Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
SharePoint



  • DOD Needs Executive Agent Coordinating RPAs

    ​Of the many improvements the Defense Department should implement in its remotely piloted aircraft enterprise, one of them is putting someone specifically in charge of RPAs, said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, dean of AFA's Mitchell Institute.

  • HASC NDAA Mark Includes 10 More F-35As

    ​The House is set to propose $621 billion in base budget defense spending—more than the $574 billion requested by President Donald Trump, but short of the $640 billion baseline championed by congressional leaders, including Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

  • US Warns Syria Against Launching Chemical Attack

    ​The White House is warning Syria to not launch a chemical attack, saying the regime would “pay a heavy price” if its warning is ignored.

  • Pilot, Backseater Safe After Thunderbirds F-16D Flips After Landing

    ​An Air Force Thunderbirds’ pilot and a member of the Thunderbirds’ enlisted team are in “good condition” after the F-16D they were flying in flipped over after landing in Dayton, Ohio, during high winds early Friday afternoon.

  • Thunderbirds' F-16D Flips on the Ground in Ohio, Passengers Safe

    ​An Air Force Thunderbirds’ pilot and a tactical aircraft maintainer, who was a member of the Thunderbirds’ enlisted team, are in “good condition” after the F-16D they were flying in flipped after landing in Dayton, Ohio, during high winds early Friday afternoon.

  • Deconfliction Line Open as Russia Conducted Cruise Missile Strikes

    The US and Russia communicated via the established deconfliction line in advance of Russia’s large cruise missile strike on ISIS depots inside Syria, the coalition said Friday.

  • USAF Details Criteria for Remote Device for Various Medals

    The Air Force recently released the criteria for the "R" device, to be awarded for meritorious achievement during a combat mission that is controlled by someone who is not on the battlefield.

  • Textron on OA-X: Since it’s an Experiment, It’s an Honor Just to be Invited

    ​USAF’s light attack experiment comes with no promises. But for Textron, placing two aircraft in OA-X is a great opportunity for the aircraft to strut their stuff as the world watches.

  • How to Keep a Stealthy F-35 Safe While on Public Display

    How do you keep a state of the art F-35 stealth fighter safe in a crowd? By following procedures and responding to your instincts.  Read the full story by Adam J. Hebert who is reporting from the Paris Air Show.

  • Electronic Attack Jet Analysis of Alternatives Coming in July

    ​The Defense Department will likely wrap up its analysis of alternatives on a new Penetrating Electronic Attack aircraft within a month, Pentagon electronic warfare guru Bill Conley told attendees at an AFA Mitchell Institute program June 22.

  • Perdix Program Could be DOD’s Pathfinder to Progressive Projects

    ​Designs for the seventh generation Perdix unmanned aircraft vehicle should be completed by this summer, William Roper, the director of the Defense Department’s Strategic Capabilities Office, said in an exclusive interview with Air Force Magazine.

  • USMC Temporarily Halts F-35 Flights as USAF Limits Luke Operations

    The Marine Corps on Thursday temporarily suspended F-35 flight operations at its Arizona base due to concerns with the jet's logistics systems as USAF investigators continue efforts to find the root cause of hypoxia-like incidents in its variant.

  • House Continues to Wrestle with Response to Russia

    ​Twenty-two House Democrats, led by Armed Services Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), introduced new legislation Thursday aimed at responding to a range of Russian aggressions against the US and its allies.

  • When “Buy American” Makes Sense Abroad

    ​When foreign nations seeking new military equipment “Buy American,” they’re not just buying hardware. They also buy into a long-term relationship with the United States.

  • Rogers Says Air Force Cannot Fix Space, so Congress Must

    ​Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) forcefully reasserted his intention to create a separate military Space Corps Thursday during the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee markup session for the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

  • Congress Calls for US Development of Tactical Nuclear Weapons

    Congress may be ready to hold Russia accountable for its violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

  • Separate Space Corps Included in Strategic Forces Markup

    ​The Air Force may be required to establish a separate Space Corps within the service by 2019, according to the House strategic forces subcommittee markup of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, released Tuesday.

  • Europe Needs More Airmen and Fighter Squadrons, but Carefully

    ​The commander of US Air Forces in Europe would like to see “more growth and more fighter squadrons,” as USAF increases end strength, brings on new equipment, and improves the training and readiness of its existing units.

  • Raytheon Anticipates Burgeoning Demand for Special Mission Aircraft

    Raytheon anticipates that company sales in the special mission aircraft (SMA) area will steadily grow over the next few years as demand for multispectral ISR continues to expand.

  • Hyten Says Nuclear Modernization Cannot be Delayed

    ​Gen. John Hyten, commander of US Strategic Command, said he would “strongly urge Congress not to slow down any element of the triad” Tuesday at an AFA Mitchell event in Washington, D.C. “When I look at each element, we cannot slow them down,” he told the audience. “We actually need to accelerate them, not decelerate them.”

  • DOD Report: Afghan Forces at a Critical Point in Fight Against Insurgents

    ​Afghan forces are at a “critical point” in their fight against insurgency, as Taliban gains in rural areas have prompted US officials to recently say the US, NATO, and Afghan forces are “losing” the war.

  • F-35 Air Demo Debut Highlighted Combat Maneuvering

    ​The F-35A’s airshow debut was impressive to watch, but also showcased the aircraft’s performance and capabilities.

  • F-15E Takes Down Another Drone as Tensions Escalate in Syria

    ​An Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle shot down an Iranian-made drone flying near US-backed fighters inside Syria, marking another dramatic escalation in the air war and increasing tensions with Russia.

  • McCain Grills Deputy Defense Secretary Nominee Shanahan

    ​Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) sharply questioned Deputy Defense Secretary nominee Patrick Shanahan over his answers to senator’s questions and his background as a Boeing executive at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

  • F-35A Makes Air Show Demo Debut as Program Picks up Speed

    ​The stealthy F-35A strike fighter made its demonstration-flight debut at the Paris Air Show Monday as production rates, aircraft in service, and international interest in the fighter all ramp up.

  • European Exercises Stress Realism As Russia Looms Large

    ​This month’s largely simultaneous Saber Strike and BALTOPS exercises brought in a big Air Force presence for realistic training along NATO’s eastern frontiers. Veterans of multiple BALTOPS and Saber Strike exercises said this year’s iterations really ramped up the realism and intensity.

  • Dunford: Deconfliction Hotline Still Active After Russia Announces Pullout

    ​The communications link between the US Combined Air Operations Center and Russian officials remained open Monday morning, after Russia said it was pulling out of the agreement after a US Navy jet shot down a Syrian Air Force plane.

  • Think Tanks Urge Another Round of BRAC

    ​Experts from more than 30 think tanks have written an open letter to Congress urging lawmakers to approve another round of base realignment and closure (BRAC) in an effort to save money by reducing excess Department of Defense capacity.

  • US Jet Shoots Down Manned Syrian Fighter

    ​A US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet on Sunday shot down a manned Syrian Air Force jet after it dropped bombs on US-backed fighters.

  • Prioritizing Multi-Domain Command and Control

    Developing multi-domain command and control (MDC2) for the battlefield of the future is one of the Air Force’s top priorities. However, congressional leaders speaking at an AFA Mitchell Institute event on Friday said the Fiscal 2018 budget shows the service is not taking the requirement seriously.

  • Air Force and Congress at Odds over How to Organize Space

    ​The Air Force wants to be the lead service in US military space operations, but Congress is growing impatient with the service’s efforts to deliver long-promised reforms to unify leadership and streamline acquisitions.

  • AFRL Tests Lego-Like Pod System for Reapers

    ​The Air Force announced Friday it is flight testing its AgilePod, a first-of-its-kind and lego-like structure allowing operators to answer various missions demands with multiple sensors on a single platform.

  • While F-35 Incidents Still Mysterious, Return to Flight Expected Soon

    ​The cause of five physiological incidents among F-35A pilots at Luke AFB, Ariz., remains a mystery, but the Air Force is contemplating an “initial” return to flight status as early as June 20, 56th Fighter Wing commander Brig. Gen. Brook Leonard told reporters Friday.

  • Mattis Supports DOD Unfunded Priorities

    ​Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis reminded Congress on Thursday that it has the power to authorize more money than President Donald Trump requested for the Defense Department in his Fiscal 2018 budget.

  • B-1 Availability Rates on the Rebound

    ​Five years ago, B-1 aircraft availability reached a historical low point. But thanks to the maturation of the bomber’s upgrade program, the timely assistance of stopgap civilian maintainers, and a recent increase in military manpower, B-1 availability is rebounding.

  • DOD’s New Authority to Set Troop Levels Does Not Mean Immediate Changes

    ​The Pentagon’s expanded authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan, granted Tuesday by the White House, will be guided by strategy set by the State Department and will not immediately impact the current number of boots on the ground, Defense Secretary James Mattis said Wednesday.

  • Mattis: Posture Review Looking at All Legs of the Triad, Need for ALCM

    ​Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday would not commit to recapitalizing the Air Force’s Air-Launched Cruise Missile inventory, and said he is reviewing all legs of the triad to determine the most effective, and cost-conscious, nuclear deterrent.

  • Mattis Says US is “Not Winning” in Afghanistan

    ​Secretary of Defense James Mattis told Congress Tuesday the US is “not winning the war” in Afghanistan.

  • GAO Identifies Five Major Challenges for DOD

    ​The Government Accountability Office has identified five major problem areas for the Department of Defense, including readiness, threats in the cyberspace domain, controlling escalating costs of weapons systems and medical care, managing human capital, and improving the efficiency of business practices.

  • DOD Officials Defend Missile Capability on Capitol Hill

    ​The current missile defense system protecting the United States will hold ahead of threats at least through 2020, Defense Department officials told members of the House Armed Services strategic forces panel on June 7.

  • USAF Bolstering Ground-Based Radar Sites

    As part of its transition to a new concept of the space situational awareness mission, the Air Force is in the process of adding sensitive compartmented information facilities (SCIFs) to its installations with ground-based space surveillance radars to allow operators to share certain types of classified information.

  • USAF Temporarily Grounds F-35As at Luke After Hypoxia-Like Incidents

    The Air Force on Friday temporarily grounded F-35As at Luke AFB, Ariz., after five separate incidents where pilots reported hypoxia-like incidents.

  • Building a Pacific Space Force

    ​Space operators need to be ready to fight in the Pacific, but they are not prepared to do so currently, commanders of three of the Air Force’s space wings said Friday at an AFA Mitchell Institute event on Capitol Hill. Air Force Space Command has been so focused on supporting US Central Command that they have work to do—in technology, training, and manpower—to be ready for potential operations in the US Pacific Command area of responsibility.

  • USAF Expects Boeing’s KC-46 Delivery to Be Late, Boeing Insists

    ​The Air Force doesn’t believe Boeing will meet its December 2017 deadline to deliver its first KC-46 aircraft delivery, saying in a statement released Thursday it thinks that actual delivery will take place in Spring 2018.

  • US Forces Down Armed Syrian Drone

    US forces on Thursday shot down a suspected pro-regime drone inside Syria, the third time US forces have taken kinetic action against forces allied with the regime.

  • Comey Says Russia’s Election Hack was an Attack on All of America

    ​The attack on the 2016 US presidential election was directed from the highest levels of the Russian government, Former FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Thursday.

  • Canadian Defense Review Boosts Spending, Mum on CF-18 Replacement

    ​Canada’s Department of National Defense pledged to increase its military spending by 70 percent over 10 years in a defense policy review released Wednesday. The document offers no further clarity on which aircraft Canada’s DND will choose as a long-term replacement for its aging fleet of CF-18 fighters, but the plan does note that the long-term goal is to procure 88 advanced fighters to allow Canada to “deliver on NORAD and NATO commitments without compromise.”

  • A Budget Full of Tough Choices

    ​The fiscal year 2018 Air Force budget request represents “the best balance of our readiness and modernization” given “the fiscal constraints we face,” Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch told Congress on Wednesday. “We had to make tough choices,” said Bunch, the top USAF uniformed acquisition official. Readiness is not funded as he would like, for starters.

  • Coats, Rogers Say They Never Felt Pressure to Interfere in FBI Investigation

    Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Adm. Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday they never felt pressure to interfere with the ongoing FBI investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

  • Special Operations Aviator Receives Distinguished Flying Cross

    ​TSgt. James McKay was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross on June 2 for his role as a special missions aviator over Bor, South Sudan, on Dec. 21, 2013.

  • Fiscal 2018 Budget Starts Rebuilding Readiness

    ​Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff David Goldfein faced a skeptical Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, defending the administration’s Fiscal 2018 budget request, the current pace of acquisition, and the need to rebuild readiness.

  • Must Go Faster, Wilson Says

    ​In one of her first speeches since becoming Air Force Secretary, Heather Wilson said she wants to speed up acquisition, bringing on more people and restoring readiness to an Air Force that is older and smaller than ever. Wilson reiterated the service’s top priorities as the F-35 fighter, KC-46 tanker, and B-21 bomber, alongside boosting the number of fighter pilots as near-term priorities, though she is awaiting the results of various strategy reviews to make firm plans about force sizing and content.

  • Targeted Aviation Bonus Aimed At Curbing Pilot Exodus

    ​The Air Force is moving to a tiered pilot bonus system that will pay fighter pilots more because they are in greater demand. The service is also adding more flexibility and options when pilots of various specialties sign up for additional contract lengths.

  • Meeting the Massive Demand for Refueling and Airlift in the Middle East

    ​​Mobility crews deployed to US Central Command have several missions to support, with an endless supply of thirsty aircraft requiring air refueling. It all takes delicate planning to ensure enough tankers and airlifters are ready.

  • GCC Nations Cut Ties with Qatar

    ​Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, and other Muslim nations on Monday cut diplomatic ties as well as air, sea, and land connections with Qatar, saying the Gulf Cooperation Council country supports terrorism. However, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he did not expect the move to impact the fight against terrorism in the region.

  • Disbrow Says Munitions Wave, F-35 Rate Depend on Strategy Review

    ​The Air Force’s big push to replenish its depleted stocks of munitions, as well as the rate at which it will buy F-35s, are both tied to the Strategic Defense Review and other ongoing reviews, Undersecretary of the Air Force Lisa Disbrow said Friday.

  • In Space, Capability Comes Before Organization, Says Disbrow

    ​The Air Force does not want a separate space force right now because it is focused on developing and delivering new capabilities to stay ahead of adversaries, Undersecretary Lisa Disbrow said in an editorial board.

  • Disbrow: USAF Addressing Information War Shortfalls

    The need for readiness in the information war is “critical,” Undersecretary of the Air Force Lisa Disbrow said, and USAF is figuring out how to address its “shortcomings” in that struggle.

  • US Airmen Train Afghans to Defend Their Bases

    A small team of USAF security forces are deployed to a Kabul air base to help Afghan National Army soldiers learn to protect and defend their own air wings.

  • Loosened ROE, B-52 Presence Leads to Huge Spike in Afghanistan Airstrikes

    ​The new administration’s push to “annihilate” ISIS in Afghanistan, loosened rules of engagement, and support from B-52s caused a massive spike in the number of US airstrikes inside Afghanistan this spring. As the number of strike sorties increase, the Air Force is considering once again basing tankers in Afghanistan.

  • Flight Computer Malfunction Caused 2016 Predator Crash

    A sudden failure of the primary control module (PCM), or flight computer, caused an MQ-1B to crash in the US Central Command area of responsibility on Jan. 7, 2016, according to an accident investigation board report released June 1.

  • The Small Cessna That Carries the Afghan Air Force

    KABUL—About half of the entire sortie count tallied by the Afghan Air Force in 2016 came on the wings of 24 nondescript, single-engine Cessnas that are constantly taking off and landing on airstrips across the country.

  • Sixty-One Airmen Have Taken Sabbaticals at a Cost of $1.2 Million

    ​Sixty-one airmen participated in the Department of Defense’s Career Intermission Pilot Program (CIPP) in 2015 and 2016, at a total cost of $1.2 million, a new Government Accountability Office report found. While no pilots have participated in CIPP so far, the Air Force thinks the military sabbatical program could help resolve its growing pilot shortage.

  • NATO’s Anti-ISIS Coalition Membership Does Not Mean Combat

    NATO’s decision to joint the counter ISIS coalition means its members will increase their presence in the fight, but not necessarily engage in combat, the organization’s deputy secretary general said this week.

  • Thornberry Bill Calls for Increased US Posture in Pacific

    ​Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has released an Indo-Asia-Pacific security bill that calls for increased US military posture and more than $2 billion in new defense spending in the region.

  • Afghanistan’s Close Air Support Workhorse is Growing, But More Progress Needed

    The Afghan Air Force A-29 fleet is experiencing growing pains, but it has become a cornerstone of the Afghan Air Force’s combat operations in the country, thanks to a team of USAF advisers.

  • Massive Bomb Kills Scores of Civilians in Kabul’s Diplomatic Quarter

    A massive bomb hidden in a tanker truck ripped through the Wednesday morning commute in Kabul’s diplomatic quarter, killing more than 80 and injuring more than 460, including almost a dozen Americans.

  • Upgraded Ballistic Missile Defense Can Protect US Through 2020

    ​The successful test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system on Tuesday validated key system upgrades and ensured the US can defend its homeland against ballistic missile threats through 2020.

  • Leading Democrat Criticizes Trump Spending on Nuclear Weapons

    Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, criticized President Donald Trump’s proposed spending on nuclear modernization programs in a statement released Wednesday.

  • Nuclear Deterrence Remains Top Priority in USAF Fiscal 2018 Budget

  • Dunford Speaks at 2017 Academy Graduation

    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford told the 979 graduates in the 2017 US Air Force Academy graduating class that their success will no longer be based solely on their individual merits, but what they are able to accomplish as a team, and flexibility will be key as they navigate today’s ever-changing security environment.

  • How Many B-21 Bombers Does the Air Force Really Need?

    Rep. Mike Gallagher on Thursday questioned whether the Air Force is low balling the actual number of B-21 Raiders it will need in the future, citing a 2015 AFA Mitchell Institute study that found the service would as many as 258 bombers if conflict were to erupt with Russia.

  • Boeing Protests USAF’s Acquisition Approach on Compass Call Replacement

    Boeing filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office on May 19 alleging the Air Force’s acquisition strategy regarding the EC-130 Compass Call recap “seems to ignore inherent and obvious conflicts of interest.”

  • Bogdan Retires After Five Years at Helm of F-35 Program

    Thursday is Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan’s last day as the Program Executive officer for the Joint Strike Fighter. In an exclusive exit interview with Air Force Magazine, he discusses why he’s been able to remain in charge for five years on a project where, by law, he should have been gone in two.

  • DARPA Picks Boeing for XS-1 Spaceplane Project

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has chosen Boeing to collaboratively develop and fly the XS-1 spaceplane, a reusable launch vehicle capable of lofting a 3,000-pound payload to orbit at an “aircraft-like” tempo.

  • USAF Space Spending Sees 20 Percent Increase in 2018

    President Donald Trump’s budget proposes a 20 percent increase in Air Force space investment over President Barack Obama’s 2017 request.

  • The F-22’s Undetected, Indispensable Role Over Syria

    F-22s have played a key role in the fight against ISIS, helping protect aircraft from Syrian air defenses and coordinating strike packages. Their pace has increased, and Raptors are now flying in their “full capacity” in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

  • After Long Neglect, Munitions See Funding Surge

    One of the areas where the Air Force’s Fiscal 2018 budget request sees a sharp increase is in munitions. The war against ISIS has drained USAF stocks, particularly precision munitions that are the preferred weapon in a war where extreme accuracy is needed to prevent civilian casualties.

  • Air Force Building New Aircraft at a Glacial Pace

    Despite its pleas to modernize and grow its smallest fleet ever, the Air Force isn’t buying many new airplanes, relative to the many missions it now undertakes.

  • Trump Proposes $574 Billion in Military Spending

    President Donald Trump is requesting $574 billion in base funding for the Department of Defense and $65 billion in overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding for fiscal year 2018.

  • RTD&E Gets Big Bump in 2018 Budget Request

    ​Research, development, test, and evaluation gets a more than 25 percent increase in the Air Force’s Fiscal 2018 budget request to Congress.

  • No USAF F-35 Surge in 2018 Budget

    The Air Force isn’t boosting its buy of F-35s in the Fiscal 2018 budget, and chances are, it won’t for a few years.

  • USAF 2018 Budget Looks to Recover Readiness, Fill Capability Gaps

    The Air Force’s Fiscal 2018 budget, released on Tuesday, requests $132.4 billion in the baseline “blue budget” and $13.9 billion for overseas contingency operations.

  • Turning Points Convinced Bogdan F-35 Would Succeed

    When F-35 Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan took over the project, he had doubts that such a massive effort would actually work. In an interview with Air Force Magazine, Bogdan, who turns over the program to his deputy on Thursday, explained the technical, programmatic, and military/political turning points that convinced him the F-35 had a chance of success.

  • Five Years Later, F-35 Relationship Better, But Trust Still Elusive

    Five years after making headlines saying the relationship between Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon over the F-35 program was the “worst I’ve ever seen,” Joint Program Office director Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said things are improving, but there’s more work to be done.

  • F-35 Price Will Start Rising Again in About 2022

    Though the F-35’s price has been coming down consistently, it will start to rise in the early 2020s as the services and partners begin applying a series of upgrades, Joint Program Office director Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, who is stepping down from the job Thursday, said in an interview with Air Force Magazine.

  • Mattis Trumpets Speed of New Counter-ISIS Strategy

    The Department of Defense briefed reporters on the Trump administration’s new strategy for an “accelerated operation against ISIS” Friday afternoon, and speed of operations took center stage.

  • Catching RPAs Using Actual Nets and Other AFRL Innovations at Lab Day

    ​Air Force Research Laboratory technology was on display during DOD’s Lab Day Thursday, showcasing some innovative ideas, and some old ones, too.

  • Transgender Academy Cadets Can Graduate, But Not Commission

    At the military service academies, transgender cadets are being allowed to graduate but not to commission as officers this spring. The decisions are in line with current Department of Defense policy, but that is likely to change soon.

  • Sluggish Acquisition Dooming US Military

    The Pentagon’s ponderous acquisition system has gone from being a red tape headache to a genuine security threat, as US adversaries step on the gas and field new technologies and systems far faster than the Pentagon can stay ahead of them.

  • F-35As Stay Healthy in Europe

    During the type’s first deployment to Europe, F-35As maintained a mission capable rate higher than a concurrent F-16 deployment, while forward deploying to the Baltics and training alongside fourth generation jets.

  • ICBMs Undergoing First-Ever Round of Depot Maintenance

    The Air Force completed the first programmed depot maintenance of a nuclear launch facility since its activation in the 1960s.

  • Holmes Has an OA-X to Grind

    Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Holmes is a believer in the idea of a light attack aircraft fleet for the Air Force, if the money can be found to buy one.

  • After Comey, Who is Left?

    President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey Tuesday in latest clash between the Intelligence Community (IC) and the White House. The IC itself is composed of departments within various agencies, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, and others.

  • Textron to Participate in USAF Light Attack Aircraft Experiments

    The Air Force has settled on the slate of companies to be invited to participate in this summer’s OA-X Light Attack Aircraft experiments, a service spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

  • USAF is Looking for A Few Good Hackers

    ​The Air Force is looking for some friendly hackers to find vulnerabilities its public websites in an effort to bolster cyber security. Hackers from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are invited to participate in the Hack the Air Force contest, which will run from May 30 to June 23.

  • Wilson Confirmed as Air Force Secretary

    ​The Senate confirmed Heather Wilson as the 24th Secretary of the Air Force on Monday with a vote of 76-22. Wilson has extensive experience with the Air Force, Congress, and in education and since she is only the second of President Trump’s nominees to be confirmed, she will likely wield significant influence in the new administration.

  • Getting the Non-Flying AOC Off the Ground

    ​USAF’s push to bring its air operations center into the modern era is years in the works, hundreds of millions of dollars over its initial budget, and currently paused for lack of FY17 funding. And the service’s senior uniformed acquisition official, Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, told Air Force Magazine he will get it done—with or without its current and main contractor, Northrop Grumman.

  • Striking from the Sea

    Since operations commenced against ISIS in August 2014, the Coalition has dropped nearly 80,000 weapons against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Of that figure, USAF alone has delivered approximately 70 percent of all the weapons. In the last week of April, the Air Force dropped an even larger share, 80 percent, of the nearly 700 weapons delivered against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria. The Navy, while flying a smaller share of the total strike effort, also offers valuable surge capacity and flexibility to the overall war effort. Air Forces Central Command spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart said Navy air assets are “a crucial part of enabling the coalition to quickly adapt to the dynamic environment in which we operate. … The coalition is stronger because of each service and coalition partner’s unique capabilities that they bring to the fight.”

  • USAF Medal of Honor Recipient Leo Thorsness Dies at 85

    Medal of Honor recipient retired USAF Col. Leo Thorsness died Tuesday in Florida, according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. He was 85.

  • War Game Shows TRANSCOM Vulnerabilities

    A recent war game conducted by US Transportation Command revealed that US military lift is “distinctly vulnerable” because of its heavy reliance on commercial partners, TRANSCOM boss Gen. Darren McDew told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

  • Sexual Assault Reporting in USAF Unchanged

    The number of sexual assaults of Active Duty troops decreased in Fiscal 2016, while the percentage of troops who reported those sexual assaults increased, according to a report released Monday by the Pentagon. However, sexual assault reporting in the Air Force remained “unchanged,” the report states.

  • First F-35 Block Buy Contract Awarded

    ​The Defense Department awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.377 billion contract on April 28 to start the process of the so-called “block buy” program, expected to save $2 billion over three lots of production.

  • Trilateral, Cross-Generation Integration at Langley

    ​The Air Force’s fifth generation F-22s and F-35s flew alongside the best British and French fighters for the first time in a large-scale exercise here, but the aircraft is not the focus of the event. For USAF commanders planning and flying regularly in Exercise Atlantic Trident 2017, the pilots and maintainers themselves are the important focus of the trilateral exercise.

  • ALIS 2.02 Ready to Go

    Lockheed Martin announced Wednesday that the newest version of its Autonomic Logistics Information System, or ALIS, which the company calls “the IT backbone of the F-35,” has been approved for installation on Air Force and Navy F-35s.

  • William Leslie Kirk, 1932-2017

    ​Gen. William Kirk, one of the USAF leaders credited as a “father” of the Aggressors and the Red Flag exercise, commander of US Air Forces Europe, a two-time MiG killer and a noted expert in electronic warfare, died April 26 in Florida.

  • F-35 JPO Begs to Differ with GAO

    The F-35 Joint Program Office disputes several of the conclusions in the Government Accountability Office’s second annual assessment of the project, released Monday.

  • USAF F-35As Briefly Deploy to Estonia

    Two US F-35A strike fighters arrived Tuesday at Amari AB, Estonia, but then returned to their deployed location at RAF Lakenheath, England, a couple hours later. “The purpose was to show their presence,” Col. Jaak Tarien, the Chief of the Estonian Armed Forces, told Air Force Magazine.

  • Planning for Disaster in Africa

    ​About two dozen American airmen and about 60 airmen from several African nations recently participated in an African Partnership Flight in Burkina Faso designed to share best practices for maintenance and logistics in a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief situation.

  • GAO: Hold off on F-35 Block 4 Until 3F is Done

    ​The F-35 program should wait until the all-up Block 3F software version is fully developed before asking industry to offer upgrades for future iterations, known as Block IV, and before significantly increasing the fighter’s production rate, the Government Accountability Office said Monday.

  • Two Air Commandos Awarded Air Force Crosses

    ​Two retired special tactics airmen were awarded the Air Force Cross at the same ceremony here Thursday for heroic actions in separate battles in Afghanistan more than a decade apart.

  • England F-35A Deployment Just Practice, Not a Message

    ​The movement of eight F-35As to Lakenheath, England—the first overseas deployment of the Air Force’s newest fighter—isn’t meant to send any kind of political message, and the aircraft won’t be available for operational missions during their weeks-long stay in the UK.

  • ACC Chief: F-15 Retirement Inevitable

    ​Air Force revelations in recent weeks that it’s beginning to think about the phaseout of the F-15C/D Eagle has raised eyebrows and concern on Capitol Hill, potentially setting the stage for a replay of the controversy over USAF’s attempt to retire the A-10. But the move is inevitable, sooner or later, and is being considered in light of anticipated budgets and force structure.

  • A Note from AFA’s President: Is Congress Ready to Ground the Air Force?

    It appears that some of our nation’s lawmakers might surrender to the idea that the Department of Defense can operate on a continuing resolution for defense appropriations the remainder of this fiscal year. To be clear, it won’t be an enemy that grounds the world’s best Air Force—this would be a self-inflicted wound.

  • Selva Says DOD Must Get Flexible with Acquisition Regulations

    The US military needs to get better at using existing acquisition regulations more flexibly, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva said Thursday at an AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast. This means taking risk, staying out of the safe middle-ground of the rules, and looking for the “corners” that allow unexpected arrangements. It may also mean working with “kids that wear flip-flops, worn-out jeans, and bleached t-shirts to work every day.”

  • NASA’s First Shuttle Mission Turns 36

    ​Thirty-six years ago, NASA sent humans into space in a brand new type of shuttle—one with wings and wheels.

  • Combat Controller Receives Silver Star for 96-Hour Battle in 2015

    ​Eighteen months after engaging in a 96-hour-long battle in Afghanistan, Tech. Sgt. Brian Claughsey received a Silver Star Medal on April 7.

  • CENTCOM: One-Off Strike on Syria Not Intended to Destroy Airfield

    ​The April 6 attack on a Syrian airfield was not intend to destroy the airfield, but was aimed at limiting the Syrian government’s ability to conduct operations “in the short term.”

  • National Space Council Crucial to Space Legislation

    A reconstituted National Space Council can “help streamline” space decision making and support needed legislative changes, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) said Tuesday at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo.

  • Rep. Rogers Calls for Separate Space Force

    The US needs a separate military service to handle space, separating it from the Air Force, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said Tuesday.

  • What Motion Capture and 3-D Cameras Can Tell Us About Perpetrators

    An AFRL department is working to figure out what a person may be concealing—among other things—just by looking at them.


    Using data from 3-D cameras and motion capture cameras, airmen at AFRL’s 711th Human Performance Wing can figure out what approaching​ people look like when they’re carrying a weapon, or a bomb, or other items, or doing something else entirely, examples of which are confidential at this point.

    Read the full story from Gideon Grudo.

  • Lockheed to Use Virtual Prototyping to Develop GBSD

    Lockheed Martin is hoping to demonstrate the full capabilities of its virtual prototyping lab if it wins a contract to develop the next Ground Based Strategic Deterrent. Lockheed also thinks its digital tapestry approach can help accurately pinpoint the total cost of the system, estimates of which have varied widely within the Department of Defense. “The more you can mature a cost model the better,” John Karas, vice president and GBSD program manager told reporters at the Lockheed Martin facility in Littleton, Colo., Monday.

  • As the Predator Retires, Its Inventor Remembers Its Birth

    ​As the Air Force works to retire its fleet of MQ-1 Predators, Air Force Magazine spoke with the man whose engineering feats of the 1970s and 1980s first made unmanned systems reliable.

  • New Starts Crippled Under CR

    ​Congress has helped mitigate serious damage to the Air Force’s top-priority programs, but dozens of projects would be severely hampered if Congress continues to substitute continuing resolutions for approved long-term spending plans, top service officers told the Senate Armed Services Committee’s airland panel Wednesday.

  • Wilson Pledges Cost Effectiveness in Confirmation Hearing

    Air Force Secretary nominee Heather Wilson, in her nomination hearing Thursday, pledged to focus on cost effectiveness on the Air Force’s major acquisition programs and urged lawmakers to repeal sequestration, giving the service more budget certainty to face issues such as a growing pilot shortage.

  • Humans Essential to Artificial Intelligence Weapons

    ​Artificial intelligence is much more powerful when a human is helping it think outside the box, said William Roper, head of the Defense Department’s Strategic Capabilities Office, at an AFA Mitchell Institute event on Tuesday.

  • F-35 Chief Bogdan to Retire

    After a five-year tour, Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan will retire in the coming weeks, to be succeeded by his deputy, Navy Rear Adm. (selected for Vice Admiral) Mathias Winter.

  • DARPA’s UAS Airborne Recovery Project Enters Phase Two

    DARPA has chosen two finalists for its Gremlins program’s second phase, taking the UAV recovery program past its first, proof-of-concept phase. The 12-month long, second phase of the project started in March and is worth up to $21 million.

  • McCain, Thornberry Say Military is Hurting from Obama-Era Neglect

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) described a military in disrepair after eight years of the Obama Administration. In a conversation with reporters on Wednesday, they laid out a defense budget plan to restore readiness and discussed the need for further acquisition reforms.

  • Lockheed Says it Can Deliver T-X Two Years Early

    The Lockheed Martin’s T-50A entry in the T-X advanced trainer competition is so low-risk that the company believes it could achieve initial operational capability with the jet two years ahead of the Air Force’s requirement, should the service wish to do that, company Skunkworks chief Rob Weiss claimed Tuesday.

  • RAND Says China’s Nuclear Capability Accelerating

    ​China is set to modernize its nuclear arsenal and accelerate a path toward regional deterrence—maybe even adjusting current nuclear policy, according to a recent RAND study.

  • Officials Say First F-35 Symposium a Great Success

    ​The inaugural F-35 symposium at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, was a “who’s who of the F-35,” with more than 100 participants from the US Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps as well representatives from Pacific F-35 partner-nations South Korea, Japan, and Australia, Brig. Gen. Craig Wills, Pacific Air Forces director of strategic plans, requirements, and programs, told Air Force Magazine. The two-day event focused primarily on the aircraft itself, rather than the broader picture of F-35 command and control, with topics including bed down, integration, logistics, sustainment, and combat operations.

  • Exercise Flintlock Wraps Up in Africa

    Flintlock, an annual special operations training exercise in Africa, wraps up Thursday. More than 20 countries and 2,000 people participated in the exercise, which included events in Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon, and Mauritania.

  • Nude Photo Scandal Reaches Beyond the Corps

    The social media scandal in which male US Marines posted nude pictures of female Marines without their knowledge through a private Facebook group is just one instance of a problem that involves all the military services.

  • Chinese Claim J-20 Operational

    The J-20 “Mighty Dragon,” China’s first purportedly stealth combat aircraft, is operational, Chinese state television reported on March 9, without giving further details.

  • Filling the Red Air Gap

    The Air Force plans to release a draft solicitation to industry for nearly 40,000 hours of adversary air and support at 12 different bases, including 11,250 hours per year at the US Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nev. The multi-award contract, which is expected in January 2019, has the potential to “consume the entire industry several times over,” said Russ Bartlett, President and CEO of Textron Airborne Solutions.

  • Lockheed Advances to Third Gen Logistics System Under $750 million contract

    The Defense Logistics Agency chose Lockheed as USAF’s industrial product-support vendor (IPV) for the service’s third generation logistics program. The major focus of the agreement is managing rapid replenishment of consumable parts so maintainers can access the components they need when they need them.

  • Lockheed “Paragon” Challenges in PGMs

    Lockheed Martin’s Paveway redesigned dual-mode laser/GPS-guided weapon—rebranded as “Paragon”—is slated to complete flight tests this year, with the aim of competing with laser-guided JDAM and other precision-guided munitions as early as next year. Lockheed said the weapon will offer the same capabilities of the JDAM, but will be about 30 percent cheaper.

  • People Versus Modernization, Again

    ​With marching orders from the new administration to improve readiness first, the Air Force in the near term may have to scale back some of its enormous and ambitious modernization efforts, senior Air Force leaders said Friday.

  • Intel Challenges and the Holy Grail

    ​Russians are testing fusion capabilities in Syria much like Americans experimented with technology during Desert Storm, but they’re “absolutely not” where USAF is with regard to command and control and fusion warfare, said Brig. Gen. Peter Lambert, Air Combat Command’s director of intelligence.​

  • VA Secretary Wants Congress to Fix Claims Backlog

    ​David Shulkin, the freshly minted Secretary of Veterans Affairs, said without congressional support, his agency’s claims backlog will likely “grow.”

  • SSL Wants to Change Throwaway Space Culture

    Space Systems Loral, recently partnered with DARPA on a satellite-servicing project, is already partnered with DARPA and NASA on two other programs, both aimed at modifying satellite culture in space. The company's Restore-L and Dragonfly programs aim to change forever space’s “throwaway culture.”

  • Mattis Begins Abolition, Consolidation of Acquisition Positions

    ​Defense Secretary James Mattis got some big overhauls rolling at the Pentagon with a pair of Jan. 17 Department-wide memos with tight deadlines. He wants to fulfill Congress’ direction to abolish the Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics job, replacing it with two and possibly three other posts, and he wants the services to look at consolidating their non-fighting activities, such as healthcare, commissaries, and MWR.

  • BUFF Bones Better than the Bone’s

    Given its heavy usage and its high operating cost, the B-1 may be retired sooner than the B-52, which is  20 years older, according to Air Combat Command chief Gen. Hawk Carlisle.

  • USAF To Take Over Stand-In Jamming

    Twenty years after the Air Force gave up its EF-111 stand-in jamming platform, it is again looking to create an escort electronic warfare aircraft capability, inheriting the mission from the Navy.

  • More BACN, Please

    The Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, or BACN, will soar above US Central Command for its 10,000th mission this month.

  • New Fighters Rely on Aging Tankers

    Behind the scenes of the Marine Corps’ historic F-35B deployment in January was a team of aging tankers, enabling the flight with 250 total air refuelings. As the next generation fighter force deploys more, it will rely more on a tanker fleet that is aging and awaiting its own recapitalization.

  • Mattis Issues Warning During First NATO Visit

    Defense Secretary James Mattis, in his first visit to NATO since his confirmation, warned the alliance that its member countries must increase defense spending or the US support for the group will “moderate.”

  • Managing the Fight Against Terrorism

    The US military must think in terms of managing long-term outcomes in the global war against terrorism, not decisively winning the conflict, according to security experts who testified before the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

  • Son—and Cousin—of JDAM

    The Air Force wants a quick-turnaround additional source of small, precision-guided, and maneuvering munitions to equip the F-35 as early as next year. Longer term, the Air Force also is looking to develop a new class of direct-attack munitions to equip the new Penetrating Counter-Air jet and other stealthy platforms.

  • F-35As Score High Marks in First Red Flag

    Thirteen F-35As from Hill AFB, Utah, made an impressive showing at the fifth generation aircraft’s first Red Flag exercise, notching a 15:1 kill ratio, a mission capable rate of more than 90 percent, and setting the stage for future large-scale exercises and coming deployments.

  • DARPA’s Futuristic—and Litigious—Robotics Program

    ​DARPA is moving ahead with plans to develop space-faring robots to inspect and fix satellites despite a lawsuit from Orbital ATK saying those plans violate federal space policy.

  • Keeping the Depots Healthy

    Buried deep inside the Pentagon’s sprawling policy bill is a little-noticed provision that would allow the Air Force to more quickly hire mechanics and other civilian personnel at its three major aircraft maintenance facilities, potentially giving the service a big boost in its readiness rates. But the recent federal hiring freeze could slow efforts to recruit and hire new workers at the depots, which are tasked with maintaining the oldest fleet in Air Force history.

  • USAF Okays Bigger Tattoos—Will it Work?

    ​USAF has no system in place to figure out if its February loosening of tattoo restrictions will work, though it will be seeking anecdotal data on the impact or success of it.

  • Return to a Hollow Force

    Readiness within the Air Force is currently worse than it was in the “hollow force” days of the late 1970s, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson told the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday morning. He raised the alarm before lawmakers, painting a dire picture of the service’s state of affairs.

  • F-35 Prices Drop Again in Lot 10

    The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin’s handshake deal on Lot 10 production of the F-35, announced Friday, brings the cost of the F-35A model, which is used by the Air Force, below $100 million.

  • Northrop Grumman is Out of T-X

    ​The field of competitors in the Air Force T-X contest narrowed again on Wednesday, as Northrop announced it would not bid on the program. Based on comments late last week by Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush, Northrop viewed the T-X as requiring more investment and risk than the business case warranted.

  • SMC Conducting Independent Assessment of SpaceX’s Falcon 9

    ​Space and Missile Systems commander Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves said the Air Force is still reviewing SpaceX’s investigation of the Sept. 1, 2016, Falcon 9 explosion, and has not yet made a determination as to whether the company is ready to support National Security Space launches.

  • Is USAF Getting Rid of the 24-Year Up-or-Out Requirement?

    ​Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein may be getting rid of the long-standing and long-lamented 24-year up-or-out requirement for brigadier generals in Air Force.

  • Fighters First

    ​Air Combat Command boss Gen. Hawk Carlisle said the F-35 should get first dibs if a supplemental defense budget is approved, noting the Air Force’s fighter fleet “has paid the bills” for too long and is too small to meet demands.

  • Trump Administration Okays $1.85 billion in Foreign Military Sales

    ​The Trump Administration announced it’s approving $1.9 b​illion in foreign military sales to four countries, perhaps signaling an “assertive” attitude toward foreign policy and economic issues.

  • Growing the Force

    The Air Force wants more airmen, but exactly how to get there is largely in the works.

  • Mattis No “Mad Dog” in Senate Confirmation Hearing

    Insisting multiple times that the US military needs to become stronger and more lethal, retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, nonetheless, presented a moderate vision of military leadership in his Senate confirmation hearing to be the next Secretary of Defense.

  • Navy Secretary Slams F-35, Praises Military Inclusion

  • Experts Advise Senate to Grant Mattis Waiver

    Experts on US military-civilian relations recommended to the Senate Tuesday that retired Marine Gen. James Mattis be granted a waiver permitting his confirmation as Secretary of Defense.

  • F-35 Likely 16 Months Late to IOT&E

    ​The F-35 program probably won’t enter initial operational test and evaluation on-time by August, likely slipping a minimum of 16 months, Pentagon test director Michael Gilmore said in his final test report to Congress Tuesday.

  • Fly and Fly Again

    ​The MQ-1 pilots of the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron fly every day in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, taking off and landing remotely piloted aircraft for missions piloted by operators in the US. And previously, when the deployed pilots went home, they would only get two weeks off before they were back to flying missions. Now, because of a new scheduling configuration, these pilots will get about four months of training and deployment preparations when they get home.

  • Making An Exception to the Rule

    ​A Jan. 5 Congressional Research Service report tells Congress if it wants Mattis as the next SecDef, it’ll have to either suspend a law, eliminate it, or just altogether ignore it.

  • James Wraps Up Farewell Tour of ICBM Bases

    During her tenure as Air Force Secretary, Deborah Lee James has overseen a significant overhaul of the USAF nuclear community, which was rocked by a cheating scandal shortly after she began her tenure. Since then, the Air Force has implemented hundreds of actions aimed at boosting morale and modernizing aging infrastructure.

  • Filling the Carrier Gap

    The departure of the USS Eisenhower carrier strike group left an aircraft carrier gap in the Central Command area of operations. Now, USAF and coalition partners are stepping up to make sure the fight against ISIS gets all the air power it needs.

  • Gen. Seth Jefferson McKee 1916-2016

    Seth Jefferson McKee, who was the four-star head of North American Air Defense Command from 1969-1973, headed US Forces, Japan, and was a World War II combat pilot with two aerial victories, died in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Dec. 26, 2016 at the age of 100.

  • Striker Trident’s Lessons Learned

    The initial cadre of Air Force and Navy nuclear officers have nearly wrapped up their part in the Striker program, and so far the biggest lesson learned is that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

  • Flight to Iraq

    ​Air Force Magazine recently spent a few days in the US Central Command area of operation. Read correspondent Jennifer Hlad’s first-hand account of a C-130 flight from an undisclosed base in the region into Camp Taji, Iraq, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.