air combat command

NGAD, New Weapons, E-3 Replacement Among Air Combat Command’s Top Priorities, Kelly Says

The Next-Generation Air Dominance Fighter is Air Combat Command’s top priority, because without it, the Air Force can’t provide the control of the air the whole military depends on to operate, Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mark D. Kelly said. He also named a replacement for the E-3 AWACS, new weapons, and command and control improvements among the command’s top needs. Speaking at a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies virtual event, Kelly said the NGAD is really a multi-service requirement because the other services are “not remotely—remotely—designed to operate without” control of the air.

From the October Issue: Unmanned Flying Teammates

Robots will join the Combat Air Forces within the next decade, flying alongside manned airplanes, bearing extra munitions, assisting with surveillance and jamming, and even making kamikaze attacks to defend their wingmen. These Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft Systems (LCAAS), in development since 2015, seek to affordably increase the size and capability of the fleet without adding more pilots or the airborne life-support systems they require.
afghan evacuees

More than 53,000 Afghan Evacuees on US Bases as Pentagon Monitors Readiness

More than 53,000 Afghan evacuees remain at eight military bases throughout the continental U.S., but despite the resources needed to support that population, the military’s readiness has not been adversely affected, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said Oct. 25. Kirby did acknowledge the time and effort it is costing the military to maintain the infrastructure to support the evacuees and said the DOD continues to monitor for any impact on readiness.

AFRL, Industry to Launch Fourth-Generation Spacecraft Thermal Control

The Air Force Research Laboratory will soon have the first operational oscillating heat pipes flying in space, marking the first operational application of fourth-generation spacecraft thermal control. The technology, which was previously tested aboard the secretive X-37B reusable spaceplane, is expected to be used in space for the next 20 years and could enable smaller and more powerful spacecraft.

Radar Sweep

OPINION: Reviving a ‘Weak’ Department of the Air Force


“A stunning assessment was issued last week that highlights the growing mismatch between our national defense strategy and our armed services’ ability to execute that strategy. The Heritage Foundation released its annual military index report that objectively evaluated the readiness, capability, and capacity of the U.S. armed services. The ratings assigned to each service includes the following options: very weak, weak, marginal, strong, or very strong. The Marine Corps was the only service to receive a ‘strong’ overall assessment, while both the Army and Navy were deemed ‘marginal,’ and the Air Force and Space Force were labeled as ‘weak,’” writes retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Air Force Holds Week of F-15EX Tests at Nellis

Defense News

The Air Force is wrapping up the first weeklong operational test of its two new F-15EX Eagle II fighter jets. The F-15EXs, updated versions of the fourth-generation F-15 jet, took part in their first major test with the Air Force at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada from Oct. 18 to 25. The fighters—so far, the only F-15EXs that have been built—flew alongside F-15Cs and F-15Es, the Air Force said in an Oct. 25 release.

Despite Drug Shortages, Military Has Mostly Been Able to Find Alternative Supplies

Air Force Times

Amid news reports of increasing prescription drug shortages—worsened by current national supply chain issues—military officials say they’ve been able to work around them. “We do not see any trends on medication prescription shortages other than those listed on the [American Society of Health System Pharmacists] and [Food and Drug Administration] websites,” said Michelle McCaskill, spokesperson for the Defense Logistics Agency.

Israeli Air Force Drill 'Blue Flag' 2021 Enters Second Week

The Jerusalem Post

The fifth biannual Blue Flag exercise entered its second week, with thousands of troops and dozens of aircraft from around the world taking part in the most advanced aerial drill ever held in Israel. Along with the dozens of Israeli aircraft taking part, some 40 aircraft from Germany (six Eurofighters), Italy (five F-35 jets and five G550 planes), Britain (six Eurofighters), France (four Raphael jets), India (five Mirage jets), Greece (four F-16 jets), and the US (six F-16C jets) are taking part.

PODCAST: F-35: Getting Healthy, or Hard Broke? Part 2

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In episode 45 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, the Mitchell Institute explores the status of America’s newest fighter engine with top experts from Pratt and Whitney. Fighter aircraft are generally viewed as airframes, but it takes incredibly sophisticated jet engine technology to bring these airplanes to life. The F-35’s engine is a game changer, embodying state-of-the-art materials and design techniques that have revolutionized jet propulsion. But inventing new technology involves challenges, and the F-35’s engine is no exception. Learn more about this process by hearing from key engine team members.

Bill Seeks to End ‘Pink Tax’ for Women Buying Uniforms

A bipartisan pair of senators is looking to cut down on out-of-pocket costs female troops face when buying items for their uniforms. A bill introduced Oct. 20 by Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) aims to eliminate the so-called "pink tax," or the higher costs of women's uniforms compared to men's uniforms.

DOD’s New R&D Chief Prioritizes Moving Prototypes to Real-World Applications

Federal News Network

Across the sprawling defense bureaucracy, it’s not a stretch to say there are dozens of different organizations who each see themselves at the forefront of buying or building innovative technologies. So it makes a certain degree of sense for the Pentagon’s top technology official to start her tenure by asking who’s working on what.

Former Department of Defense Head of AI Ethics Joins Comcast


The former inaugural head of artificial intelligence ethics policy at the Department of Defense has joined Comcast Corp. as vice president for government and external affairs. Alka Patel left the DOD in October after 20 months working on developing policies for how the military will use AI while waging war. She departed before the final implementation of policies she had helped draft, and it remains unclear who will replace her in the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.

Taiwan Emerges as a ‘Pre-eminent Issue’ for CIA’s New China Directorate

Defense One

A possible Chinese takeover of Taiwan is “one of the No. 1 issues” occupying the new China Mission Center, CIA deputy director David Cohen said Oct. 24 at an Intelligence Community conference in Georgia. In March, then-INDOPACOM commander Adm. Philip Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Chinese threat toward Taiwan could “manifest … in the next six years.”