The U.S. Air Force’s F-35 and F-22 stealth fighters passed data to one another using a communications gateway aboard a Lockheed Martin U-2 spyplane. The F-35’s Multifunction Advanced Data Link and the F-22’s Intra-Flight Data Link are incompatible, so the two aircraft types cannot transmit data to each other. To get around that problem, the USAF, Missile Defense Agency, and Lockheed Martin used an “Open Systems Gateway” communications payload aboard a U-2 to pass data between one F-22 and five F-35s.
'He Came Back to Help' | Family Members Say Air Force Airman Went Missing After Saving Relatives from Rough Waters at Surfside Beach
About two dozen family members combed Surfside Beach, Texas, on May 3, joining the U.S. Coast Guard in the search for missing U.S. Airman Elijah Posana. The 22-year-old disappeared just before noon on May 2.
“Never in the history of air combat has a pilot landed back at base, after putting their life on the line flying a grueling combat mission and remarked, “Thank goodness my jet met its life cycle sustainment cost estimates.” While this may sound absurd, it reflects the line of inquiry pursued during a recent House Armed Services Committee (HASC) hearing in which the F-35 was excoriated. Like most defense acquisition programs, aspects of the F-35 program need to improve, but the hearing manufactured a distortion of context by omitting details about the growing threat, the geriatric Air Force, or even a discussion of how Congress can chart improvement paths,” writes retired Maj. Gen. Larry Stutzriem, who holds the General T. Michael Moseley Chair at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.
The Defense Department inspector general announced [May 4] a plan to begin evaluating DOD's actions on "unidentified aerial phenomena." The evaluation will begin this month, according to the announcement. The project will "determine the extent to which the DOD has taken actions regarding Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP)." In April, the DOD confirmed the authenticity of leaked videos taken by Navy pilots showing unidentified flying objects.
The Air Force’s latest push for a more flexible force—known as agile combat employment—could help the service keep Airmen at home longer and its aircraft readiness up, the leader of a key expeditionary wing in the Middle East told Air Force Times on April 30. But deployments could become more intense for Airmen when they do go abroad. Adopting ACE into regular operations across the force would likely increase the pace and frequency of missions, said Brig. Gen. Larry Broadwell, commander of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. But that’s not the only measure of military prowess—it’s also about efficiency.
Dozens of special warfare Airmen weathered heavy wind and rain for their 10th annual 24-hour Challenge Run last week at the largest U.S. military base on the Korean Peninsula. The event, hosted by the 604th Air Support Operations Squadron out of Camp Humphreys, South Korea, honored the 12 members of the Air Force’s Tactical Air Control Party who have died in combat or during training since 1989.
Pentagon financial leaders said they’re making meaningful progress toward finally earning a clean audit opinion. So much so, in fact, that they’re now willing to project a tentative timeframe for when it’ll happen: 2028. Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee last week, defense officials emphasized that the 2028 date is by no means a sure thing, but it’s not chosen out of thin air, either.
The Space Force is in talks with U.S. Cyber Command and the Air Force to bring more specialized cyber personnel into the fold, said the deputy commander of Space Operations Command on May 3. Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt, who is also commander of Combined Force Space Component Command, said she expects cyber protection teams unique to the Space Force to be in place in three to five years.
“As defense budgets come under increased scrutiny, lawmakers are taking a close look at the future of the ground-based leg of America’s nuclear triad. On the current course, the country’s 400 single-warhead, silo-based LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles are slated for modernization and replacement with a new nuclear missile known as the Ground-based Strategic Deterrent. GBSD’s strategic value-add over Minuteman III is nil to negligible. … As long as 400 American ICBMs remain ready to launch in their silos, Russian planners must assign their own warheads to these targets. Ankit Panda, Stanton senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Turkey’s air force is becoming obsolete, according to a new Turkish study. “Turkey and the Turkish Air Force's air warfare capabilities face a serious test over the next 10 to 20 years,” writes Can Kasapoglu, director of the security and defense program at Turkish think tank EDAM, who authored the report.
The Air Force offered its first glimpse of a new virtual operations prototype during a live equipment demonstration at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, on April 28. The demonstration display, dubbed the Technology Lab, offered media a peek into the future of one of the innovative technologies that will make Tyndall AFB the Installation of the Future. The Installation Resilience Operations Center, or IROC, prototype is a game-changing solution for enhancing base security, emergency response, and facility operations.
Any Air Force recruiter’s office is filled with images of fast jets, tacticool dudes with guns, and cyber blinky-lights that make the branch look like the headquarters of Marvel’s S.H.I.EL.D. But then you get to the other side of the curtain, where you’re stuck buying biscuits from Red Lobster because you made the mistake of asking the security forces Airmen guarding the gates of the Air Force base if they needed anything. That’s the side of the service that Senior Airman Chambers and Senior Airman Wooh Man, who went by their social media handles for this article, make skits about in a long-running series of comedy sketches they started last fall when they were stationed together in Guam.