Air Force helmet

Air Force Picks a Prototype for Its New Aircrew Helmet

The Air Force has selected a prototype to develop as its new helmet for all fixed-wing aircrew, Air Combat Command announced, picking LIFT Airborne Technologies’ design. The new helmet, which still has to undergo additional research and testing before the Air Force confirms the design and offers a production contract, is better equipped to handle the addition of helmet-mounted devices and will offer a better fit for more diverse crews, the Air Force said in its announcement.
HBCUs

Air Force to Start Tactical Autonomy Research Partnership With HBCUs

The Air Force will look to the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in a closed solicitation that will create the Air Force's first university-affiliated research center (UARC), Air Force leaders said. The center will study tactical autonomy. The DAF will select the center's location from one of 11 qualifying schools. The current plan would make the chosen HBCU the leader of a consortium of other HBCUs studying the topic.

New Space Acquisition Chief Wants to Apply Contracting Lessons from NRO

The new head of space acquisition for the Department of the Air Force plans to import lessons he learned at the National Reconnaissance Office—especially the “relentless pursuit of program management discipline”—to the Space Force. Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisitions and Integration Frank Calvelli also said that “for now” he doesn’t think the Space Force will need to acquire commercial space data, such as imagery, separately from the NRO.

Radar Sweep

Air Force Acquisition Chief Talks Drone Wingmen, Supply Chains, and the B-21

Air Force Times

Two months into his new job as the Air Force’s acquisition chief, Andrew Hunter has no shortage of challenges on his plate. The COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine have stretched vital supply chains to their breaking point. The Air Force is arguing with a key contractor over a program that continues to be delayed. And the service is facing tight timelines as it works to develop and field new capabilities in time for a potential major war.

NATO to Approve ‘Biggest Overhaul’ of Defense Since Cold War, Leader Says

Defense One

NATO will grow its quick reaction force nearly tenfold, to “well over 300,000” troops, to better protect the alliance’s eastern front in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg announced. The alliance is expected to formally adopt the change at its summit in Madrid, where leaders will also approve a new strategic document for the next 10 years, discuss a boost in defense spending, and approve more aid for Ukraine.

Biden's Pick for NATO Chief Confirmed

Politico

The Senate has signed off on President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead U.S. forces in Europe and be NATO’s top commander. Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli was confirmed as the U.S. and European allies work to help Ukraine blunt Russia’s offensive and NATO looks to expand to include Sweden and Finland in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

No, the Pentagon Is Not Defying the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Abortion

Task & Purpose

Despite viral tweets claiming otherwise, the Pentagon is not defying the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said he was “committed to taking care of our people” and that the Pentagon is “examining this decision closely and evaluating our policies to ensure we continue to provide seamless access to reproductive health care as permitted by federal law.”

Air Force ROTC Cadet Dies in Idaho Training Accident

The Associated Press

An Air Force ROTC cadet from Alaska died in an accident involving a Humvee during a training exercise in Idaho, Mountain Home Air Force Base said June 26. Mackenzie Wilson, 19, a cadet at Oregon State University, died of injuries sustained in the accident June 24. She was from Eagle River, Alaska, officials said.

Russia to Provide Nuclear-Capable Missiles and Fighter Jets to Belarus

Defense News

Russia will provide nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles to Belarus and upgrade the country’s fighter jets to allow them to carry tactical atomic weapons, President Vladimir Putin said. A “decision was made in our country: Within the next several months, we will transfer to Belarus the Iskander-M tactical missile systems, which are known to use both ballistic and cruise missiles, both conventional and nuclear,” Putin said June 25 following a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko.

Requirement for Women to Register for the Draft Back on the Table in Annual Defense Bill

Military.com

A fight over whether women should be required to register for a potential draft has been revived in Congress. Last year, Congress appeared on the precipice of making women register with what's formally called the Selective Service System, but the idea was dropped from the defense policy bill signed into law after closed-door House-Senate negotiations despite having bipartisan support. Now, the proposal is back in the version of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, making its way through the Senate.

SPACECOM, Commerce Wrapping Up Framework Accord on Space Surveillance

Breaking Defense

A top-level agreement on how to begin the handover of responsibility for monitoring the heavens from U.S. Space Command to the Commerce Department is expected to be finalized by the end of August, according to government officials. That agreement—to be signed by Gen. James H. Dickinson, SPACECOM commander; Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, Chief of Space Operations; and Richard W. Spinrad, Commerce undersecretary for oceans and atmosphere—is designed as a framework and thus will be light on details.

Meet the Small Team That Handles the Air Force’s Radioactive Waste

Federal News Network

This year’s Secretary of Defense Environmental Award winner in the environmental quality individual team category went to the Air Force Radioactive Recycling and Disposal Team. As part of the 88th Civil Engineer Group, AFFRAD handles low-level radioactive recycling and low-level mixed waste management in the Air Force and provides radioactive material recycling for the entire Defense Department.

With Billions at Stake, Lobbying Heats Up for Future Rights to Space Force Launches

Breaking Defense

As the Space Force begins planning for the next round of contracting for national security launch services beyond 2027, action on Capitol Hill is heating up—with industry lobbying emerging into the public eye. At stake: billions of dollars and years of guaranteed business for winning launch providers under the service’s National Security Space Launch program when the current Phase 2 is wrapped up in 2025. Space Force intends to open bidding for Phase 3 in fiscal 2024.

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