NATO summit

NATO: Turkey Agrees to Admit Finland, Sweden; Ready Force to Expand From 40K to 300K

Turkey has agreed to allow Sweden and Finland to join NATO after early negotiations at the Madrid NATO Summit. The accession of Finland and Sweden, who formally applied to join NATO in May, had been an open question going into the summit after Turkey resisted. The progress means leaders can focus on expanding the NATO Response Force and including China in the alliance's new strategic concept.
USAFE commander

New USAFE Commander: It’s Time to Concentrate on Russia, China ‘24-7, 365’

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine grinds on and NATO looks to deter further aggression in Europe, a number of the top U.S. military leadership positions on the continent are changing hands in quick succession—starting with a change of command for U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Force Africa. Gen. James B. Hecker pinned on his fourth star, formally succeeding Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian in a ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The command change capped a rapid process that started with Hecker's nomination just three weeks ago.
space acquisition

Space Acquisition Chief: Diversifying Orbits With Smaller Satellites Is Trick to Resilience

The Department of the Air Force's new space acquisition chief said he will seek to expand the types of orbits used by the Space Force's future satellite constellations in the interest of improving their resilience. At the same time, he would aim to acquire smaller satellites that can be produced more quickly. “For too long, the DOD side of the house has just predominantly worried about [geosynchronous] orbits. "I think you've got to shake things up," said Frank Calvelli, assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration. “From a resiliency perspective, I think we get it by proliferating the architecture more.”
Garrant

Space Force Poised to Get a New Plans and Programs Chief

The Pentagon has nominated Maj. Gen. Philip A. Garrant for a promotion to three-star general and to take on the job of Space Force deputy chief of space operations for strategy, plans, programs, and requirements. In the role, he would also be responsible for the USSF’s budget. Garrant would be just the seventh lieutenant general in the Space Force if confirmed.

Radar Sweep

Air Guard Troops Doing Space Missions Face Identity Crisis

The Associated Press

About 1,000 Air National Guard troops who are assigned to space missions are mired in an identity crisis. Torn between the Air Force, where they have historically been assigned, and the military’s shiny new Space Force where they now work, their units have become orphans, according to commanders, as state and federal leaders wrangle over whether to create a Space National Guard.

NATO Rushes to Halt Russia, Leaving China Pivot Unresolved

Politico

NATO leaders will proclaim a united wartime front this week at a summit in Madrid. Yet the quandaries that once left NATO adrift are still bubbling. Before Russia sent its troops streaming into Ukraine, NATO had been searching for reinvention. For some, China and its expansive, modernizing military presented NATO’s next big challenge. Others wondered what the Afghanistan war quagmire meant for the alliance’s future. In 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron said NATO was experiencing “brain death.”

Congress Eyes Extra Pay to Counter Wave of Suicides in Alaska and on Ships in the Yard

Military.com

Soldiers in the frigid Arctic and Sailors aboard ships undergoing major construction could get extra pay as lawmakers look to respond through must-pass legislation to strings of suicides among service members in Alaska and on the USS George Washington. Included in the version of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, advanced by the House Armed Services Committee are provisions to provide new $200 monthly stipends to sailors on ships undergoing nuclear refueling and complex overhauls and $300 monthly stipends to service members “assigned to perform cold weather operations.”

New Google Division Will Take Aim at Pentagon Battle-Network Contracts

Defense One

Google is creating a division to help win more federal and state government contracts, including work for the Defense Department’s battle networks, company officials announced. The Google Public Sector division will help add employees and facilities with the security clearances necessary to bid on Pentagon work, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian told Defense One.

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.

Lawmakers Urge Air Force to Address Water Contamination in El Paso County

Fox 21

Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper urged the Air Force to address water contamination in El Paso County from polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which were found in firefighting foam used at Peterson Space Force Base. According to the lawmakers, PFAS have contaminated the Widefield aquifer that provides drinking water to thousands of area residents. They say it also supplies surface water to nearby ponds, some of which are used for recreational fishing.

Navy Slows F-35 Orders Amid Rising Readiness Grades of Its Fighter Fleet

Defense News

The Navy will order fewer F-35C jets in fiscal year 2023 than manufacturer Lockheed Martin could produce under a pandemic catch-up plan, with officials hoping to use the lull to spend money on other priorities. Though top Navy leaders told lawmakers that COVID-related problems, including supply-chain shortages, drove the decision to ask for fewer F-35C Joint Strike Fighters in next year’s budget, that is only half the story.

Pentagon: Supreme Court Abortion Ruling Won’t Affect Procedure at Military Facilities

The Hill

The Pentagon on June 28 sought to alleviate fears over the impact on service members or dependents from last week’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. The Defense Department said in a memo it will continue to provide abortions in cases when the mother’s life is at risk or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, instances known as “covered abortions.”

One More Thing

AFJROTC Instructor Retires After 58 Years in Uniform

Air Force release

An Airman’s amazing Air Force journey is coming to a fitting close this July after 58 years in uniform as both an Active-duty senior noncommissioned officer and Air Force Junior ROTC instructor. Retired Senior Master Sgt. David Weissgerber, aerospace science instructor, AFJROTC Unit JA-932, Kadena High School, Okinawa, Japan, will be retiring after an astounding 35-year career as an AFJROTC instructor, and this on top a distinguished 23-year Active-duty military career.

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