Hudson Institute screenshot

USAF Planning Boss Pushes for Flexible Budgets to Keep Up with New Tech

As the Air Force pieces together its fiscal 2023 budget, due early next year, it must think not only about the immediate future, but also five years down the road. That’s a challenge right now, said Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration, and requirements. “I should know what the requirements are in 2027. I don’t,” the planning boss said during a March 5 event hosted by the Hudson Institute. Revamping the way the military budgets for the coming years could help solve the problem.
B-1B Lancer

First B-1 Deployment to Norway Shows Importance of Arctic, Cold-Weather Ops

The first-ever basing of B-1B Lancers in Norway is giving aircrews and maintainers Arctic experience, which is becoming more important as the U.S. military looks north. The B-1s from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, deployed to Orland Air Base for joint training with Norway and other regional partners in the Arctic. While Lancers have integrated with Norwegian aircraft, it is the first time the bombers are based out of the country. USAFE Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Steven L. Basham told reporters in a teleconference March 5 that the deployment is an important opportunity for the crews to operate out of a new, frigid location.
Golden Horde

Air Force’s Weapon Swarming Project Fares Better in Second Test

The Air Force’s “Golden Horde” weapon swarming project overcame its earlier technical difficulties in a second flight test last month, the service said March 5. The Feb. 19 event featured four Small Diameter Bombs equipped with systems that let them work as a team, two more than the first test tried out. The bombs “established communications with each other, identified a pop-up target, and followed the predetermined rules of engagement. They then proceeded to successfully evaluate and assign themselves to multiple targets, striking them in a time-synchronized manner,” the Air Force said in a release.
defense supply task force

New House Task Force to Examine Defense Supply Chain Threats

House Armed Services Committee members are launching a task force to dig into defense supply chain issues, the panel said March 4. Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) and Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) will co-chair the group as it looks at threats to and vulnerabilities in the defense industrial base. Pentagon officials, lawmakers, and military experts have sounded the alarm on supply chain problems for years, over concerns ranging from a shortage of domestic microelectronics expertise to the potential for crippling cyberattacks and digital theft.

B-21 Temporary Shelters Could Also Shelter B-2s

The Air Force's experimental runway shelter for the new B-21 bomber is large enough to cover it or the B-2, and therefore reveals no information about the dimensions of the new aircraft. Two such shelters will be evaluated, but the maker of the second version hasn't been chosen yet.

Radar Sweep

Ripping F-35 Costs, House Armed Services Chairman Looks to ‘Cut Our Losses’

Defense News

The House Armed Services Committee chairman has railed at the expensive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, saying he wants to “stop throwing money down that particular rathole,” with his comments coming just days after the Air Force said it too is looking at other options. “What does the F-35 give us? And is there a way to cut our losses? Is there a way to not keep spending that much money for such a low capability because, as you know, the sustainment costs are brutal,” Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said at a Brookings event March 5.

Aerospace Nation: Aerospace Vectors for the Incoming Biden Administration

Mitchell Institute on YouTube

President Joe Biden’s defense team faces a number of challenges around the globe, but they also have significant opportunities to bolster America’s national security for decades to come. AFA's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies hosted a virtual "Aerospace Nation" event on March 4 with Mitchell Institute dean and retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula and the think tank's executive director, Douglas Birkey, as they discussed their new policy paper, "Aerospace Vectors for the Incoming Biden Defense Team." Retired USAF Maj. Gen. Larry Stutzriem, the think tank's director of research, moderated.

Space Force Sounding Rocket Launches Experiment to Study Earth’s Ionosphere

SpaceNews

A three-stage suborbital sounding rocket on March 3 launched an Air Force Research Laboratory experiment from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. This was the first sounding rocket launch by California-based Space Vector Corp., one of two companies selected by the Air Force in 2018 for the Sounding Rocket Program-4. The launch was to study the Earth’s ionosphere, said Todd Pedersen, program manager at AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.

Air Force Completes Operation Porcupine Exercise in Romania

Air Force Times

The Air Force’s 31st Fighter Wing participated in the annual Operation Porcupine exercise on Thursday in Romania, employing U.S. F-16s, HH-60s, and MQ-9s. The exercise was designed to replicate rescuing a downed F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, involving those from the 56th and 57th Rescue Squadrons, 510th Fighter Squadron and 606th Air Control Squadron, among other units.

Remains Identified as Army Chaplain, Medal of Honor Recipient Who Died as POW in North Korea

Military.com

The remains of Father Emil Kapaun, a Kansas native and Catholic priest who died while a prisoner of war, have been identified by military officials. "This evening I was notified that the remains of Marion County-native Father Emil Kapaun, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita, have been identified," Moran said in a statement. "Father Kapaun served as an Army Chaplain during WWII and the Korean War, and was taken as a Prisoner of War in 1951. He continued to minister to Americans as a POW before passing away on May 23, 1951.”

Mitchell Institute's ‘Aerospace Advantage’ Podcast, Ep. 13—’Weather for the Warfighter: Forecasting for Mission Success’

Mitchell Institute podcast

America’s national security interests hinge on weather. Few would guess this, since it’s something we take for granted, but whether we look at Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower choosing when to launch D-Day in the spring of 1944, or the type of munition that will be employed off an aircraft today against a fleeting, high-value target, it all comes down to weather. Hear from frontline combat pilots and technical experts to learn more about a mission many take for granted, but which actually stands as a crucial lynchpin for modern combat capabilities.

The Air Force Released More Photos of the Only 2 B-52s Ever Resurrected From Its 'Boneyard'

Business Insider

Both aircraft had been retired and put on long term storage, where they were supposed to remain to be cannibalized for parts needed by other B-52Hs. However, the plans changed and both BUFFs have been resurrected. After being mothballed for seven years in the desert, "Ghost Rider" returned to service in 2015 with the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. The second, "Wise Guy," spent 10 years in the desert before being resurrected late last year.

Air Force Museum’s ‘Women in the Air Force’ Exhibit Kicks Off

WDTN.com

In honor of Women’s History Month, The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is opening an exhibit to detail the trials and triumphs of women who’ve paved the way for women in the military today.Museum curator, Christina Douglass, said, “I believe one of the biggest contributions that women have made to the United States Air Force and the Department of the Air Force is helping [women] understand that they are just as capable and amazing at supporting the mission of the United States Air Force.”