Daily Report

Aug. 18, 2022
CV-22 Osprey

AFSOC Grounds CV-22 Osprey Fleet Over Safety Issue

Air Force Special Operations Command grounded its CV-22 Osprey fleet Aug. 16 as part of a safety stand down, with no timeline set for the aircraft to begin flying again, the command confirmed to Air Force Magazine. The stand down, ordered by AFSOC commander Lt. Gen. James C. “Jim” Slife, came after two incidents of “hard clutch engagement” in the past six weeks, AFSOC spokesperson Lt. Col. Rebecca Heyse said.

Promotion Rate for Staff Sergeants Hits Lowest Point Since 1997

The Air Force’s recent trend of low promotion rates for enlisted noncommissioned officers continued Aug. 17, as the service announced it had tapped just 9,706 senior airmen out of 45,991 eligible to become staff sergeants—a 21.1 percent promotion rate. That mark is the lowest in nearly a quarter of a century, according to data provided by the Air Force Personnel Center to Air Force Magazine.
Foreign military sales

With FMS, Air Force Looks to Integrate With Allies Earlier and in New Ways

With a new policy in hand, the Air Force’s Foreign Military Sales enterprise is looking to go beyond selling USAF systems to allies and partner nations—and instead to help them develop their own capabilities. Such an approach, deemed “non-program of record acquisitions,” is part of a larger shift in FMS toward more and earlier integration with other countries, Brig. Gen. Luke Cropsey, director of the Air Force security assistance and cooperation directorate, told reporters at the Life Cycle Industry Days conference.

Q&A: PACAF Readies for New Threats

Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces Commander, has delivered two decades of experience to lead the Air Force’s most geographically dispersed major command. Wilsbach sat down with Air Force Magazine at his office at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, in a building whose pockmarked outer walls from Imperial Japanese air attack are a constant reminder of the vital importance of air power and readiness.

Radar Sweep

461st Flight Test Squadron Receives Brand-New F-35A

Air Force release

The newest F-35A, straight out of the factory, found its new home at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The aircraft, Air Force serial number 338, is the first of six F-35s the 461st Flight Test Squadron and F-35 Lightning II Integrated Test Force will receive in the next few years. The upgraded fleet will be used to test the Technical Refresh 3 and Block 4 configurations of the Air Force’s newest fighter that will create tactical and operational advantages over peer competitors.

Russia Is Training Drone Hobbyists to Fight in Ukraine

Defense One

Russia’s heavy losses in Ukraine have forced it to send conscripts and convicts to the front lines. A new center in occupied Ukraine is training Russian military and civilian drone operators for combat roles against Ukrainian forces. Civilians trained at the three-month-old center in Donetsk do not formally join the military, a Russian news site reported.

The Air Force is Stocking Up on Stealth Jets in Alaska, and Its Pilots are Learning to Thrive in Harsh Arctic Conditions

Yahoo News

With the arrival of the 54th F-35 at Eielson Air Force Base in April, Alaska became home to the world's largest concentration of fifth-generation fighter jets. After a two-year buildup of the 354th Fighter Wing, there are now two squadrons of F-35s at Eielson in central Alaska. They join two squadrons of F-22s already stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson farther south.

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US, South Korean Militaries Mum on Details of Upcoming Ulchi Freedom Shield Exercise

Stars and Stripes

The United States and South Korea kicked off a four-day preliminary drill in preparation for their largest military exercise in five years. The preliminary drill, which consists of training simulations, ends Aug. 19 and is the precursor to Ulchi Freedom Shield, the first large-scale command-post exercise between the U.S. and South Korea since 2017, according to a Ministry of Defense news release.

Russian Military to Develop Weapons Using Artificial Intelligence

Defense News

The Russian Ministry of Defense said it formed a department dedicated to developing weapons that use artificial intelligence. The announcement was made Aug. 17 by Alexander Osadchu, the head of Russia’s military’s innovative development department, according to the state-owned news agency TASS. “In order to intensify work on the use of artificial intelligence technologies in the interests of creating models of weapons for military and special equipment, a department for the development of artificial intelligence technologies has been created,” he said in a statement.

Air Force Seeks to Extend Winning Streak in Hypersonic Weapon Tests

Defense News

The Air Force expects to fly its hypersonic Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon at least once more this year, following a pair of successful tests. ARRW has flown twice in the past four months, first in May then again in July. The July test completed the booster test phase and positioned ARRW to enter full system testing. The successes follow a string of three failures in 2021, which drew criticism from lawmakers, who cut $161 million from the effort in fiscal 2022.

Russia Warns Britain Against Planned Spy Plane Overflight

ABC News

Russia's Defense Ministry warned Britain on Aug. 16 against a planned spy plane flight over Russian territory, saying the country's air force has been given orders to prevent an intrusion. The ministry said Britain has sent a notice informing about a planned flight of an RC-135 reconnaissance plane along a route that partly passes over Russian territory.

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Taiwan's Air Force Flexes Muscles in Face of Chinese War Games

Reuters

Taiwanese F-16 fighters roared into the night sky in a show of force in front of the media, demonstrating the military's determination to defend the democratically governed island in the face of days of Chinese war games. China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, has been carrying out military exercises around the island after a visit earlier this month by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was followed by five U.S. lawmakers on Aug. 14 and 15.

Exercise Distant Horizon Validates Indo-Pacific Sustainment Functions

Air Force release

More than 140 sustainment and operations Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing established a temporary contingency location, or TCL, in less than 24 hours at Patrick Space Force Base to conduct the wing’s exercise Distant Horizon, Aug. 1-10, which validated the multi-capable sustainment abilities of a Personnel Recovery Task Force, or PRTF, in the jungle environments of the Indo-Pacific region.

Air Force ‘Celebrating Traditions’ With Annual Photo Contest

Air Force release

Photographers of all ages and experience, only two weeks remain to submit photos for this year's Department of the Air Force Photo Contest. The theme for this year’s contest, which runs through Aug. 31, is “Celebrating Traditions.” In keeping with this year's Air Force 75th birthday, this year’s contest encourages submissions with family, military, and cultural traditions demonstrating closeness and a sense of belonging and identity. Traditions bring meaning to celebrations and connect us through special bonds, said contest organizers at the Air Force Services Center.

One More Thing

The History of Aviator Call Signs and How Pilots Get Their New Name

Military.com

The names Pete Mitchell and Nick Bradshaw might mean very little to most, but when these two are called by their aviator call signs "Maverick" and "Goose," that all changes. Even though they're the same characters. That's the nature of military call signs. They're like an inverted secret identity.

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