Australia

Australia, US, UK Seek ‘Seamless’ Defense Industrial Base

Following meetings with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, Australian defense minister Richard Marles said the two countries and the U.K. are working toward creating a “seamless” mutual defense industrial base to draw on the capabilities of all three countries for future defense systems. Speaking with defense journalists at the Australian embassy in Washington, D.C., Marles, who is also deputy prime minister, said “the focus of the meetings this week” has been to “to collaborate more closely” on defense procurement; specifically, “artificial intelligence, hypersonics, and counter-hypersonics” as well as the previously announced sale of nuclear attack submarines to Australia by the U.S.

Two More B-2 Bombers Arrive in Australia to Train With RAAF

Two more B-2 Spirits arrived in Australia on July 12 in support of a bomber task force mission as U.S. Airmen trained alongside personnel from the Royal Australian Air Force. The new bombers join two others that arrived July 10 at RAAF Base Amberley. All four B-2s are from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The bombers’ deployment will help support the Enhanced Cooperation Initiative under the Force Posture Agreement first signed more than a decade ago by the U.S. and Australia.
Space Command

Environmental Review of Space Command’s Ala. HQ Site Finds ‘Minimal’ Adverse Effects

An environmental assessment by the Department of the Air Force found that adverse effects of building U.S. Space Command’s headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., would be “short-term and not significant.” A favorable environmental assessment should have been all Redstone Arsenal needed to lock in the selection, but after investigations by the Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office, the DAF must also revisit aspects of the selection itself.
missile defense

CSIS Cruise Missile Defense Plan Would Cost Less Than CBO’s, Reduce Need for Fighters

U.S. Northern Command’s homeland cruise missile detection and defenses must be upgraded to respond to new threats, experts say, and a major D.C. think tank proposes a multi-layered defense that would require fewer Air Force fighters in the air and use new E-7 Wedgetails, the report’s authors told Air Force Magazine. The report, “North America Is a Region, Too,” by the Center for Strategic and International Studies proposes a solution costing hundreds of millions of dollars less than a 2021 Congressional Budget Office estimate.

Radar Sweep

Chinese Fighter Jet Had ‘Unsafe’ Interaction With U.S. Military Plane in June

Politico

A Chinese fighter jet had an “unsafe” and “unprofessional” interaction with a U.S. special operations C-130 aircraft in the South China Sea in June, according to two people with knowledge of the incident. The interaction, which has not been previously reported, comes amid more aggressive military actions by Chinese pilots in the East and South China seas involving Australian and Canadian aircraft.

Into the ‘Outernet’: Secure ‘Internet in Space’ Key to Future Space Force Hybrid Architecture

Breaking Defense

The Pentagon has taken the first steps toward a future “hybrid space architecture” comprising military and commercial satellites in multiple orbits, moving to design a foundational cyber-protected network integration capability—i.e., a hack-proof (or close to it, anyway) “internet in space,” officials say. The hybrid space architecture concept is an outgrowth of Space Force chief Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond’s 2020 “Vision for Enterprise Satellite Communications.”

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.

Cincinnati Federal Judge Temporarily Stops Air Force From Discharging Religious Vaccine Refusers

Fox 19

A federal judge in Cincinnati has certified a national class-action lawsuit against the entire U.S. Air Force worldwide and issued a temporary restraining order preventing the Biden administration from enforcing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on any service members who requested religious exemptions. In this local case that has now gone global, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew McFarland’s order stops the Air Force from discharging or disciplining service members for 14 days.

Britain’s Royal Air Force Chief Says Drone Swarms Ready to Crack Enemy Defenses

Defense News

The Royal Air Force’s experiments with drone swarms show they can overwhelm enemy defenses, and the concept would be ready for action in a war, according to the U.K. military service’s chief of staff. Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston told the Global Air and Space Chiefs’ Conference 2022 in London that the RAF’s 216 Test and Evaluation Squadron and the Rapid Capabilities Office trialed five drone types in 13 experiments with various payloads and equipment over three years.

OPINION: Senate Must Back Creation of ‘Space National Guard’ to End a Needless Division

Air Force Times

“At a time when China and Russia are seeking to overtake the United States in space—having grown their combined space assets by 70 percent from 2019 to 2021—we cannot afford any setbacks in our own space program. That’s why we created the Space Force in 2019—to maintain our edge in space. Active duty Air Force units with space missions were transferred to the new service to intensify focus on this critical domain. But there was a key exception: Space units in the National Guard were left under the Air Force because a corresponding ‘Space National Guard’ was never formed,” write Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

In Ukraine War, a Race to Acquire Smarter, Deadlier Drones

The Associated Press

Drone camera footage defines much of the public’s view of the war in Ukraine: grenades quietly dropped on unwitting soldiers, eerie flights over silent, bombed-out cities, armor and outposts exploding in fireballs. Never in the history of warfare have drones been used as intensively as in Ukraine, where they often play an outsized role in who lives and dies. Russians and Ukrainians alike depend heavily on unmanned aerial vehicles to pinpoint enemy positions and guide their hellish artillery strikes.

Democrats Stand Between Biden and Sale of U.S. Fighter Jets to Turkey

Politico

President Joe Biden wants to sell advanced U.S. fighter jets to Turkey. Democrats are standing in his way. Now the House is voting on a bipartisan measure to significantly restrict Biden’s ability to sell F-16 fighter jets to Ankara, and a top Senate Democrat is already refusing to sign off on the transfer.

Fewer Military Families Would Recommend Uniformed Service, Survey Finds

Defense One

Fewer military families would recommend military life to those interested in serving, saying the hardships outweigh the pay and benefits. The 2021 Military Family Support Programming Survey found that 62.9 percent of military and veteran families would recommend military life, down from 74.5 percent in 2019.

Firing ICBMs From Lakes, Tunnels Considered Before Air Force Picked New Missile

The Drive

A recently released document shows the U.S. Air Force assessed various alternatives to fielding its future LGM-35A Sentinel nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, as well as the possibility of deploying any such future weapon outside of traditional silos, including multiple concepts previously explored decades ago. Buying a land-based version of the U.S. Navy's Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missile, a new smaller missile with intercontinental range, or a design based at least in part on an existing commercial space launch rocket, as well as basing them in tunnels or at the bottom of deep lakes were all concepts that were examined.

With Harris’s Surprise Talk, US Says It’s ‘Stepping Up’ in Pacific Islands

Breaking Defense

After decades of benign neglect, the United States deployed Vice President Kamala Harris to the Pacific Islands to declare that America is back, but an analyst said she wonders if the U.S. is doing enough in the face of the pandemic and China’s diplomatic maneuvers in the region. The administration told reporters on a phone call that “we’re significantly stepping up our game in the Pacific Islands.” Harris announced that the U.S. would open two new embassies in the islands and confirmed that the embassy in the capital of the Solomon Islands, shuttered in 1993, would reopen.

One More Thing

7 Best Military Museums for History Lovers

We Are The Mighty

The best way to glimpse genuine U.S. military history is by visiting some of the nation’s best military museums. They range from high-tech educational institutions to historical sites, and all have plenty to feast your eyes and brains on.

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