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  • Air Commando Awarded Silver Star

    Air Force Special Operations Command boss Lt. Gen. Brad Webb presented the Silver Star—the nation’s third highest award for valor in combat—to CMSgt. Michael West on Friday.

  • Lawmakers Plead with Appropriators for A-10 Funds

    ​Twenty lawmakers on Friday called for funds needed to re-wing the remaining A-10s in the Air Force’s fleet in order to avoid creating “a significant capability gap” in the close air support and combat search and rescue missions

  • Aerospace Exports Doing Well, Could Do Even Better

    Although aerospace-related military exports will post big numbers for the end of 2017—“over $110 billion in direct commercial sales and more than $32 billion in foreign military sales”—the industry could be doing much better if Congress would take constraints off the Export-Import Bank.

  • F-22s Warn, Chase Off Russian Jets in Syria

    Two F-22s intercepted Russian aircraft that entered a restricted area in Syria on Wednesday, firing warning flares before the jets left the area.

  • US Troops With Light Footprint Needed Long-Term in Iraq and Syria

    ​US strategy in the Middle East is facing a critical moment after the defeat of ISIS, and a continued military presence in both Iraq and Syria will be crucial to achieving the US goal of stable governance throughout the region.

  • National Guard Chief Says Service Lean, Agile in Face of Modern Constraints

    The National Guard’s global presence is not as hard to accomplish—or sustain—as it might sound, the service’s boss said at an AFA Mitchell event in Arlington, Va., Thursday. He said the Guard’s evolution is the reacon why.

  • NATO Exercise Demonstrates Allied Missile Defense

    ​US and NATO allies recently demonstrated their ability to operate collaborative missile defense during an exercise, Formidable Shield 17, held off the coast of Scotland.

  • Teaming Up to Fight in Space

    ​​Space is without a doubt a contested domain, and the US military and the intelligence community are teaming up to face the challenge.

  • Air Force Academy Questioned for Response to Sexual Assault

    The US Air Force Academy has been accused of under reporting sexual assault allegations, using intimidation to discourage cadet reporting of sexual assaults, and removing a sexual assault response official who attempted to raise awareness of these problems, according to a series of CBS reports.

  • Trump Signs NDAA

    ​President Donald Trump signed the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday.

  • Draken Adds 12 South African Cheetahs to its Fleet

    Draken International announced on Monday the acquisition of 12 South African Atlas Cheetah supersonic fighters.

  • Air Force Not Planning for Enlisted Combat Pilots

    ​​The Air Force has no current plans to train enlisted airmen to fly combat aircraft, Air Education and Training Command clarified on Tuesday.

  • B-52s, F-22s Continue Hitting Taliban Drug Dens in Afghanistan

    ​The US effort to hit the Taliban’s drug production has continued since the opening salvo in November, with now 25 narcotics processing facilities destroyed and about $80 million eliminated from the group’s pockets.

  • Petraeus Warns “Battle After the Battle” May Be Harder Than Defeat of ISIS in Iraq

    The “battle after the battle” in Iraq, or the “competition for political power and resources after the defeat of ISIS,” may be more difficult than the defeat of ISIS itself, retired Army Gen. David Petraeus said Saturday, the same day the Iraqi government declared victory against the terrorist organization.

  • Withdraw, Retaliate, or Sit Tight? CRS Outlines Options on INF Treaty

    ​The US has an array of options for responding to Russia’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and all of them are tricky, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

  • Iraqi Government, Putin Both Declare Victory Over ISIS, “Terrorists”

    ​The Iraqi government declared victory over ISIS with a military parade in Baghdad on Sunday, as the fight against the group in that country and Syria has entered a new phase.

  • Smarter Acquisition

    ​Commanders must delegate to their staffs and provide assistance when required if they are to be successful, said Space and Missile Systems Center commander Lt. Gen. John Thompson, during a recent West Coast Aerospace Forum in California. 

  • The Creation of a Space Rapid Capabilities Office

    The 2018 national defense policy bill, which is currently waiting for President Trump’s signature, changes the name of the Operationally Responsive Space program to make it the Space Rapid Capabilities program.

  • Raymond Says Partnerships are Driving Progress in Space

    Partnerships with allies, industry, other US military services, and the intelligence community are working to make “our space capabilities and our space warfighters … the envy of the world,” Gen. Jay Raymond, commander of Air Force Space Command, said Dec. 8 at an AFA Mitchell Institute event in Washington, D.C.

  • Experimentation is Lord in DOD Acquisition

    A new spirit of experimentation is being foregrounded in the Department of Defense, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics Ellen Lord told Congress Thursday.

  • Wilson Says USAF Moving Forward on Acquisition Reforms

    The Air Force is reforming acquisition practices within the service through a focus on experimentation, asserting service authority over major programs, and taking advantage of accelerated hiring processes, Secretary Heather Wilson told Congress Thursday.

  • Operating in a World Where Contract Stability is Lacking

    ​New entrants to the defense industry recently spoke of the challenges involved with launching a new venture in a world where contract stability is lacking.

  • Air Force Taking Steps to Correct “Systemic Problems” with Criminal Reporting

    ​The ongoing Air Force review of its criminal reporting practices has found that “the breakdown in reporting was not limited” to the case of the Sutherland Springs, Texas, shooter and “was not limited to this detachment at Holloman Air Force Base” in New Mexico, where the shooter was previously stationed, service Secretary Heather Wilson told Congress Wednesday.

  • Information Will be King in Future Warfare

    Future success in warfare will no longer be determined by who owns the best “things,” such as planes ships, tanks, and satellites. Instead, it will come down to who does the best job harnessing information to put assets in the right time and place to prudently yield effects.

  • Predators, Reapers Kept Persistent Watch as ISIS Lost Raqqa

    Air Force MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers flew more than 44,000 hours and were responsible for one-fifth of all coalition airstrikes as part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces liberation of Raqqa, Syria, from ISIS.

  • Experts: America’s Unique Position in Space Likely Ending, It Should Start Acting Like It

    ​Space experts agree it’s time for the US to accept that it might lose its big dog status in space, and begin approaching the domain more constructively and open mindedly.

  • Tensions Rise as US, South Korea Kick Off Large-Scale Air Exercise

    ​US aircraft, including F-22s, F-35s, and B-1s, on Monday began a massive exercise alongside South Korean forces, a move North Korean officials say brings the countries to the “brink of nuclear war.”

  • Meet USAF’s Most Widely Spread Cyber Weapon System

    ​Every single day, the cyber warriors at the 33rd Network Warfare Squadron come face to face—keystroke to keystroke—with hundreds of attacks against the service’s main and massive network.

  • US Needs Old Fashioned Defense Strategy, Experts Tell Senate

    ​The US military is desperately in need of a defense strategy, experts told the Senate on Thursday, but that strategy they said needs to focus on traditional strengths rather than whiz-bang technological breakthroughs.

  • Smith: Continuing Resolution Use is the Worst Thing Congress Does for National Security

    The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee said Thursday the consistent use of continuing resolutions is a “terrible way” to run the government—especially the military—even as Washington barrels toward another self-imposed deadline that this time might result in a short-term shutdown.

  • Thunderbirds Commander Relieved of Duty

    ​The commander of the Air Force Thunderbirds has been relieved of command following a loss of confidence in his “leadership and risk management style,” Air Combat Command announced Wednesday.

  • Latest North Korean Missile Was Highest Flying Yet

    ​​North Korea’s Tuesday launch of a ballistic missile from Sain Ni was the highest Pyongyang has yet achieved, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said.

  • Review Finds Dozens of Convicted Airmen Were Not Reported to Gun Database

    ​The Air Force’s failure to report the domestic violence conviction of former airmen Devin Kelley, the man behind a Texas shooting rampage earlier this month that resulted in the death of 26 people, was not an “isolated incident” and several dozen other cases have been identified, the service announced Tuesday.​

  • Nicholson: Taliban Transitioning to a Criminal, Drug-Focused Insurgency

    ​Three days of intense airstrikes on Taliban drug-making and financial facilities took out up to $10 million of the group’s funding, part of a shift on airstrike targeting, the top US officer in Afghanistan said Tuesday.

  • The Real Cost of Nuclear Modernization

    The true cost of modernizing US nuclear forces may be less than half the $1.2 trillion price tag recently published in a report by the Congressional Budget Office.

  • AFRL Will “Clear the Whiteboard” for its 2018 S&T Review

    ​​The Air Force Research Laboratory will use a yearlong 2018 review of USAF science and technology efforts to identify specific areas where AFRL needs to evolve to better meet the nation’s long-term military S&T needs.

  • SASC To Hold Hearing on National Defense Strategy

    The Senate Armed Services Committee is set to hold a hearing on Nov. 30 to receive expert testimony on “recommendations for a future national defense strategy.”

  • US Aircraft Return to Surge-Level Operations in Afghanistan

    US aircraft are striking targets in Afghanistan at a pace not seen since the peak of the surge in 2010.

  • T-6As Grounded at Vance after Physiological Incidents

    ​The 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance AFB, Okla., grounded all T-6A flying on Nov. 15 after pilots reported four physiological incidents there since Nov. 1.

  • Laughlin Suspends Flying Operations Following Fatal T-38 Crash

    ​Laughlin AFB, Texas, grounded all its aircraft after one pilot was killed and another injured in a Monday night crash near the Texas-Mexico border.

  • Fifty-Three Years Ago, Minuteman I Disaster Averted

    On Dec. 5, 1964, Bob Hicks found himself climbing down the shaft of a Minuteman I missile silo in a remote part of South Dakota, working to disarm the missile and recover the warhead.

  • Punching Above Their Weight

    The 447th Air Expeditionary Group and its sister group, the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group, played a significant role in the liberation of Raqqa, providing what the commander of the 447th AEG called “an overwhelming majority of the kinetic operations” for the fight.

  • F-22s, B-52s Lead New Wave of Strikes Targeting Taliban Finances in Afghanistan

    US forces in Afghanistan took advantage of new authorities to target the Taliban’s finances over the weekend, unleashing a tidal wave of airpower including B-52s, F-22s, and A-29s targeting opium production in the mountains of the country.

  • In Next War, No Boundaries, No Sanctuaries

  • ACC Chief: JSTARS Recap Wrong for Contested Battlespace

    The Air Force has decided that the JSTARS Recap program won’t meet USAF’s needs in a “contested” environment, but hasn’t decided whether to cancel the program and start over on take some other approach.

  • Trump: North Korea Sponsors Terrorism

    President Donald Trump has re-designated North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism.

  • Facing the Unknown in a Multi-Domain Command and Control Environment

    ​The team in charge of Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein’s multi-domain command and control initiative will brief the service’s four-star generals on Nov. 27.

  • Wilson Says Logistics and Maintenance Ripe for Innovation

    To find the most cutting-edge work within the Air Force, don’t look at the big weapons programs, service Secretary Heather Wilson said Friday.

  • Pilot Shortage is Even Worse Than Announced

    ​The Air Force’s pilot shortage is even worse than service Secretary Heather Wilson reported last week.

  • Global Strike Command Announces Favorites

    The 2nd Bomb Wing, is the No. 1 bomb wing, according to Global Strike Command.

  • EDITORIAL: A Simple Lesson From 26 Murders in Texas

    An oversimplified, straight-line description of how Devin P. Kelley’s criminal life reached its apex hinges on a bureaucratic failure.

  • McCain, Warren Grill Policy Nominee over Lockheed Ties

    ​The Senate Armed Services Committee is holding off its vote on the president’s choice for the Pentagon’s undersecretary for policy after multiple senators said the nominee’s answers about potential conflicts of interests were not satisfactory.

  • The Rush to Produce Next Gen Missile Warning Satellites

  • Demand Outpacing US Military’s Lift Capability

    ​The US military’s total lift capability is not big enough for all the demands it faces, which prompts US Transportation Command to adjust its priorities, such as assisting US citizens recovering from hurricanes before deploying cargo to war.

  • TRANSCOM Head: Contested Environments Becoming a Reality

    The threat of contested operations is becoming a reality, chipping away at the US military’s “decisive advantage” in its ability to rapidly deploy globally, the head of US Transportation Command said Wednesday.

  • Former STRATCOM Head Urges Caution on Changes to Nuclear Command and Control

    Retired USAF Gen. Robert Kehler, former commander of US Strategic Command, urged Congress on Tuesday to be cautious in considering potential changes to the nation’s nuclear command and control (C2) protocols—that is, the decision-making procedures around the potential launch of a nuclear weapon.

  • House Urges Solutions in Yemen

    ​​The House on Monday declared the two Authorizations for Use of Military Force that allow military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, do not authorize US help to the Saudi war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

  • NDAA Brings Back National Drone Registration

    ​The final version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act would restore a federal registry for unmanned aerial systems aimed at securing airspace as civilian users of smaller UAS proliferate across the nation.

  • Pilot Shortage Worsens

    ​The Air Force’s pilot shortage is getting worse, and service efforts to stem the exodus have not yet paid off, USAF Secretary Heather Wilson reported Thursday.

  • Air Force Family Took Heavy Losses in Texas Shooting

    Twelve of the 26 victims who died in the Sutherland Springs, Texas, shooting on Nov. 5 were “directly connected to the Air Force, either members or through family ties,” Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told reporters at a Pentagon briefing on Nov. 9.

  • USAF Tells Congress it is at an Inflection Point in Readiness Crisis

    ​The Air Force has taken steps to address its readiness crisis by increasing monthly flight hours for fighter pilots and recruiting more maintainers, but the service still needs help so it can fly the missions it needs to, a top service official told lawmakers.

  • Lightning After Tornados

    The F-35 Joint Program Office confirmed that Germany is taking steps to buy the Lightning II, but these moves are not yet final.

  • Inhofe: US Budget Should Center More on Defense

    Congress needs to reorganize federal spending around the “top priority” of providing for the national defense, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) told reporters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

  • To Give Trump “Options,” Air Force Speeds Up Nuke Modernization

    The Air Force’s Vice Chief of Staff said the service is doing everything possible to hasten its nuclear modernization programs in preparation for looming threats.

  • The Space Corps is Dead, Long Live the Space Department

    ​The proposal to establish a separate Space Corps within the Air Force has been eliminated from the final version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, but lawmakers are proceeding with sweeping changes to the organization of military space nonetheless.

  • NATO to Send 3,000 More Troops to Afghanistan

    ​NATO will send more than 3,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in addition to an increase announced by the US military earlier this year to counter increased momentum by the Taliban in the long-running war.

  • SMC Releases Draft RFP for Five EELV Launches

    The Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center on Monday released a draft request for proposal for five launches in the evolved expendable launch vehicle program.

  • Former Airman Devin Kelley Threatened Base Superiors, Escaped Behavioral Health Institution in 2012

    Police records show the former airman who shot up a Texas church Sunday—killing 26 and wounding almost two dozen others—was taken into custody in June 2012 after escaping a mental health institution.

  • Lasers Coming to USAF Fighter Jets By 2021

    ​If all goes according to plan, Air Force tactical fighter jets will fire lasers in 2021, testing capabilities from the service’s now completed laser triad’s new weapon system.

  • DOT&E Nominee Focused on Speed, Experimentation, Software

    ​​Retired USAF Maj. Gen. Robert Behler, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the Department of Defense’s director of operational test and evaluation, sailed smoothly through his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

  • Texas Shooter Was a Former Airman

    Devin Patrick Kelley, the man accused of killing 26 and wounding at least 20 others at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, previously spent four years in the Air Force, the service said.

  • USAF Reviewing its Handling of Texas Shooter’s Criminal Record Notification

    ​​Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein have launched “a complete review” of how the service handled the criminal records of former Airman Devin Patrick Kelley, who is accused of killing 26 people and wounding at least 20 others at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday.

  • Investigation: Pilot Landing Too Quickly, Heavy Rain Caused June F-16 Crash

    ​A US Air Force Thunderbird F-16 was destroyed while landing in June in Dayton, Ohio, because the pilot touched down going too quickly for the rainy conditions, an Air Combat Command investigation found.

  • This is How Space Acquisition Gets Faster

    ​When it comes to space acquisition, the Air Force is moving into a new era in which tolerance for risk will be higher and the demand for speed will be greater, Lt. Gen. John Thompson, the new commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, said.

  • McCain Warns Administration to Stop Nominating Industry Execs

    ​Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Wednesday he “couldn’t support further nominees” with a defense industry background. Speaking during a nomination hearing for four nominees, including a former Raytheon executive tapped to be the next Army secretary, McCain said he had reservations about nominees coming from the Trump administration, but then said he would move the four selections through “as quickly as possible.”

  • CBO: Nuclear Arsenal Operation, Maintenance Will Cost $1.2 Trillion Over 30 Years

    ​The cost of the military’s total nuclear arsenal will amount to $1.2 trillion in 2017 dollars over the next 30 years, a staggering amount that takes into account the Air Force’s push to modernize and recapitalize its bomber fleet, cruise missiles, and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

  • Newly Released Docs Show Heavy USAF Contribution Needed for 1962 Cuba Invasion

    ​The Air Force was front and center in the 1962 American plan to take control of Cuba, newly released documents show.

  • DOD Still Responding as 25 Million Americans Impacted by Hurricanes, Fires

    ​The Department of Defense continues to respond with a comprehensive relief effort to a series of hurricanes that have marked “one of the most logistically complex disasters this nation has faced,” FEMA administrator Brock Long told Congress on Tuesday.

  • DOD Has Spent $1.4 Trillion on War Since Sept. 11, 2001

    ​​As of June 30, the Department of Defense had obligated $1.46 trillion for war-related costs since Sept. 11, 2001, according to a new DOD report.

  • DOD to Congress: New AUMF is a Nice to Have, But Don't Repeal Old One

    The Pentagon is warning lawmakers that, while they might welcome a new authorization for its global fight against terrorism, that push must not include repealing the current authorities or restricting the current fight.

  • B-2 Flies 37-Hour Deterrence Mission to the Pacific

    ​​A B-2 Spirit flew a “long-range” mission from Whiteman AFB, Mo., nonstop to an undisclosed area of the Pacific in a public show of force in the region.

  • D.C. Court Rules Against Ban on Transgender Military Service

    ​​The United States District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday issued a temporary injunction against portions of President Donald Trump’s memorandum directing the Department of Defense to ban transgender members from serving in the US military.

  • AMC Studying Automation for its Aerial Ports of the Future

    ​​Air Mobility Command is pushing forward on a futuristic move to automate its aerial port, a step that would speed up the movement of cargo, AMC’s boss Gen. Carlton Everhart said.​

  • AMC Crews Surging to Alleviate Backlog of Cargo Following Storm Response

    The need for mobility aircraft to respond to recent hurricanes across the US has delayed the shipment of equipment to Afghanistan and other locations by about 15 days, but there has not been a delay in deploying personnel, the head of Air Mobility Command said Friday.

  • US Allies on the Move in Space

    Space is a uniquely collaborative combat domain, and US allies are working to expand their role in a combined space defense effort, air force officers from the United Kingdom and Australia said at an AFA Mitchell event in Washington, D.C., Friday.

  • Mattis Visits DMZ, Urges Denuclearization Without War

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday visited the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea to deliver a warning, but also to emphasize that the overall goal is not war with the Kim Jong Un regime.

  • ACC: Improperly Assembled Engine Control Caused April F-16 Crash

    ​An improperly assembled main engine control caused a Washington, D.C., National Guard F-16C to crash in April near JB Andrews, Md., the Air Force announced Thursday.

  • AFCENT Counters Claims of Increased Civilian Casualties in Fight Against ISIS

    ​​The US military has pushed to avoid collateral damage in its extensive bombing campaign against ISIS by increasing the number of weapons and yields available, and recently by increasing the staff tasked with investigating allegations of civilian casualties.​

  • Flying More With Less

    ​For the last three months in a row, the 737th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron has flown more sorties per month than in any other month for the previous five years. Jennifer Hlad went along for one of the squadron’s flights into Iraq.

  • NATO to Change Command Structure in Face of Increasing Threats

    ​NATO wants to adjust its command and force structure in the face of growing threats, following Russia’s recent aggressive behavior, including the 2008 Russo-Georgian War and the 2014 annexation of Crimea, Czech Gen. Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, told reporters in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

  • Defense Innovation Board Recommends Ways for DOD to Go Faster

    ​The Defense Innovation Board held its second public meeting Tuesday and issued four new recommendations to help the Department of Defense speed up the development and fielding of new technologies.

  • Air Force Not Preparing to Put B-52s Back on Alert

    ​The Air Force says it is not making preparations to place its B-52 bombers on 24-hour nuclear alert, something the service has not done since the Cold War.

  • Vietnam Special Forces Medic Receives Medal of Honor

    President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to retired Army Capt. Gary “Mike” Rose on Monday afternoon during a ceremony at the White House.

  • White House Confuses Pilots, USAF with Friday Executive Order

    The Air Force Monday clarified it won't force pilots back into Active Duty service after President Donald Trump waived certain restrictions on recalling airmen from retirement via executive order.

  • DOD: Number of Afghans Going AWOL During US Training Increasing

    ​An increasing number of Afghan military members training in the United States have gone missing, a trend that is limiting the effectiveness of the Afghan military itself and threatening the national security of the US, a Pentagon investigation found.

  • Cyber, ISR NAFs Combining, USAF '99 Percent Decided'

    The Air Force will almost certainly push together its cyber-focused 24th Air Force with its ISR-focused 25th Air Force, according to the commander of 24 AF.

  • RPA Changeover Complete at 386th AEW

    The 46th Expeditionary Attack Squadron recently made the transition from the MQ-1 Predator to the MQ-9 Reaper: a bigger, more powerful aircraft, with better cameras, and the ability to carry more ordnance to the fight.

  • Guardsman Celebrates 21 Years with Same Plane

    ​In December 1996, Norbert Feist was hired for a full-time crew chief position with the Minnesota National Guard, and assigned to a brand-new C-130. Twenty-one years later, the now-master sergeant is still with aircraft 1004.

  • US Lacks Coordinated Response Capability for Cyber Attacks

    ​The federal government has made important strides toward improving cyber defenses, US government officials told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday, but the federal government remains unprepared for a significant cyber attack on the nation.

  • US Preparing Cyber Defense for Upcoming Elections

    US government officials from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday they are preparing measures to protect upcoming US elections from cyber attack.

  • DOD Has 19 Percent Excess Capacity, Mattis Asks Congress for BRAC

    ​A new Department of Defense report finds the US military is carrying 19 percent excess capacity across all its properties and recommends a new round of base realignment and closure (BRAC) to address the problem.

  • VIDEO: AFRL Scientists Find New Way to Print Wearable Tech

    A team of scientists, including Air Force Research Laboratory researchers, have introduced a novel way to create flexible electronics, potentially reshaping how USAF creates electronics for airmen and airframes.

  • US-Backed Fighters Declare Victory in Raqqa

    ​US-backed fighters on Tuesday claimed they have taken the city of Raqqa from ISIS, routing the group from its self-proclaimed capital after about four months of operations.

  • Speeding Up Acquisition a Bunch

    The Air Force is trying to accept more risk at all levels, but it will take some time to prove to the acquisition corps that individuals won’t be punished for reasonably trying new things and not succeeding, said USAF’s top uniformed acquisition chief at an AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast Tuesday.

  • Ambushed Combat Controller Kept Cool Under Fire

    ​​On Tuesday, SSgt. Richard Hunter, a combat controller assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla., will receive the Air Force Cross for his actions directing airstrikes and fighting off an enemy ambush in northern Kunduz province, Afghanistan, on Nov. 2, 2016.

  • US Urges Iraqi, Kurdish Forces to Avoid Conflict Near Kirkuk

    Iraqi forces claimed Kurdish-held territory in and around the city of Kirkuk on Monday as US officials encouraged both Iraqi leaders and the Kurdish Peshmerga to avoid any conflict and return their attention to defeating ISIS.

  • Former Academy Superintendent Goes Pro, Takes over NBA Officiating

    ​The former head of the Air Force Academy and retired three star general has been tapped for a new position of power—overseeing the National Basketball Association’s referees.

  • ICBM Security Forces Implement Changes to Improve Readiness, Morale

    Security forces at the Air Force’s missile squadrons recently changed their operational structure, the latest in a series of steps to improve the service’s nuclear capability.

  • More Air National Guard Units Deploy for Puerto Rico Relief

    More Air National Guard units from across the country are deploying to help the continuing relief efforts in Puerto Rico, where still just a fraction of the island has seen power return and many are still without water.

  • B-1s Fly Alongside South Korean, Japanese Fighters

    ​Two B-1Bs flew for the first time at night alongside South Korean and Japanese fighter aircraft on Tuesday, as President Trump called top Pentagon leaders to the White House to discuss military options for North Korea.

  • Wilson To Congress: Turn Off Autopilot, Pass a Budget

    Congress needs to “turn off autopilot” and take responsibility on budgetary planning because the US military’s readiness continues to decline and the need for stable funding is becoming ever more critical, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Tuesday.

  • GPS III Officially Ready for Space

    ​​Lockheed Martin announced Tuesday the Air Force has given its GPS III satellites the final thumbs up, declaring it “available for launch.”

  • USAF Honors 2016 Sijan Award Winners

    ​The Air Force recognized four airmen as winners of the 2016 Lance P. Sijan US Air Force Leadership Award at a Pentagon ceremony Oct. 5. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson presented the awards, which are given annually to airmen who demonstrate extraordinary leadership.

  • DOD Needs Air Advisors, But First USAF Has to Find Them

    Before the Defense Department can elevate the profile of its air advisory role in Afghanistan, it needs to find airmen with advising experience—a capability currently easier said than done.

  • RD-180 Replacement to Focus on Launch Systems

  • Wilson Closely Focused on Air Force Space Mission

    ​Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson made it clear Thursday that she is focusing her tenure significantly on space. “I spend about a third of my time … focused on space,” she told the audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

  • DOD: Current Demand for Airlift Will Delay Afghan Deployments

    The Defense Department is delaying the deployment of additional US forces to Afghanistan as a result of the “finite number” of US transportation aircraft, which are currently in high demand Stateside following the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, the Pentagon said Thursday.

  • Pence Calls for Renewed US Leadership in Space

    ​​In the first meeting since the re-establishment of the National Space Council, Vice President Mike Pence promised that, “America will lead in space once again.”

  • In a New Space Age, US Needs More Communication, Less Classification

    ​​In order to navigate a new era of broader activity and greater belligerence in space, the US needs to talk more about space in unclassified settings and establish clear thresholds for adversary behavior, according to a new Center for Strategic and International Studies report.

  • Senate Blocking DOD Nominees Over Lack of Information on Wars

    Leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee criticized top Pentagon officials Monday over their reluctance to share information with Congress about ongoing US wars and clarified that senators have been delaying confirmation of Department of Defense nominees over the complaint.

  • Still a Long Ways to Go in Afghanistan, But New Strategy is Changing Attitudes

    ​​The US-led coalition is not close to winning the war in Afghanistan, but the Trump administration’s new strategy there is making a difference already, top Defense Department leaders told Congress Monday.

  • Military’s Storm Response Could Delay Deployments

    The US military’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico could be so lengthy it may impact the deployments of the units that have responded, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told lawmakers Tuesday.

  • Air Force Wants Recently Retired Pilots Back for Staff Jobs

    ​The Air Force is reaching out to retired pilots in the hopes they will return to service to fill rated staff position, the latest in a series of steps to address the growing pilot shortage in the service.

  • F-22s Help Keep Focus on Fighting ISIS

    ​The 27th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron has a saying: “Just give OIR four weeks and it’ll be different.” Lt. Col. Shell, the commander of the F-22 squadron, who asked to be identified only by his rank and call sign for security reasons, said the Raptors’ mission changes as Operation Inherent Resolve changes.

  • Fueling Freedom

    ​A quarter of the Air Force’s KC-10s and the largest fuel bladder farm in the DOD are based at Al Dhafra AB, UAE. With that fuel, the tankers are able to extend sorties for a variety of US and coalition aircraft, and allow missions that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

  • DOD Ups Puerto Rico Relief Assistance, Focus on Logistics

    ​​The Defense Department is ramping up its response operation in Puerto Rico to help the Federal Emergency Management Agency meet its resource distribution needs.

  • Academy Superintendent Tells Racist Slur Writers to “Get Out”

    ​The top leader of the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) on Sept. 28 gathered all Academy personnel to tell them that he would not tolerate racist slurs at the school.

  • Managing the CENTCOM Air Battle

    In a row of arched sand-colored tents behind a chain-link fence, hundreds of airmen, soldiers, marines, and coalition troops watch and control the air battles over Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.

  • Nuclear Posture Review Provides Opportunity to Reset US Policy

    ​The Trump administration’s ongoing Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) offers an opportunity to fundamentally reshape US nuclear policy, experts in deterrence and arms control said at a Task Force 21-Minot event in Washington, D.C., Thursday.

  • USAF Answers the Call in Hurricane Maria Relief Efforts

    Units from across the Air Force responded in support of FEMA efforts to bring relief to Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and other Caribbean islands struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

  • RAND Authors Urge Hypersonic Missile Non-Proliferation Deal, Fast

    Warning that many countries could have hypersonic weapons within 10 years—and that there is currently no defense against them—a quartet of specialists from the RAND Corporation are urging the US, Russia, and China to adopt policies that would restrict the transfer of hypersonic technologies and components to other nations.

  • Wilson Says Return to Sequestration “Would Break This Service”

    A return to sequestration levels of funding “would break this service,” Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson said Wednesday.

  • NORAD Commander Sees Russia Increasing Range

    The commander of NORAD and US Northern Command expressed concern Wednesday about Russia’s “ability to hold targets at risk at ranges we’re not used to.” Gen. Lori Robinson said the worry emerges from US observations of Zapad 2017, a major Russian military exercise held in September.

  • Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Announces 2018 Studies

    One of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board’s two main studies in 2018 is a parallel effort to the service’s recently announced science and technology strategy review.

  • U-2 Chase Cars Guide Pilots and Plane to Safety

    A U-2 pilot sits in a white Camaro at the edge of the runway, peering into the hazy desert sky. A jet appears in the distance, and as it nears, the car’s driver hits the gas, testing the sports car’s acceleration capabilities as he chases the Dragon Lady.

  • Connecting Airmen to the Mission at Al Dhafra

    The 3,000 airmen of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing here are supporting all five of the Air Force’s core missions, and leaders say they work hard to make sure each airman is connected to those missions, no matter their job.

  • McCain, Reed Criticize Trump’s Military Leadership

    Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) expressed disappointment on Tuesday in the Trump administration’s leadership in matters of national defense.

  • Rogers Claims Independent Space Corps A “Win-Win” for the Air Force

    ​Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) is again pressing his case for an independent Space Corps, saying the move is needed to ensure the domain can get the attention and funding it needs and that it would be a win for the Air Force, too.

  • Dunford Says Lack of Budget Harming US Ability to Project Power

    The top US military officer told Congress Tuesday that repeated continuing resolutions to fund the federal government are limiting the nation’s ability to project power, reassure allies, and prevent conflict around the globe.

  • USAF Triples Application Opportunities for Sabbaticals

    Airmen will now have three opportunities every year to apply for a break from Active Duty status.

  • North Korean Official Claims US Has Declared War, Threatens Bombers

    North Korea’s foreign minister on Monday accused the US of declaring war through President Trump’s Twitter feed, and said it now is justified in taking steps in self defense including shooting down US bombers.

  • AETC Commander Envisions Open Access Education for Future Airmen

    ​The head of Air Education and Training Command wants all Air Force training content to be available to every airman at any time.

  • New B-21 Stealth Bomber Taking Shape, PDR Completed

    ​Nineteen months into the highly classified B-21 stealth bomber program, things are moving as planned with drawings being completed and released and a Preliminary Design Review completed, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office Director Randall Walden said at ASC17.

  • KC-46 Problem Poses “Significant Risk,” Imperils Stealth

    The Air Force is exploring three deficiencies on the KC-46 tanker, one of which is considered serious and could affect the jet’s ability to refuel stealth aircraft without compromising their low-observable features and thus their ability to complete their mission.

  • DOD Continues to Provide Disaster Response After Hurricanes Irma and Maria

    The Air Force Reserve and Army Corps of Engineers continue to provide a range of disaster relief support to the states of Georgia and Florida as well as the US territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

  • As Deterrence Mission Changes, STRATCOM Assumes Combat Structure

    The United States needs to catch up in the realm of strategic deterrence, US Strategic Command boss Gen. John Hyten told the audience at AFA's Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Wednesday.

  • CMSAF Wright Reducing Enlisted Reviews, Awards Requirements

    CMSAF Kaleth Wright offered some potential paths forward during ASC17 to take “as many things off your plate as possible,” so airmen have more time to take care of the mission, of each other, and of their families.

  • Hyten says US Must be Clear About Threats … and Act Faster

    The United States is in danger of losing longstanding military advantages because the nation simply takes too long to respond to threats and develop new capabilities, the commander of US Strategic Command said Wednesday at ASC17.

  • AETC Stands Up Battlefield Airmen Recruiting Squadron

    ​Air Education and Training Command will stand up a new battlefield airman recruiting squadron on Oct. 1 in an effort to bring in the right kind of recruits, capable of making it through the grueling training pipeline, Air Education and Training Command boss Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson said.

  • Policy Hampers Airmen Interchangeability

    ​Congress wants airmen to be able to move from back and forth from the Active Duty to Guard to Reserve, but policies are holding such fluidity at bay, said Lt. Gen. Jerry Harris Jr., Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Requirements.

  • B-52 Re-Engining At Last?

    ​The Air Force has decided in principle that it will go ahead with re-engining the B-52 bomber force, but is still trying to figure out when, and with what money.

  • Bomber Flooring and LRSO

    ​Global Strike Command chief Gen. Robin Rand emphasized that while the “floor” of the requirement for the B-21 bomber is 100 aircraft, the eventual number is likely to be higher, but there’s no need to set that level now.

  • Deptula: Air Force Should Aim for 174 B-21s

    ​Rather than state a requirement for “at least” 100 new B-21 bombers, the Air Force ought to be requesting 174 of the jets, in order to field a dozen deployable bombers with each of 10 Air & Space Expeditionary Forces (AEFs), said retired Lt. Gen David Deptula, dean of AFA’s Mitchell Institute.

  • Cyber Command Should Get More Acquisition Authority

    ​US Cyber Command commander and NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers believes preparing the US against cyber attack shouldn’t focus solely on networks, but rather on a combination of networks, platforms, weapon systems, and data.

  • Mattis: Lack of Funding Stability, Adversaries’ Advancements Put America’s Future at Risk

    ​Budget uncertainty born and bred in Congress not only threatens the readiness of the US military, it raises doubts on the survivability of America itself as new adversaries plan around perceived weaknesses in the country’s defenses, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned.

  • USAF Evaluating When Joint Experience Should Equal Command Experience

    ​The Air Force has put together a joint experience working group to evaluate joint assignments and make sure the service is recording them and weighing these assignments with the importance they deserve.

  • The Slow Road to Lightning

    The Air Force isn’t going to get its buy rate on the F-35 above 60 by 2022, as had been hoped.

  • AFRL to Tour Globe In Search of S&T Innovation

  • Space Wing Commander Says SpaceX Enables Faster Launch Capabilties

    Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing boss, credited SpaceX with helping USAF launch into space faster.

  • Awarding T-X Contract During a Continuing Resolution

    ​The Air Force is planning to award the T-X advanced trainer contract by the end of the year, but the Continuing Resolution only lasts until Dec. 10. What if there’s no budget by the time T-X is ready to award? “We’ll look at our options,” USAF’s top acquisition chief, Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, told reporters on Tuesday.

  • What’s Going on With JSTARS? Back to Tacit Blue?

    Senior Air Force leaders assured attendees at ASC17 that the JSTARS Recapitalization program is—for now—going head, but they acknowledged that they’re looking at alternatives.

  • Tankers Return to Afghanistan

    ​Air Force tankers have returned to Afghanistan as part of a build up of US forces in the country to help support an increasing air support role.

  • Saltzman Says Space Needs More Manpower

    The Air Force needs more space operators in order to complete its transition to a combat-focused mission.

  • AMC Considering “Flying Only” Career Track

    Air Mobility Command is considering giving airmen approval to spend their entire careers in the pilot’s seat.

  • AMC Modernizing Legacy Aircraft as it Pushes for KC-46 Deliveries in 2018

    Air Mobility Command, while it is pushing for delivery of the next generation KC-46 tanker next year, is moving forward on continued upgrades for its KC-135 fleet to keep the aging aircraft flying.

  • Building Capability from the Ground Up

    Several of the Air Force’s top uniformed officials on Tuesday called for a change in mindset for planning and acquiring next-generation USAF systems.

  • Northrop Grumman Acquires Orbital ATK

    Northrop Grumman has acquired aerospace technology company Orbital ATK for $7.8 billion in cash.

  • Air Commando to Receive Air Force Cross

    ​The Air Force will award SSgt. Richard Hunter the Air Force Cross—the service’s highest award for valor in combat, second only to the Medal of Honor.

  • Textron Procures World’s Largest Privately Owned Supersonic Fleet

    Textron Airborne Solutions has acquired 63 F1 Mirage aircraft formerly owned by the French Air Force, making it the “world’s largest private supersonic air force,” said Jeffrey Parker, chief executive officer of the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), which was bought by Textron last year in anticipation of a rapidly growing contracted Red Air market.

  • GBSD Must Be Adaptable, Affordable

    Northrop Grumman and Boeing will focus producing a Minuteman III replacement system that is adaptable and affordable in maturing the Air Force’s Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD).

  • US, Coalition Face 'Contested and Congested' Airspace in ISIS Fight

    Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of Air Forces Central Command, said, during ASC17, airmen are facing a “contested and congested” air space over Syria, forcing them into tough decisions.

  • SECAF Wilson: New Strategies, Stable Funding Needed to Keep Air Superiority

    Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson used her first State of the Air Force briefing to both praise the capability and strength of the service and, conversely, sound an alarm.

  • Lockheed Martin T-X Would Absorb Half of F-16 Training

    ​The training syllabus for the Lockheed Martin/Korean Aerospace Industries T-50A is so common to that of the F-16 that Air Combat Command could offload 50 percent of tasks taught on the F-16 to the T-50A, Lockheed Martin consultant retired Gen. Don Cook said Monday in promoting the jet.

  • USAF Creating Worldwide Logistics Network to Manage Materiel

    From sorting through and reinvigorating boneyard components to networking command and control logistics centers worldwide, USAF is digging into every corner of its infrastructure in search of an affordable, efficient, and innovative future.

  • Space, Cyber Problems Are Results of American 'Hubris’

    Chasing tools to solve cybersecurity and space vulnerabilities is futile, said Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, who heads the Air University.

  • Air, Space & Cyber Conference 2017

    ​The Air Force Association's annual Air, Space & Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition runs Sept. 18-20, 2017, in National Harbor, Md.

  • USAF Wraps Up Light Attack Experiment, Looks at Light ISR

  • Air Force Expanding Chemical Warfare Training in Pacific

    ​USAF will now be preparing more airmen for chemical warfare than in the past, with a specific focus on a Korean conflict, said USAF’s top enlisted senior leader.

  • Trump Salutes Air Force 70th, Calls for End of Sequester

    President Donald Trump offered 70th birthday greetings and praise to the Air Force on Friday, saying the service is the “most technologically advanced fighting force on the planet” and pledging to help it remain that way through targeted funding.

  • Space Studies Program Coming to Air Command and Staff College

    Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) is making plans to roll out a new advanced space studies program within the next year, John Terino, chairman of the department of airpower at ACSC, told Air Force Magazine.

  • The Air Force Responds to Historic Storms

    ​As two historic storms made landfall in the south, the Air Force had two missions: get its aircraft out of harm’s way as the hurricanes made landfall, and get its airmen on the ground to help out as soon as possible.

  • Air Force B-52 Re-Engining Has “Momentum,” Rolls Says

    Rolls-Royce is “seeing a lot of momentum building” within the Air Force for the idea of re-engining the B-52 fleet, company senior  vice president for customer business Tom Hartmann said Thursday, laying out the company’s offering of the BR725 powerplant—military designation F130—for the job.

  • Boeing Makes the Case for a Manned JSTARS Recap

    ​Boeing’s entry for the JSTARS recapitalization program—a modified version of its 737-700 business jet—demonstrates the necessity of using a manned platform to meet the Air Force’s airborne surveillance and battle management mission, Rodney Meranda told reporters Wednesday.

  • Building a Space Commons

    In the near future, space will become a “domain for common human endeavor,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Tuesday.

  • Mattis Says Continuing Resolution Hits Readiness, Pilot Training, and New Starts

    ​A continuing resolution to fund the federal government will produce losses in readiness, cancelled or reduced training, and delays in new starts and military construction, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said in a Sept. 8 letter to congressional leaders.

  • White House Releases Policy Statement as Senate Begins NDAA Debate

    The Senate began floor debate on the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Monday.

  • Trump Signs Three-Month Continuing Resolution into Law

    ​President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law a continuing resolution to fund the federal government at current levels through Dec. 8.

  • Flying Into the Eye of a Hurricane

    ​Maj. Jeremy DeHart and a handful of airmen assigned to the Air Force Reserve’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron had less than 10 minutes to get what they needed from the eye of Hurricane Irma before they would punch back into the storm through its wall.

  • US, Coalition Aircraft Set Record Highs in ISIS Fight, Afghanistan

    ​US aircraft set record highs in both the fight against ISIS and in Afghanistan in August.

  • Investigation: Weapons Loader Died While Loading from Unbalanced Bomb Rack

    ​A weapons loader was killed after a bomb rack unit was misaligned and fell during unloading operations in March in the Middle East, an Air Force investigation found.

  • Bracing for Irma, USAF Evacuates Aircraft and Airmen

    ​The Air Force continues to evacuate airmen and aircraft as the Catagory 5 Hurricane Irma barrels toward Florida.

  • Air Force To Allow Some Pilots to Remain at Selected Bases

    The Air Force will let certain aircrew remain at select bases as a way to improve quality of life for its pilots in the face of a growing fighter shortage in the service.

  • Prepping for Disaster in Nigeria

    When a natural disaster hits, it’s critical that nations are prepared to respond. Aeromedical evacuation is a key part of that response, and a recent African Partnership Flight in Nigeria focused on planning for just that scenario.

  • Coalition Aircraft Watching Stranded ISIS Convoy

    US aircraft are closely watching an ISIS convoy that has been stranded in the Syrian desert for more than a week.

  • USAF Aims to Improve Data Crunching Issues Within A Year

    ​The Air Force  has “recognized” it has “a big data problem,” said Kenneth Bray, Air Combat Command’s associate director for intelligence.

  • Raptor Skipping Its Mid-Life Crisis

    The first production version of the F-22 Raptor completed its first flight 20 years ago, but Lockheed Martin analysis shows the fifth generation fighter should be able to keep flying until 2060.

  • James Says Space Corps Would Bring Upheaval, Not Solutions

    ​The creation of a Space Corps within the Air Force would lead to “enormous upheaval” without solving the key problems faced by the national security space enterprise today, former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said Wednesday.

  • A Separate Space Force is Inevitable, Says Rogers

    ​Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said the formation of a separate US military space force is inevitable. “Whether it’s this year or next year, we will be successful,” he told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

  • US, South Korea to More Closely Align Deterrence Strategies

    ​The continued nuclear tests and threats by North Korea post a “threat to all nations in the region and beyond,” the governments of both the US and South Korea said in a joint statement on Tuesday announcing regular meetings on deterrence strategy.

  • Air Force Tracks, Prepares for Hurricane Irma

    ​The Air Force is again preparing for another major storm to make landfall, with specially-equipped aircraft keeping an eye on Hurricane Irma as it approaches and at least one base prepare to relocate its aircraft.

  • F-35Bs Join Show of Force Response to North Korean Launch

    Four US Marine Corps F-35Bs from MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, joined two B-1B bombers deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, Wednesday in a show of force mission conducted “in direct response” to North Korea’s Aug. 28 launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japanese territory.

  • Air Force Storm Response Includes Hundreds of Airmen, More Than a Dozen Aircraft

    ​Hundreds of Guard, Reserve and Active Duty airmen from have deployed for Hurricane Harvey relief in Texas and Louisiana, carrying aid, rescue helicopters, and other equipment to help with the massive search and rescue effort.

  • Trump: ‘Talking is Not the Answer’ on North Korea

    ​President Donald Trump said dialogue with North Korea is “not the answer” to that country’s nuclear provocations in a Wednesday morning Twitter message posted two days after Pyongyang’s latest ballistic missile test flew over Japanese territory.

  • Guard Preparing Tens of Thousands More Troops for Hurricane Relief

    ​The National Guard is posturing up to 30,000 Guardsmen to deploy to the Houston region to help in recovery efforts following record rainfall and flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, with even more Active Duty troops available if necessary.

  • Trump Says “All Options Are on the Table” After North Korean Missile Launch

    President Donald Trump said Tuesday that “all options are on the table” for his administration in responding to North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch.

  • Mitchell Institute Says GBSD Contracts Put Nuclear Modernization Back on Track

    ​With the Air Force announcement last week of two design contracts to replace the Minuteman III ICBM system, “the United States is back on track to modernize its entire nuclear deterrent,” according to an op-ed written by AFA Mitchell Institute leaders and published in The Hill.

  • Texas Activates Its Entire National Guard to Respond to Storm

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday activated the entire Texas National Guard to help respond to tropical storm Harvey as record rain and flooding continue to inundate the Houston area, and USAF pararescue crews and aircraft are positioned to respond if needed.

  • McCain, Smith Blast Trump on Transgender Move, Court Challenges Filed

    Two lawmakers who hold senior appointments on defense committees criticized President Donald Trump’s directives limiting transgender individuals from serving in the US military over the weekend, and advocacy groups filed two separate federal lawsuits Monday challenging the constitutionality of the President’s new policy.

  • USAF Wants Retired Airmen to Come Back to Active Duty

    ​The Air Force is increasing maximum officer incentive pay by just under 20 percent and enlisted force maximum incentive pay by a clean 50 percent, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson said Friday. The service also wants to recruit retired airmen to take up staff positions so that current pilots can stay in their cockpits.

  • Lockheed, Raytheon Receive LRSO Contracts

    ​Lockheed Martin and Raytheon on Wednesday were each awarded $900 million technology maturation and risk reduction contracts for the Long Range Standoff weapon (LRSO), the Air Force’s program to replace the air-launched component of the nation’s nuclear triad.

  • US Treasury Extends Sanctions on North Korea

    ​The Department of the Treasury announced expanded sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday as the US seeks to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program.

  • Mattis: No Decision Made on Troop Levels for Afghanistan

    ​The Pentagon is still evaluating the possible troop increase in Afghanistan even after President Trump announced his strategy toward America’s longest war in that country.

  • Air Force Awards Two GBSD Contracts

    ​​The Air Force announced Monday that it has awarded contracts to Boeing and Northrop Grumman to design the next-generation Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent intercontinental ballistic missile system.

  • Trump Announces His Way Forward in Afghanistan

    President Trump on Monday night announced his strategy toward America’s longest war: no public announcements of troop numbers or timetables, coupled with fewer restrictions on rules of engagement, with an overall goal of an “enduring victory” in Afghanistan.

  • US, South Korean Exercise Begins as North Lashes Out

    Joint military exercises between US and South Korean forces began Monday with computer-simulated combat scenarios.

  • Air Force Takes First Steps to Stand Up Space Directorate

    ​The Air Force named two senior staff members for its new space operations directorate Thursday. Shawn Barnes will serve as the senior civilian for the directorate, and Maj. Gen. Pamela Lincoln will be the mobilization assistant to the deputy chief of staff for space operations, who has not yet been named.

  • Dunford: Exercises With South Korea Will Continue

    The US is not currently considering a Chinese proposal that would see North Korea halt its nuclear weapons program in exchange for the cancellation of annual military drills between the US and Republic of Korea forces.

  • US, Japan Pledge Close Cooperation in Face of North Korean Threat

    The United States and Japan are accelerating the implementation of a defense security agreement, focused specifically on missile defense, in light of the increased threat posed by North Korea, the heads of both nation’s militaries and diplomatic corps said Thursday.

  • GAO: Air Force Needs to Focus Sustainment of Nuclear Command

    ​The Air Force has made progress in improving oversight of its nuclear command, control, and communications in the short term, but the service must improve its long-term needs, the Government Accountability Office says in a new report.

  • Goldfein, Service Chiefs Respond to Charlottesville Violence

    As the country contemplates the meaning of the violence and turmoil in Charlottesville, Va., the heads of the military have come out unambiguously opposing it.

  • Trump Rhetoric Having an Impact in North Korea, RAND Says

    The increasingly bellicose rhetoric of President Donald Trump is being heard loud and clear in North Korea, a panel of experts from the RAND Corporation told reporters on a conference call Wednesday.

  • North Korea Delays Planned Missile Launches as South Korea Pushes for Control

    North Korea is holding off on announced plans to test fire missiles into international waters near Guam, that country’s leader Kim Jong Un said while inspecting the North’s army on Tuesday.

  • Guard Pilot Successfully Lands A-10 on its Belly

    An A-10 pilot with the 107th Fighter Squadron at Selfridge ANGB, Mich., successfully landed his Warthog on its belly with the landing gear retracted under emergency circumstances on July 20.

  • US Military Preparing Military Options, Pushing for Diplomacy With North Korea

    The US is pushing for a diplomatic solution to heightened tensions with North Korea, but it is preparing “viable military options” to be used only if diplomatic and economic pressure fails, the top US uniformed officer said during a Monday visit to South Korea.

  • Lockheed Gets Bridge Contract for GPS Military Code

    ​The Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) awarded Lockheed Martin a $45 million contract for work on early use military code, or M-Code, capability for current and future GPS satellites.

  • Increased Need for RPA Pilots Means More Work for Training Unit

    MQ-9 trainers are still facing a task to increase the output of pilots and sensor operators, on track to reach a high of 700 this year with even more needed.

  • Suicide Leading Cause of Death for Active Duty Airmen

    ​In the last 12 months, suicide was the single largest cause of death for Active Duty airmen.

  • McCain Releases Strategy for Afghanistan

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released a new strategy for the US war in Afghanistan on Thursday that calls for the deployment of an unspecified number of additional US troops and acknowledges the need for “an enduring US counterterrorism presence” in that country.

  • OA-X Experiment: Not Just Testing Aircraft

    ​The Air Force’s light attack experiment isn’t just a way to test multiple aircraft before a possible purchase, it’s a way to change how the service does acquisition.

  • Hackers Find 207 Vulnerabilities in USAF Sites

    During a nearly month-long hacking competition, 272 vetted hackers descended upon a set of USAF sites, doing their best to break barriers.

  • Air Force Shows Off Its Light Attack Experiment

    Air Force crews are “test driving” four commercial aircraft for a possible new light attack weapons system, testing it against a series of points focusing on what the jet could possibly bring to the fight.

  • Modernization Program At Risk of Repeating F-35 Acquisition Mistakes, GAO Says

    If not adequately restructured in the near future, the cost of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s follow-on modernization effort could see unexpected cost increases, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office released Tuesday.

  • C-130 Crews Exercising Emerging Capability at Exercise

    Air Mobility Command’s largest exercise is giving its crews the chance to practice their tactics, and on the flight line here, actually build the procedures for an emerging mission set.

  • Military Buildup Faces Tricky Congressional Path

    A number of thorny challenges in Congress make it “difficult to see how a substantial buildup” of military spending could be enacted for Fiscal 2018, according to new analysis from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA).

  • Pentagon Issues Classified Guidance to Help Troops Counter Drone Threat

    The Pentagon has issued “very specific but classified” guidance detailing how service members can counter threats provided by small unmanned aircraft.

  • Contingency Response Airmen Mirror the Current Fight In Rural Washington

    For Air Mobility Command’s biggest exercise, Washington state’s Columbia Basin is an austere setting and the focal point of inserting airpower. And the airmen of the 621st Contingency Response Wing are currently holding the airfield and moving aircraft, just like they would if they were in Syria or Iraq.

  • Secondhand 747-8s Could Accelerate Air Force One Replacement

    The Air Force closed a deal Friday to buy two stored Boeing 747-8s as the next presidential transports, and it's possible that buying the already-built jets could speed the process of replacing the VC-25As now serving that role.

  • Dover C-5 Grounding Partially Lifted

    Air Mobility Command on Wednesday returned five C-5M Super Galaxies to flight following last month’s stand down at Dover AFB, Del., due to issues with the air lifter’s landing gear.

  • The Four Nuclear Horsemen

    The four countries currently posing, or projected to pose, a nuclear threat to the US are China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran, said Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff USAF Gen. Paul Selva.

  • Deterrence Strategy Looks More Than 20 Years in the Future

    Nuclear deterrence is the Defense Department’s “most important mission,” according to the US military’s second highest-ranking officer.

  • Dozens of Flights Kick Off AMC’s Biggest Exercise

    More than 60 mobility aircraft took to the skies of Washington state Wednesday, linking with fighters from across the Northwest to fight their way into the Inland Northwest in the first day of Air Mobility Command’s largest-ever exercise.

  • DOD Outlines Acquisition Restructure in New Report to Congress

    The Pentagon outlined its plan to reorganize its acquisition, technology, and logistics organization in a new report presented to Congress on Tuesday, emphasizing the importance of quickly getting capabilities to the warfighters at an affordable cost.

  • Stealth Is Still the Critical Secret Sauce for Combat Aircraft

    ​“Stealth” technology hasn’t been rendered obsolete by new radars and detection methods, and has, if anything, become even more of a critical design consideration for future combat aircraft, according to stealth veterans and experts at an AFA Mitchell Institute program at the US Capitol Wednesday.

  • Afghan Air Force Requests Full Responsibility for A-29 Flightline Work

    The Afghan Air Force recently requested to take full responsibility for the flightline maintenance of it’s A-29 fleet, a major goal of USAF advisers in the country.

  • Boneyard Boeings Will be the Next Air Force Ones

  • STRATCOM Brings International Collaboration to Deterrence Symposium

    Effective deterrence on a global scale requires sustained international collaboration, the chief of US Strategic Command Gen. John Hyten said at STRATCOM’s 2017 Deterrence Symposium, held in Omaha, Neb., July 26-27.

  • OCX Delayed Again, Rogers Renews Call for Reform

    Deployment of the next-generation ground control system (OCX) for the GPS III satellite constellation has been delayed nine months beyond the Air Force’s most recent estimate, and congressional critics of the Air Force’s management of space operations are pouncing on the news.

  • Vietnam Veteran Awarded Medal of Honor

    President Trump awarded former Spc. 5 James McCloughan the Medal of Honor—the nation’s highest honor for valor in combat—during a White House ceremony on Monday.

  • New Joint Component will Bring Integrated Space Power to the Fight

    ​As chief of US Strategic Command’s elevated joint space component, Gen. Jay Raymond will be better positioned to integrate space power across acquisitions, testing and evaluation, and operational functions.

  • Air Mobility’s Biggest Exercise Set to Begin

    ​Air Mobility Command on Monday will kick off its first, large-scale exercise designed to practice all facets of its mission.

  • Mosul Mostly Cleared as Iraqi Forces Report First Day Without Casualties

    ​Iraqi forces on Tuesday did not suffer any casualties in Mosul for the first time since October, while coalition jets have not conducted airstrikes in the city for two weeks. Coalition officials have also reported a massive reduction in the group’s online propaganda.

  • Raymond Will Add Role as STRATCOM’s New Space Commander

    ​Gen. Jay Raymond, commander of Air Force Space Command, will also become the joint space component commander for US Strategic Command, STRATCOM boss Gen. John Hyten told reporters during a conference call Wednesday. The move comes as Hyten works to restructure his entire command, consolidating 18 component commands under four components for air, space, sea, and missile defense, each with its own four-star commander.

  • Trump Announces Ban on Transgender Individuals in the Military

    ​President Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted that the military would not allow transgender individuals to serve, a change in Defense Department policy ahead of Defense Secretary James Mattis’s plan to review the decision.

  • Goldfein: Bomber Roadmap, Priorities Paper Coming Soon

    ​Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said a new bomber roadmap will be out in September which will go well beyond simply a plan for how USAF will invest in and evolve its bomber fleet. It will be a broader “global strike” plan knitting together all the enablers for the mission of striking any target on earth. Also coming is a new white paper laying out USAF’s priorities during the tour of Goldfein and Secretary Heather Wilson. He touched on the five priorities, and also discussed with Air Force Magazine how modernization priorities will shift to accommodate increased funding for readiness.

  • B-2, F-22, F-35A and F-35B in First Red Flag Together

    ​The Air Force’s star stealth aircraft—the B-2, F-22 and F-35A—had their first-ever joint missions in Red Flag 17-3, exercise officials reported Wednesday, practicing against “strategic targets” equipped with the toughest integrated air defenses the Nellis AFB, Nev. Test and Training Range could muster. They were joined by Marine Corps F-35Bs, and the commanders of the USAF and USMC units found their training and tactics to be highly similar and easily integrated.  

  • US Missile Defense Needs Space-Based Sensors, Hyten Says

    ​Space-based sensors are the most urgent need for US missile defense systems, Gen. John Hyten, chief of US Strategic Command, told reporters during a conference call Wednesday. While political leadership will ultimately decide on how many interceptors the US needs and where to place them, Hyten is focused on improving STRATCOM’s ability to characterize threats originating from anywhere on the globe.

  • DOD IG Launches Criminal Investigation of Afghan Uniform Contract

    The Department of Defense Inspector General has launched a criminal investigation into the procurement of Afghan National Army uniforms,” the Pentagon’s top investigator for Afghanistan reconstruction told a House panel Tuesday.

  • US-Backed Fighters Move Further into Raqqa With Coalition Help

    ​US-backed fighters have moved deeper into ISIS-held Raqqa, claiming more territory as coalition airstrikes have continued to batter ISIS targets in the city at a high rate.

  • DARPA Faces Down Burgeoning Gene Editing Universe

    DARPA wants to mitigate the risks inherent in the global spread of gene editing and is willing to pay $65 million for solutions over the next four years.

  • Top Democrats Question Nuclear Modernization Plan

    ​House and Senate Democrats this week expressed concern about the Trump administration’s ongoing Nuclear Posture Review and raised questions about the Pentagon’s plans for modernizing the entire nuclear triad.

  • Trump Visits Pentagon to Talk ISIS, Afghanistan

    President Trump on Thursday met with Defense Secretary James Mattis and other top Defense and State Department officials during a rare meeting at the Pentagon as the White House and DOD officials mull sending more troops to Afghanistan.

  • Report Finds Broken Control Unit Caused KC-10’s Boom to Detach in Flight

    An Air Force investigation found that a sheared rotary crank and the boom operator’s failure to turn off a boom control switch caused a KC-10 Extender’s refueling boom to completely fall off the aircraft and crash into an Idaho field in November.

  • DOD Acquisition Report Outlines Cost Overruns, Decreases

    Three major Air Force acquisition programs saw greater than 10 percent decreases in cost from 2015 to 2016, while the overall F-35 program and key weapons acquisition program saw costs jump, according to a new Pentagon report.

  • US Can Respond to Russian Violations Without Breaking INF Treaty

    ​The US has both diplomatic and military options to respond to Russia’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty within the scope of the treaty itself, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

  • Selva to Senate: “Time is Not Right” for Space Corps

    ​A new Space Corps would complicate the command and control of US satellite constellations and waste resources, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff USAF Gen. Paul Selva told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday morning.

  • GAO: Coalition’s Reliance on Airpower Creating Long-Term Issues for USAF

    The military’s reliance on airpower in the ISIS fight has been effective in enabling ground forces to retake territory, but it has long-term impacts on the Air Force’s availability of weapons and the availability of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets, according to new Government Accountability Office report.

  • AMC Stands Down C-5M Operations at Dover

    Air Mobility Command on Monday stood down all C-5 operations at Dover AFB, Del., following two nose landing gear issues within the past 60 days.

  • Death of ISIS-K Leader Comes as US Plans Way Forward in Afghanistan

    The death of the emir of ISIS in Afghanistan is a “victory on our side” for the time being, but the setback is only limited and there’s a lot more to do in the fight, Defense Secretary James Mattis said.

  • Gulfstream’s Vision for a Militarized BizJet Future

    Gulfstream wants skeptics to shed their notions of business jets as too small, slow, or underpowered to serve as the platforms for a variety of special missions the Air Force must recapitalize in the coming years.

  • DARPA Is Coming For Your Brain

  • House Passes $696 Billion NDAA

    The House voted 344-81 to approve its version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act on Friday. The bill contains $621 billion in base budget spending and $75 billion in the overseas contingency operations (OCO) fund, of which $10 billion will pay for base requirements.

  • U-2 Pilots, Maintainers Work to Overcome Extreme Heat

    July in the Middle East means triple-digit temperatures and extreme humidity that makes the outside air feel more like a solid than a gas. It’s a challenge for everyone in the region, but the heat really takes a toll on the U-2, a pilot told Air Force Magazine.

  • Pawlikowski Says Air Force Needs Faster Software Development

    The Air Force is working to change the way it develops new software through several pathfinder programs that are focused on business and logistics systems, Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, said Friday.

  • USAF Cancels AOC Contract with Northrop

    The Air Force “terminated” a four-year-old contract with Northrop Grumman Thursday aimed at upgrading the software used in the service’s air operations centers that for more than two decades has received, hosted, and parsed incoming data used in fusion warfare.

  • House Affirms LRSO, Rejects BRAC in Floor Debate

    The House on Thursday rejected proposed amendments to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have delayed development of the Long Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO) and allowed another round of base realignment and closure (BRAC).

  • Attempt to Block Space Corps Fails, House to Vote Friday

    ​The House Rules Committee on Wednesday voted against a proposal by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) to block efforts to create a separate Space Corps within the Air Force.

  • Mattis, Wilson Register Opposition to Space Corps

    ​Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis each sent letters to Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday expressing support for his proposal to block the formation of a separate Space Corps within the Air Force.

  • Tailwind Caused September F-35 Engine Fire

    A strong tailwind caused the engine of an F-35A to catch fire last fall, prompting checklist revisions and new precautions and procedures to be put in place to change how F-35s are handled on the ground.

  • Trump Administration Wants NDAA to Balance Spending and Constraint

    ​The Trump Administration expressed support for the spending increases in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Tuesday, but also asked Congress to find more ways of balancing those hikes with fiscal constraint elsewhere in the federal budget in order “to ensure that our military is not rebuilt on the backs of future generations of Americans.”

  • Bipartisan Lawmakers Call for New AUMF

    The inability to pass a new authorization for use of military force shows the lack of a “backbone” in Congress and the inability to show lawmakers’ support for the ongoing military operations, the bipartisan supporters of a new authorization said Wednesday.

  • ACC Too Big and Too Small

    Air Combat Command needs to grow, but can’t afford to, and so it will likely wind up cutting more legacy fleets, ACC chief Gen. Mike holmes said Tuesday at an AFA event on Capitol Hill.

  • Drone Defense Becoming Critical

    Air Combat Command needs “help” on getting the authority to better defend against small drones, because they’re proving to be an increasingly dangerous threat even in peacetime operations, ACC commander Gen. Mike Holmes said Tuesday.

  • SASC Version of NDAA Released, Contains $10 Million to Solve F-35 Hypoxia-like Problems

    ​The full version of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s markup of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been released, offering a first indication of new military policies the Senate may want to enact in 2018.

  • F-35s: Buy Less, Pay More

    ​The F-35 program’s cost grew $11 billion in base year 2012 dollars because the Air Force has decided to buy the jets more slowly, the F-35 Joint Program Office reported late July 11.

  • Raqqa Becomes Top Priority After Mosul is Liberated

    ​While Iraqi forces still need to clear ISIS holdouts from recently liberated Mosul, coalition aircraft will look more to liberate the group’s self-proclaimed capital in Syria.

  • Coalition Aircraft Set Strike Record in ISIS Fight as Iraqi Forces Free Mosul

    US-led coalition aircraft in June set another record for the most airstrikes in its ongoing campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, dropping 4,848 weapons last month. The spike in airstrikes came as coalition forces assisted Iraqi Security Forces in liberating ISIS from Mosul. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi proclaimed victory from the city on Sunday.

  • Block to Space Corps, New BRAC Round Among Proposed NDAA Amendments

    The list of proposed amendments to the draft 2018 National Defense Authorization Act shows that key provisions may still have hurdles to clear before becoming law. Members of the House of Representatives were required to submit individual proposed amendments to the House Rules Committee by noon Friday. That committee is set to decide Tuesday on which amendments it will allow for floor debate before the full House on July 12 and 13.

  • Defining the Next Air Superiority Platform

  • Lockheed Gets Lot 11 F-35 Deal

    Lockheed Martin on Friday received a $5.58 billion contract modification for the next low-rate initial production lot of 74 F-35s, the Pentagon announced.

  • Historic B-1 Exercises Part of Increased US Bomber Activity in Pacific

    ​Two B-1B bombers flew a nighttime training mission on July 6 over the East China Sea in coordination with Japanese forces. The historic mission is part of an accelerated air operations campaign in the Pacific, where the number of higher headquarters-directed tanker and bomber sorties has nearly tripled in the past two years.

  • USAF, USMC F-35s to Train Together at Red Flag

    ​Air Combat Command’s premier exercise will integrate two variants of the newest fighter for the first time.

  • Mattis: Diplomacy, Self Restraint Needed to Deal With North Korea

    ​North Korea’s July 4 test of an intercontinental ballistic missile does not bring the US and that country closer to war, as diplomacy is still leading the US effort to avoid a nuclear conflict in the region, Defense Secretary James Mattis said Thursday.

  • Coalition, Iraq Develop and Deploy Rapid Police Presence

    ​The US-led coalition fighting ISIS has worked with Iraqi officials to create a rapidly deployable police station “in a box” to quickly stand up security stations in previously ISIS-held areas.

  • Trump Signs Executive Order Establishing National Space Council

    ​President Donald Trump signed an executive order re-establishing the National Space Council on Friday. The move to create such a Council for the first time since 1993 “sends a clear signal to the world,” Trump said, “that we are restoring America’s proud legacy of leadership in space.” Vice President Mike Pence will chair the space advisory group.

  • Trump Praises Poland, Calls Out Other NATO Allies in Warsaw Speech

    In a speech delivered in Warsaw Thursday, President Donald Trump praised NATO ally Poland for increasing its defense spending and restated his Administration’s criticisms of other European nations for not spending enough. He said the US had shown its commitment to NATO through its military spending, and he said European nations must show more will to defend “the West” and its values going forward.

  • North Korea Reaches ICBM Milestone With July 4 Test

    ​North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile test on Tuesday was of a type unseen before by the Pentagon, and traveled further than any previous test in a dramatic escalation of that country’s nuclear ambitions.

  • Air Force Awards $191 Million Launch Contract to ULA

    ​The Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) awarded a $191 million launch services contract to United Launch Alliance (ULA) to launch the Space Test Program-3 mission atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., in June 2019.

  • NATO Announces Afghanistan Troop Surge, US Decision Pending

    NATO on Thursday announced it will increase its troop level in Afghanistan, as the US mulls a surge of its own to help Afghan forces fight a resurgent Taliban and ISIS.

  • Iraqi Forces Proclaim the End of ISIS’s Caliphate

    Iraqi officials on Thursday declared the end of ISIS’s so-called caliphate as security forces reclaimed a symbolic mosque in the heart of Mosul.

  • Space Corps Survives Amendment Challenge at NDAA Markup

    ​The provision establishing a separate Space Corps within the Air Force survived a challenge at the House Armed Services Committee’s FY18 National Defense Authorization Act markup Wednesday and will be included in the full legislation.

  • Air Force “Strongly Opposes” EELV Restrictions

    The Air Force on Tuesday said it “strongly objects” to language in the House Armed Services Committee’s chairman’s markup of the FY18 NDAA that would restrict the way the service invests money in the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.

  • Former Textron Executive to be Nominated as DOD’s Top Weapons Buyer

    President Trump announced his intent to nominate the former president and CEO of Textron Systems, Ellen Lord, to be the next under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics.

  • HASC’s FY18 NDAA Looks to Repair Readiness, Rebuild Military

    ​The House Armed Services Committee marked up its version of the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Wednesday.

  • Malmstrom Brings in Hundreds of Goats for Weed Control

    ​A herd of 900 goats will spend the summer gobbling up invasive weeds that have taken over large sections of the base, including some used for ground training. Over the course of six weeks, the goats are expected to work through as much as 1,000 acres.

  • 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.