The Air Force was unable to place thousands of children in daycare for months on end last year and continues to have a sizable need for more childcare as Airmen are slowly returning to in-person workplaces. In a report obtained by Federal News Network, the Air Force stated that demand for child care currently exceeds the capacity of the Department of the Air Force. “Unmet demand and wait time for care have both increased since last year’s report due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors of the report wrote.
The projected cost of modernizing the U.S. nuclear force is escalating, including billions of dollars more to operate nuclear-armed submarines and to update Energy Department nuclear weapons laboratories and production facilities, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. Critics of nuclear modernization are likely to seize on the new figures to bolster their argument for more modest upgrades. The nonpartisan CBO said that operating and modernizing the nuclear force will cost $634 billion in the 2021-2030 period.
China is the primary challenge not only on the surface but also for U.S. forces preparing to fight and win in any future conflict in space, according to the chief of the U.S. Space Command. “Our pacing threat is the Chinese, so we are watching how they are growing their space capability,” said Army Gen. James H. Dickinson, who oversees the command based at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, during a stop at the home of U.S. Forces Japan in western Tokyo on May 22. The Army’s senior air defense artillery officer has led the military’s 11th and newest combatant command since August.
The Air Force’s new F-15EX—a 21st-century update of the classic Eagle fighter—isn’t just a potentially powerful, long-range shooter with plenty of underwing room for bigger air-to-air and hypersonic missiles. It’s also a jamming platform. Fitted with the new Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System, or EPAWSS, the twin-engine, two-seat F-15EX in theory could project a protective bubble of radar-muddling noise around itself and nearby warplanes.
After Coming Out, a Soldier was Allegedly Raped by Another Military Member and Died by Suicide. Her Family Says it's a Hate Crime
"I opened the door, and I looked right at those two chaplains and I said, 'My daughter committed suicide,'" Harris said. "She's dead." The chaplains confirmed what she'd dreaded. Her daughter had become withdrawn. Over a few short months, their close relationship had turned distant. Harris knew something was wrong, but she didn't know what. She would learn in a blur of briefings that her daughter had filed a sexual assault complaint against a fellow service member, that it occurred 10 days after her daughter had disclosed her sexual orientation on Facebook; that she'd expressed thoughts of suicide and been under counseling and a do-not-arm order. And that a misstep by the military led to her daughter coming into contact with her alleged assailant.
The Air Force is mulling a major overhaul of how it deploys fighter jets and other combat planes overseas in an effort that could eventually expand to its entire inventory. Over the next two years, the service plans to hold a series of exercises that will help it decide how to bring that vision, known as “lead wing,” to fruition. Last year, the Air Force released a directive to rethink how the service heads overseas—specifically, to mature new air expeditionary task forces that can smoothly jump around the world as threats arise. The lead wing concept is part of that broader effort.
By the end of this fiscal year, one company could rake in a contract worth up to $490 million to provide the Air Force with technologies to counter the threat of small, commercially made drones. On April 13, the Air Force released a request for proposals for the “rapid research, development, prototyping, demonstration, evaluation, and transition” of technologies that can be used to counter small unmanned aerial systems. Responses to the solicitation are due May 14.
With Artemis Accords on the Table, South Korea, U.S. to Widen Cooperation in Space Exploration, Security
President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and his U.S. counterpart President Joe Biden have promised to cooperate toward South Korea signing the Artemis Accords, a set of principles governing norms of behavior for those who want to participate in the NASA-led Artemis lunar exploration program. Nine nations, including the United States, have signed the Artemis Accords since the pact’s unveiling last year. The commitment to work toward South Korea becoming a formal signatory of the Artemis Accords was part of a broader agreement.
The Defense Department may finally be on track to replace its aging polar-orbiting weather satellites more than a decade after pulling the plug on an ill-fated effort to cram civil and military requirements into a single system. Work is underway on two new military satellite systems designed to replace the most critical capabilities of the venerable Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). But the new satellites aren’t slated to begin operations until 2024 and 2026, a timeline just barely in sync with how much longer the U.S. Space Force thinks it can keep DMSP going.
By day, Staff Sgt. Brianna Pritchard is a mechanic who fixes Black Hawk helicopters for the Alaska National Guard. But off the clock, Pritchard breaks it down hard: break dancing, that is. The Anchorage, Alaska, native has 14 years of break dancing experience, and now she has a shot at competing in the first Olympic break dancing competitions in 2024. That’s right, break-dancing (called ‘breaking’ by people in the biz) was made an Olympic sport in December 2020, and it will make its debut at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. For Pritchard, who has competed in breaking competitions across the U.S. and internationally, it could be a shot at a dream come true.