Editor’s Note

AFA is closed on Monday, June 20 for the Juneteenth holiday. We'll be back in your inboxes on Tuesday, June 21.
Pentagon continuing resolution

Senate Panel Allows A-10 Cuts, But Not F-22s

After years of blocking the Air Force from retiring A-10 attack aircraft, the Senate Armed Services Committee will allow the service to proceed, but not with a new initiative to retire older F-22 Raptor air superiority jets. It also agreed to add seven more jets to USAF's request for F-35 fighters, and overruled the service on its plan to trim the HH-60 Combat Search and Rescue Helicopter buy.

Hawaiian Space Force Antennas Collect Vital Data with ‘Antiquated’ Equipment

Atop a ridge 1,500 feet above the waters of Yokohama Bay on Oahu island are six giant white globes concealing antennas for the collection of space data. The intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data collected from satellites as they orbit over the Pacific is vital to the Space Force and Joint Force. But all too often, the aging antennas are down and deferring their tasks to other sites at island locations also operating with near-obsolete hardware at risk of failure. “Without us, space doesn’t happen,” Space Force Maj. Brandon Hammond, commander of the 21st SOS Detachment 3 told Air Force Magazine.
Pentagon acquisition

Top Pentagon Aide, Former Tech Executive Nominated as No. 2 Weapons Buyer

The White House has nominated Radha Iyengar Plumb—currently deputy defense secretary Kathleen Hicks' chief of staff—to be the deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. Plumb previously worked at Google and Facebook, and has previous government work at the departments of Defense, Energy and the National Security Council. Most of her career has been in the field of economics.
space force electromagnetic warfare

New Commander of Space Force Electromagnetic Warfare Squadron Highlights Interservice Culture

A single “hooah” filled the atrium of the Electromagnetic Warfare Facility at Peterson Space Force Base, Colo., on June 15, where a former Army officer received his first salute as commander of the USSF's 4th Electromagnetic Warfare Squadron. Lt. Col. Nicholas R. Shaw became the first transferring officer from a prior service besides the Air Force to assume command of a Space Force unit.

Radar Sweep

Senators Tack $45B onto Biden's Defense Budget

POLITICO

The Senate Armed Services Committee has endorsed a $45 billion increase to President Joe Biden’s military spending plans in its annual defense policy bill, blowing past the administration’s Pentagon budget for a second straight year. The rebuke of Biden’s budget plans, which occurred during the panel’s closed-door markup of the National Defense Authorization Act this week, comes after lawmakers added roughly $30 billion to the White House’s previous defense spending proposal.

Sweeping Toxic Exposure Bill Nears Finish Line After Senate Passage

Military.com

A historic expansion of veterans benefits for millions who were exposed to toxins during their military service is on a glide path to becoming law after it cleared the Senate on June 16. The Senate voted 84-14 to approve the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act, which would extend health care and disability benefits to an estimated 3.5 million veterans exposed to burn pits and other airborne hazards. All of the "no" votes came from Republicans.

Air Force Thinking of New Ways to Handle ‘Black Swan’ Events in Acquisition

Federal News Network

The government hasn’t had it easy when it comes to predicting what world events will be thrown its way over the past few years, and in turn, that has an impact on budgeting, businesses and their supply chain. The Air Force and other military organizations are dealing with a handful of “black swans” as Maj. Gen. Camron Holt, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for contracting, called them. The war in Ukraine, supply chain shortages, COVID, and inflation are all throwing a wrench in pricing and contracting.

House Appropriators Approve Funding Increase for DOD, Support Space Programs

SpaceNews

The House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee on June 15 approved by voice vote a defense funding bill for fiscal year 2023. The defense appropriations subcommittee, or HAC-D, approved funding for the Space Force and national security space programs largely in line with the president’s request. That includes $3.7 billion for procurement of satellites and launch services, and $15.4 billion for research, development and testing of space technologies.

Live, Virtual & Constructive Training

Air Force Magazine

The Air Force is transitioning to more virtual training to give pilots an edge, saying some higher end maneuvers cannot be replicated in real-time training. Learn more on Air Force Magazine’s Live, Virtual & Constructive Training page.

This Compass Call Squadron Was Deployed in Afghanistan for 20 Years. Here’s Their Inside Story.

Air Force Times

From 2001 to 2021, the shadowy 41st Electronic Combat Squadron—known as the 41st Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron when deployed overseas—was the longest continuously deployed Air Force unit in Afghanistan. The EC-130H Compass Call electronic-attack unit from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, was pivotal in fighting the Taliban, al Qaida and Islamic State-Khorasan fighters and protecting American and allied troops, logging nearly 14,800 sorties over 90,000 flying hours. They returned home in October to begin their next chapter with new missions and, soon, new planes.

Ukraine War Raises Questions about Military Insight into Commercial SATCOM

Breaking Defense

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has expanded global military use of commercial satellite communications while raising questions about how much insight US European Command has into the commercial SATCOM industry, EUCOM’s chief information officer said. Brig. Gen. Chad Raduege, who also serves as the director of EUCOM’s command, control, communications and computers/cyber directorate, said the war, now in its 113th day of conflict, has resulted in an “explosion of activity” for commercial SATCOM.

Space Force Seeks a Bigger Voice in Military Operations

Air Force Times

After two years of finding its sea—er, space—legs, the Space Force is starting to vie for more influence at home and on the battlefield. In its first two years, the Space Force has focused on organizing, training and equipping its troops for U.S. Space Command, which directs those people and resources for daily missions. But the service is looking at expanding its role in everyday ops through stronger partnerships with regional commands around the world.

COMMENTARY: Why Ukraine’s Air Success Should Worry the West

War on the Rocks

“Ukraine’s success in contesting the skies turns the West’s airpower paradigm on its head—it offers an alternative vision for pursuing airspace denial over air superiority. Despite having one of the largest and most technologically sophisticated air forces in the world, Russia has failed to establish air superiority over Ukraine. And many Western analysts are surprised and bewildered. But the puzzlement is a sign of military myopia more than anything else,” write Col. Maximilian K. Bremer, the director of the Special Programs Division at Air Mobility Command, and Kelly A. Grieco, a resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

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