Daily Report

Nov. 22, 2021
CSAF Gen. CQ Brown Jr.

Here’s What CSAF Thinks You Should Be Reading, Listening To

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. added two new books, a podcast, and a documentary to his leadership library aimed at encouraging Airmen to expand their thinking, avoid “hindsight bias,” learn about their heritage, and find ways to remove potential barriers to service and/or promotion. This is what he has to say about each selection.
MQ-9

Retire the MQ-9 by 2035? Not So Fast, Defense Analysts Argue

The Air Force needs to reconsider its plans to retire the MQ-9 Reaper by 2035, given the drone’s capabilities and potential uses when measured against financial constraints and mission demands, defense analysts from four different think tanks argued Nov. 19. Experts from the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, RAND Corp., the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Hudson Institute, speaking at a virtual event, all agreed that the MQ-9’s useful life is far from over, even as the Air Force proceeds with modernization plans for continued divestment in the platform.
Reznikov

Ukraine Requests New Defense Assistance Amid Increased Tensions With Russia

Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov said Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III promised “unwavering” support to deter Russian aggression as border tension builds. Reznikov also confirmed Nov. 19 that Ukraine requested additional U.S. foreign military sales for its air and naval defenses. The new Ukrainian defense minister met with Austin during another tense period in Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia. This time, Russia’s unexplained actions could spell imminent invasion, prompting Reznikov’s last-minute trip to Washington just a month after Austin visited Kyiv. It is estimated that Russia has amassed up to 90,000 troops on Ukraine’s eastern border near the Ukrainian capital.

Radar Sweep

Algorithmic Warfare: Air Force Flexing Cyber, Info-Warfare Muscles

National Defense Magazine

Two years after its redesignation, the Air Force’s cyber component is making headway thwarting digital adversaries. Located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, the 16th Air Force—which was redesignated as Air Forces Cyber in October 2019—focuses on cyber and electronic warfare, signals intelligence, information operations, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The organization has now reached full operational capability.

Allies Eyeing ‘Niche’ Space Capabilities for Warfighting With US

Breaking Defense

The US Space Force and its like-minded counterparts are increasingly eyeing ways to avoid duplicating capabilities, with the American service setting up a series of agreements in hopes of each country bringing its best hand to the fight. "The key to success is frank and open discussion ... tearing down those information sharing barriers, to be sure that we're truly interoperable," said Australian Air Commodore Nicholas Hogan.

OPINION: The US Must Turn the Tables on Russia’s Psyops

Defense One

“Andrei Ilnitsky, an advisor to the Russian defense minister, maintains that the U.S. is waging a ‘psychological war’ against Russia. If only. Since the Cold War, America’s use of psychological operations, or psyops, has deteriorated amid a fixation on hard power. Russia, meanwhile, has achieved its greatest successes through psychological warfare. It is long past time for the U.S. military to catch up, update its psyops against Russia for the 21st century, and revive its once-robust tradition of winning hearts and minds,” writes Ivana Stradner, a visiting research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Senate Approves Congressional Gold Medals for Troops Killed in Kabul Airport Attack

Military.com

The 13 U.S. service members killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul in August are on track to receive Congress' highest honor after the Senate unanimously approved posthumously awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal. “Today, the United States Senate moved to recognize the courage, sacrifice, and service of the 13 brave young men and women who were killed in Afghanistan,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) said in a press release. “During a pivotal point for our nation, they gave the last full measure for our freedoms. I look forward to the president honoring these American heroes and swiftly signing this bill into law.”

NATO Ambassador Julianne Smith Confirmed After Senator Relents

Air Force Times

The Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s pick for ambassador to NATO, Julianne Smith, by a voice vote Thursday after Sen. Josh Hawley removed his objection to the nomination. Hawley (R-Mo.) said he had lifted his procedural hold on Smith after she sent him a letter agreeing to seek an increase of NATO’s defense spending target. Member nations have agreed to spend a minimum of 2 percent of their gross domestic products on defense.

34th SOS Validates U-28 SOFORGEN, ACE Concepts

USAF release

Members of the 34th Special Operations Squadron recently deployed to Robins Air Force Base, Ga., to validate the unit’s ability to generate combat capability under the new Special Operations Force Generation model. SOFORGEN replaces the current Air Expeditionary Force construct with a 20-month cycle comprising four, five-month phases of readiness.

Lockheed Re-Affirms Spanish F-35 Talks Despite Madrid Denial

Aviation Week

A Lockheed Martin executive says discussions continue with the Spanish government about a potential future order of F-35Bs and F-35As despite a firm denial by Madrid. “They have an aircraft carrier, and they’re going to have to replace the Harrier, so our approach into Spain is really through that,” Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President Greg Ulmer told ShowNews on Nov.16 at the Dubai Airshow. “Obviously, we see the [F-35] B-model to be that,” Ulmer added, referring to the short-takeoff and vertical-landing variant. “We’re also talking to them about potentially A-models as well.”

Space Cyber Wargame Exposes Satellite Industry Risks

README_

Space industry executives grappled with a simulated crisis as a hacker compromised a satellite and set it on a collision course with another, creating the possibility of a disastrous cascade of space debris. The collision was averted—but the fictional scenario underscored the very real cybersecurity threats facing the space industry as the number of companies building and operating software-driven satellites has mushroomed.

One More Thing

An Air Force Tech Sergeant Just Got Married in the Back of a C-17 Cargo Jet

Task & Purpose

When Angela first suggested they get married aboard the aircraft, Tech Sgt. Jonathen Guzik’s first thought was, “no chance,” according to a recent Air Force news release. An aircraft metals technician with the Guard’s 167th Maintenance Group, Guzik spends a lot of time working with C-17s, and knowing how tight security around a flight line is, he thought it would be tough to actually coordinate a ceremony aboard one. But Angela, a Navy brat, was excited about the idea. “Everything went off without a hitch,” she said. “It went great and we’re super happy.”