The Air Force reversed its decision to dismiss hundreds of reserve officer training cadets and restored nearly 130 scholarships, officials said, after a lobbying effort assailed the decision as a punishment for many qualified cadets that would create catastrophic financial problems. The pandemic’s wave of economic and social uncertainty triggered the initial decision, officials said. The natural cycle of departing officers creating room for the younger ranks has been disrupted, and service members, wary of leaving jobs and health care, are staying at the highest rate in two decades.
Sierra Nevada Corp. is contesting the US Air Force’s intention to sole-source a $980 million contract to Sikorsky for HH-60W Jolly Green II combat search and rescue helicopter upgrades. The bid protest, filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, alleges that the USAF’s intent to sole-source this contract violated the Competition in Contracting Act, which requires full and open competition in acquisition for supplies and services by U.S. federal agencies.
The U.S. Space Force has moved quickly to organize its operational units since it was established 16 months ago. But Congress would also like to see the service make headway in acquisition programs, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee said May 7. “Progress in addressing longstanding acquisition issues has been disappointing so far,” Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota) told the leaders of the Department of the Air Force during a posture hearing.
The United States has continued limited air support to Afghan national security forces in recent days, launching a half-dozen airstrikes as Taliban fighters stepped up an offensive in the country’s south before the full withdrawal of American troops ordered by President Joe Biden. Even so, Afghan ground commanders are asking for more help from American warplanes, exposing a stark reality of the war there: Even in the twilight days of the American involvement, the Afghan dependency on U.S. pilots and warplanes as backup is unquestionable.
Debris from a crashing Chinese rocket hurtling toward Earth and a Russian projectile-shooting spy satellite are two examples of a big problem: too few rules governing how nations behave in space. Lawmakers pressed Biden administration officials recently on what the United States can do to set some hard boundaries. The answer: The United States wants norms in space, but don’t expect anything legally binding anytime soon.
A bill introduced in the House seeks to bolster the National Guard’s ability to respond to cyber threats, including critical infrastructure attacks in their states. The National Guard Cybersecurity Support Act, introduced by Rep. Andy Kim (D-New Jersey) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) would give governors the ability to decide when and how to deploy their state’s National Guard to stand off against increasing cyberattacks that could impact various agencies and services, such as water supplies or the electrical grid.
“… Warfare is becoming much faster, as are the decisions required in competition and crisis. We must once again adapt our tools for effective [command and control] to confront this reality, and this is the focus of the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System—a way for humans and algorithms to manage mass quantities of data securely from multiple sources through multiple domains that is ingested, fused, processed, and presented in a manner useful to commanders,” writes Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin.
Upgrading America’s nuclear missile arsenal will likely take longer than expected because of the complexities of pulling 1970s-era ICBMs out of aging silos and testing and installing replacement missiles and technology to run the system for decades to come, according to a congressional audit.
More than 130 members of the House of Representatives have signed a letter urging continued financial support for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, signaling a potential roadblock for lawmakers hoping to cut F-35 procurement in fiscal 2022. The April 28 letter called on the leadership of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subpanel to fully fund the Defense Department’s request for F- 35s during FY22, as well as any additional F-35s listed in the service’s unfunded requirements list.
As countries around the world expand their military space efforts, one of the U.S.'s closest allies wants to develop deeper cooperation on the final frontier—and hasn't ruled out creating a "Space Force" of its own someday. "Never say never," said Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, chief of the Air Staff for the Royal Air Force, or RAF, for the United Kingdom.
I’ll never get back the 144 minutes I spent watching the midnight premiere of “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker,” a movie that took everything we knew and loved about a galaxy far, far away and crashed it into the forest moon of Endor. Although we can collectively agree that the final Star Wars trilogy was just shy of a dumpster fire, at least it did a half-decent job paying homage to fan-favorite aircraft from the original movies, including the X-wing.