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​​An F-15C, like the one shown here landing at Kadena AB, Japan, on April 3, 2019, crashed into the Pacific Ocean near the base in June 2018 due to pilot error, Pacific Air Forces announced on Tuesday. Air Force photo by A1C Matthew Seefeldt.


PACAF: Pilot Error Caused June 2018 F-15C Crash Near Kadena

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 in the sea, Pacific Air Forces concluded in an investigation released Wednesday. The pilot, who was assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron at Kadena, ejected and sustained serious injuries in the crash. The aircraft was destroyed at a loss of $42.36 million. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.


Watchdog: US Air Campaign Against Taliban Drug Infrastructure, Financing Had Little to No Impact

The short-lived “Jagged Knife” operation 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 air campaign marked the F-22’s first combat in that country and the first use of a B-52’s enhanced weapons launcher, the US government's watchdog for Afghanistan said Wednesday. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

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US Watchdog: Too Much Classification Creates Cynicism of Afghan War

The top watchdog for Afghanistan reconstruction said the US and Afghan government are needlessly classifying key metrics of the 17-year war, which could breed cynicism and suspicion of war progress. Specifically, the number of Afghan casualties and the numbers of districts under Taliban control are no longer public in an effort that only serves to hide bad news, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said Wednesday. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.


Report: AFRL Needs Specialized Autonomy Team to Drive Progress

A 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. The service’s second volume of its “Autonomous Horizons” series is a call to action for senior leaders and lays out potential avenues for learning more about autonomy and AI. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

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RADAR SWEEP


The US Air Force, Not Turkey, is Frustrating Lockheed Execs on the F-35 Program
Turkey’s purchase of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 is in jeopardy due to its order of a Russian air defense system, but Lockheed executives on Tuesday appeared unruffled by the dispute. Rather, they signaled that an inconsistent demand by the US military—particularly the Air Force—is a bigger long-term concern. Defense News

Pentagon Makes Strong Pitch for Space Force as NDAA 2020 Markup Nears
In some of the most strongly worded remarks to date, Stephen Kitay, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, argued on Tuesday that the United States needs a Space Force as a separate branch of the armed forces to protect the space-based infrastructure that supports the civilian economy and the US military. Space News

An “Increase in Clarity” in US Cyber Strategy   
In the year since the US Cyber Command was elevated to a unified combatant command there has been an “increase in clarity” on the US cyber strategy, specifically on the Department of Defense’s role, and an “alignment in the law,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh, commander, Cyber National Mission Force at US Cyber Command, said in Washington on April 23. The Atlantic Council

Pentagon’s Digital Guru Chris Lynch to Depart
DOD office instrumental in the JEDI cloud competition is getting a new director this month. Defense One

Lockheed Martin Unveils New F-16V Block 70 Production Line in US
Lockheed Martin has opened a new F-16V Block 70 production line in Greenville, S.C., to begin manufacturing the aircraft later this year. airforce-technology.com

One More Thing …

Blue Grit Podcast Features Stories of Resilience, Strength
An interview with MSgt. Israel Del Toro on the podcast “Blue Grit.” The podcast features individuals with an Air Force connection who have overcome significant adversity. For more on Del Toro, see Air Force Magazine’s article “Israel Del Toro: Like a Phoenix.DOD podcast