2023 NDAA

House Panel Approves Space National Guard, More EC-37Bs, and a Big Topline Boost to 2023 NDAA

One of the Air Force’s top unfunded priorities and a renewed push for a Space National Guard were both approved by the House Armed Services Committee as part of the panel’s marathon markup of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. The committee also voted to increase the top line of the NDAA by $37 billion on top of the $773 billion requested by the Pentagon. But in a concurrent hearing, the House Appropriations Committee, which actually controls the purse strings, voted for a much smaller increase, setting the stage for what is likely to be a fierce debate in the coming months.
Pacific space

Space Force Needs ‘Bodies’ at Pacific Commands to Meet Rising Threats

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii—In past Pacific exercises, space capabilities came into the picture after the fact—supposition over what Air Force Space Command might have done had it been involved. Since the creation of the Space Force, however, small teams of Guardians assigned to Pacific Air Forces and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command have been tasked with assuring that space effects are incorporated into all exercises, but some work is falling through the cracks.
Brown

This is the Best Time to Take Risks, Brown Says

The Air Force is trying to strike a balance between fight-tonight readiness and future capabilities, and the current situation offers the most favorable conditions to focus more on investment, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said in a think-tank presentation. “This is probably the best opportunity” to accept some risk in day-to-day readiness versus long-term investment, Brown said in a Hudson Institute streamed event. He also commented on how Russia is prosecuting its air war in Ukraine by keeping its air units close to ground units and not venturing far from them.
F-22

With the F-22’s Future Uncertain, Hickam Airmen Reflect

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii—Just behind the F-22 maintenance shop at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, a tall chain-link fence blocks access to a lengthy roadway leading to 13 sunshades, each standing more than 30 feet high. Their corrugated metal roofs protect both maintainers and the F-22 fighter aircraft flown by the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th Fighter Squadron and the Air Force’s 19th Fighter Squadron. For a dozen years, thousands of Hawaiian maintainers have supported, and hundreds of pilots have flown, the fifth-generation aircraft from Hickam’s strategic Pacific location. But in recent months, a tinge of sadness and uncertainty has radiated through the F-22 support team and pilots as Air Force leaders called for the retirement of 33 of the 186 F-22s in the fleet to make way for investments in next-generation fighters.

Radar Sweep

Ukrainian Fighter Pilots: Send Better Jets and Air Defenses

Defense One

Ukraine has been asking the West for advanced fighter jets for months. Now Kyiv’s fighter pilots are pressing the case themselves. In a series of interviews with Western media, two Ukrainian fighter pilots—“Juice” and “Moonfish,” a MiG-29 squadron commander—plus a Ukrainian Air Force anti-aircraft officer are highlighting what’s missing from the recent shipments of foreign weapons: modern ground and air defense systems, and modern fighter jets.

New Legislation Aims to Give Drone Crews Tax-Free Combat Pay

Air Force Times

Military drone crews could soon receive the same tax-free combat pay as deployed troops under a pair of bills. Service members who fly remotely piloted aircraft or operate their surveillance and targeting sensors don’t qualify for untaxed income because they largely wage war from installations in the continental U.S. rather than in combat zones such as Iraq or Somalia.

DOD Satcom: Big Money for Military Satellites, Slow Shift to Commercial Services

SpaceNews

The Pentagon plans to spend nearly $13 billion over the next five years to develop and acquire military communications satellites. According to Department of Defense budget documents, this large investment supports growing demands for connectivity and secure data networks across the armed forces and national security agencies. The 2023-2027 spending plan includes funding for the Pentagon’s first-ever low Earth orbit broadband constellation and smaller numbers of bespoke communications satellites to augment or replace existing systems.

China Conducts Midcourse Missile Defense Test One Year After Last

The Drive

China’s Ministry of National Defense announced that a land-based, midcourse, anti-ballistic missile defense test had been carried out. The test marks China’s fifth midcourse anti-ballistic missile test to be announced by the Chinese government over the course of 12 years.

In NDAA, HASC Orders Unclassified Pentagon Strategy for Satellite Protection

Breaking Defense

Citing concerns about growing threats from Russia and China, House lawmakers responsible for defense policy want the Pentagon to develop a detailed new strategy for protecting satellites from adversary threats. The House Armed Services Committee in its markup of the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directed Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III to provide Congress with the new strategy within 90 days of the policy bill’s enactment. The language, drafted by the HASC strategic forces subcommittee, was approved by the full committee.

WATCH: ‘Operationally Optimized’ ABMS and JADC2

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

AFA’s Mitchell Institute of Aerospace Studies invites you to watch the virtual Aerospace Nation discussion with Brig. Gen. Jeffery D. Valenzia, Department of the Air Force Advance Battle Management System Cross Functional Team Lead, and Brig. Gen. John M. Olson, Space Force JADC2/ABMS Lead, Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, and the Chief Data and Artificial Intelligence Officer for the Department of the Air Force. They discuss their perspectives on how to achieve the Air Force’s vision for “operationally optimized” ABMS/JADC2.

Air Force Chief: Better Acquisition Process Helping Nuclear Triad Modernization

National Defense Magazine

The way the Air Force is approaching its new stealth bomber and ballistic missile programs will help sidestep cost overruns and schedule delays that traditionally have held up the development of other systems, the service’s chief of staff said. The Air Force developed the B-21 to replace its aging fleet of B-1 and B-2 bombers, while the Sentinel would replace the LGM-30 Minuteman III. These programs make up two legs of the nuclear triad that the Pentagon is trying to modernize.

Pentagon Unveils Long-Awaited Plan for Implementing ‘Responsible AI’

FedScoop

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks signed the Responsible Artificial Intelligence Strategy and Implementation Pathway (RAI S&I pathway), marking a highly anticipated next step in the Defense Department’s carrying out of its AI Ethical Principles adopted more than two years ago. The 47-page document directs the sprawling Pentagon’s strategic approach for operationalizing those foundational principles and, more broadly, communicates a framework for how DOD will deliberately leverage AI in a lawful, ethical, and accountable manner.

Inside Space Force Boot Camp With Recruits to US Military's Newest Branch

CNN

The U.S. Space Force has hit a critical milestone: dedicated basic training for its early recruits. As dawn breaks on Day 38 of basic training at Joint Base San Antonio, a bugle playing reveille blasts over the loudspeakers as a sergeant can be heard screaming, "Are you prepared to join the world's greatest Space Force? Then hurry up! Let's go, let's go."

One More Thing

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Is Officially the Most Successful US Military Movie of All Time

Task & Purpose

Give the people what they want. In this case, it’s the jets, dogfights, and brief beach football interlude of “Top Gun: Maverick.” The more than 30-years-in-the-making sequel has already raked in $474,755,566 in gross profit domestically. Add another $427,100,00 from international markets, and that’s $901,855,566 in total. That’s quite a haul, even enough to buy seven of the Navy’s F-35C jets.

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