Deptula Jet Boneyard Davis-Monthan

Air Force Wants to Cut 421 Old Fighters, Buy 304 New Ones

The Air Force plans to begin evolving its fighter fleet to one that can win a Pacific war by retiring 421 old jets and buying 304 new ones, transitioning away from the F-22 and A-10 to an advanced, sixth-generation fighter and an F-16 replacement in about 15 years, according to documents obtained by Air Force Magazine.
F-35 bank

USAF to Cut F-35 Buy in Future Years Defense Plan

The Air Force wants to scale back buys of the F-35 over the next five years, hoping to get sustainment costs down and to wait for the more capable Block 4 version, according to talking points prepared for Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. The reduced buy will mean 20 fewer jets by fiscal 2026—assuming Congress goes along and doesn't add any jets to the plan.

Making the Air Force’s Case for Big Fighter Cuts

To ensure it can compete—and win—against peer adversaries such as China and Russia in the future, the Air Force must divest its aging equipment and instead invest in more capable and advanced aircraft, said Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration, and requirements. The challenge is convincing Congress to give up aircraft today for something else later on, something lawmakers have consistently resisted in the past.
Protective Mask

DOD Eases Mask Rules to Follow New CDC Guidance

The Defense Department will no longer require fully vaccinated personnel to wear masks at DOD facilities. The guidance applies to all those who are two weeks beyond their final dose, both indoors and outdoors, according to a May 13 memo from Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks. The memo was released the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its own guidance saying fully vaccinated people can resume pre-pandemic activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, “except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.” Commanders and supervisors can still make exceptions to “ensure a safe workforce.”
609th Air Operations Center Al Udeid

AFCENT Can Now Generate Air Tasking Orders in the Cloud

The 609th Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in early May became the Air Force’s first AOC to operationally use the Kessel Run All Domain Operations Suite to build an air tasking order. The new cloud-based system allows planners to build an Air Tasking Order from anywhere and uses automation and advanced software to accomplish what usually takes dozens of personnel using stove-piped systems. KRADOS, developed by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Detachment 12, also known as Kessel Run, uses the same principles behind the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System push to bring in new technology to improve the air war planning and execution process.

Radar Sweep

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Bill Would Overhaul Military’s Handling of Sex-Related Offenses, Allow Victims to Claim Damages

Stars and Stripes

Lawmakers introduced legislation May 13 that would change the reporting process for sexual harassment and assault in the military and allow service members who are victims to seek monetary damages from the Defense Department. The bill’s proponents said it would “revolutionize” the way the military handles reports of sexual harassment and assault. It comes in response to the brutal killing last year of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, who was sexually harassed before she was killed.

The Pentagon is Tracking US Citizens Without a Warrant, Senator Says


The Pentagon may be using commercial data to track Americans without due legal process, according to a letter from Sen. Ron Wyden shared with Vice News. Wyden had queried the Department of Defense about mobile location and other data it had purchased from commercial sources, following reports in The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere. The DOD replied to some questions, but several responses were redacted. "I write to urge you to release to the public information about the Department of Defense's warrantless surveillance of Americans," Wyden replied.

Transgender Airmen, Guardians Guaranteed Equal Opportunity Under New Policy

Air Force Times

The Department of the Air Force has rolled out a new set of policies for transgender Airmen and Guardians that aim to treat troops undergoing a gender change more equitably. “Service in the Air Force and Space Force should be open to all persons who can meet the high standards for military service and readiness,” said the policy document, dated April 30. “All service members and applicants for accession must be treated with dignity and respect and afforded equal opportunity in an environment free from prohibited discrimination.”

Air Force Adding More Government Muscle to its Platform One Platform

Federal News Network

The Air Force’s software development platform called Platform One is a little too vendor heavy. Platform One has only 20 federal and military employees out of a staff of 275. But the Air Force is on the way to changing that 90-10 industry-to-government ratio.

Hyten: Joint Requirements For All Domain Out By June

Breaking Defense

The Joint Requirements Oversight Council will give the services new marching orders by month’s end to ensure that future weapon systems support All-Domain Operations, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten said. A likely assumption, therefore, is that the long-awaited Joint Warfighting Concept itself also will be published at the end of the month.

DAF to Allow Officers to Opt Out of Promotion in Certain Circumstances

Air Force Release

Eligible officers, who meet certain conditions, may soon request exclusion from consideration for the next higher grade. The new policy will go into effect beginning with the major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel Space Force promotion boards set to convene Oct. 16 and will provide more flexible talent management options.

ALIS Working Better, But F-35 Full-Rate Date Still Unclear

Breaking Defense

The F-35 Joint Program Office is still evaluating when the fighter will formally clear its 20-year development phase after a new expert study of testing requirements, says JPO Director Lt. Gen. Eric T. Fick. However, officially passing through ‘milestone C’ into full-rate production may not matter that much, Fick told the annual McAleese defense conference.

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Is Paving the Way for Women in Military Leadership

NBC Miami

As the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, JoAnne Bass is proving that the sky's the limit for women in leadership. With Military Appreciation Month in May, NBC 6 has decided to highlight Chief Bass as she has made history as the first female senior enlisted leader of any U.S. military service. She's also the first person of Asian American descent to hold that title.

Air Force Working on an App Store for IT

Fed Scoop

The Air Force says it’s making huge leaps and bounds in acquiring enterprise IT services that could help move missions forward—but not everyone who could be using the tech knows about it. To market the Air Force’s new IT services better, Chief Information Officer Lauren Knausenberger said she is working to build a one-stop-shop like Apple’s App Store or to list products and services that have an authority to operate across the service’s enterprise.

Full FY22 Budget Coming May 27

Defense News

President Joe Biden’s first full budget request, including long-awaited details about the Pentagon, will be released May 27, the White House announced Thursday. The administration announced in early April that the fiscal 2022 budget request asks for $753 billion in national security funding, including $715 billion for the Defense Department.

SpaceX Charts a Path for Starship's First Orbital Test Flight


The Starship rocket will pass over the Straits of Florida before entering orbit and then returning to Earth and attempting to make a soft ocean landing approximately 62 miles off the northwest coast of Kauai. If all goes according to plan, the entire flight from start to finish should take about 90 minutes to complete.

Senate Democrats Ramp up Push to Limit Biden's War Powers

The Hill

Senate Democrats are ramping up their work on reining in President Biden’s war powers, after years of watching the fights stall out on Capitol Hill. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Melendez (D-New Jersey) told The Hill he will hold a vote on legislation that would repeal the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force, both of which deal with Iraq.

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Why the US Air Force's Big Plans to Fly a Massive Nuclear-Powered Bomber Fizzled Out

Business Insider

While nations like Russia continue to struggle with fielding nuclear-propulsion in missiles, the United States was already testing a nuclear-powered bomber all the way back in 1955, in the form of the massive Convair NB-36 Crusader. The bomber carried a 1-megawatt, air-cooled nuclear reactor that hung on a hook inside its cavernous weapons bay that had to be lowered through the bomb bay doors into shielded underground facilities for storage between flights. Believe it or not… it only gets crazier from there.