Pacific

Valiant Shield Adds ACE Partners in the Pacific, Tests Dispersion, MQ-9 ‘Drop-In’

JOINT REGION MARIANAS, Guam—Laid out across a vast wooden table made in the woodshop of a Navy ship repair facility in Guam in 1967 was a map of the Pacific Ocean island chains of the Northern Marianas, Palau, and Micronesia. As large as the map was—spread out at the rounded head of the historic table that once hosted a meeting between President Lyndon B. Johnson and South Vietnamese representatives—it showed only the small region of the South Pacific where the exercise Valiant Shield took place. The exercise demonstrated the progress the Air Force has made in adding partners in the region while also testing how far is too far to disperse and how to incorporate more platform types.

Q&A: AFCENT Tests ACE in Combat

The commander of U.S. Air Forces Central (AFCENT), Lt. Gen. Gregory M. Guillot, spoke with Air Force Magazine from the AFCENT headquarters at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

Radar Sweep

WW2 Medal of Honor Recipient to Lie in Honor at US Capitol

The Associated Press

Hershel W. “Woody” Williams, the last remaining Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, will lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol. A date and other details will be announced later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement. Williams, who died at age 98, was a legend in his native West Virginia for his heroics under fire over several crucial hours at the battle for Iwo Jima.

Virgin Orbit Rocket Launches 7 US Defense Satellites

The Associated Press

A Virgin Orbit rocket carrying seven Defense Department satellites launched from a special Boeing 747 flying off the Southern California coast and streaked toward space. The modified jumbo jet took off from Mojave Air and Space Port in the Mojave Desert and released the rocket over the Pacific Ocean, northwest of Los Angeles. The launch was procured by the Space Force. The seven payloads will conduct various experiments.

Chinese Company’s Purchase of North Dakota Farmland Raises National Security Concerns in D.C.

The Associated Press

When three North Dakotans who owned parcels of land in Grand Forks, N.D., sold them for millions of dollars this spring, the transaction raised alarm bells as far away as Washington, D.C. That’s because the buyer of the land was a Chinese company, the Fufeng Group, based in Shandong, China, and the property is just about 20 minutes down the road from Grand Forks Air Force Base, home to some of the nation’s most sensitive military drone technology.

OPINION: The Risks of US Military Assistance to Ukraine

Defense One

“The donated weapons pouring into Ukraine—more than $6.1 billion so far from the U.S. alone—have been welcomed by Kyiv, but they also carry a variety of potential national security and strategic consequences. Defense planners, lawmakers, and the public should develop safeguards to keep these weapons from feeding future conflict, violence, and instability. The most serious and talked-about risk is provoking a direct response from Moscow. … In the longer term, managing the tens of thousands of small arms, heavy weapons, and other military hardware transferred to Ukraine since the invasion will pose a security challenge long after the guns fall silent,” write Rachel Stohl and Elias Yousif of the Stimson Center.

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.

US Sues to Block Spy-Tech Deal

Defense One

The Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block Booz Allen Hamilton’s planned acquisition of signals intelligence vendor EverWatch because of competition concerns. The two firms were rivals in a planned National Security Agency services procurement called Optimal Decision. “The two companies are the only competitors for this project, and if the merger is not quickly blocked, NSA and American taxpayers likely will be harmed in the form of higher prices, lower quality, and less innovation for this crucial service,” the Justice Department stated in its filing.

Military Service Leaders Meet to Tackle JADC2 Progress & Projections

ExecutiveGov

Service leaders from the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Space Force convened to discuss the joint all-domain command and control concept of the Department of Defense as well as its progress and projections. USAF said the meeting focused on finding opportunities to align developmental efforts and identifying challenges to advancing JADC2 objectives.

PODCAST: Defending Adversary Strikes: Next-Gen Missile Warning and Tracking

Mitchell Institute

In Episode 83 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, “Defeating Adversary Strikes: Next-Gen Missile Warning and Tracking,” John Baum chats with the Mitchell Institute’s Chris Stone; Lt. Col. Brandon Davenport, former commander of the 2nd Space Warning Squadron; and Davin Swanson, chief engineer with Raytheon Intelligence and Space, about the threat posed by modern adversary missiles and key steps to defeat them.

US Must Invest in Emerging Tech to Keep Pace With China, Govini Report Says

Defense News

The U.S. government must commit to “meaningful” spending on emerging technologies to keep up with China and other competing nations, according to a report from data analytics firm Govini. The report, Govini’s “National Security Scorecard: Critical Technologies Edition,” said the Russia-Ukraine conflict shows that the future of warfare lies with emerging technologies, such as autonomous and semi-autonomous drones and artificial intelligence.

OPINION: Congress Must Support a Diversified, Multi-Layered Approach to Space Missile Warning

Breaking Defense

Missile tracking and early warning were never easy tasks, but with the proliferation of advanced ballistics and the emergence of hypersonic weapons, the mission has gotten exponentially harder. In this op-ed, the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Christopher Stone argues that the Pentagon and Congress need to support the Space Force’s modernization efforts to deal with the new threats.

One More Thing

That Time an F-101 Pilot Tried to Race an SR-71

The Aviation Geek Club

Throughout its nearly 24-year career, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird strategic reconnaissance aircraft remained the world’s fastest and highest-flying operational aircraft. From 80,000 feet, it could survey 100,000 square miles of Earth’s surface per hour. So it comes as no surprise if, thanks to its astonishing flight characteristics, the aircraft has set numerous speed and altitude records. The following story comes from the unpublished book, “The Very First” by Colonel Richard “Butch” Sheffield, SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance systems officer: “Sometime, early in the program, in January 1967, I believe, we aborted and landed at Buckley Air National Guard Base near Denver. The base was home to an F-101 squadron. The F-101 was an interceptor assigned to defend the US in case of war. The fighter community considered it a ‘hot’ aircraft. …”

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