AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies launched a new website June 3, unveiling a platform that will better showcase its reports, podcasts, and video interviews with leading Air Force, Space Force, and other defense, government, and industry experts. In highlighting this library of work, the new website exemplifies the Institute’s essential mission of research and education and serves as a lasting resource on all that is aerospace power
The U.S. Army’s budget request for 2022 includes $228 million for Arlington National Cemetery, up from around $81 million last year, as plans for an expansion that would connect it to the nearby Air Force Memorial reach a critical stage. The plan was first unveiled in 2012 and has slowly progressed since, but the Army acquired the county- and locally owned property necessary through eminent domain and hopes to add 80,000 burial and inurnment sites to the historic cemetery.
In memos sent to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III, civilian Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and from the National Guard all expressed reservations about the increasing push to shift prosecution decisions for sexual assault and other major crimes away from the military chain of command, arguing that doing so could decrease the number of prosecutions, delay cases, and potentially provide less help for victims. A plan to change the policy was introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and now has bipartisan, filibuster-proof support.
Lockheed Martin is projecting another 40 percent drop in its portion of the F-35’s costs per flying hour by 2025 and says costs could be reduced even lower if the Defense Department agrees to five-year performance-based logistics (PBL) contract. Defense officials have been reluctant to agree to a long-term contract with one vendor, but Frank Kendall, nominee for Air Force Secretary, did use PBL contracts as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics and has been publicly supportive of buying more F-35s.
Keeping with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III’s view that climate change is an “existential threat,” the DOD’s 2022 budget request treats it as a priority, with funds for repair related to severe weather events to increased funding for electric and hybrid vehicles to construction aimed at reducing energy consumption.
The Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) officially designated the Space Force as the integrator for all joint space requirements, an unsurprising but necessary step as it looks to launch the satellite system necessary for the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2). However, the Space Force is not actually in charge of building the JADC2 satellite backbone. That responsibility lies with the Space Development Agency, an independent DOD agency.
A new study released by the Rand Corporation found that non-heterosexual service members made up 43 percent of sexually assaulted service members in 2018 despite accounting for just 12 percent of all military personnel. The data also showed that the finding was true for both men and women, and the study’s authors noted that their findings are consistent with other reports that “sexual minorities in the military experience high rates of threats, intimidation, vandalism to their personal property, and other types of physical assaults.”
On June 2, an elderly Idaho man entered the Bannock County Sheriff's Office around 10 a.m., asking deputies to help him dispose of a hand grenade. Upon further inspection, the officers determined the grenade was in fact real, live, and high-explosive and called in Airmen from Mountain Home Air Force Base. The Airmen took the grenade and were able to detonate the grenade at a shooting range without incident, and the man told officers he couldn't remember how he obtained it. He has not been criminally charged.