A hiring wave, process overhauls, and new tools and equipment have helped a U.S. Air Force base cut by more than half the time it takes to repair and overhaul F-35 engines, from an average 244 days to 106. And the commander of the base’s Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex hopes that in two years, if it gets the necessary resources, Tinker Air Force Base will be able to repair anywhere from 105 to 120 F135 power modules per year. That would be more than double the 51 it handled in 2021, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey King said in a May 26 interview.
Sgt. 1st Class Chris Freymann never thought he'd have such a direct role in the fight against Russian forces invading Ukraine. But as the war raged, he became a kind of ad hoc, over-the-phone tech support for Ukrainians trying to use Javelin missiles while under fire. They messaged with questions; Freymann sent answers. In return, he got photos and videos of the Russian tanks they destroyed.
The commanding general of the California National Guard is calling on U.S. and other Western officials to explore sending fighter jets to Ukraine “as soon as possible,” rekindling a longstanding request by Kyiv. In a statement to POLITICO on Friday, Maj. Gen. David Baldwin, California National Guard adjutant general, also said sending Soviet-era MiG fighters in the near term is the best “immediate solution.”
The Air Force's wildly modified NT-43, better known by its callsign, 'RAT55,' just made a rare flight outside its usual highly-defined operational confines. You see, RAT55 isn't just the strangest 737 flying, it's also the shyest. It lives and works almost exclusively within the desolate air training ranges that take up large swathes of airspace over south-central California and southern Nevada, often disappearing into Area 51 or the Tonopah Test Range Airport.
Outer space is getting crowded, with both commercial endeavors and secretive military projects. And it’s going to be up to the newest United States military branch, the Space Force, to protect American interests there.
“When a war is about to start, a military must first understand the battlefield. Advance Force Operations—tactical reconnaissance—is an old and common way of doing this. These days, modern military forces conduct such preparatory operations with satellite imagery and signals collection. Historically, this role had been performed by highly secretive special operations teams charged with intelligence collection, clandestine operations, source generation, and preparation for follow-on operations. As the Global War on Terror evolved into a long night of finding and finishing specific targets, these teams perfected the finish aspect, while the preparation fell by the wayside,” writes Ethan Brown, a senior fellow for defense studies at the Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence and Global Affairs.
Chinese fighter jets repeatedly buzzed Canadian air force planes on a UN-sanctioned operation in international airspace, some coming so close as to make eye contact with pilots in the other cockpit, according to a report. Sources in the Canadian government told Global News that the close-quarters intercepts happened approximately 60 times since Christmas. "Those jets are frequently flying as close as 20 to 100 feet from the Canadian plane," the report said. Canadian pilots "sometimes see them raising their middle fingers."
The Air Force’s fleet of airlifters — roughly half the size it was during the 1990s — has been operating at high tempo for two decades, wearing out airplanes with no near-term prospect of replacement and further cuts to the force planned, despite projected demand for airlift that will operate in increasingly contested environments.
Not all heroes wear capes. In fact, some don’t even have muscle definition, pants, or three dimensions. One such hero is Sticky McStickface, the new two-dimensional mascot for a group dedicated to making life easier and more efficient at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. “Sticky is the people’s champion,” said Chase Kohler, spokesperson for the 412th Test Wing, the host unit at Edwards. Kohler clarified that Sticky’s pronoun is they, “as a representation for everyone.”