afghanistan veterans

Austin and Milley Tell Afghanistan Veterans: ‘Your Service Matters’

The service of more than 800,000 Afghanistan War veterans was not in vain, and it helped protect America from a terrorist attack for 20 years, said senior Pentagon officials Sept. 1. Both leaders admitted there would be time for after-action reports and lessons learned from the Afghanistan experience but said the core mission had been achieved. “We are all conflicted with feelings of pain and anger, sorrow and sadness, combined with pride and resilience,” Milley said. “One thing I am certain of for any Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine, and their family, your service matters. And it was not in vain.”
house armed services committee

HASC Approves Defense Budget Increase, Space National Guard

The House Armed Services Committee worked through its markup of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act on Sept. 1, largely agreeing with its Senate counterpart on the overall top line of the Pentagon's budget but breaking with it in regards to the establishment of a Space National Guard.
Secretary of Defense host Ukraine President

Ukraine, US Sign Defense Deal Amid Russian Threat

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky knows what it means to fight the Russians, and he came to Washington asking for more military assistance to help keep Russian President Vladimir Putin from encroaching further on Europe. President Joe Biden met with Zelensky at the White House on Sept. 1, one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and his Ukranian counterpart signed a new defense cooperation deal at the Pentagon aimed at improving Ukraine's military institutions and capabilities. Ukraine, the largest democracy in Eastern Europe, has been occupied and engaged in conflict with Russian-backed separatists for eight years following the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014. Since then, the United States has provided $2.5 billion in security assistance.
B-29 cockpit

‘FIFI’ is the B-29 Bringing WW2 History to Local Flight Lines

On the eve of the end of one war, a World War II bombardier relived a little of the final day of his own conflict leading up to its anniversary Sept. 2. Jack Klotz, 96, who served in the U.S. Army Air Forces from 1943 to 1945, was brought out to the flight line at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield, Colo., near Denver on Aug. 29 by his son to see “FIFI,” a Boeing B-29 Superfortress like the ones Klotz flew in during the war. Salvaged from the “boneyard” at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif., “FIFI” is one of only two “airworthy” B-29s, according to the CAF’s cockpit tour guides. It was one of the last made and never flew in active service.
outstanding airmen of the year

Outstanding Airmen of the Year: Senior Airman Giovanni Pacheco

The Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2021 will be formally recognized at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference from Sept. 20 to 22 in National Harbor, Md. Air Force Magazine is highlighting one each workday from now until the conference begins. Today, we honor Senior Airman Giovanni Pacheco, a career development journeyman from the 50th Force Support Squadron at Schriever Space Force Base, Colo.

Radar Sweep

‘A Vessel of Hope’—Air Force C-17 Crews Exhausted but Proud after Largest Airlift in US Military History

Task and Purpose

However you feel about the end of the war in Afghanistan, one thing is certain: The U.S. Air Force airlifted a hell of a lot of people and supplies in and out of Kabul since Aug. 15, when the city fell to the Taliban. By the time the last C-17 took off from Kabul on Monday, 120,000 Americans, Afghans, and other allies had been moved out of the city, according to the White House, all without a major aircraft mishap or accident, which is an achievement all its own considering the crowded airspace and limited air traffic control over Kabul.

Veterans Affairs Suicide Hotline Received More Than 35,000 Calls During Afghanistan Evacuation

Washington Examiner

The Veterans Affairs suicide hotline received an increase in calls during the final two weeks of the U.S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Veterans placed more than 35,000 calls to the Veterans Crisis Line between Aug. 13 and 29, according to VA data provided to the Washington Examiner, which coincides with the time period in which the U.S. military and coalition forces were embarking on what would become one of the largest airlifts in history.

Analysts See Shortfalls in Pentagon S&T Funding

National Defense Magazine

The Pentagon needs to invest more in science and technology programs to be prepared to deter or defeat advanced adversaries, according to a recent think tank report. President Joe Biden’s fiscal 2022 military budget request is a “mixed bag,” said a new Center for a New American Security study, “Risky Business: Future Strategy and Force Options for the Defense Department.”

A US F-22 Raptor Pilot Describes the Challenge of Going Up Against F-35 Red-air Aggressors

Business Insider

The US Air Force turned up the pressure this month at its premier air-to-air combat training exercise, for the first time adding F-35 stealth fighters flown by dedicated red-air aggressor pilots—who emulate the tactics of an enemy force—into the mix of threats that blue-air pilots face. Red Flag, which takes place at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, started as an air combat exercise but has evolved to include not just increasingly advanced aerial aggressor threats but also surface-to-air, space, and information threats.

SPONSORED: The Air Force and JTT-NG: A Situational Awareness Match Made in Heaven

Leonardo DRS

Leonardo DRS has developed the world’s smallest and most capable integrated broadcast service (IBS) solution in what is the new Joint Tactical Terminal (JTT-NG). With more capability packed into a smaller form, the system represents the best long-term solution for the Air Force in terms of performance and IBS connectivity.

Combatant Commands Worry About Service JADC2 Stovepipes

Breaking Defense

Combatant Command officials remain worried about whether the Defense Department will truly be able to create a joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) network to manage future, rapid-paced battles against China and Russia, given that the military services each continue to focus on building their own internal capabilities.

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EDITORIAL: Time for a Space National Guard

The Gazette (Colorado Springs)

Our nation’s defense effort high above the Earth would be reinforced with a National Guard of its own under legislation introduced in Congress this week by Colorado U.S. Reps. Jason Crow and Doug Lamborn. The U.S. Space Force, the country’s newest armed service branch, established under the Trump administration in 2019, would get the backup of a new Space National Guard. Many of its personnel would be based at Colorado’s Buckley, Peterson, and Schriever Space Force Bases in Aurora and Colorado Springs.

Top US Diplomat During Kabul Evacuation Tests Positive for COVID

Politico

Ross Wilson, who was the chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, recently tested positive for Covid-19, according to three people familiar with the matter. He currently only has very mild, cold-like symptoms, one of the people said. Wilson was evacuated from the U.S. Embassy to the Kabul airport Aug. 15 and spent the last couple weeks there helping in the rush to get American citizens, Afghan allies, and other vulnerable Afghans into the airport and onto planes to safety.

One More Thing

NASA's 'Quiet' X-59 Supersonic Plane is Coming Together as Space Agency Chases Faster Flight

Space.com

Supersonic planes are notoriously noisy, but NASA engineers think they can reduce the thunderous boom these planes produce into a barely audible thump by cleverly shaping the aircraft to minimize how it reflects sound waves. The raw structure of a prototype of such a plane, the X-59, has just been assembled at the facilities of NASA contractor Lockheed Martin in Palmdale, Calif., and might take to the sky as early as the end of 2022.