The Pentagon’s top official overseeing nuclear and missile defense policy, including a review of America’s atomic weapons posture set to be completed early next year, is leaving her post at the end of the month after only eight months on the job. The Defense Department is reportedly eliminating her job in a reorganization effort.
U.S. service members living in locations gripped by housing shortages and ballooning rental costs worsened by the coronavirus pandemic may get some relief through an increase in their Basic Allowance for Housing as early as Oct. 1. Or maybe they won't. So far, the Pentagon has declined to say whether the increase will be approved, despite an apparent memo circulating online and percentage increases posted by one service.
The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin have provided new looks and additional insights into a recent full demonstration of the Rapid Dragon air-launched palletized munitions concept. On this occasion, surrogate weapons were delivered from the cargo holds of a C-17A Globemaster III airlifter and an EC-130J Super J, a psychological warfare platform based on the classic Hercules transport.
With the Air Force aiming to develop, deploy, and maintain the new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent at a rapid pace starting in 2029 and lasting for decades, the need for a broad strategy encompassing cybersecurity, digital engineering, and other new technologies has never been greater, and that will require integrated support like never before.
A major overhaul to the Air Force’s officer promotion system last year has improved diversity and bolstered readiness, with more updates planned in the next six months. The service is moving toward a system that incentivizes a baseline set of leadership qualities as well as the skills and tasks that spell success in each profession, rather than judging all Airmen on accomplishments most often garnered by pilots and other frontline troops.
Agencies will soon get more flexibility in their hiring toolkit, this time to help recruit military spouses. A new final rule from the Office of Personnel Management, published Sept. 21, will allow agencies to forgo the traditional government hiring procedures and noncompetitively appoint some military spouses to certain positions.
Virtual “gladiators”— digitally designed, highly autonomous drones—will spar in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s new Golden Horde Colosseum to test technologies enabling them to swarm a target or pair with piloted aircraft. The aim of the contests, under an initiative called Operation Protovision, “is to provide a virtual environment where we can bring the best of breed that industry has in collaborative weapons, whether it’s autonomous software or networked radios, and look for opportunities for them to have a virtual environment and have a bit of a virtual face off,” Maj. Gen. Heather L. Pringle, AFRL director, said.
The red, white, and blue paint scheme selected by former President Donald Trump for the next Air Force One has not been finalized, a top Air Force general said Sept. 21. A final decision about the color will be made closer to when the planes enter service, which is now even later than planned due to supply chain issues, according to Lt. Gen. Duke Z. Richardson, the Air Force military deputy for acquisition.
Israel’s air force has asked the U.S. to allow greater access to the core avionics of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters with the goal of installing new Israeli-developed systems onto the stealth fighter, according to a top Israeli officer. “The effort is to find the right balance between the U.S. restrictions and the Israeli operational demands,” Brig. Gen. Nir Barkan, Israeli Air Force chief of the air staff and the No. 2 officer for the IAF, said in an exclusive interview with Breaking Defense.
In what became an unexpected joint mission on the afternoon of Sept. 21, an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon intercepted an Army soldier-piloted Cessna that accidentally intruded upon restricted airspace during a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Two empty liquor bottles were found this month on one of Boeing’s new Air Force One planes under development in San Antonio, people familiar with the matter said. The discovery of miniature bottles of tequila on one of the future U.S. presidential jets is under investigation by the company, these people said. It couldn’t be determined where on the plane the bottles were discovered.