F-16 Refueling

Air Force Flying Hours Decline Again After Brief Recovery

After a brief one-year recovery, flying hours hve begun falling again across the Active Duty Air Force, although there were some gains for the Air National Guard and an overall improvement for the Air Force Reserve. Flying hours correlate to pilot proficiency and are a key indicator of readiness.

Kendall: Air Force Has an ‘Affordability Problem’ As It Tries to Meet Capability Gap

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said lower-cost unmanned platforms are key to closing any capability gaps created by reducing the fleet in the near-term while the service invests in capabilities that will enable it to compete with peer adversary China in the long-term. "By having more of the things that aren't adequate today, and using resources for those as opposed to getting on to the things we need to close that gap, that would be a mistake,” Kendall said. “We’ve got to get to the future."
south dakota guard

For Second Time in a Month, South Dakota Guard F-16 Slides Off Runway

Less than three weeks after a South Dakota Air National Guard F-16 slid off the runway while landing in Sioux Falls, S.D., another F-16 has done the same thing at the same location. The latest incident happened May 31 at Joe Foss Field, located at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport, at around 2:43 p.m., according to a statement from the 114th Fighter Wing. It's the third safety incident involving an Air National Guard F-16 in just over three months.
Pre-ministerial press conference by the US Permanent Representative

F-16s Not on the Table for Ukraine, Says NATO Ambassador

Ukraine’s air force and air defenses, which include contributions from partner nations, have kept the air space over the country contested for nearly 100 days without the transfer of additional aircraft. But with no prospect of an end to the war, and Russia making advances in eastern Ukraine, U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Ambassador Julianne Smith said providing training or transferring advanced American aircraft to Ukraine is still not under consideration. An eastern flank NATO official told Air Force Magazine that alliance members had not “directly” talked about providing American aircraft to Ukraine. The official went further and said even the discussion of transferring Soviet-era fighters like the MiG-29s used by the Ukrainian Air Force is all but dead. "There is less talk about the supply of post Warsaw Pact airframes,” the official said. “There are other ways to sustain the [Ukrainian] Air Force."

Radar Sweep

‘Cultural Artifacts’ Are Keeping DOD From Going Big on AI

Defense One

The Defense Department has many predicaments to untangle when it comes to adopting emerging, and existing, technologies from workforce to acquisition. But when it comes to artificial intelligence, cultural and budget issues are the largest obstacles to widespread implementation, officials say.

How a Breach at Andrews Led to the Seizure of a Reporter’s Phone

POLITICO

After POLITICO broke the news that the Pentagon seized a foreign reporter’s phone during official travel last week, we all smelled a backstory—so we dug deeper. Turns out, it was in part the security breach at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland last year—in which an unarmed intruder made his way aboard an aircraft reserved for top government officials—that prompted the service to place new limits on the use of personal electronic devices near classified information, Air Force officials said.

Fear Grows that US Military Satellite Communications Are Falling Behind: Study

Breaking Defense

Despite growing more reliable, military operators fret that Defense Department satellite communications capabilities are not keeping pace with either growing needs or adversary challenges, according to a new study. The vast majority of respondents (eight out of 10) from across the services said that improving U.S. military SATCOM should be a high priority, and a large majority (some 77 percent) pointed to the fact that advanced capabilities would be key to joint all-domain command and control.

Are Dining Facilities Wasting Money Because Troops Don’t Eat There?

Air Force Times

How often are service members passing up their meal entitlement and choosing to pay out of their own pockets and eat elsewhere, rather than eat at their dining facility? For the most part, defense and service officials don’t know. Which means they don’t have enough information to know how effective they are at their primary mission: feeding the troops, according to a report by government auditors.

Subscription Required

Air Force to Get Largest Share of Germany's 100 Billion Euro Defense Bulk-up

Reuters

The lion's share of the 100 billion-euro special fund Germany is allocating to rebuilding its military after Russia's invasion of Ukraine will go to the air force, according to a document seen by Reuters. The document envisages 40.9 billion euros being spent on developments and purchases including of new Eurofighter and F35 jets and a successor to the Tornado warplane, as well as the building of a space-based early warning system.

Taiwan Scrambles Jets after China Makes Largest Incursion into Air Defense Zone since January

The Guardian

China has made the second largest incursion into Taiwan’s air defense zone this year with Taipei reporting 30 jets entering the area, including more than 20 fighters. Taiwan’s defense ministry said late on Monday it had scrambled its own aircraft and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the latest Chinese activity. In recent years, Beijing has begun sending large sorties into Taiwan’s defense zone to signal dissatisfaction, and to keep Taipei’s aging fighter fleet regularly stressed.

Subscription Required

OPINION: President Biden: What America Will and Will Not Do in Ukraine

The New York Times

“The invasion Vladimir Putin thought would last days is now in its fourth month. The Ukrainian people surprised Russia and inspired the world with their sacrifice, grit, and battlefield success. The free world and many other nations, led by the United States, rallied to Ukraine’s side with unprecedented military, humanitarian and financial support. As the war goes on, I want to be clear about the aims of the United States in these efforts,” writes President Joe Biden.

One More Thing

Flip-flop-wearing Air Force Commandos Saved 2 Lives on the Way Back from Training

Task & Purpose

A motorcycle crash in Idaho last month may have turned fatal if not for the arrival of highly-trained special operations airmen. The airmen were driving in a convoy on a stretch of the I-84 highway in western Idaho where the speed limit is 80 miles per hour on May 15 when a motorcycle accident happened right in front of them. The motorcycle with two riders was struck from behind, severely injuring both riders, according to an Air Force press release. But if there was a silver lining, it was the fact that several members of the 125th Special Tactics Squadron, Oregon Air National Guard, were nearby.

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