budgets

Air Force’s Budget Invests in ‘Balance’—Space Force’s in ‘Resiliency,’ Planners Say in AFA Talk

The Department of the Air Force needs its largest research and development budget ever in the face of threats from China and Russia, the lead Air Force and Space Force budget planners said. Air Force Lt. Gen. David S. Nahom and Space Force Lt. Gen. William J. Liquori joined Air Force Association president retired Lt. Gen. Bruce "Orville" Wright in a virtual discussion March 30—in the wake of the March 28 defense budget release—to make their case for sacrificing combat power now to meet Secretary Frank Kendall’s operational imperatives, including a call to “transition to a wartime posture against a peer competitor.”
f-35s europe

NATO Commander Increases Prediction to 550 F-35s in Europe by 2030

F-35s in Eastern Europe have been performing some “elegant” intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions as part of the NATO response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the head of U.S. European Command told lawmakers March 30—and he expects the fighter’s presence on the continent to expand dramatically by the end of the decade, exceeding earlier predictions.
Boeing small sat

Boeing Scales Up Capacity to Build Small Satellites at Calif. Factory

Boeing unveiled its new “high-throughput” factory-within-a-factory for small satellites March 30. From a 30,000-square-foot section of its space manufacturing hub in El Segundo, Calif., the company expects to build entire constellations of small sats that span the altitudes. Boeing intends to do “virtually every aspect of satellite manufacturing” in the new area.
kyiv

Pentagon: Russian Bombardment of Kyiv Continues Even as Some Troops Start to Withdraw

A day after announcing it would cut back on military operations toward the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, Russia had repositioned about 20 percent of its forces around the city. Defense Department Press Secretary John F. Kirby offered the latest assessment during a press briefing March 30, warning that even with that movement, the Ukrainian capital remained at risk as Russia’s invasion of the country continued into its second month.

Radar Sweep

Putin Misled by Advisers on Ukraine, US Intel Determines

The Associated Press

U.S. intelligence officials have determined that Russian President Vladimir Putin is being misinformed by his advisers about his nation’s forces’ poor performance in Ukraine. A U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss recently declassified intelligence, said March 30 the intel finding indicates that Putin is aware of the situation on information coming to him and there is now persistent tension between him and senior Russian military officials.

Plans for Hospital Closures as Part of Military Health System Reform Forging Ahead After Pause

Military.com

The Defense Health Agency is moving ahead with plans to close some 50 hospitals and clinics following a pause that began at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The closures are part of the agency’s broader effort under a Defense Department initiative to shift management of the military services' 51 hospitals and 424 health clinics to the Defense Health Agency and focus the Army, Navy, and Air Force's medical commands on providing health care primarily for military personnel.

Pentagon Wants $11.2B for Cyberspace Security, Training in FY23

Breaking Defense

The Pentagon is requesting $11.2 billion for cyberspace activities in its fiscal 2023 budget request for various efforts, including increasing cybersecurity support for defense contractors, hardening its own networks, operationalizing zero trust architecture, and for “cyber ranges” akin to rifle ranges for all things digital. The request represents an increase of $800 million over last year’s request and also includes adding five cyber mission force teams for a total of 142 teams, according to budget documents.

Subscription Required

OPINION: America’s Declining Military

The Wall Street Journal

“Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has alerted most Americans that the world is becoming a far more dangerous place. Count it as a befuddling failure, then, that the military budget President Biden unveiled March 28 doesn’t meet the moment. It treads water amid inflation and invites autocrats to exploit a widening window of American weakness,” writes the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board.

Biden’s Nuke Review Omits ‘No First Use,’ Kills Naval Cruise Missile

Defense One

President Joe Biden has walked back from his longtime preferred policy of “no first use” of nuclear weapons, according to his administration’s 2022 Nuclear Posture Review, which also seeks to shrink nuclear arsenals, starting with a new missile introduced under Donald Trump. Biden's long-awaited policy review says the United States “would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners,” according to a three-paragraph summary released by the Pentagon.

Post-Afghanistan, Air Force Changes Jolly Green II Helicopter Purchase Plans

Defense News

The Air Force wants to cut the total number of new combat rescue helicopters it plans to buy by one-third, a sign of how it is adjusting to a post-Afghanistan threat environment. The Air Force originally planned to buy 113 HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopters, the successor to the HH-60G Pave Hawk. But the service’s proposed budget for fiscal 2023 includes money for 10 more Jolly Green IIs that year—and those would be the last, capping the procurement at 75.

Blue Air Training and Top Aces Announce Groundbreaking Business Combination

Press release

Blue Air Training and Top Aces announced March 30 the completion of an industry-changing business combination. Customers for both companies will now benefit from Blue Air’s joint terminal attack controller training expertise and the capabilities of Top Aces to exercise their pilots against contracted aggressor aircraft.

The Upcoming Defense Strategy Dubs Russia an ‘Acute Threat.’ What Does That Mean?

Breaking Defense

Defense policy wonks, get ready to add the phrase “acute threat” to your Pentagon bingo card. That’s the term Defense Department leaders are using to describe Russia in its new defense strategy and budget. It’s an attempt to differentiate the very near-term threat of Russia from the longer-term, whole-of-government challenge of China, and you’re about to start hearing it everywhere.

MDA’s Plan to Protect Guam Relies on Field-Proven Systems

Defense News

The Missile Defense Agency’s initial plan for the architecture to protect Guam turns to proven systems to help the agency meet a 2026 fielding deadline, according Vice Adm. Jon Hill, the agency’s director. The defense of Guam from potential ballistic, cruise, and hypersonic missile attacks has become a priority for the MDA, which is seeking $539 million in fiscal 2023 to continue to design and develop multiple land-based radar systems, procure weapon system components, and initiate military construction planning and design activity.

One More Thing

Air Force Investigates Cargo Plane Crew for ‘Unplanned’ Landing to Pick up Motorcycle in Martha’s Vineyard

Task and Purpose

The C-130 is one of the most versatile aircraft in the Air Force's arsenal: It can deliver close air support, put out wildfires, and pick up special operators from austere landing strips in the middle of nowhere. In fact, the Hercules showed off its ability to pick up cargo and rapidly take off again recently in the Northeast. Residents of the famous Massachusetts island vacation town Martha’s Vineyard were surprised to see a C-130 with its four big, loud turboprop engines appear in the sky, land at the Martha’s Vineyard airport, drop its cargo ramp, pick up a motorcycle, then take off again in just about 15 minutes.

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