Gen. Glen D. VanHerck

Hypersonic Missile Defense ‘A Few Years’ Away, Top Brass Tell Senators

The Senate Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces heard testimony from the Defense Department’s top missile defense leaders and demanded to know why the Missile Defense Agency's proposed $9.6 billion fiscal 2023 budget will not yield more reliable defense against hypersonic weapons already being fielded by adversaries, including Russia on the battlefield in Ukraine.

Challenges for ‘Stagnated’ PME Include Lack of Intellectual Diversity or Data to Best Apply Skills

U.S. professional military education needs to be more rigorous and data-driven, and the military services need to do a better job of actually utilizing the skills service members learn through PME, lawmakers, academics, and Pentagon officials said in a congressional hearing. Summing up the concerns, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) laid out three main problems. “One is whether we are selecting the best and the brightest to go to these institutions,” Gallagher said. “The second is whether the institutions themselves are on par with their civilian counterparts, who have a much fancier name or credential. … And then the third, and perhaps most important, is how we're tracking our utilization of graduates."

USAF Leaders on Hypersonics, B-21 Production, the E-7 Transition, and Buying Fewer HH-60s

With a repeat of a hypersonic missile test coming up in the summer and the potential to speed up production of the B-21 Raider, the Air Force is “committed” to putting hypersonic missiles on its long-range bombers, said Lt. Gen. Duke Z. Richardson, the top USAF acquisition official. Air Force leaders testified May 17 before the Senate Armed Services Committee and addressed hypersonics, the bomber, the transition to the E-7 Wedgetail, and the plan to buy fewer HH-60 Combat Rescue Helicopters.
Pentagon AI

New Pentagon Office Overseeing Data and AI Nearing FOC

As the Defense Department looks to accelerate use of artificial intelligence and to connect its sensors and shooters into one massive data network, a new office overseeing those efforts will reach full operating capability in the coming weeks. The office of the chief data and artificial intelligence officer (CDAO) will reach FOC by June 1, said John Sherman, the Pentagon’s chief information officer and acting CDAO.

Radar Sweep

Pentagon’s High-Level Group to Aid Ukraine Is Rooted in Iraq and Afghanistan Fight

Defense News

The Pentagon has modeled a new high-level team focused on rushing military aid to Ukraine on the group it used to speed supplies to troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, according to a memo obtained by Defense News and sources familiar with the matter. Pentagon leaders several weeks ago quietly convened the group―co-chaired by the Pentagon’s No. 2 civilian and military leaders―to cut through its notoriously unwieldy bureaucracy.

Israeli Military Exercise to Simulate Attack on Iranian Nuclear Targets

Breaking Defense

As Israeli leaders sound the alarm about what they say is an acute, active threat from Iran’s nuclear program, Israel plans to conduct a major military exercise, with U.S. participation, part of which will simulate attacks on Iranian nuclear targets, according to Israeli officials. Israeli military officials told Breaking Defense the U.S. Air Force would provide refueling services for Israeli fighters, as was reported by Israel’s Channel 13.

Feds: National Guard Members on State Duty Can Join Unions

The Associated Press

The Department of Justice has given the green light to National Guard members on Active duty for their states to join labor unions, despite a U.S. law that makes it a felony for military personnel on Active federal duty to unionize. The agreement settles a lawsuit filed in federal court in Connecticut by labor unions against Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department, seeking collective bargaining rights for Connecticut National Guard members on state duty ordered by the governor.

Red Tape, Lack of Awareness Hinder Air Force’s Effort to Keep Pregnant Airmen Flying

Air Force Times

Three years after the Air Force loosened its restrictions on pregnant Airmen in flying jobs, hoping to create more opportunities for female aviators, the new policies have barely found a foothold. Fewer than 1 in 5 Air Force aviators who were pregnant in the past three years sought to fly while expecting, even though waivers now allow women to continue flying for all nine months, according to data obtained by Air Force Times.

Deal for Sweeping Toxic Exposure Bill Reached in Senate

Lawmakers have reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic expansion of health care and disability benefits for millions of veterans exposed to toxic chemicals during their military service. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and committee ranking member Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) announced that they have reached an agreement on what they called "the most comprehensive toxic exposure package the Senate has ever delivered to veterans in this country's history."

Pentagon May Give Sweden, Finland More Security Aid

Defense One

Finland and Sweden may get more security support now that they have formally applied to become members of NATO, a move that has drawn Russian ire, a senior defense official said May 18. After Finland announced it would submit its application, the Russian ministry of defense warned that “Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to stop the threats to its national security arising in this regard.”

‘Responsible Speed’: DOD’s Emerging Capabilities Policy Director on Race for New Tech


The director in charge of the Pentagon’s emerging capabilities policy wants to move with “responsible speed” when it comes to developing and experimenting with new capabilities, while at the same time other DOD officials are pushing to more quickly adopt commercial technologies. Michael Horowitz, who began his role in April as the director of emerging capabilities policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy, said the top priority for his office is ensuring emerging capabilities are more effectively integrated into what DOD does, especially artificial intelligence initiatives.

One More Thing

Air Force Vet Fred Ward Had One of the Greatest Faces in the Movies

Fred Ward was one of the great "that guy who was in that thing" actors in movie history. Even if you didn't know his name, you'd recognize that chiseled face whenever he showed up on screen and remember him from some other movie. Ward died May 8 at the age of 79. After a tumultuous childhood that included an alcoholic father and time spent in his grandmother's care while his mom got her life together, Ward enlisted in the Air Force upon graduation from high school and served as an airman first class at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and as a radar technician in Labrador, Canada.

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