across 22 states are vulnerable to wildfires, according to a
Pentagon report on the implications of climate change.
Nine Air Force development initiatives will move forward in the next five years using new prototyping and faster fielding authorities, according to a recent letter from Acquisition Executive Will Roper to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Defense stakeholders need to hold off on further reforming the acquisition system while the military services learn to use their new buying authorities and processes, according to the Air Force’s former assistant secretary for acquisition.
The US military must invest in new technology quickly, and will not be limited in any way in how it defends against missile threats from both near-peer adversaries and rogue states, the Pentagon said in a long-awaited review of its missile defense.
US service members were killed Wednesday in an explosion in the Syrian city of Manbij, an attack reportedly claimed by ISIS.
China is accelerating the improvement of its military, drawing closer to parity with
the US in a number of key technologies, and building a smaller but far
more professional force of troops, according to a new Defense
Intelligence Agency assessment.
Airbus announced this week it received a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract to develop a satellite bus for the Blackjack program, which aims to field a mass-produced, resilient network of commercial satellites equipped with military sensors in low-earth orbit.
B-52s from the 5th Bomb Wing deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, this week to take over the Continuous Bomber Presence mission.
Air Combat Command boss Gen. Mike Holmes visited Creech AFB, Nev., last week as the base is working to become its own installation independent of nearby Nellis AFB, Nev.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Monday approved an extension of the military’s US border support mission through Sept. 30, 2019, extending the deployment of military members for a mission that will now last at least 11 months.
Air Force is hoping to improve the capabilities of the artificial
intelligence coach in the second Pilot Training Next class, which will
launch in the next few weeks.
Col. Joe M. Jackson, a 33-year Air Force veteran who served in WWII,
Korea, and Vietnam, and who received the Medal of Honor for action
during the latter conflict, died Jan. 12, at the age of 95.
Active-Duty service members are more likely to seek out mental health counseling than their veteran counterparts, according to a new survey from the University of Phoenix.
The Air Force on Thursday accepted the first KC-46 from Boeing, a milestone years later than originally expected and a decision made despite continued known deficiencies on the aircraft.
The Pentagon has a topline for its Fiscal 2020 budget request after conflicting guidance from the White House as to whether the budget should increase or be cut, but that figure won’t be previewed before the official rollout, a top Pentagon budget official said Wednesday.
Defense Department and the Air Force awarded an AFWERX Phase I Small
Business Innovation Research grant to IncludeHealth Inc, makers of the
Include digital health platform, to create and standardize future
fitness protocols for the US military that are better tailored to
researchers think tiny bug brains might be key to developing new and
more efficient artificial intelligence computational frameworks and
Eric Chewning, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy, has been named Chief of Staff to the Defense Secretary, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.
Harold Brown, Secretary of the Air Force from 1965-1969 and Secretary of Defense during the Carter Administration, died Jan. 4 in California, at the age of 91.
An MQ-1B Predator was lost while supporting a combat mission in the US Central Command area of responsibility on Sept. 4, 2017, after the satellite link connecting the mission control element to the aircraft failed and airmen were not able to re-establish contact, according to an abbreviated accident investigation board report released on Monday.
US Africa Command announced Monday that a Jan. 6 US air strike in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle Region “killed six … [al-Shabaab] militants and destroyed one vehicle” without harming any civilians, according to its current assessment, according to a Jan. 7 release.
F-35s that evacuated from Eglin AFB, Fla., during Hurricane Michael in October were subject to the grounding and fuel line inspection at their temporary base in Louisiana, forcing maintainers to work quickly and find new ways to accomplish the inspection.
Three commanders at Laughlin AFB, Texas, were removed from their positions because of unsafe leadership, poor oversight of alcohol consumption at official events, and missed “opportunities to establish a culture of dignity and respect,” Air Education and Training Command said in a mostly redacted report.
The Pentagon has decided the Defense Logistics Agency and US Transportation Command will perform Global Transportation and Distribution and Warehousing, respectively, of F-35 parts for the global F-35 enterprise, the Joint Program Office announced Friday.
The pace of US strikes inside Syria increased in the final two weeks of 2018, as the White House announced its intent to withdraw US forces from the country and administration officials claimed victory over ISIS.
USAA Federal Savings Bank must repay 66,420 military, retired, and veteran members under a new settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after an investigation found the bank failed to resolve errors, including not stopping preauthorized payments and reopening accounts without authorization.
China wrote itself into space history Jan. 2 by landing a five-foot long robotic rover on the moon’s far side.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will not sign off on delivery of the first KC-46 because of his past affiliation with Boeing; instead, another senior Pentagon official will accept delivery.
As the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, the Military Justice Act of 2016 went into effect, bringing major changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Manual for Courts-Martial.
The F-35 Joint Program Office is working to help the Air Force and its sister services meet the 80 percent mission capable rate for the fleet, ordered by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, by accelerating and streamlining parts production, said program executive officer Vice Adm. Mat Winter.
Physiological Episodes Action Team recently held a “hackathon” in
northern Virginia to refresh its game plan for reducing the service-wide
occurrence of the mid-air health emergencies, according to a USAF release.
months after US Pacific Command changed its name to Indo-Pacific
Command, about 200 USAF airmen traveled to India for a bilateral
exercise that participants called “extremely unique.”
The Air Force failed to create an “achievable plan” to preposition base supplies and materiel in the European theater and it lacks a single program manager to oversee efforts from multiple organizations, both of which are causing delays, according to a Dec. 27 Defense Department Inspector General report.
Total Force Officer Training and Commissioned Officer Training will disappear from USAF’s Officer Training School by year’s end, and will be replaced instead with a new eight-week course that merges the programs for line and non-line officers.
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