Saltzman

Saltzman Nominated to Follow Raymond as Space Force CSO

President Joe Biden nominated Space Force Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman to be the Space Force’s next Chief of Space Operations. Saltzman currently serves as the deputy CSO for operations, intelligence, sustainment, cyber, and nuclear. Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, the first person to serve in Space Force, is retiring.
T-38

Faulty Ejection Parts Prompt USAF to Ground Some T-38s, T-6s

Concerns about potentially faulty ejection seat parts have prompted the Air Force to ground 279 trainer aircraft until inspections can be performed to assure that the aircraft are safe to fly. The grounding, which went into effect July 27, affects nearly half the T-38 fleet. The 203 T-38 Talons and 76 T-6 Texan IIs potentially affected are grounded until further notice “out of an abundance of caution,” Air Education and Training Command’s 19th Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Craig Wills said in an emailed statement.
budget

Senate Panel Proposes 8.7 Percent Bump to Pentagon Budget

The Pentagon budget seems poised for an increase in 2023 over the $773 billion requested by President Joe Biden. The question now is how large that increase will be. The leaders of the Senate Appropriations committee released their markup of the defense funding bill July 28, with $792 billion going to the Department of Defense.
U-2

After Nearly Three Years, Fairford Stays Busy with Steady U-2 Operations

RAF FAIRFORD, U.K.—At the end of a row of fighter jets at July's Royal International Air Tattoo, an entirely different kind of aircraft drew plenty of attention from the thousands in attendance—the U-2S Dragon Lady. Long shrouded in secrecy, the legendary high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft has been seen in the skies over RAF Fairford with increasing regularity over the past few years. But even for local aviation enthusiasts, the chance to see the plane up close represented a unique opportunity.

Radar Sweep

Lawmakers Press Pentagon for Answers as Military Recruiting Crisis Deepens

Politico

Lawmakers from both parties are putting increasing pressure on the Pentagon to fix the recruitment crisis that threatens to leave the military well short of its goals to bring new troops aboard this year, in what is widely considered the worst recruiting environment since the end of the Vietnam War. While leaders from the different military branches have all acknowledged the problem, they also have been unable to move the needle in a positive direction, as the desire of young Americans to join the military falls off the statistical cliff.

Pentagon Official: Chinese Military Actions Against Foreign Ships, Aircraft Are No Accidents—They’re Policy

USNI News

The increasingly frequent aggressive actions by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force such as “chaffing” an Australian patrol aircraft in international waters and causing a Canadian patrol aircraft to alter its course to avoid a collision off North Korea “look like a pattern and policy” dictated by Beijing rather than random acts by pilots, the Pentagon’s senior official on Indo-Pacific security said. Ely Rattner, speaking at a Center for Strategic and International Studies talk, described these acts as “really new, really worrisome.” These “unsafe intercepts … are growing by order of magnitude,” he said.

Air Force Turns to Aviation Training Devices Amid T-1A Divesting

Flying Magazine

The Air Force has integrated hundreds of immersive training devices that allow physical and visual interaction with flight controls and avionics into its pilot training system as it prepares to divest its fleet of aging T-1A Jayhawk training aircraft. More than 200 immersive training devices (ITDs) have been delivered throughout the Air Force pilot training system, according to an Air Force Air Education and Training Command spokesperson.

OPINION: The Hypersonic Race: A Case for Guarded Optimism

Defense News

“America’s hypersonic enterprise appears to be crossing a key juncture this summer. After years of struggle, including numerous test failures, programs like the Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon and Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept appear to be hitting their strides—including full-up test flights at hypersonic speed. This concrete progress, paired with continued support from Congress and the Biden administration’s decision to sign Defense Production Act initiatives targeting the hypersonic industrial base, give reason for optimism. However, it’s far too early to claim victory, and we must stay focused on the end objective,” writes Douglas A. Birkey, executive director of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

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.

Rocket Lab to Supply Solar Power Units for Space Force Missile Warning Satellites

SpaceNews

Rocket Lab announced that its solar power business will supply solar cells for three missile-warning satellites that Lockheed Martin is building for the Space Force. The agreement with Lockheed Martin is to supply solar cells and radiation-hardened assemblies for the geostationary Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next-Gen OPIR) satellites, the first of which is scheduled to launch in 2025.

Rocket Science: How Space Force Acquisition Works, With Many Players and Dual Hats

Breaking Defense

There is an aphorism among political pros that process often equals policy. If true, it goes some way toward explaining the inherent Defense Department difficulties in space acquisition reform, given not just the legal and regulatory complexities, but also the byzantine and often opaque Pentagon bureaucracy involved.

Biden Pick for Pentagon Acquisitions Role Vows to Cut Weapons System Costs

Air Force Times

Radha Plumb, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the Pentagon’s No. 2 acquisitions and sustainment official, pledged to find ways to bring down the costs of the systems it buys. “If confirmed, my focus would be on making sure we can identify as early as possible key issues and drivers of sustainment [costs] and then include that in early negotiations [with vendors],” she told the Senate Armed Services Committee at her confirmation hearing.

One More Thing

Archaeologists Discover More Pieces of the Ancient Past on Utah Range

Air Force release

Archaeologists working for the Air Force have discovered 88 human footprints preserved in the alkali flats on the Utah Test and Training Range that they believe date to more than 12,000 years ago. Additional confirmation research is being done, but this would be only the second such discovery of footprints in the United States. White Sands National Park in New Mexico is the other place where Pleistocene-age human footprints have been identified. “We found so much more than we bargained for,” said Anya Kitterman, Hill Air Force Base’s Cultural Resource Manager. Kitterman is overseeing archaeological work on the UTTR that includes a 5,000-acre archaeological survey and a pilot study on the use of non-invasive archaeological techniques, including use of a magnetometer and ground penetrating radar.

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