Daily Report

Aug. 2, 2022

SOCOM Picks L3 Harris’ Sky Warden for Armed Overwatch

U.S. Special Operations Command has awarded a contract for its Armed Overwatch program, selecting L3 Harris Technologies’ AT-802U Sky Warden as the winner of its competition for a low-cost aircraft to fly surveillance and strikes in austere locations. The deal could be worth up to $3 billion and will include 75 aircraft along with training systems, mission planning systems, support equipment, spares, and logistics support. Initial operating capability is expected in fiscal year 2026, with full operating capability following in 2029.

Russians ‘Running Away’ From Ukraine NCO Corps Is an Example to Partners, Air Force Leaders Say

Eight years ago, when Russia invaded Crimea, Ukraine quickly capitulated, its military grossly overmatched, poorly trained, and operating according to an old Soviet paradigm. By contrast, in the current war, Ukraine is fighting hard behind an empowered noncommissioned officer corps, U.S. and Ukrainian Air Force leaders said at the Senior Enlisted Leaders International Summit in Arlington, Va. “The Ukrainian government saw the need to get past the Soviet model of training NCOs and create a more Western model with the help of NATO and the help of the United States of America,” Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramón "CZ" Colón-López told NCO leaders from 65 nations and NATO.

Space Force Looks to Put Space Attaches in Embassies

The Space Force is in the process of establishing a program that will bolster the new service’s diplomatic outreach with its very first attaches in select U.S. embassies across the world, Air Force Magazine has confirmed. The Regional Space Advisor program will “develop a cadre of space professionals focused on strengthening Allied and Partner relationships,” Space Force spokesperson Lt. Col. Brooke Davis said in a statement. As part of that process, the program will place space attaches in a variety of countries, “both established and emerging space powers,” Davis said.

McGuire’s ‘Pudgy’ KC-46s Honor Legendary WWII Ace

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J.—The KC-46 Pegasus tankers here all fly with the callsign "Pudgy" in honor of the second-highest-scoring American ace of World War II, Thomas B. McGuire. "Pudgy 01” and “Pudgy 02” arrived Nov. 9, 2021, as part of an elaborate welcoming ceremony. Pudgies 03 to 08 have arrived since. The new aircraft aren't named Pudgy. "That was just chosen to be the callsign to be best representative of the base,” said KC-46 pilot Capt. Luke A. Williams.

Radar Sweep

US Operation Killed al-Qaida Leader al-Zawahri

The Associated Press

A CIA drone strike has killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Afghanistan, according to five people familiar with the matter. Current and former officials began hearing July 31 that al-Zawahri had been killed in a drone strike, but the Biden administration delayed releasing the information until his death could be confirmed, according to one person who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.

US Announces Another $550M in Ukraine Military Aid

Defense One

The U.S. will send Ukraine thousands more 155mm howitzer shells and HIMARS rockets in a new package of military aid, the White House announced Aug. 1. The $550 million package, which includes 75,000 155mm rounds, will bring the total amount of military aid the Biden administration has provided Ukraine to $8.8 billion.

White House Aims to Release Overdue Security Strategies Within Weeks

Defense News

Amid pressure from U.S. lawmakers, the White House is weighing a September rollout for its long-delayed National Security Strategy, now being rewritten to emphasize Russia alongside China following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. President Joe Biden and his administration had been making a full-court press in Congress to pass signature legislation aimed at competing with China economically and technologically, but his National Defense Strategy remains secret, fueling frustrations from Capitol Hill that open discussions about strategy-driven budgeting are being hamstrung.

The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Won’t Be Handed Out to Everyone Anymore


The Department of Defense will no longer issue the Global War on Terrorism Medal to all service members, ending a two-decade period during which the award was given to everyone in the ranks to signify America's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. The medal isn't going away; it's just becoming more selective. Starting Sept. 11, 2022, a service member must have worked directly for a counterterrorism operation for at least 30 days to receive the award.

On 70th Anniversary of US European Command's Creation, a Wary Eye Cast Toward Russia


A command created in the wake of World War II marked its 70th anniversary while staring at a burgeoning threat as Russia continues its invasion attempt in Ukraine. The U.S. military's European Command celebrated seven decades of existence Aug. 1 in a festive ceremony that included a cake and talk of the need to hold the NATO alliance together.

Space Force to Take On Bigger Role Planning Future DOD Space Investments


The Space Force, the military branch responsible for providing satellite-based services to the U.S. armed forces, was also recently assigned the role of “integrator for joint space requirements,” which means the Space Force will have to coordinate the wish lists of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force, and recommend how to meet future needs. The bulk of those needs will come from the Army’s land forces, which are large consumers of satellite services for global navigation and communications.

Northrop Grumman Wins $3.3 Billion Homeland Ballistic Missile Defense Contract

Breaking Defense

The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency has awarded Northrop Grumman a contract worth up to $3.3 billion to lead the development of the next iteration of the weapons systems program for Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) designed to take out intermediate- and long-range missiles headed toward the United States.

AFA Legends Weave Together Past, Present, Future

Air Force release

From the Air Force’s inception 75 years ago through today, there has been no shortage of visionaries who have selflessly and honorably served to drive the Air Force into the future. Five of these great leaders shared their wisdom and experiences with Airmen during the Nellis Air Force Base leg of the Air & Space Forces Association’s Air Force 75th Anniversary Legends tour.

One More Thing

Air Force PJs Saved Dozens of Lives Across the Country Last Week

Task & Purpose

The U.S. military trains to win wars, but many service members often put themselves in harm’s way even during relatively peaceful times. That’s the case for the Air Force pararescue and combat controller communities, who saved the lives of dozens of Americans endangered by plane crashes and flooding in Alaska and Kentucky last week alone.

This Day in Airpower
Celebrating 75 Years of Air and Space Power