The Air Force has five B-21 Raider stealth bombers in development, but they won’t all roll out at once, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. told Defense One on Sept. 28, during the annual State of Defense conference. But there will be a special public splash when the service is ready to introduce its newest warplane, he said.
The head of the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office, Randy Walden, said that of the 40-odd programs his team manages, right now they need the most help with the department’s flagship battle management, command, and control effort.
President Joe Biden's top military officials on Sept. 28 and 29 testified that ahead of the chaotic exit from Afghanistan, in which 13 American troops and scores of civilians were killed, they recommended keeping troops in the country past August. That directly contradicts earlier comments by the President that he was never advised to keep troops in the country.
The U.S. military has started using artificial intelligence to guide its air strikes, according to Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall. Speaking at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Sept. 20, Kendall said the Air Force had recently “deployed AI algorithms for the first time to a live operational kill chain.” He didn’t give details of the strike, such as whether it was by a drone or piloted aircraft, or if there were civilian casualties.
Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. John Marks of the 442nd Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., on Sept. 1 became the only Airman ever to log 7,000 hours in the autocannon-toting A-10C Thunderbolt II attack plane. Marks joined the Active-duty Air Force in 1987 and moved into the Reserve after 14 years. He’s known for destroying 23 Iraqi tanks in one day in 1991 and hopes to keep flying until age 62—two years past the mandatory retirement age.
The U.S. Space Force has awarded Sev1Tech a $47.5 million contract to demonstrate a prototype data transport capability that will help connect its space operators with warfighters across the globe. The demonstration will be part of the Advanced Battle Management System, the Air Force’s contribution to joint all-domain command and control—a Department of Defense-wide initiative to connect sensors and shooters all over the world in real time.
The United States Space Force announced Sept. 29 it is partnering with Purdue University to help provide manpower and research in the years ahead. The partnership includes scholarships for interested ROTC students who are studying in academic areas needed by the Space Force.
Leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released legislation requiring critical infrastructure owners and operators to report cyberattacks to the government within 72 hours, while a bill is forthcoming requiring agencies and federal contractors to also report hacks. The bill released by Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-Ohio) would create a Cyber Incident Review Office within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to receive, aggregate, and analyze reported incidents.
Cloud computing is helping the Air Force reinvent everything from combat systems to working from home. Find out the latest on Air Force IT modernization here.
The last C-130H aircraft assigned to the 123rd Airlift Wing departed the Kentucky Air National Guard Base on Sept. 28 for its new home with the Delaware Air Guard. On site to see it off were dozens of maintainers, aircrew, and a former crew chief for the aircraft, which is named after Kentucky Derby winner Exterminator. Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Crosier was the plane’s dedicated crew chief for seven years, starting in 2001. He said its departure is bittersweet.
Dozens of local and state law enforcement officers converged on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., on Sept. 28 after reports of an active shooter. Turns out someone mistook an active shooter drill for the real thing. Although we now know Tyndall was conducting a drill, when law enforcement members got word of the possible situation, they acted fast.
If you are a “Star Trek” fan, you probably remember where you were Sept. 28, 1987, when “Star Trek: The Next Generation” premiered. STNG, as it is known among the fans, was the second live-action series created by Gene Roddenberry. Roddenberry was a pilot, and as such the “Star Trek” franchise is peppered with references to terrestrial aviation.