Ukraine F-16s

Analysts: Ukraine Needs U.S. Aircraft; U.S. Needs to Stop Self-Deterring

The weapons the U.S. and NATO have been providing Ukraine are not enough to reverse Russia’s invasion, and the process of providing F-16s from U.S. stocks should begin as soon as possible, analysts said in an AFA Mitchell Institute online seminar. Panelists also said the U.S. should not be fearful of Russia’s nuclear threats and that Vladimir Putin will invade more countries if not stopped in Ukraine.
b-2 australia

B-2s Deploy to Australia for Bomber Task Force Mission

A pair of B-2 bombers from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., arrived in Australia on July 10, starting a new bomber task force mission in the Indo-Pacific just days after the Air Force completed its last one. The B-2s, from the 509th Bomb Wing, landed at Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, according to the U.S. Air Force, and will take part in “training missions and strategic deterrence missions with allies, partners and joint forces.”
air force promotion

Air Force Promotes Fewest Tech Sergeants in a Decade

A few days after warning that promotion rates for enlisted noncommissioned officers were likely to drop over the next several years, the Air Force Personnel Center announced the statistics from the 22E6 promotion cycle July 12—with the fewest number of Airmen getting promoted to technical sergeant in at least a decade. All told, 5,430 staff sergeants were tapped to become tech sergeants, AFPC said in a release. The full list of those promoted will be released on myPers on July 20.
Gulf War

Construction of Gulf War Memorial Begins on the National Mall

The installation of a new monument in Washington, D.C., recognizing Gulf War veterans begins July 14 with the formal groundbreaking of the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial. Situated on the National Mall to the north of the Lincoln Memorial, the new park-style monument will honor veterans who served on Active duty in support of the two operations.
Walden

B-21 Director Walden Leaving RCO to Advise LaPlante at Pentagon

Randall G. Walden, head of the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office, where he has directed development of the B-21 bomber and the Advanced Battle Management System, is moving to a new job at the Pentagon to advise the Defense Department's acquisition and sustainment chief, William A. LaPlante. Walden, who is the director and program executive officer for the RCO, has been named “senior executive advisor” in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.

Radar Sweep

Pentagon: US Kills IS Group Leader in Syria in Drone Strike

The Associated Press

The Pentagon said July 12 that it killed a leader of the Islamic State group in Syria in a drone strike. U.S. Central Command said in a news release that Maher al-Agal was killed July 12 and an unidentified senior official in the Islamic State group was seriously injured. The Pentagon said there were no civilian casualties, though it wasn’t possible to immediately confirm that information. The U.S. carried out the strike outside Jindaris, a town in northwestern Syria close to the Turkish border.

C-17 Loadmaster Led Crew Through Onboard Bomb Threat in Kabul Evacuation

Air Force Times

Staff Sgt. Duncan Copley knows the risks he runs each time he heads out on a C-17 transport mission. But virtually nothing could have prepared him for the message that came across his headset in August 2021: “We have credible intel that there could be a bomb on board.” Copley’s calm under pressure as a loadmaster during Operation Allies Refuge, the frantic effort to evacuate more than 124,000 people from Afghanistan, earned him Military Times’ 2022 Airman of the Year award.

Biden to Sign Defense Production Act Directives Targeting Hypersonics Development

Defense News

President Joe Biden is poised to sign two directives that would allow the U.S. Department of Defense to invest in its hypersonic weapons industrial base as adversaries demonstrate advanced capabilities. As China and Russia tout recent progress in developing hypersonic weapons, which are unique in their ability to maneuver at speeds higher than Mach 5, the Pentagon wants to address potential supply chain disruption in key technology areas.

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.

With US Warning About Iranian-Russian Drone Sales, Ukraine Conflict Comes to the Middle East

Breaking Defense

As much as Washington has wanted to set the Middle East to the side in recent years, geopolitics always seem to bring things back to the region. The latest: Just as President Joe Biden is traveling to Israel and Saudi Arabia, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told members of the press that Iran is preparing to send “hundreds” of military drones to Russia to help Moscow continue its invasion of Ukraine.

Could Greek F-35 Buy Cause a Flare-Up in US-Turkish Relations?

Breaking Defense

The tables have turned for regional rivals Greece and Turkey in the realm of fighter jet acquisition plans, with Greece headed for a buy of the Lockheed Martin F-35 just three years after Turkey was kicked out of the Joint Strike Fighter program. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told reporters on June 30 that the country had submitted a letter of request “in recent days” to the U.S. government for a squadron of 20 F-35s, with options to buy an additional squadron.

Space Runs on Open Source Software. The US Air Force Is Fine With That

Defense One

Open source software has a mixed reputation for security, yet it drives commercial space enterprises such as SpaceX and Starlink—and increasingly, U.S. military space efforts. But Lauren Barrett Knausenberger, the Air Force’s chief information officer, says her service has taken steps to keep key data safe.

F-35 Program Expects to Close Two Category 1B Deficiencies by End of Year

Defense Daily

The F-35 program has fixed one of the Lockheed Martin fighter’s Category 1B deficiencies and looks to resolve another two by the end of the year, while the remaining fourth Category 1B Deficiency Report will require development, the F-35 Joint Program Office said. “One DR requires technology development to resolve,” the JPO wrote in an emailed response to questions. “An assessment was recently completed, and a multipart solution has been selected. Funding and closure timeline are currently being determined.”

NRO Space Missions Mark New Level of US-Australia Cooperation

SpaceNews

Two upcoming Rocket Lab launches for the National Reconnaissance Office will send to orbit classified spy satellites that the U.S. intelligence agency developed jointly with the Australian government.The payloads on NROL-162 and NROL-199 are “designed, built, and operated by the National Reconnaissance Office in partnership with the Australian Department of Defence as part of a broad range of cooperative satellite activities with Australia,” an NRO spokesperson said.

​​Readout of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.’s Travel to Germany

Air Force release

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. traveled to Germany to deepen the U.S. Air Force’s partnership with the German Air Force. Germany is a key NATO ally and essential host nation to U.S. forces. Brown met with Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, chief of the German Air Force; Brig. Gen. Holger Neumann, deputy chief of staff for plans and policy, German Air Force; and other German military officials.

One More Thing

This Whimsical Machine Gun-Toting Bunny is the Air Force’s Latest Squadron Mascot

Task & Purpose

America’s enemies have a new creature to fear that has long white ears and wears a tuxedo. The Air Force’s 177th Fighter Wing announced July 8 the activation of the 306th Fighter Squadron, a unit that has been dormant for decades but has a rich combat history and an even richer mascot. The 177th Fighter Wing did not respond in time to provide a history of the emblem, but press materials show it features a rabbit wearing a tux and a beret and holding a machine gun in front of a four-leaf clover.

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