Daily Report

May 23, 2022

B-21 Raider First Flight Now Postponed to 2023

The Air Force says the B-21 Raider won't make its first flight until 2023; about a six-month delay from the last official estimates. No reason was given for the delay. While other programs have recently chalked up schedule slips to supply chain and labor shortages, the Air Force has said the B-21 hasn't been significantly affected by these factors.
Edel Foreign Affairs

Ukraine War Shows Congress that Arming Taiwan Now Can Deter China

Lawmakers studying the lessons learned from the Ukraine war believe that speeding delivery of F-16s and Stingers among other kit to Taiwan, and forming a clear defensive coalition in the Pacific, could deter China from a mid-decade invasion. “I hope we've learned our lesson from Ukraine that pre-invasion arms, military assistance, is a deterrent. And failure to provide that beforehand is an invitation for aggression,” Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) said May 19 at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and nonproliferation held the day President Joe Biden began a trip to South Korea and Japan. Barr said 66 F-16 fighter jets are not expected until 2026, 108 Abrams tanks until 2027, and 40 Paladin self-propelled Howitzers until 2027.
air national guard space

Air National Guard Leaders: Time is Running Short for a Space Guard

If Congress doesn’t act to establish a Space National Guard soon, leaders in Air National Guard units with space missions will need to start having some difficult conversations with their Airmen. That’s the warning from multiple commanders during a virtual event hosted by the National Guard Association of the United States, in which participants ratcheted up their push for a separate Space Guard—and argued that the Space Force’s alternate proposal isn’t sufficient.
air force mustache

Leaked Air Force Memo: Bigger Mustaches Are Coming

The Air Force mustache you a question—Are you ready for bigger mustaches? That’s according to a draft of a new memo posted to social media this week, revealing that the Air Force is on the verge of allowing men to grow their mustaches up to a quarter of an inch out from the corners of the mouth.

Radar Sweep

78,000 Pounds of Infant Formula Arrives in US

The Associated Press

A military plane carrying enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles arrived Sunday in Indianapolis, the first of several flights expected from Europe aimed at relieving a shortage that has sent parents scrambling to find enough to feed their children. President Joe Biden authorized the use of Air Force planes for the effort, dubbed “Operation Fly Formula,” because no commercial flights were available.

Military Commands Spent Pandemic Money on Space Analytics, IT Upgrades

Defense News

U.S. military commands responsible for North America spent millions of dollars meant for COVID-19 relief on space-related data analytics connected to the Pentagon’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control endeavor as well as on office information technology upgrades, a Pentagon watchdog said. An audit by the Department of Defense’s inspector general found that U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command spent some $13 million of the money it received to respond to the pandemic on JADC2, a department-wide vision for seamless communication, which is said was improper.

Air Force to Name Newest Hypersonic Weapon Maker by September

Breaking Defense

The Air Force is gearing up to choose a company to develop and build a hypersonic cruise missile by the end of September, the service’s program executive for weapons told Breaking Defense in an exclusive interview. Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Boeing are expected to complete preliminary designs for the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) this fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.

Lasers, Water Landings, Crewless Ops: Upgrades Are Coming for the C-130 Family

Air Force Times

The most advanced versions of the military’s long-running tanker-turned-death-dealer are expected to get even more toys under the direction of the special operations community. The MC-130J Commando II and the KC130J Super Hercules aircraft are experimenting with high-energy lasers, amphibious landing and takeoff, and potentially a crewless, fully automated cockpit, if U.S. Special Operations Command’s work is successful.

PODCAST: Closing the Weapons Gap: New Missile Technology Imperatives

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In episode 77 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, host John “Slick” Baum talks to Lt. Gen. Gus Guastella, deputy chief of staff for operations, and retired Maj. Gen. Jon Norman of Raytheon Technologies about where threats are driving next generation air-to-air missile requirements. Ask any defense leader or combat Airmen, and they will bemoan the problem of artificially restricting the combat potential of highly advanced aircraft like the F-22 and F-35 given the limitation of current air-to-air weapons in an era where adversary challenges are growing. It is time to address this problem by implementing modernization pathways that can rapidly enhance our weapons advantage in the near-term, while also looking at longer term solutions.

Unvaccinated Air Force Academy Cadets to Receive Degrees

KKTV.com

The U.S. Air Force Academy Board says three cadets who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week can graduate from the USAFA. This decision was reportedly made on Friday. Officials say those cadets will get a Bachelor of Science degree, but they will not be commissioned into the United States Air Force as long as they remain unvaccinated. The USAFA says, “A decision to reimburse the United States for education costs in lieu of service will be made by the secretary of the Air Force.”

France Gets Youngest Defense Chief in 35-year-old Sébastien Lecornu

Breaking Defense

The new French government nominated May 20 by President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne sees Senator Sébastien Lecornu, 35, appointed as the new Minister for the Armed Forces, the youngest to hold the title in more than 60 years. He replaces Florence Parly, the widely respected outgoing minister who held her post for five years but did not want to continue in government. In Lecornu, the French armed forces is getting a minister who is first and foremost a politician whereas Parly was an astute budgetary expert.

Let’s Talk About The Rumors That Russia’s Su-57 Is Participating In The War In Ukraine

The Drive

A report in the Russian media states that the new-generation Su-57 Felon fighter has been employed in combat in the Kremlin’s ongoing war in Ukraine, a conflict that’s now in its 86th day. While the Su-57 program has suffered its fair share of problems, and the aircraft is still not in full operational service, the Felon has previously undertaken at least a limited combat evaluation in Syria, and further exposure to a real-world conflict would not be entirely surprising.

One More Thing

‘There’s an Air Force Base Here,’ Say Annoyed Cops to People Calling 911 About Jet Noise

Task and Purpose

People call the police about the darnedest things. For example, cops in rural Maine have to pull cars out of ditches every first snowfall of the season despite Maine being one of the most snowy states on the East Coast. Likewise, police in Dover, Delaware still get calls about jet noise despite Dover being home to the military’s largest airport. “You live in Dover … there’s an Air Force Base here,” wrote the Dover Police Department in a Facebook post on Thursday which was later shared by the popular Facebook page Air Force amn/nco/snco.

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