Ukrainian pilots

Ukraine Flies ‘Suicide Missions’ With MiGs, Awaits U.S. Decision on F-16 Training

On Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon from June 19 to 25, two Ukrainian pilots described the challenges they face flying outdated, analog MiGs on the front line of a war against sophisticated Russian jets. They were asking for F-16s and the training to fly them. Ukrainian pilots describe their sorties as “suicide missions,” according to one Ukrainian pilot who gave only his call sign “Nomad” for operational reasons in a video interview with Air Force Magazine. “Every one of us understands that we have lack of capability in old airplanes,” said Nomad, who was not part of the group in Washington, D.C. “The Russian airplanes have much more capabilities. They usually fly beyond visual range. They usually use missiles that have a range of more than 80 miles.”
house ndaa

House Begins Debate on NDAA, With Amendments to Slow Air Force Retirements of F-15s, RC-26s

The House of Representatives is poised to pass its version of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, but first it has to wade through hundreds of amendments and the hours of debate that will come with them. The House Armed Services Committee considered roughly 800 amendments to the NDAA as part of its markup process in June. Another 1,200 were introduced as the bill passed through the House Rules Committee and onto the floor for debate.
ARRW

Hypersonic ARRW Flies Successfully for Second Time, Completing Booster Tests

The Air Force accomplished a second free flight of its hypersonic AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon, or ARRW, in a test off the coast of California. The test concludes the booster test phase of the program and clears it for operational testing later in 2022, USAF said. The test marked the 12th time the ARRW had flown captively on a B-52 bomber and the second time it had successfully separated from the launch aircraft; it flew successfully in May. Three earlier attempts at test flights ended in failure, as the missile either failed to separate from the carrier aircraft or failed to fire a booster rocket.

Radar Sweep

Biden’s Trip to ‘Stabilize’ US-Mideast Ties Kicks Off in Israel

Defense One

President Joe Biden touted America’s “unshakeable commitment” to Israeli security after landing in Tel Aviv on his first trip to the Middle East as president. The trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia is intended to boost America’s influence in the region and solidify the coalition of nations aligned with the United States as competitors such as China boost their investment in the Middle East.

Resilient Space Systems Require Autonomy, Cultural Shift: Space Force Chief Scientist

Breaking Defense

Space Force science and technology efforts are concentrating on autonomous systems to help the service in its effort to overhaul military space systems to better withstand adversary attack, according to the service’s top scientist. “We have to build resilience in our systems. Had we thought about this 15 years ago, it would be simple—we would have that resilience built in. But now we’re having to redesign our architectures to figure out how to do it. And so that’s where the rub lies and where the challenges are,” said Joel Mozer, Space Force director of science, technology, and research.

Proposed JADC2 Cross-Service Exercise Belongs in Pacific, Says Hudson’s Clark

Defense News

A proposed exercise to assess progress made on the Pentagon’s joint all-domain command and control vision for seamless communications across the military should be driven by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, according to one expert. Doug Bush, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics, and technology, suggested the massive exercise, saying the time is right to put the evolving JADC2 capabilities of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and others through the crucible.

Air Force Needs More Efficiency From ‘Raindrop’ Software Factories: Former DOD Cyber Official

Breaking Defense

The Air Force needs a strategy to get more out of its investments in its different “raindrops” of software factories, according to a former Pentagon official who said he also fears the service isn’t growing enough talent in those initiatives. Ed Wilson, former deputy principal cyber adviser to the Secretary of Defense, said that though he’s a “big fan” of the “software factories for DevSecOps,” and sees their continued growth, he questioned how the service could “gain a bit more efficiency at times.” DevSecOps refers to an approach that combines software development, cybersecurity, and software operations.

Analysis: Space Force Budget Growth Could Be Short Lived

SpaceNews

President Biden’s proposed defense budget for fiscal year 2023 is “record-breaking” when it comes to national security space, says a new report from the consulting firm Avascent. Funding for military space has increased every year since 2018, but that growth may not be sustainable, the report says. The administration’s own projections show that funding for the Space Force—$24.5 billion proposed for 2023—will grow by a modest 4.2 percent in 2025 before leveling off by 2027.

155,000 Military Health System Patients to Be Pushed to Civilian Care Starting This Year

Military.com

More than 155,000 military family members and retirees will be moved from the military hospital system to civilian health providers starting later in 2022, a process expected to last through mid-2026, according to a new Defense Department report. Under a revised plan, however, at least 29 facilities that were slated to serve only Active-duty patients may still see some Active-duty family members to sustain their staffs' clinical skills.

Why It’s Suddenly So Much Harder to Get Promoted in the Air Force

Task & Purpose

It was a tough day July 12 for many Air Force staff sergeants hoping for a promotion to technical sergeant, a role that would give them more responsibilities as well as a bigger paycheck at a time when inflation and high housing prices are cutting into the bank accounts of many service members. The Air Force Personnel Center announced that out of 33,935 eligible staff sergeants, only 5,430 had been selected for promotion to technical sergeant, a selection rate of 16 percent. That’s a 10-point drop from last year’s 26.94 percent selection rate, and many Airmen worry that future promotions will be just as competitive in light of recent news that the Air Force is slowing down its promotion rate for noncommissioned officers in ranks E-5 (staff sergeant) through E-7 (master sergeant).

SPONSORED: FSI Defense—All In For The Air Force

Air Force Magazine

FlightSafety International (FSI) is a name that resonates with pilots around the globe. Since 1951, FSI has been an industry leader in the education and training of aircrew and maintenance personnel. While being a well-established company, FSI continues to transform to meet customer needs. The development of innovative solutions is key to the transformation that complements FSI’s proven training programs as well as a renewed focus on improving the overall quality of products and programs. One significant transformation is the establishment of FSI Defense, formerly FlightSafety Services Corporation (FSSC).

Russia Seems to Be Running Low on Drones

Defense One

Russia, which used drones to terrifying effect in its initial 2014 invasion of Ukraine, appears in the current campaign to be losing both small and large drones at a rapid pace. Jake Sullivan, the Biden administration’s national security adviser, said July 11 that Iran was preparing to send “several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs, on an expedited timeline” to Russia. That’s on top of recent reports out of Russia where regional officials have vowed to dig into their general budgets to buy the Russian Army more quadcopters.

House Votes to Make It Easier to Report UFOs

Politico

The House voted to create a secure government system for reporting UFOs and to compel current and former officials to reveal what they might know about the mysterious phenomena by promising to protect the officials from reprisal. The bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, passed by voice vote without debate, is part of an aggressive effort to exert more oversight over an enduring intelligence-gathering challenge that has gained more attention in recent years.

Enlisting in the Air Force Could Land You Almost $60,000 in Bonus Pay

Air Force Times

With just over two months left to hit its recruiting goals, the Air Force is dangling hefty enlistment bonuses for anyone who wants to fill a growing list of in-demand jobs. The service added several more career fields that come with signing bonuses for those who enlist for four or six years by Sept. 30, bringing the total to 22 specialties. Those new options largely focus on computer systems and aircraft maintenance-related fields.

One More Thing

Airmen Acted on ‘Gut Feeling’ When They Rescued 8 People From a Circling Bull Shark

Task & Purpose

The Air Force usually leaves water business to the Coast Guard and the Navy, but four Airmen with the 6th Security Forces Squadron Marine Patrol Unit at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida flipped the script in June by rescuing eight civilians whose boat had capsized in Tampa Bay and who were being circled by a 10- or 12-foot-long bull shark when the Airmen found them.

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Celebrating 75 Years of Air and Space Power