T-7A

Boeing Rolls Out Production T-7A, First New Jet Trainer in 60 Years

Boeing rolled out its first production T-7A advanced trainer at ceremonies in St. Louis, Mo., touting the jet's digital design and calling it the start of a new era of Air Force pilot training. The ceremonies were cloaked with tributes to the Tuskegee Airmen, as the T-7A has been named the "Red Hawk" and the initial example bears a red tail in recognition of the P-51 Red Tails flown by the 99th Pursuit Squadron of WWII.
B-21

New B-21 Raider Being Accelerated With Overlapping Development and Production

The Air Force is accelerating the B-21 Raider program, seeking to "overlap" the development and production phases, Northrop Grumman president and CEO Kathy Warden said in a quarterly earnings call with reporters. The Air Force apparently permitted the company to discuss more of the highly classified program’s progress than in recent years. Warden was not able to discuss production rates, however, due to classification.
f-35 sustainment

F-35 Sustainment Is Improving, But Lawmakers’ Patience Is Growing Thin

The F-35’s troubled sustainment enterprise is getting better but is still falling short of the services’ goals for the program, officials told Congress. And lawmakers are running out of patience. “The message for me—and I hope from my committee, and I know I'm going to raise hell in the full committee—is we're not going to buy more planes until we figure out how to maintain them,” warned House Armed Services Committee readiness panel chair Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.). “It is a fool's errand. It is a waste of money by the taxpayers. It's a bright, shiny machine until it doesn't work.”
New U.S. Space Force Guardians sworn in

USSF’s Combined Full- and Part-Time Component Would Be Called the ‘Space Component’

Leaders of the Space Force reinforced their idea to depart from the typical military component structure of separately organized Active and reserve forces in favor of a single hybrid component structure they called the “Space Component.” Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond described the plan as “bold and transformational,” saying the hybrid structure is the service’s “No. 1 legislative proposal.” 
Ukraine aid

Biden Calls for $33B Aid Package to Ukraine as Money Runs Out

President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass a supplemental aid package worth $33 billion to replace the nearly-exhausted $3.5 billion Ukraine aid package passed in March. The multi-faceted replenishment includes weapons and humanitarian and economic assistance, and it would deliver $16 billion to the Department of Defense in support of the Ukraine war effort. “The cost of this fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is going to be more costly, if we allow it to happen,” Biden said from the White House, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
armed overwatch

Armed Overwatch Contract Coming This Summer, AFSOC Boss Says

A contract award for U.S. Special Operations Command’s Armed Overwatch program is likely coming before the end of the summer, the head of Air Force Special Operations Command told Congress. Lt. Gen. James C. “Jim” Slife also countered opposition to the platform, saying it will be significantly cheaper to fly and include a "modular capability" that allows it to adapt to various scenarios.
Miller

USAF Manpower Nominee Would Skip Rank of Major General if Confirmed

President Joe Biden has nominated Brig. Gen. Caroline M. Miller to be the next deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel, and services. If confirmed, Miller would completely skip the two-star rank and pin on her third star, becoming just the third actively-serving woman in the Air Force to wear three stars.

Radar Sweep

A-10 Official Issues Warning Over US Air Force’s ‘Devastated’ Warthog Fleet

Defense News

An Air Force official managing the A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft says the service is “hollowing” its Warthog fleet by starving it of resources amid a push to retire the aging attack plane—but still continuing to heavily fly it. Pamela Lee, the A-10 systems manager at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, said the Air Force has “resourced the A-10 to divest yet flew it like an enduring fleet, rapidly accelerating [the] decline toward today’s hollowing fleet.”

Congress Pushes to Remove Sexual Harassment Prosecutions From Chain of Command

Military.com

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is looking to expand on military justice reforms enacted last year and take sexual harassment prosecutions outside the chain of command. Last year's defense policy bill created independent prosecutors to handle sexual assault and some other related or serious crimes. But a "massive oversight" kept sexual harassment within the chain of command even as the defense bill made it a stand-alone offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said in a statement as she and other lawmakers introduced a bill to fix that oversight.

Space Force Team Asks Warfighters: What Do You Need From Space ISR?

Breaking Defense

The Space Force is in the midst of an effort to assess warfighter needs for, and capability gaps in, space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman said. The service has “kicked off an ISR integrated process team, IPT, to focus and drive this initiative. The IPT, in coordination with the other services and combat support agencies, will pursue efforts to capture joint space-based ISR and sensing requirements and propose paths to satisfy them,” said Saltzman, deputy chief of space operations for operations, cyber, and nuclear.

KC-46A Refuels First International Aircraft During Employment Capability Exercise

Air Force release

In a major milestone for the KC-46A Pegasus program, the aircraft refueled Spanish EF-18 Hornets, known in Spain as C-15s, during its first Employment Concept Exercise, or ECE 22-03, at Morón Air Base. The mission marked the first international receiver for the KC-46A, paving the way for stronger interoperability with allies and partners.

Parsons Gets Second Chance at $320M Air Force Cloud Competition

Washington Technology

Parsons has scored a second chance at a $320 million Air Force task order to migrate legacy applications to a web-based cloud computing environment. Science Applications International Corp. won the award in March. Then in the following month, Parsons quickly filed an objection at the Government Accountability Office to challenge the evaluation. Details are sparse, but something in the Parsons protest convinced the Air Force it needed to reevaluate proposals.

Fresh Off Air Force 3DELRR Win, Lockheed Eyes Norway, Other International Buyers

Breaking Defense

Nearly two months after landing a key contract with the Air Force for the program dubbed 3DELRR, Lockheed Martin officials say they are in talks with multiple international customers to purchase the long-range air surveillance radar. The need for a long-range, early warning radar is underscored both by Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine as well as its long history of sending its fighter jets into the air space of other nations uninvited.

919th SOW Member Selected as Air Force Reserve 2022 Airman of the Year

Air Force release

An Airman with the 919th Special Operations Wing was named the winner of the 2022 Outstanding Airman of the Year for the Air Force Reserve Command. Senior Airman Myah Periman, 311th Special Operations Intelligence Squadron geospatial imagery analyst, received recognition for her contributions to the Reserve’s global mission.

One More Thing

Lady Gaga Unveils 'Hold My Hand,' a New Song for 'Top Gun: Maverick'

ABC News

Lady Gaga's voice will be heard in the upcoming Tom Cruise action thriller “Top Gun: Maverick.” The 13-time Grammy winner announced April 27 that her new song, "Hold My Hand," will be featured in the film. The song drops May 3, and the "Top Gun" sequel hits theaters May 27.

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