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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.