Oklahoma Air National Guard F-16

Pilots Safe in Unrelated F-22, F-16 Crashes

An Air Force F-22 and an Air National Guard F-16 crashed in separate incidents a day apart, March 22 and 23, respectively, service spokespeople said. The F-22 crashed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., while the F-16 crashed in western Louisiana. The F-16 pilot ejected. Both pilots were said to be in good condition.

DOD Gives Services More Options for Measuring Body Composition

For the first time in years, the Pentagon has updated its Physical Fitness/Body Composition program, granting the services wider latitude to devise their own systems and tests. DOD Instruction 1308.03, issued March 10, allows the respective services to measure body composition using “[body fat] calculations, waist-to-height ratio, abdominal circumference, height-weight screening, or any combination thereof.” The Defense Department previously mandated that all services use “circumference-based methods”—commonly referred to as the tape test.
Finland

Finland Reassesses NATO Entry in Wake of Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Finland's support for joining NATO is at an all-time high, and though the country is accustomed to threats from the Russian Federation, its decision to provide military assistance to Ukraine during an active conflict created new risks. "Finland's decision-making context is more challenging than most of the countries in Europe because we are living next to Russia,” Finnish air and defense attaché Col. Petteri Seppala told Air Force Magazine in an interview at the Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C. "What are the right relationships, alliances, and partnerships that are actually useful in the new world order?”
protected tactical waveform

Jam-Resistant Waveform for Safer Battlefield Communications to Get First In-Space Test

Onboard an undisclosed host satellite launching in 2024, a Boeing-built prototype processor could become the "first space-based hub" of the military’s Protected Tactical Waveform for jam-resistant battlefield communications, the company says. Boeing’s Protected Tactical SATCOM Prototype, or PTS-P, is meant to demonstrate better standoff distance, less latency, “and other mission-enabling capabilities” over existing tactical satellite communications, according to a statement by the company. The prototype has passed its critical design review, and Boeing predicts it will become the "first space-based hub of the U.S. military’s jam-resistant waveform."
women's service

New Leaders Named to Advisory Panel on Women’s Service

The Office of the Secretary of Defense has named the first new “leadership cadre” of an influential women’s advisory committee after disbanding the board along with dozens of others in January 2021 then restarting them incrementally. The Pentagon announced March 22 that Shelly O’Neill Stoneman, described as a government affairs professional, will chair the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, or DACOWITS, and also named four retired military leaders who will chair the board’s subcommittees. Stoneman succeeds retired Air Force Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger, the Air Force’s first four-star general, as chair.

Radar Sweep

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NATO: Up to 40,000 Russian Troops Killed, Wounded, Taken Prisoner, or Missing in Ukraine

The Wall Street Journal

NATO calculates casualties based on information provided by Ukrainian authorities and information obtained from Russia—both officially and unintentionally, an official said. NATO estimates that between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since the invasion began on Feb. 24. Using statistical averages from past conflicts that for every casualty roughly three soldiers are wounded, NATO analysts reach their total figure. Russia began its invasion with roughly 190,000 troops. It has since brought in additional troops from Chechnya, Syria, and other locations.

ANALYSIS: The US Military’s Force-Management Tug-of-War

War on the Rocks

“Between Russian aggression in Europe, an increasingly assertive and powerful China, and myriad security challenges elsewhere, the U.S. military has its hands full. Rather than confronting this strategy-resource mismatch head-on, however, the Pentagon’s strategic guidance has placed expansive and numerous strategic demands on U.S. forces and failed to clearly link those demands to plausible operational concepts. As a result, defense leaders face a constant dilemma: Absent a major boost in the defense budget, they can’t provide forces for everything, and they also lack the strategic and operational direction they need to consistently prioritize. So, they resort to hedging their bets in various ways. One of the most insidious is to adopt a strategy of ‘peanut-butter spreading’ U.S. forces across the globe,” writes Caitlin Lee, senior fellow for airpower and autonomy studies at the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

After Training Together for Years, Air Force Pilots are Watching Ukrainian Friends Fight for Their Lives

Task & Purpose

When the Russian military first invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the world was amazed at how the outgunned and outmanned Ukrainian Air Force held out against its much larger, more advanced Russian adversary. But for one group of American aviators, it was hardly a surprise. After all, they spent the past 29 years training with the Ukrainians and knew the pilots were tougher than experts predicted. “Over the years I think we misassessed the capability of the Ukrainian Air Force and how they could work with an integrated air defense system,” said Maj. Drew Armey, an F-15 fighter pilot with the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing, which, along with the rest of the California National Guard and Air National Guard, has worked with Ukraine since 1993.

Ukraine Expected to Get New NATO Aid to Protect Against Weapons of Mass Destruction

The Drive

As Russia's war in Ukraine turns four weeks old, NATO is preparing to hold an extraordinary meeting of member nation heads of state that will focus on matters related to the conflict. The alliance's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said he expects the gathering to result in, among other things, the approval of new military assistance packages for Ukrainian authorities, which will include equipment to help the country defend itself against chemical, biological, and nuclear threats and further help in guarding against cyberattacks.

OPINION: Rethinking the Hypersonic Debate for Relevancy in the Pacific

Breaking Defense

“China’s ‘carrier killers,’ the DF-21 ballistic maneuvering reentry vehicle (MaRV) and the newer DF-17 hypersonic glide vehicle, can reach Taipei and the Taiwan Strait in about 20 minutes from those island bases, while their ‘Guam killer,’ the DF-26 ballistic MaRV, can reach Guam in under 25 minutes from the Chinese mainland. Our own conventional strike options are currently far more limited. None of the deployed variants of Tomahawk have a range of more than 1,500 miles, and at that range require about three hours to reach the target,” write Lisa Porter and Michael Griffin, the deputy undersecretary and the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering from 2018 to 2020, respectively.

Satellite Supplier With In-House Production Bid the Lowest Price for DOD Constellation

SpaceNews

Of the three companies selected by the Space Development Agency to produce 126 satellites, only one, York Space Systems, manufactures satellites in-house. That likely explains why York Space’s bid for 42 satellites was nearly half the price of what the other two winners bid for the same number of satellites, Frank Turner, technical director of the Space Development Agency, said March 21 at the Satellite 2022 conference.

Madeleine Albright, 1st Female US Secretary of State, Dies

The Associated Press

Madeleine Albright, a child refugee from Nazi- and then Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe who rose to become the first female U.S. Secretary of State and a mentor to many current and former American statesmen and women, has died of cancer, her family said March 23. She was 84.

Former Head of Air Force Academy Dies

Fox21news.com

Retired Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott Jr. died March 20 at age 94. Scott served as the 10th superintendent of the Academy from June 1983 to June 1987. In 1985, Scott accomplished the Academy’s freefall parachute training. At nearly 60 years old, he was the oldest and highest-ranking person to earn jump wings through that program, said to be the only training program in the world where the student’s very first jump is accomplished as a solo freefall.

One More Thing

A WWII Private Was Stripped of His Distinguished Service Cross for Being a Dog

Military.com

During the American invasion of Sicily in 1943, the 3rd Military Police Platoon, 30th Infantry Regiment landed near Licata. As the sun rose that morning and the Soldiers made their way across the island, they were suddenly pinned down by a machine gun nest. One of the privates in the platoon charged the enemy position and cleared it, taking four prisoners. This private was already a veteran of Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa, and had guarded President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Casablanca Conference earlier that year. For his heroics during the invasion of Sicily, he earned the Silver Star and a Purple Heart. But there was just one problem for the Army. This particular Soldier was a dog, a collie-husky mix named Chips.

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