Arctic airmen

Here’s How Airmen Are Training to Survive in the Arctic

In the Arctic the weather is the adversary, and training is key to survival. Arctic Edge, Alaska's largest joint force exercise this year, includes 1,000 U.S. and Canadian forces training throughout the state. It is one of several Arctic training exercises occurring simultaneously this month.
NATO eastern flank

U.S. Troop Presence on NATO’s Eastern Flank Could Expand Amid Fears of Reprisal

NATO defense ministers will meet in Brussels, Belgium, March 16 with leaders from Finland, Sweden, and Ukraine after Russian missiles struck some 10 miles from NATO's border March 13. Amid concerns that Russia could target NATO's eastern flank countries militarily for providing defense assistance to Ukraine, the defense ministers are expected to discuss expanding NATO troops' medium- and long-term presence on the eastern flank; and new ways to help Ukraine.
somalia

Somalia Drawdown Has Been Ineffective, ‘Puts Troops at Greater Risk,’ AFRICOM Boss Says

It’s been more than 15 months since then-President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to withdraw the majority of its troops from Somalia. Since then, service members have had to “commute to work,” flying in from places such as Kenya and Djibouti to help train Somali forces and conduct operations against al-Shabab, the terrorist group that is part of al-Qaeda. That setup, the head of U.S. Africa Command told lawmakers, isn’t working.
hypersonic tracking

New Missile Tracking Satellites Could Be in Orbit by 2025

The Defense Department could have higher-resolution, global missile warning and tracking in place as soon as 2025. Congress seeded "Tranche 1" of the Space Development Agency’s Tracking Layer of its planned multi-use satellite constellation in the newly passed fiscal 2022 spending bill. The extra $550 million Congress gave SDA, above what DOD asked for, in fiscal 2022 means the Tracking Layer could go live in early 2025 instead of in 2026.

Watch, Read: China ‘Executing Some Nefarious Activities’ in Indo-Pacific

Retired Lt. Gen. Bruce ”Orville” Wright, president of the Air Force Association, hosts a discussion with Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach, commander of Pacific Air Forces, and Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, deputy chief of space operations for operations, cyber, and nuclear titled “China: The Pacing Challenge” during the AFA Warfare Symposium on March 3, 2022. Watch the video or read the transcript below.

Radar Sweep

Air Force Special Ops Chief Says It’s Time to Embrace New Missions

Air Force Times

Lt. Gen. Jim Slife is racing the clock. In June, the Air Force Special Operations Command boss will hit the three-year mark in the top post, around the time when his predecessors have moved on to another assignment or headed into retirement. Slife is using his remaining time in the seat to plan for an era in special operations that could look much different than the past 20 years of war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

Service Members Not Getting Adequate Help for Alcohol Use, Watchdog Finds

Military.com

Service members who were diagnosed with alcohol use disorder didn't receive proper treatment to address their issues, and some received no care at all, according to a new report from the Department of Defense's Inspector General that reviewed surveys from 2018 to 2020. The findings come as the military tries to grapple with alcohol and substance use within the ranks as it puts service members at a higher risk of experiencing anxiety, depression, and, at worst, suicidal thoughts.

DOD Acquisition Nominee’s Hearing Set for March 22

Defense News

President Joe Biden’s nominee for Pentagon acquisition chief, Bill LaPlante, will have his Senate Armed Services Committee nomination hearing March 22, according to a Senate aide. LaPlante is a former Air Force acquisition chief. The administration has faced a lengthy delay in filling the role of undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, a key position in the Pentagon’s race to compete with China technologically.

Biden's Nuclear Spending Plans Just Got More Complicated

Defense One

Anti-nuke activists have long suggested that America’s nuclear weapons are too costly as well as too dangerous. Now they’re finding common ground with military and security experts who say planned upgrades to the strategic arsenal would crowd out a host of other, more cost-effective, programs. How much does it cost the United States to be a nuclear superpower? Is the cost actually prohibitive? And is any real change wanted or expected from the Biden administration?

Space Station Operations Remain Normal Despite Geopolitical Tensions

SpaceNews

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not affected operations of the International Space Station or plans for a NASA astronaut to return home on a Soyuz spacecraft late this month, according to agency officials. At a briefing about a pair of upcoming spacewalks at the station, Joel Montalbano, NASA ISS program manager, emphasized repeatedly that the geopolitical tensions on Earth between Russia and the West have not extended to the ISS.

Missile Warning & Defense

Air Force Magazine

Defending against missile threats launched in, at, or through space has never been more challenging—or important. Learn more on Air Force Magazine’s Missile Warning & Defense page.

Taiwan Grounds Mirage Fighter Jets After Crash

UPI

A Taiwanese Mirage 2000 fighter jet crashed into the sea March 14 during a routine combat training mission, the island's air force said, prompting the military to ground the fleet. The solo pilot took off from Taitung Air Base in the morning and reported a mechanical malfunction roughly an hour later, the Taiwan Air Force said in a statement. The pilot safely ejected some 10 nautical miles south of the base and was rescued.

Air Force Completes First Crewed Flight of ALIA eVTOL Aircraft

Auto Evolution

Air Force pilots Hank "Hog" Griffiths and Maj. Jonathan Appleby flew Beta Technologies' ALIA eVTOL for the first time. The flight test took place at Beta's facility in Plattsburgh, N.Y., marking the culmination of a two-year collaboration between the Vermont-based aerospace company and the Agility Prime program. Launched two years ago, the program focuses on accelerating the commercial market for eVTOL aircraft. Since 2020, Air Force engineers have collaborated with Beta's flight test team to build and optimize ALIA in order to bring electric aviation closer to reality.

OPINION: Russian ‘Nuclear 9/11’ Threats Against US Spike

Washington Examiner

“Despite shrugs from some Biden administration intelligence chiefs as to whether Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats are just bluster, there are growing concerns that the Kremlin means business and the United States is failing to prepare for an attack. A division among intelligence officials, and the administration’s hope that it can talk Putin into de-escalating the threats and war against Ukraine, have kept U.S. readiness at the lowest level of DEFCON 5,” writes Paul Bedard.

One More Thing

Air Force Pilot Recognized 26 Years After Heroic Sacrifice During Terrorist Attack

Task and Purpose

When 800 mourners gathered for the funeral of Air Force Capt. Christopher Adams on Long Island, N.Y., in July 1996, few could hold back their tears. The 30-year-old Adams was beloved by his community and by his fellow Airmen, one of whom he gave his life to save in the moments before a deadly terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia. Now, 26 years later, Adams has been recognized for his sacrifice by his former unit, the 71st Rescue Squadron, which awarded him a posthumous Airman’s Medal at a ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.

This Day in Airpower
Celebrating 75 Years of Air and Space Power