b-1 fire

B-1 Bomber Catches Fire on Flight Line at Dyess

A B-1B bomber caught fire on the flight line at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, on April 20, the base announced. The fire started during “routine engine maintenance” while the B-1 Lancer was parked, a Dyess press release said.

Some B-21 Bomber Facilities at Ellsworth to be Ready for 2024

The Air Force wants facilities at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., ready to receive B-21 bombers as early as 2024, according to fiscal 2023 budget documents. Other B-21 facilities listed in USAF's budget request for Ellsworth are to be ready by 2026. The service is also looking to acquire land adjacent to the Oklahoma City, Okla., depot to accommodate a campus to support B-21 operations.
phoenix ghost switchblade

Pentagon Reveals Secretive New Drone the Air Force is Giving to Ukraine: Phoenix Ghost

The Pentagon is giving Ukraine a secretive new drone that the U.S. Air Force has developed—one that “very nicely” suits the needs of the Ukrainian military, the Pentagon revealed April 21. The U.S. will deliver at least 121 of the new Phoenix Ghost tactical unmanned aerial systems to Ukraine as part of a new $800 million assistance package announced by Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby. But, what is the Phoenix Ghost?
Russia nuclear

Congress’ Nuclear Adviser Wonders Whether Russia Is Stoking WW3

The whole point of Russia’s war in Ukraine could be to drag the West into World War 3, said the executive director of Congress’ Task Force on National and Homeland Security during an AFA Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event. Peter Pry, who is also director of Congress’ U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, said Vladimir Putin may have become emboldened by the direction of the U.S.’s nuclear posture over the past 30 years: Whereas the U.S. has positioned itself to deter a nuclear war, Russia has prepared to wage a surprise attack. 

Russia Sanctions 29 Americans, Including Mitchell Institute Dean

The Russian government sanctioned 29 Americans on April 21, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and the dean of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula. The official announcement, released in Russian by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and translated for the Air & Space Forces Association, reads: “In response to the constantly escalating anti-Russian sanctions implemented by the Biden Administration … we have created a stop list of 29 Americans, of which there are senior government representatives, business leaders, experts, and journalists, who together form an anti-Russian cabal.” 
IRST Flight Test

F-15 and F-16 Jointly Test Legion Pod Infrared Tracker

The Air Force used Legion Pod infrared search-and-track systems on an F-15 and an F-16 to passively detect and track a target in a recent Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., test, the 53rd Wing said. It was the first test in which dissimilar aircraft passed target data back and forth to triangulate the target.

Radar Sweep

Air Force General Tried for Sex Assault Will Not Testify as Court-Martial Nears an End

Military.com

The first Air Force general to face a military trial will not testify in his own defense against sexual assault charges as his court-martial here prepares to wrap up. The legal team for Maj. Gen. William Cooley, who has been accused of sexual assault by his sister-in-law, rested its case Thursday without calling any witnesses to the stand, including Cooley. In remarks to reporters, Cooley's civilian lawyer pushed back on the notion that not calling him to testify helps the prosecution.

To Infinity and Beyond: New Space Force Unit to Monitor ‘xGEO’ Beyond Earth’s Orbit

Breaking Defense

Space Systems Command is launching new efforts to help Space Force monitor the vast volumes of space beyond the moon and Mars and eventually even farther. Lt. Col. Matt Lintker, who commands the 18th Space Defense Squadron that currently is charged with monitoring near-Earth space, said the service has stood up a new 19th Space Defense Squadron with the mission of tracking what Space Force officials now refer to as “xGEO” space. Geosynchronous orbit, or GEO, is essentially the outer orbit of Earth, some 36,000 kilometers above sea level. The new 19th Space Defense Squadron, with its “xGEO” remit, would have oversight over everything beyond that, including cislunar space, or the area around the moon.

DAF Releases Pregnancy, Postpartum Experience Survey

USAF release

Airmen and Guardians who have been pregnant within the past five years recently received a survey via email about their pregnancy and postpartum experiences. The survey was sent to approximately 17,000 members and solicits feedback on topics including prenatal care, delivery, fitness, pregnancy loss, postpartum mental and physical recovery, infertility, and postpartum experiences. The information collected will help determine if any barriers to mission readiness exist due to pregnancy, pregnancy loss, or postpartum recovery. It will also shape policies that affect Airmen’s and Guardians’ pregnancy and postpartum experiences.

COMMENTARY: Israel has a KC-46 Problem. Here’s the Solution.

Defense News

“Eying growing and distinct threats that may require the United States and Israel to conduct long-range airstrikes, both militaries urgently need to replace their aging aerial refueling fleets with the modernized KC-46A. The problem is the aircraft has been plagued by development challenges and delays. The good news is there are steps the U.S. and Israel can take together to avoid further delays and reduce the time it takes for Israel’s Air Force to use its KC-46s in real-world missions once the new tanker arrives,” write Bradley Bowman, senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; and Enia Krivine, senior director of the Israel Program at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

10 Deaths in 10 Months: String of Suicides on a Single Aircraft Carrier

Military.com

On the morning of April 11, Capt. Brent Gaut, the commander of the USS George Washington—an aircraft carrier undergoing major shipyard work at Newport News, Va.—got on the ship's intercom. Two sailors had died April 9 and 10, and Gaut was alerting the crew that those deaths were the eighth and ninth suicides the ship had experienced in nine months, three sailors who heard the announcement told Military.com on the condition of anonymity to avoid retaliation.

Indian Government Clashes with Foreign Defense Sector Over Offset Demands

Defense News

About half of India’s offset obligations, which are worth $13.52 billion across a set of 57 contracts, have resulted in either penalties or the threat of them, Defence Ministry officials told Defense News. Offsets are compensation a buyer seeks from a seller for the purchase of goods or services. These can range from co-production agreements to investments in local partners to technology transfer.

One More Thing

A Sunbathing Crocodile Shut Down the Runway at a Florida Naval Air Station

Task & Purpose

While about six or seven crocodiles live on the base, according to a January survey of the property, Naval Air Station Key West spokesperson Danette Baso Silvers said they normally sun themselves in the grassy areas off the runways. This one, however, had other ideas, temporarily taking up residence at one end of the base’s largest runway.

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