B-21

Greater Threat Doesn’t Necessarily Mean More B-21s Needed: Brown

The Air Force may not need more than the 100 B-21s it originally planned to buy because it can supplement them with new "collaborative" uncrewed aircraft, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. told the Senate Armed Services Committee. He and Secretary Frank Kendall also discussed lessons learned from Ukraine, the E-7 Wedgetail replacement for AWACS, and inflation's effect on the budget, among other issues.
Javelin

As Number of US Javelins Dwindle, Biden Pushes for More Funding to Replenish Stockpiles

President Joe Biden traveled to the Troy, Ala., Lockheed Martin production facility for Javelin anti-tank weapons to highlight that weapon's role in helping Ukrainian soldiers push back Russia on the battlefield. Biden is calling for passage of a $33 billion supplemental bill that would begin to replenish American stocks. "We're at an inflection point in history,” said Biden, describing how the weapons are helping to keep American troops out of a World War III with Russia. But legislators are now worried that American stocks will be depleted and that the U.S.'s ability to defend the homeland may be in danger.
Space Acquisition

Calvelli to Be Sworn In as First Space Acquisition Chief This Week

Frank Calvelli will officially take his place as the first assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration later this week. In the newly created position, Calvelli will work to streamline decisions the Space Force requires to catch up with the heavy spending of space adversary China. Calvelli’s position was created by Congress more than two years ago, but he said he would make up for lost time. “We are at a critical juncture for our defense space architecture, and there is a real sense of urgency,” he said.
Cavoli

Biden Nominates Army’s Cavoli to Be New EUCOM, NATO Commander

President Joe Biden has nominated Army Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli to become the new commander of U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe. If confirmed, Cavoli would replace Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters as Europe and NATO deal with the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one of the continent’s biggest security crises since World War II.

Radar Sweep

Air Force Backtracks, Now Says It’s Paying for KC-46 Panoramic Camera Fix

Breaking Defense

Weeks after the Air Force issued a statement claiming that Boeing would pay for changes to the KC-46 tanker’s panoramic suite, the service has reversed course and now says the Air Force itself will pony up the cash for new panoramic sensors—a major and potentially costly element of the fix. Meanwhile, service officials remain seemingly unable to lay out how much the repair will cost taxpayers to allow the tanker to do its one key job: refueling American jets mid-flight.

AFA Congratulates StellarXplorers VIII Champions

Air and Space Forces Association

AFA’s StellarXplorers Space STEM program capped its eighth season by declaring Team Panther No. 3 from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., the champion of its National Space Design Competition Finals held at Space Center Houston. The StellarXplorers VIII season, presented by Lockheed Martin, began with 375 teams from across the country competing in four rounds of competition. The National Finals, held April 21-23, featured the 10 remaining teams in a tense, two-day competition.

'Space Force' Is Now Official to the VA, but Not Everyone Is on the Same Page

Military.com

While the Space Force was created in fiscal 2020, Congress didn’t expand the definition of “veteran” or make other changes to the law requiring VA to furnish benefits and services to Space Force veterans until 2021. Now halfway through 2022, the VA is announcing it has updated its regulations to include the Space Force as a military branch.

Netflix's ‘Space Force’ Was Canceled, but America's Guardians Aren't Sorry

Military.com

When they heard "Space Force," many Americans' first thought wasn't of the two-year-old U.S. Space Force military branch but, rather, a Netflix comedy series of the same name starring actor Steve Carell. The streaming giant's show parodied military life in the newest service with an ensemble cast and made it difficult for the real Space Force's Guardians to teach and educate the importance of their mission—protecting the U.S. satellite fleet—to the public.

The Air Force Is Looking for a ‘Billy Mitchell Moment’ in a Hackathon

FedScoop

The Air Force hosted the BRAVO 0 hackathon earlier this year—the first secret-classification hackathon with 80 hackers working on a so-called “air-gapped” system at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. While on the surface, the hackathon may have looked like an exercise in better data-sharing to drive rapid software development for weapon systems, Stuart Wagner, the service’s chief digital transformation officer, told FedScoop he is searching for a “Billy Mitchell moment” to spark innovation and change the way the service thinks about data and software development.

COMMENTARY: Fossil Fuels Are the Achilles’ Heel of Warfare. Just Ask Russia.

Defense News

“While the world witnesses Russia’s senseless and shockingly muddled invasion of Ukraine, military logisticians around the globe are drawing a collective sigh: ‘See? We told you so.’ Two weeks ago, the Russian bear withdrew from key objectives that Western intelligence once estimated would fall in a matter of days. How did the Russian military go from near-peer powerhouse to sideshow spectacle in so little time? The answer is fuel. Russian planners fell victim to the classic blunder of warfare: ignoring their logistics,” write U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Theodore “Doc” Shanks, a C-17A command pilot as well as a national defense fellow and visiting scholar at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University; and Alexander Gard-Murray, a political economist at the university’s Climate Solutions Lab.

Space Force Selects 125 Industry Proposals for On-Orbit Servicing Technologies

SpaceNews

SpaceWERX, the technology arm of the Space Force, has selected 125 industry teams for the initial phase of the Orbital Prime program, an effort to develop technologies for orbital debris cleanup and other space services. Each team will receive a $250,000 contract to flesh out their concepts and do early design work.

Navy, Microsoft Team Up for R&D—and the Rights to Sell What Emerges

Defense One

Military officials from the Naval Postgraduate School and representatives from Microsoft say a new contract to explore technology in four cyber research areas is a sweet deal for everyone. “This allows us to let Microsoft inside of our problem space, and allow them to go out and build better things that will serve the military … and allies, for export, so that the collective international security enterprise is stronger,” said Col. Randy Pugh, NPS Senior Marine and Deputy Director of the Naval Warfare Studies Institute. “Also, dual-use, working the other direction, there may be things that we have thought about or have invented together that can be used by the general public.”

One More Thing

Ukraine’s Air Force Command Reveals Real Identity of Legendary Pilot ‘Ghost of Kyiv’

Yahoo! News

“The Ghost of Kyiv is a legendary superhero whose myth was created by Ukrainians! It is rather a composite image of the pilots of the 40th Tactical Aviation Brigade of the Air Force of Ukraine, protecting the skies of the capital, who suddenly appear where they are not expected!” Ukraine's Air Force Command explained. It also denied claims that have popped up in the media in recent weeks, including that Ukrainian pilots had been training to fly U.S. F-16 fighter jets. However, Ukrainian pilots “are not yet studying abroad on the F-16, no matter how much we all want it,” the military said.

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