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  • 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.” He also aims to fix the Choice Program, is “anxious” to get reports about potential additions to the agent orange presumptive list, and is planning to meet with governors around the country to discuss ways to battle veteran homelessness.

    Read the full story from Gideon Grudo.

  • 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.