bombers retirement

Progress on B-21 Means Current Bombers Need a Fast Retirement

The Air Force needs to move quickly as it brings on the B-21 and modernizes the B-52 because operating four bombers at a time is not sustainable. This means the venerable B-1s and B-2s need to head to the boneyard ASAP, the service’s top planner said. The secretive, next-generation B-21 Raider is being built right now and will be flown in the “not-too-distant future,” said Lt. Gen. David S. Nahom, the deputy chief of staff for plans and programs, during a July 14 AFA Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event. When that happens, the Air Force will be flying the B-1, B-2, B-52, and B-21 simultaneously. “That is not affordable,” Nahom said.

Gillibrand Calls for Serious Crimes to be Handled by JAGs Outside Chain of Command

New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said her bill to remove prosecution of serious crimes from the chain of command is still needed, despite Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III's commitment to do just that. “This is an extremely light touch. It just changes where the case file goes first," Gillibrand said, referring to Austin's pledge. Gillibrand intends to work to get her bill into the National Defense Authorization Act, but she does not have faith it will pass out of committee.

Minot B-52s Head to Guam for Bomber Task Force Deployment

B-52s have returned to the Pacific for a bomber task force rotation during which they will take part in a large-scale, Australian-led exercise. The B-52s deployed from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., touching down at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on July 14, according to a Pacific Air Forces release. As part of this deployment, the bombers will take part in Talisman Saber 2021. The exercise will include more than 17,000 personnel from Australia and the U.S., along with participants from Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. India, Indonesia, France, and Germany will observe, Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby said during a July 14 briefing.
More than 200 soldiers with the Delaware Army National Guard Soldier are on duty in Washington D.C

National Guard Could Run Out of Funds if Congress Doesn’t Reimburse $521M Spent to Protect Capitol After Insurrection

Party politics may prevent the National Guard from conducting critical training in the final months of the fiscal year unless senators on both sides of the aisle can agree on how to reimburse some $521 million in expenses related to the protection of the Capitol compound for five months following the January 6 insurrection. Bank accounts are running dry, which means annual trainings, drill weekends, and operational maintenance will be canceled in August and September, according to National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson.

Radar Sweep

EVENT: Speed is Life: Accelerating the Air Force’s Ability to Adapt and Win

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

It’s not too late to register for a live event with Dr. Tim Grayson, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Strategic Technology Office, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time July 20. This event, hosted by AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, will examine the new policy paper, “Speed is Life: Accelerating the Air Force’s Ability to Adapt and Win,” by the institute's Heather Penney, which explores this vision and charts a pathway that the Air Force and other services must adopt to succeed in an increasingly complex set of threats.

OPINION: How the Space Force Plans to Improve Arctic Communication

“The Department of the Air Force, through the U.S. Space Force and Air Force Research Laboratory, is embarking on two ventures with sweeping implications for the Arctic region and for how the department does business there. Both projects have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of the region’s residents, and both rely on collaborating outside the U.S. government to adapt and move quickly,” writes Space Force Lt. Gen. Bill Liquori, deputy chief of space operations for strategy, plans, programs, requirements, and analysis; and Iris Ferguson, a senior adviser to the U.S. Air Force, who authored the service’s Arctic Strategy.

Here’s What We Already Know About Russia’s New Stealth Fighter


Russia’s infamous Sukhoi Su-57 has had more than its fair share of issues on the long road to production, but the nation may have a saving grace inbound in the form of an all-new stealth fighter set to be unveiled later this month. Details about the new platform are somewhat scarce, but statements made by officials, glimpses of images online, and formal announcements about the aircraft combine to make for a fairly fleshed-out idea of what this new fifth-generation jet is all about.

A US-German ‘Window of Opportunity’ Is Closing, Experts Warn

Defense One

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the White House on July 15 could be one of the last chances for the United States to address some of its biggest issues with a top ally in the near term, experts warn, including how to confront a rising China. Merkel is meeting with President Joe Biden for what the White House is calling a “working visit” on what is likely her last trip to Washington before she leaves her position in the fall.

Multidomain Cloud Ready for Operational Use, Drone Swarm Nearly There, Says British Air Chief

Britain’s Royal Air Force chief has said he is ready to declare a multidomain combat cloud capability as operational, and is approaching the same state for swarming drone technology. The announcement about the military cloud capability follows successful trials earlier this year. “We’ve been working on this in our Rapid Capabilities Office, and I can announce today that we are now at the point where our combat cloud, called Nexus, can begin to be introduced operationally,” Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshal Mike Wigston told the Global Air Chiefs’ Conference in London on July 14.

A Fleet of 25 F-22 Raptor Stealth Fighters Will Soon Train for War in the Pacific


A number of United States Air Force stealth F-22 Raptors are slated to take part in an upcoming military exercise in the Western Pacific that is designed to test and improve the Air Force’s ability to operate in a contested environment. That exercise is Pacific Iron 2021, and while the Air Force has not revealed when the exercise will be taking place—saying only that Pacific Iron 2021 is scheduled for some time in July—it will involve a large number of Air Force personnel and equipment.

Some Suspected Assassins of Haitian President Received US Training, Pentagon Confirms

The Pentagon on July 15 confirmed that some of the suspected assassins of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse had received training from the U.S. military while they were serving in the Colombian military. In a statement, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman said a review of training databases showed a "small number" of the Colombians who were detained as part of the investigation into Moïse's assassination had taken part in U.S. military training and education programs.

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Air Force Defends Plan to Improve Only One Child Care Center Despite DOD Report Citing Poor, Failing Facilities across Service

Stars & Stripes

Air Force officials on Wednesday defended their plan to replace just one child-care center in 2022, despite a Defense Department report last year identifying more than 70 service child-care facilities needing upgrades. The 2020 report mandated by Congress found 72 “poor” and four “failing” Air Force child development facilities. However, an Air Force official said during a subpanel hearing of the House Armed Services Committee that the service has requested $20 million in its fiscal 2022 proposed budget for only one child-care development center to be replaced at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas.

2nd SOPS Accepts New GPS satellite

Space Force release

The 2nd Space Operations Squadron, part of Space Delta 8 headquartered at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, operationally accepted GPS III Space Vehicle 05, the newest satellite in its modernized Global Positioning System constellation, June 29, 2021. The satellite enables enhanced worldwide Military Code (M-code) coverage. Operational acceptance occurs when the satellite is handed from the acquisition community, which purchased the satellite and contracted for its launch, to the operational squadron to execute global operations.

One More Thing

Air Force Plans 3D Scans of Facilities

Defense Systems

The Air Force wants high-resolution 3D scans of the interiors and exteriors of its facilities so it can give civil engineers, firefighters, and medical responders greater insight into the condition of buildings before and during emergencies.