New F-35 Sustainability Review Ordered by HASC Readiness Panel

The U.S. comptroller general, who oversees the Government Accountability Office, will assess sustainment challenges of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and report back to Congress by March 2023 under a House Armed Services subcommittee markup of the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. The readiness subcommittee tasked the comptroller general, Gene L. Dodaro, to conduct what amounts to a lessons-learned evaluation of how well F-35s have fared when deployed—as well as how the left-behind aircraft in their units do during those deployments—to assess the adequacy of spare parts and other elements of the F-35 support enterprise.

USAF’s Plan to Cut Most of Its JSTARS Fleet Gets Support in Congress

The Air Force’s plan to retire most of its E-8C JSTARS fleet has gotten a boost from a congressional panel. The House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee unveiled its markup of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. A provision included in the markup amends the 2019 NDAA, which included several requirements meant to protect the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System fleet from a quick retirement.
cotton strategic command

Cotton Nominated to Lead US Strategic Command, Two New Leaders Tapped for MAJCOMS

Less than a year after he was nominated to head Air Force Global Strike Command, Gen. Anthony J. Cotton is in line for another promotion, as President Joe Biden has nominated him to be the next leader of U.S. Strategic Command. If confirmed, Cotton would succeed Adm. Charles "Chas" A. Richard in commanding STRATCOM, which is responsible for strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, and missile defense, among other mission areas.

Austin’s Participation in Shangri-La Dialogue Suits PACAF’s Purposes

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III’s fourth visit to the Indo-Pacific region comes at a critical time for Pacific Air Forces as the major command seeks to maintain and deepen partnerships and China competes to win basing access that could undermine U.S. security. Austin departed for a trip that would take him to Colorado then to Singapore for the International Institute for Strategic Studies' 19th Shangri-La Dialogue with Indo-Pacific leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).


This email was resent to correct an error in the original subject line that incorrectly named the F-35.

Radar Sweep

GAO Finds Delays in Major Weapons Programs, Broad Cybersecurity Worries

Breaking Defense

The Columbia-class submarine program jumped billions in price, the Air Force’s T-7A trainer has a bird problem, and cyber concerns remain prevalent across the department, according to a newly released report by the Government Accountability Office. The GAO’s Weapon System Annual Assessment also found broad concerns about the defense industrial base.

Boeing Can’t Find Enough Workers to Build the New Air Force One

Defense One

Boeing is having trouble hiring qualified aircraft mechanics to build the new Air Force One in an ultra-competitive labor market, according to a new government report. It’s the latest setback for the planemaker as it tries to get the high-profile presidential plane effort back on track following other problems that have delayed the project at least two years.

Mysterious Exercise Off Baja Brought Nellis AFB, USS Nimitz Aircraft Together

The Drive

An unusually large gathering of U.S. Air Force aircraft off the coast of Mexico's Baja Peninsula caught our eye on flight tracking software June 6. The exact purpose of these flights, which included a B-1B bomber, an E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System radar aircraft, and a mixture of KC-707, K-135R, KC-10A, and KC-46A aerial refueling tankers, was unclear. However, this is an area where the U.S. Navy often conducts exercises, including complex pre-deployment workups for carrier and amphibious strike groups.

Lawmakers Eye 4.6 Percent Pay Raise for Troops in 2023

Military Times

House lawmakers will propose a 4.6 percent pay raise for service members in 2023 as part of the annual defense authorization bill but are also mandating a series of studies into the issue of military pay to ensure it’s keeping pace with civilian wages and families’ financial needs. As part of the House Armed Services Committee’s personnel section of the annual military policy legislation, officials are backing the White House’s call for a 4.6 percent pay raise to go into effect Jan. 1, 2023. That recommendation follows federal formulas calculating the yearly rise in civilian sector wages and would be the highest pay raise for troops in 20 years.

New Policy Keeps HIV-Positive Troops Deployable, Bars Involuntary Separation in Some Cases

Military Times

A new Defense Department policy allows HIV-positive service members with an undetectable viral load to not only stay in uniform, but also to remain deployable. New guidance reverses a previous policy that allowed commanders to involuntarily separate troops with HIV, prevent them from deploying―which can result in a discharge on its own―and prevent enlisted troops from attending officer candidate school and earning a commission.

Panel Falls From Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon During Air Show in Japan

Stars and Stripes

A small panel fell off an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon during an air show in Japan, according to American and Japanese officials. The four-pound panel, measuring approximately 10 inches by 10 inches, fell from a fighter assigned to Misawa Air Base, home of the 35th Fighter Wing in northeast Japan.

Northrop Grumman to Boost Production of Solid Rocket Motors Following Big Contract From ULA


Northrop Grumman confirmed that it received a contract worth more than $2 billion over several years to produce solid rocket boosters for United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 and Vulcan Centaur launch vehicles. Northrop Grumman’s CEO, during a first-quarter earnings call in April, said the company expected the contract to be signed in the second quarter of 2022.

House Panel Wants Independent Look at How Pentagon Funds Testing


House lawmakers called for an independent review of the Pentagon’s test and evaluation resourcing strategy in light of a growing infrastructure and equipment shortfall. The House Armed Services cyber, innovative technologies, and information systems subcommittee released its version of the fiscal 2023 defense policy bill. Among its recommendations are two provisions aimed at bolstering the test and evaluation community.

We Tried Out the Air Force’s Revolutionary New VR Training Tool. Here’s What It’s Like

Task & Purpose

What do the 1990s and the United States Air Force have in common? They both want you to know that they love virtual reality, and they envision it being used for everything. Task and Purpose went to Washington, D.C., where we had a chance to play with the new tools being developed to teach Airmen how to keep the U.S. Air Force’s planes running. Not content with simply making a simulator for maintainers, the Air Force envisions the Maintenance Operations and Training in Augmented Reality (MOTAR) as being a training program, a coursework hosting service, a personnel file, and a social network to organize units across multiple end-user devices.

How the Space Force Plans to Police Outer Space


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. Space launches in the U.S. have been on the rise, and participation by private companies has increased over the last decade. What’s more, satellite imaging in the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia has underscored the importance of space-based assets, both commercial and military.

Pentagon’s New AI and Data Chief: ‘Let Me Say Honestly That the Bureaucracy Is Real’

Breaking Defense

Three days into the job, the Pentagon’s first chief data and artificial intelligence officer has already seen first hand how the department’s famous bureaucracy can slow down the most common sense ideas—or, quite literally, keep people out of the building. “So let me say honestly that the bureaucracy is real,” CDAO Craig Martell said at the DOD Digital and AI Symposium. “I’ve been here three days. I still don’t have a CAC card. I still have to wait in line at the visitor’s entrance.”

One More Thing

Air Force Academy Debuts New Falcon Logo


The United States Air Force Academy has a new falcon symbol. The new logo does not replace the "AF" symbol as the U.S. Air Force Academy’s primary logo but will serve as an official expression of the Academy's spirit, the Academy said. "Created in collaboration with current cadets and alumni, the new falcon spirit mark connects to a heritage of warriors while building towards a future defined by new challenges and undiscovered domains," said the Academy in a news release.

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