This year’s National Defense Authorization Act policy bill is almost certain to include amendments forcing the Defense Department to improve its understanding of who sells what parts and equipment to the United States military, with the broad aim of reducing dependence on Chinese sources. Six suggested amendments to that effect are included in a report released today by the Defense Critical Supply Chain Task Force.
Watch the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies’ virtual Nuclear Deterrence & Missile Defense Forum event with Robert Soofer, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, and John Harvey, former principal deputy assistant to the secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs. Soofer and Harvey discuss nuclear modernization and the next Nuclear Posture Review as well as layered missile defense and the SM-3 interceptor.
The Air Force has thousands of simulators and training environments to prepare pilots for combat but no way to access them all. The service is looking to remedy this by exploring new ways to enhance interoperability between its training platforms. Training systems are often developed for specific program offices with specific capabilities. Because of this, “simulators are often proprietary products, and there’s no way for those simulators to communicate,” said Kevin McFarland, acquisition lead for modeling simulation and analysis at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Architecture and Integration Directorate.
Imagine if every time you moved to a new home, you had to connect the electricity, plumbing, and internet all over again. All the wires, pipes, and switches connecting you to the world were your responsibility. That’s how the Air Force operates its information technology. For generations, it’s managed everything itself. Now that’s changing. The Department of the Air Force is pursuing a future in which it buys all its IT as a service, from cloud computing to networking and from email to the help desk.
Cloud technologies are accelerating change at every level of the Air Force—and the Space Force. Whether it's pure computational power to enable autonomy or advanced encryption to ensure mission-grade security, the future of IT is here and now.
“No good will come of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign to extort extra-legal ‘ethics’ commitments from defense execs nominated for Pentagon jobs. The Massachusetts Democrat’s crusade will only discourage otherwise qualified and willing individuals from serving, ultimately reducing the effectiveness of those positions,” writes Thomas Spoehr, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense and a retired Army lieutenant general.
As the U.S. Air Force restructures its aircraft inventory to compete with China, the service is taking calculated risks in its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft portfolio, a top general said July 21. In its fiscal 2022 budget request, the Air Force proposed mothballing four of its 16 E-8 JSTARS aircraft, which are used for ground surveillance and targeting, as well as 20 Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 surveillance drones.
Veterans Affairs officials are urging all veterans and family members to get vaccinated against coronavirus as cases begin to surge again across the country. “[There is] a growing crisis with the increase in hospitalizations from COVID-19, specifically from the Delta variant. More than 97 percent of hospitalized patients with COVID are not vaccinated,” Assistant Undersecretary for Health Carolyn Clancy warned lawmakers during a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing July 21.
Matthew Donovan, director of the Spacepower Advantage Research Center at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, said the multiple disparate organizations that share in space equities, research and development, acquisition, and operations are preventing Space Force effectiveness and efficiency in development of space capabilities, integrated space operations, and expenditure of funds.
Defense Secretary Lloyd J.Austin III plans to restart five major Pentagon advisory boards months after dissolving the panels that had been stacked with loyalists to former President Donald Trump. Just days after his confirmation, Austin in February fired members of the defense advisory boards, including many last-minute appointees by the Trump administration, and directed the immediate suspension of operations for all 42 panels while the Pentagon completed a "zero-based" review.
The future of U.S. combat forces in Iraq, and when a potential withdrawal might take place, will be on the table this week as Pentagon leaders talk with Iraqi officials. Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said the next round of U.S.-Iraq military talks were beginning July 23 to discuss how the two nations will work together on counterterrorism and other security issues.
One of the Air Force's Biggest Planes has Helped Pull Off Every Major Special Ops Mission Since Vietnam
The U.S. military has thousands of aircraft that can launch attacks and support conventional operations, from the futuristic F-35 and F-22 fighters to the venerable A-10 and AC-130 close air support planes. When it comes to supporting special-operations units, the MC-130 has an essential if little-known role. MC-130 variants have participated in every major and minor U.S. military campaign since the Vietnam War, backing up special-operations units in some of the biggest commando missions.