Wargames Show Air Force Isn’t Accelerating Fast Enough, Hinote Says

The Air Force’s mantra under Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. has been to “accelerate change or lose,” but the most recent wargaming indicates, so far, the latter, according to Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, the Air Force’s futurist. The corrective action is to speed up the deployment of large numbers of unmanned systems and to proliferate operating locations to complicate an enemy’s decision-making, he said. “Unfortunately, the wargaming says that we’re not accelerating our change fast enough,” said Hinote, the deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration, and requirements, during a webinar hosted by the Center for a New American Security. Brown’s mantra is proved right by the outcomes of recent exercises—about which Hinote did not elaborate—saying, simply, “We’ve got to go faster.”
Army Hypersonics

US Army Likely to Field DOD’s First Hypersonic Weapons in Next ‘Year or Two’

The first battle-ready U.S. hypersonic weapon will be fielded within a year or two by the Army, and the Navy is not far behind, according to the Department of Defense official overseeing research into the emerging and disruptive technology. The Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon program has already fielded transporter-erector-launchers and other ground elements, noted Gillian Bussey, director of DOD’s Joint Hypersonics Transition Office. “The only thing that's missing is the missile,” she said.
B-1 bomber

Bomber Task Force Europe Completes Mission as Russia Threatens Partners in East

As Russia threatens U.S. partners in Eastern Europe with another unexplained troop buildup, the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron completed a six-week bomber task force mission Nov. 15 across the North Sea, Baltics, and Black Sea region, integrating coalition capabilities and practicing agile combat employment. The Bomber Task Force Europe mission had been previously scheduled and was not directly related to the buildup. Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said the intent of Russia’s movements are not clear.

Amendments Abound as Senate Starts Process of Passing 2022 NDAA

After weeks of waiting, the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act is on the move in the Senate as Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) took action on the bill Nov. 15. The move comes after pressure from members of both parties in the House and Senate urging Schumer to take up consideration of the annual defense policy bill, which is considered “must-pass” legislation every year.

Air Force Fails Audit Again, Says It’s Made Progress

The Department of the Air Force once again failed its audit for fiscal 2021, but leaders say they’re making progress in cleaning up the department’s books, with hopes of a clean audit later this decade. The independent public accounting firm Ernst & Young identified 19 major issues, classified as “material weaknesses,” that are preventing the Air Force from passing the audit. That’s down from 22 a year ago and 23 two years before that. The Air Force has been undergoing full financial audits for four consecutive years and has never passed.

Radar Sweep

Could Kinetic Warfare Go the Way of Blockbuster? US Air Force Chief

Breaking Defense

International air forces could learn a lesson from Netflix about how to use technology to decimate an enemy, the U.S. Air Force’s top general told an audience of international air chiefs Nov. 13. After running Blockbuster out of business by offering DVD rentals delivered to customers’ doorsteps, Netflix revolutionized media consumption by creating the first widespread movie streaming service, effectively turning a hardware product into a software product, said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. A similar revolution could be coming in warfare as advances in artificial intelligence, supercomputing, cyber weapons, and space point to an ever-increased reliance on data and software, as well as a trend toward non-kinetic effects, he said.

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Austin Orders Briefing on 2019 Syria Airstrike That Killed Dozens

New York Times

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III has ordered the military’s top commander in the Middle East to brief him on details of a U.S. airstrike in Syria in 2019 that killed dozens of women and children, the Pentagon said Nov. 15. “I’m not going to relitigate a strike that happened back in March of 2019,” Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said, but: “We also want to take a look at ourselves.”

‘Brittle’ Air Refueling Capability Endangers US During Major War

Defense News

The U.S. military’s aerial refueling capability has become “brittle” and aged, placing the nation at risk of being unable to sustain combat against a major adversary, a new report from the Hudson Institute said. “Without significant changes [the Defense Department] risks fielding air forces unable to conduct complex, distributed operations at scale,” the report said. “During conflict, adversaries may be emboldened to exploit vulnerabilities in both the brittle aerial refueling architecture and U.S. operational plans more broadly. As the strength of the U.S. aerial refueling architecture becomes a weakness, U.S. military forces may be incapable of deterring or defeating aggression.”

Texas A&M Commits $50 Million to Full Rides for ROTC Scholarship Recipients

Texas A&M Today

Texas A&M University announced it will award $5 million in scholarships annually for 10 years to cover room and board for members of the Corps of Cadets who are ROTC scholarship recipients, which currently is more than 700 students. ROTC scholarships cover all tuition and fees, but not room and board, so Texas A&M’s funding will close the gap, providing full-ride scholarships.

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Plane-Makers Grab Deals at Dubai Airshow


Global aerospace firms have secured tentative or firm orders for more than 400 airplanes at the Dubai Airshow, building on signs of a recovery from a global pandemic that has shattered the industry's profits.

Aircraft Propulsion: The Power of Modern Propulsion

Air Force Magazine

The engines that power the Air Force are the best in the world. But as technology continues to evolve, new improvements promise greater power, range, and other capabilities. Read the latest on advances in aircraft engines and propulsion technology.

DOD Eager to Leverage LEO Broadband Constellations


The U.S. Defense Department for decades has relied on geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) communications satellites stationed 36,000 kilometers above the equator. The military also is a major customer of the Iridium low-Earth orbit (LEO) constellation that provides satellite phone and narrowband data transmission services. Military users are now hungry for low-latency broadband services from the likes of OneWeb, SpaceX, Telesat, and Amazon that promise to connect the world via thousands of satellites in much lower orbits than traditional comsats.

Air Force Turns to Virtual Reality for Suicide and Sexual Assault Training


Texas-based Air Force officials and their spouses are being immersed in simulations of difficult sexual assault and suicide scenarios—via virtual reality—to become better equipped to deal with such encounters in their real-world military operations. A new training program designed to support staff was recently implemented by members of the 317th Maintenance Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, marking the latest of multiple virtual reality-driven applications being deployed there.

SPACECOM Reorganizing Amidst Theater Component Command Debate

Breaking Defense

Commander of U.S. Space Command Army Gen. James H. Dickinson has signed off on the creation of a new operational component command as part of an effort to streamline his current subordinate command chain. “SPACECOM is going to have Joint Force Space Component Command as our primary warfighting command,” one SPACECOM source said. However, final details aren’t likely to emerge until early next year.

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Pentagon: Austin Has Authority to Mandate Vaccines Despite Okla. Guard’s Attempt to Cancel Requirement

Stars and Stripes

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III has the authority to order National Guard troops to receive the coronavirus vaccine even while they are on state duty, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said. Kirby’s comments followed a memo by newly appointed Oklahoma Adjutant General Thomas Mancino that told Oklahoma National Guard troops that they are no longer required to receive the vaccine despite a federal policy mandating the shots for all service members.

Airmen From the 109th Airlift Wing Begin Their Journey to Antarctica

ABC News 10

Airmen from the Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing are on their way to Antarctica to assist scientists as part of Operation Deep Freeze, which crews from the 109th have supported since 1988. “Once you start flying this mission, it gets in your blood, and you don’t ever want to leave it,” said Col. Cliff Souza, operations group commander. “The logistics capacity does not exist outside the Department of Defense to be able to support that type of effort in Antarctica."

Production T-7 Red Hawk Nearing First Flight


The first production example of Boeing’s T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer for flight trials is taking shape in St. Louis, Mo., as mechanics install its final components prior to the beginning of ground tests. Boeing hopes to get the aircraft into the air by the end of the year while acknowledging some delays to the assembly caused by the pandemic. Another four T-7As have entered the assembly flow.

Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory Wins $1 billion Contract From AFRL


The Air Force Research Laboratory announced Nov. 15 it has awarded its largest-ever contract for space technology development to Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory. “The partnership will accelerate critical space science and technology projects, especially when we need to quickly respond to urgent and unexpected needs,” said Col. Eric Felt, director of the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate.

One More Thing

US Air Force Team Rescues Man Having Heart Attack on Board Cargo Ship in Indian Ocean


A U.S. Air Force team based in Africa rescued a British citizen who had suffered a heart attack on board an American cargo ship in the Indian Ocean this weekend, according to the U.S. military. The Warfighting Recovery Network received an "urgent request" on Nov. 13 for a mariner "experiencing symptoms of a heart attack" on a U.S.-flagged cargo ship about 500 nautical miles off the coast of Kenya, U.S. Africa Command said. After the urgent call came in, a team of five U.S. Air Force pararescuemen were deployed.