The Air Force’s Distributed Mission Operations Network has grown to 25 nodes, recently reaching Spangdahlem AB, Germany and Kadena AB, Japan, and will expand to Misawa AB, Japan, by year’s end. So states Telecommunications firm Global Crossing and Northrop Grumman. The companies began running the fiber optic backbone and broadband connections at USAF facilities in 2001. DMON is the system that, for instance, lets F-15 fighter pilots and E-3 AWACS crews at different locations train as if they were flying together. See our story on this here.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.