China sent 38 fighter jets toward self-ruled Taiwan in the largest display of force this year on China’s National Day. The People’s Liberation Army flew 25 fighter jets Oct. 1 in the first maneuver, then sent an additional 13 planes that night. Taiwan deployed air patrol forces in response and tracked the Chinese aircraft on its air defense systems, the island’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The pandemic is still rattling the economy and American workers, but it hasn’t been bad for Air Force recruiting and retention, according to new figures released by the service Oct. 1. For the first time in five years, all three components of the Air Force—Active duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve—achieved both their recruiting goals and end strength, Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, commander of the Air Force Recruiting Service, said in a release about figures for the past fiscal year ending in September.
Paper-based processes are giving way to digital solutions across the military, but the transition from spreadsheets to apps can be tricky. IT modernization efforts “frequently fail to deliver capabilities in a timely manner, incur cost overruns, and/or experience schedule slippages,” noted an April 2021 Government Accountability Office report. Often, the mission gets lost.
The dangers that kept the U.S. in Afghanistan for so long are already accumulating again, little more than a month after the last troops left in a chaotic withdrawal. The al-Qaida terrorist group that drew America into the country two decades ago is poised to come back under the ruling Taliban regime, or it never left at all, depending on whom you ask.
“Over the horizon” strikes against terror groups in Afghanistan will be conducted under the war powers act Congress authorized just days after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, the Pentagon said. The Biden administration has said such strikes will help the U.S. prevent terrorist attacks on American soil without the need for U.S. troops on the ground.
In episode 42 of the Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Advantage podcast, the team discusses the insights they garnered while hosting Air Force and Space Force leaders at AFA’s 2021 Air, Space, & Cyber Conference. Learn details about future force concepts; specific insights regarding next-generation fighters, the B-21, and future munitions; warfighting concepts designed to deter China; and factors shaping tomorrow’s Air Force and Space Force.
Senior IT modernization expert Jason Weiss has taken up the role of chief software officer at the Department of Defense. He moves into the new position after serving as director of software modernization at the department since January. In the new post, Weiss will oversee the adoption of modern software development practices and the modernization of legacy applications across the DOD.
The 176th Wing’s operations and maintenance groups were recognized with the 2021 Jolly Green Rescue Mission of the Year accolade. Over Memorial Day weekend, Guard members of the 176th Wing generated and flew 30 sorties culminating in more than 120 flight hours in two high-altitude rescue missions that saved 13 people in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
The Navy and Air Force have signed a memo that reaffirms previous reciprocity commitments over cybersecurity and the testing of new technology. The latest memo, which was published Sept. 27, requires officials to share security testing data for software between services to avoid duplication and reduce the cost of authorizing software for use within the the departments.
The Air Force has a new chief technology officer. Jay Bonci took his first government leadership position in August, following a career as a technology executive at Akamai. He takes over for Frank Konieczny—the former longtime CTO who retired earlier this year. Bonci joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Jared Serbu to talk a bit about the technology challenges he sees for the Air Force and what he hopes to achieve in the position.
When President Donald J. Trump signed the act establishing the United States Space Force in 2019, he made not only a sixth branch of the military but also a design challenge for the ages. The visual identity for a new armed service would have to be created from scratch, for the first time since the Air Force became independent from the Army in 1947.
A sword-wielding man dressed as a ninja attacked several special operations soldiers who were training at a California airport, reportedly forcing them to shelter in a hangar and inflicting wounds that required stitches. The bizarre assault took place at Inyokern Airport, an airfield in the Mojave Desert about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, sometime after 1 a.m. Sept. 18, according to what appears to be a military incident report shared on Instagram and Reddit and confirmed by U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command.