van ovost

Van Ovost Takes Command of TRANSCOM, Pledging to ‘Underpin Lethality’

Air Force Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost assumed command of U.S. Transportation Command during a ceremony at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., on Oct. 15, becoming just the second woman to lead a unified combatant command. To meet new challenges, the military needs “every Jackie Van Ovost that we can get,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III during the change-of-command ceremony. Austin pointed to her trailblazing career as a test pilot who has flown more than 30 kinds of aircraft for the Air Force.
space force acquisition

Space Force Shakes Up Acquisition Again in Effort to Achieve Efficiencies

The Space Force confirmed that it will reorganize space acquisition and space policy authorities starting Oct. 18 in an effort to streamline decision-making in line with Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall’s plan announced in August. The Department of the Air Force's plan involves breaking out space policy from the as-yet unnamed space acquisitions chief. The move would reduce the number of personnel required to sign off on policy decisions by transferring space policy to the Chief of Space Operations and the Secretary of the Air Force. 
lockheed martin

Lockheed Martin Says It Will Compete for Advanced Fighter Trainer

Lockheed Martin plans to enter the Advanced Tactical Trainer fray to supply the Air Force with a new jet to bridge undergraduate flight instruction and fighter training units, but the company declined to say whether it will offer a T-50A derivative, a different non-developmental airplane, or a clean-sheet design. Its comments suggest the latter.

Radar Sweep

Russia Says It Pushed US Destroyer From Area Near Its Waters

The Associated Press

Russia’s Defense Ministry said a Russian warship on Oct. 15 prevented a U.S. Navy destroyer from what it described as an attempt to intrude into Russia’s territorial waters in the Sea of Japan. The incident came as Russia and China conducted joint naval drills in the area and follows other dangerously close encounters involving Russian and Western warships.

OPINION: Shaving Waivers Disproportionately Affect Black Airmen, Delay Promotions

Air Force Times

“As dermatologists on Active duty in the United States Air Force, we are appealing to our service’s leaders to re-evaluate the policies prohibiting facial hair growth in male members. Among the authors, it has been widely accepted for years that these regulations do not likely enhance readiness but instead lead to a discriminatory effect against shaving waiver holders that especially affects our Black/African American members,” writes Lt. Col. Simon Ritchie, who leads a small team of clinicians that recently completed a study published in the Journal of Military Medicine regarding shaving waivers in the USAF and their impact on rates of promotion.

Taliban Could Lose Power Amid Governance Struggles, Experts Say

Defense One

For the Taliban, winning was easy, but governing is proving to be harder. Two months after the terrorist group seized control of Afghanistan, fighters who have spent the past two decades as insurgents are struggling to govern the country’s 40 million residents, experts say. If the Taliban government fails to provide for citizens’ basic needs, including food, water and medical care, it, too, could find itself pushed out of power sooner rather than later, said Asfandyar Mir, a senior expert at the United States Institute of Peace.

‘The Enemy Is Lurking in Our Bodies’—Women Veterans Say Toxic Exposure Caused Breast Cancer

The War Horse

Numbers for breast cancer in military women have been high for years, but as veterans returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, rumors began to swirl: The cancers are hitting young—and they’re extraordinarily aggressive. From fiscal year 2000 to fiscal year 2015, Veterans Affairs saw the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer increase by five times for women ages 45 to 64.

F-35 Engine Rivals Prepare For Another Clash

Breaking Defense

As the Pentagon looks to increase the power of the F-35 joint strike fighter’s engine while cutting costs, Pratt & Whitney and General Electric could be less than a year away from finding themselves in a rematch over the future of the stealth fighter’s propulsion system.

Pentagon Orders Texas Contractors to Mandate Vaccines for Employees, Despite Governor’s Ban

Defense One

Defense contractors and their employees in Texas must get the COVID-19 vaccine despite the governor’s executive order banning vaccine mandates, the Pentagon said Oct. 14. The Pentagon said in a statement that federal guidance supersedes local laws, like the executive order issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Oct. 11. It pointed to federal guidance issued in September.

Space Force Wants to Learn How Venture Capitalists Assess Startups


An agreement just announced between the U.S. Space Force and a venture capital firm is a pilot project intended to help government buyers understand how investors assess space industry startups. The Space Force would like better insight into how venture investors gauge the potential of technologies developed by commercial businesses, said Gabe Mounce, deputy director of SpaceWERX.

Small Wright-Patterson Office Quietly Creates New Space Force Uniforms


When the U.S. military wanted to define the look of its newest branch, it turned to Tracy Roan and her team of designers in the Air Force Uniform Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. U.S. Space Force recently unveiled prototypes of its new “service dress” uniforms, the result of more than a year of work by a small crew of 21 people based at Wright-Patterson, the Air Force base with the largest working population responsible for cradle-to-grave management of a huge array of weapons and materiel.

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Proposal Imagines Air Force Academy Facility With Food That’s Out of This World

Stars and Stripes

Some Air Force Academy cadets want the service to fund a facility to study farming techniques that could someday be used on the moon to feed U.S. troops deployed in space. The cadet club USAFA Green designed an agricultural testing facility for entry into the Air Force’s annual Spark Tank innovation challenge. While it would be based in Colorado Springs, Colo., it would allow research for “any environment,” they say.

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Aviation Supply Chain Faces Mounting Strain as Demand Picks Up


Global shipping and supply chain disruptions are making it harder for corporate planemakers and suppliers to meet resurgent demand for parts, according to industry executives and analysts. Disruptions, which are also hitting commercial aviation, are beginning to drive up costs and risk slowing down the aerospace industry's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

One More Thing

Early Mexican Aviators at the Moisant Aviation School

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

On September 25, 1912, Alberto Salinas Carranza and Gustavo Salinas Camiña received their pilot licenses from the Aero Club of America. The Salinas cousins were the first of a group of five Mexican pilots sent by their government to the United States to study at the Moisant Aviation School at Hempstead, Long Island. Horacio Ruiz and brothers Juan Pablo and Eduardo Aldasoro would soon earn their licenses as well. The photographs and correspondence found in the collection of Shakir S. Jerwan, their “profesor,” provide a unique glimpse into the early history of Mexican aviation.