croatia f-16s

Aviano F-16 Fighters Deploy to Croatia After Drone Crash

A pair of F-16s deployed from Aviano Air Base, Italy, to Croatia on March 16, taking part in agile combat employment exercises and bolstering NATO’s southeastern flank, the Air Force announced. The F-16 fighters’ arrival comes just a few days after a military drone crashed in the Croatian capital of Zagreb amid nearby war between Russia and Ukraine.
isr aircraft

Traditional ISR Aircraft Still Have ‘Value,’ Pentagon Intelligence Officials Say

The Air Force has pushed to revamp its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations in recent years, focusing on new capabilities such as space-based ISR and next-generation platforms capable of multiple roles and penetrating contested airspace. Yet there still might be a role for older, legacy platforms to play in the ISR of the future, top Pentagon intelligence officials said.
head skunk

New Head Skunk for Lockheed Martin

John Clark will be the new head of Lockheed Martin's famed "Skunk Works" Advanced Development Programs unit, the company announced. Clark, who was Skunk Works' head of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and unmanned aircraft programs, is a 23-year veteran of the company. He succeeds Jeff Babione, who is retiring after more than 30 years with the company.
cybercom

Biden Administration Considers Splitting NSA, CYBERCOM

President Joe Biden’s administration and the Defense Department are looking at the possibility of splitting up control of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, reviving a long-running debate over how the two organizations are led. Since the stand-up of CYBERCOM in 2009, its commander has functioned in a dual-hat role as the director of the NSA, an arrangement meant to help the new combatant command get off the ground. Gen. Paul M. Nakasone currently holds both titles.
bulgaria ukraine

Austin Tries to Budge Bulgaria Toward Lethal Support for Ukraine

Bulgaria is one of the Eastern European countries that possesses the S-300 air defense systems that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said are urgently needed to repel Russia’s air assault. But the Black Sea NATO ally depends on Russian gas, which has contributed to its refusal of lethal assistance to Ukraine. The delicate dynamic is what Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III faces in meetings in Bulgaria. “The official position of the government is no military support, just humanitarian,” a Bulgarian defense official said. “But let's see what's going on in the next couple of days or weeks.”
space superiority

Watch, Read: Bringing Space Superiority Into the Light

Lt. Gen. Michael A. Guetlein hosts Bryan “Stu” Eberhardt, senior director, global sales and marketing, Boeing Satellites; Erich Hernandez-Baquero, executive director of Raytheon Intelligence and Space; and Sherman Johns, director of space strategy and growth, SAIC, to discuss "Space Superiority" at the AFA Warfare Symposium on March 3, 2022. Watch the video or read the transcript.

Radar Sweep

4 U.S. Marines Killed in Osprey Crash, Norway confirms

Marine Corps Times

Four U.S. Marines were killed in an MV-22 Osprey crash in Norway on March 17, according to Norwegian officials. The Marines, assigned to the 2nd Marine Air Wing, were in Norway as part of the biannual Cold Response exercise. The Marines were flying the vehicle toward Norwegian Air Force Base Bodø, Norway, north of the Arctic Circle, when it initially was reported missing around 6:30 p.m. Central European Time.

Russian Missiles Strike Ukrainian Aircraft Plant That Repairs MiG-29 Fighters

The Drive

On March 18, Russian missiles struck the Lviv State Aircraft Repair Plant in the western city of the same name, which lies just over 40 miles from the Polish border. This facility, among other things, is responsible for performing major maintenance on the country's MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets. This was the first strike on a target within Lviv, which is also a major transshipment point for foreign aid of various kinds entering Ukraine, since the beginning of the conflict.

Tennessee Guard Members Safe Despite Russian Reports

The Associated Press

Three current and former members of the Tennessee National Guard are safe and accounted for, despite a Russian newspaper’s false report that the men were killed while fighting in Ukraine. All three men named in a Russian news report, two of whom are still serving in the Tennessee National Guard, are alive and well—and no U.S. military personnel are currently on orders in Ukraine, National Guard Bureau spokesperson Wayne Hall said in a phone interview March 17.

2023 Budget Drops March 28, but Details Will Be Missing

Breaking Defense

President Joe Biden’s fiscal 2023 budget will hit the streets March 28, and it’s looking to be a record-breaking year for defense spending. The fiscal 2023 defense budget is expected to be largest ever requested, with a topline budget for the Defense Department sitting somewhere between $770 billion and $780 billion. Meanwhile, national security spending—which includes the Defense Department, defense-related spending from the Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Energy funds associated with nuclear weapons—could come in at $800 billion to $810 billion.

Long-Term Health Effects of Hawaii’s Fuel-Tainted Water are Unclear, CDC and Navy Say

Air Force Times

Military medical officials have formed a joint working group to address the immediate health issues of service members and families affected by the fuel-tainted water in Hawaii, but little is known about what the long-term health effects could be. It’s also not clear how the newly established Defense Department incident registry will track families into the future. All residents and assigned personnel on the affected water system are being automatically enrolled in the registry.

PODCAST: Airpower Deaf and Blind: Connectivity Under Assault

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In episode 68 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, host John “Slick” Baum engages with Steve Trimble of Aviation Week and Space Technology and Heather Penney of the Mitchell Institute to discuss a fight over how we manage spectrum—the ecosystem where we communicate electronically. Exchanging information allows us to better understand the battle space, team with various actors, seek zones to best net mission results, and avoid threats. If you don’t have a decision advantage, you’ll likely lose. But we’ve also had some wakeup calls to be careful how we manage these capabilities, most recently with the U.S. military losing access to one of its most important networks—Link 16.

Space Force Will Rely on Wearable Fitness Trackers by 2023, Raising Security and Privacy Concerns

Military.com

After waiting for two years, Space Force Guardians received official word from military leadership this week that the newest service branch will scrap the annual physical fitness test and will roll out a new plan that relies on wearable fitness trackers by 2023. But the reliance on personal fitness trackers has raised concerns among military security experts, especially after recent incidents in which fitness tracker data shared on social media revealed the locations of military bases and patrol routes.

International Talks on Space Norms to Continue, but US Will Not Engage Directly With Russia

SpaceNews

International talks aimed at preventing an arms race in space are expected to continue this year, a senior State Department official said March 17. However, bilateral U.S.-Russia space talks that had begun before the invasion of Ukraine are off the table for now. Eric Desautels, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for emerging security challenges and defense policy, said an “open ended working group” established by the U.N. General Assembly in December to address space security issues will hold its first session May 9-13 at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

UK Gets Green Light on Ballistic Missile Radar, C2 Asset Deal for $700M

Breaking Defense

The United Kingdom has received a green light to purchase a Ballistic Missile Defense Radar as well as an associated command and control system from the United States, a sale potentially worth up to $700 million. “The proposed sale will improve U.K.’s ability to meet current and future ballistic missile threats to the U.K. and NATO by improving the effectiveness of NATO BMD systems,” according to a State Department statement.

A Planned Mars Rover Is the Latest Victim of Russia’s War on Ukraine

Defense One

The European Space Agency has suspended its joint program with Russia to send a rover to Mars, citing the “impossibility” of working with the government that launched a war on Ukraine. On March 17, ESA and Russia’s Roscosmos space agency both announced measures to end their collaboration, showing how the geopolitical split between Russia and the West is scuttling peaceful cooperation in space, too.

Beshar Swears in as Department of the Air Force General Counsel

Air Force release

Peter J. Beshar was sworn in as the general counsel of the Department of the Air Force during a Pentagon ceremony March 18 following his confirmation to the role by the Senate on March 10. In his newest capacity, Beshar is the Department of the Air Force’s chief ethics official and legal officer, providing oversight, guidance, and direction to more than 2,600 Air Force military and civilian lawyers worldwide.

Subscription Required

OPINION: The US Space Force Is Preparing to Militarize Space. Good.

The Washington Post

“The U.S. Space Force was widely lampooned for its logo, which looks like a knockoff of the emblem from the 1960s-era 'Star Trek' television series. Stifle that laughter. Reports say the Space Force may be boldly going where no person has gone before: the militarization of space. That may sound scary, but it is necessary for national security,” writes Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

One More Thing

Air Hollywood: Where Aviation Scenes in Movies Come to Life

Simple Flying

Countless movies feature scenes involving aircraft. These can be filmed in various locations, from real aircraft and airports to sets. Air Hollywood in California is one of the largest dedicated aviation studios. It offers many aircraft and airport props and sets for filming and has been a part of many shows and movies over the last 20 years or more.

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