Kendall Says F-35 Engine Decision Needed Soon; Won’t ‘Limp Along’ on R&D

The Air Force will likely make a decision this summer on whether to insert Advanced Engine Transition Program powerplants into the F-35 fleet, Secretary Frank Kendall said, because he doesn’t want to waste money on further delay if the program isn’t going forward. “We need a decision, which is where I am right now,” Kendall told the Potomac Officers Club in Tysons, Va. The fiscal 2024 budget is already being debated in the Pentagon, and Kendall said he hopes the AETP decision will be counted in it.
russia

Townsend: Russia Added to Instability in Africa With New Air Defenses in Mali

Outgoing commander of U.S. Africa Command Gen. Stephen J. Townsend said Moscow has used its mercenary Wagner Group to install air defenses in Mali, a troubled West African country that has seen a marked increase in terrorist activity under a new military government. Ruled by a military junta following a May coup, Mali first kicked out French counterterrorism troops then withdrew from a regional security group, instead increasing its cooperation with the Russian proxy Wagner Group.
Langley

SASC Advances Two Combatant Commander Nominees

The Senate Armed Services Committee advanced the nomination that could make the son of an Airman the Marine Corps’ first Black four-star general. The SASC advanced the nominations to the full Senate of both Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Michael E. Langley to become commander of U.S. Africa Command and Army Lt. Gen. Bryan P. Fenton to lead U.S. Special Operations Command.

Radar Sweep

Air Force Testing Counter-Shooter Tech on Bases

National Defense Magazine

While the U.S. government has passed new laws in an effort to prevent mass shootings, the Air Force is piloting a system that combines artificial intelligence and drone technology to stop active shooters on military installations. The Drone-Robot Enabled Active Shooter Deterrence system, developed by Philadelphia-based ZeroEyes, overlays the company’s existing AI gun-detection software on the security camera system at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. Then, it uses drones or robots to contain a potential shooter.

Women in Military More Than Twice as Likely to Die By Suicide as Civilians

Voice of San Diego

For young women in the armed forces to consider suicide—and act on it—is far more common than for their civilian peers, a new analysis by Voice of San Diego finds. Women ages 17-30 are more than two times as likely to die by suicide as civilian women in the same age bracket, according to data obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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OPINION: Provide the Airpower Ukraine Needs to Win Now

Forbes

“Time is not on Ukraine’s side. The West's current strategy guarantees a long, drawn-out stalemate. But airpower could change the balance of the Russia/Ukraine war and the U.S. and NATO have the means to help Ukraine change the course of the conflict. After initial success defending against invading Russian forces around Kiev earlier this year, Ukraine is now caught up in an unrelenting ground war of attrition. Left in this force-on-force competition, Ukraine will struggle to hold the line, let alone reverse battlefield losses. Innocent civilians will continue to die under criminal and intentionally brutal Russian attacks. The stakes go well beyond Europe. Precedents set in this war will reverberate, especially when it comes to China and its illegal actions in the Pacific. It is time to pursue a new approach, one that capitalizes on airpower to achieve a combat advantage over the Russians significant enough to turn the tide of the war,” writes retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Latvia Requests HIMARS Weapon to Bolster Baltic Defense

Defense News

Latvia has sent a letter of request to buy an undisclosed number of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems from the United States, with the potential acquisition to be carried out as a joint initiative of the three Baltic states, which also include neighboring Estonia and Lithuania.

Air Force Hackathons Show Some Ways Security Can Be Too Much of a Good Thing

Federal News Network

The Air Force is in the midst of a series of hackathons but not the sort the federal government has started to get used to. Instead of trying to find and fix holes in the cybersecurity apparatus, they’re trying to figure out what’s possible if the security rules are relaxed. The thesis, at least in this case, is that the same safeguards that ostensibly keep the bad guys from seeing DOD’s data also prevent the department’s own developers from doing useful things with it.

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.

DOD Signaling Demand for Satellite Support Services in Geostationary Orbit

SpaceNews

The Defense Innovation Unit is funding space projects that the agency hopes will spur commercial investments in satellite refueling technologies and support services for geostationary satellites. “Imagine a world where every 18 to 24 months, you could simply upgrade the processor on a satellite in GEO the way that you upgrade your smartphone to take advantage of new processing power and new functionality,” said Steve Butow, director of the space portfolio at the Defense Innovation Unit.

Russia to Drop Out of International Space Station After 2024

The Associated Press

Russia will pull out of the International Space Station after 2024 and focus on building its own orbiting outpost, the country’s new space chief said amid high tensions between Moscow and the West over the fighting in Ukraine. The announcement, while not unexpected, throws into question the future of the 24-year-old space station, with experts saying it would be extremely difficult—perhaps a “nightmare,” by one reckoning—to keep it running without the Russians. NASA and its partners had hoped to continue operating it until 2030.

Senate Armed Services Committee Concerned About DOD’s Cyber Mission Force

Fed Scoop

The Senate Armed Services Committee is looking to help the Department of Defense address and correct issues associated with the readiness of its cyber forces, according to new legislation and congressional aides. Committee aides told reporters that in discussions with cyber commanders, readiness problems—including recruiting and retention—became more apparent.

One More Thing

Could the Defense Production Act Save Klondike’s Choco Taco?

Air Force Times

What would you do for a Klondike Choco Taco? Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., says he would invoke the Defense Production Act to keep them on store shelves after the ice cream giant announced it would discontinue the iconic packaged dessert. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., who is also an Army veteran, said he would introduce a similar bill in the House. “I’ll introduce the House companion @ChrisMurphyCT,” he tweeted. “This cannot stand.”

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