The U.S. Air Force is launching an environmental impact study of proposed changes to large flight training areas in rural Arizona to allow military aircraft to fly lower, practice later at night, and cover more territory. Three alternatives to be studied would change flight restrictions in areas northwest of Phoenix, west and southwest of Tucson, and in parts of southeastern and east-central Arizona extending into western New Mexico.
The Pentagon’s new central hub dedicated to overseeing its data and artificial intelligence efforts has reached initial operating capability, a key milestone for the department as it works toward becoming a digital and AI-enabled enterprise. It'll take on the mission with a half-billion-dollar budget. The Office of the Chief Digital and AI Officer will be responsible for scaling up data, analytics, and AI to enable faster and better decision-making “from campaigning to conflict,” according to a senior defense official. The office reached IOC Feb. 1, the official told reporters at a roundtable organized by the Pentagon.
“Even as the U.S. Intelligence Community warns that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could come this month, the German government has rebuffed Ukrainian requests for defensive weapons. While Kyiv requested urgently needed ships and weapons, Berlin decided to send helmets,” write Bradley Bowman, senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Ryan Brobst, a research analyst.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried a classified payload from the National Reconnaissance Office that will be placed about 318 miles above Earth's surface.
The future of Aerojet Rocketdyne appears on shaky ground, with its $4.4 billion merger with Lockheed Martin seemingly dead in the water and a public war brewing among the company’s leadership. On Feb. 1, Aerojet Rocketdyne announced it had begun an internal investigation into Warren Lichtenstein, who has been the company’s executive chairman since 2016. Earlier that day, SPH Group Holdings—an affiliate of Lichtenstein’s Steel Partners Holdings—filed documentation to replace four of Aerojet’s existing board members, including CEO and President Eileen Drake.
The Pentagon’s research and engineering chief is crafting a new strategy for investment in 14 critical technology areas, writing in a new memo that “creative application” of emerging concepts is key to maintaining an edge over adversaries. The Feb. 1 memo, first reported by Inside Defense, does not lay out a timeline for when the strategy will be complete but notes the work will be informed by the 2022 National Defense Strategy and structured around three pillars: mission focus, foundation building, and succeeding through teamwork.
“The need to enable Joint All Domain Operations (JADO) to keep ahead of the adversary threat has been well documented and studied, as has the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) infrastructure needed to enable JADO. There are two major challenges to realizing the JADC2 vision. The first is finding ways to utilize existing assets in future solutions, and second is determining how best to apply the commercial cloud to military environments. Collins Aerospace is focused on addressing both challenges at the tactical edge,” writes Elaine Bitonti, the vice president of JADC2 Demonstration and Experimentation for Collins Aerospace.
The Air Force will fund demonstrations of space internet services by which military users could access broadband services from commercial constellations in different orbits. The Air Force Research Laboratory announced plans for these demonstrations in a Jan. 31 solicitation. The military wants to be able to use internet services from satellites in geosynchronous, medium, and low orbits relying on a common user terminal, a capability that is being marketed by the industry but AFRL wants to see further demonstrated.
Gen. Anthony Cotton, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, announced the establishment of Project Tuskegee, a new partnership with Tuskegee University in which Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from the university are exposed to the opportunities available as an AFGSC “Striker.” “All Airmen stand on the shoulders of the Tuskegee Airmen,” Cotton said. “The Tuskegee Airmen were critical to the success of bomber forces during World War II, proving that we are better when everyone has an opportunity to contribute.”
California, Colorado, and Florida are home to the first set of Space Force bases, but none of the departments of motor vehicles in those three states offer license plates commemorating the new military service. While each state has numerous options for former and current service members, Space Force Guardians have been left off the list.
After 87 years as the Redskins and 18 months as the Washington Football Team, the franchise is now officially the Commanders. “Commander, basically, is Washington, D.C.,” retired NFL quarterback Joe Theismann, who led Washington to the Super Bowl in 1983, said in a Jan. 31 interview with CBS Sports Radio. ”A lot of commanders in Washington D.C., in the Pentagon, and a lot of different branches of the service.”