U.S. Northern Command is wrapping up testing of the Long Range Discrimination Radar for missile defense and expects that it will be operational within “months,” said Brig. Gen. Joseph M. Lestorti. “From the testing so far, we are seeing positive results for what this radar can do for us, discriminating threats to the continental U.S. to make ground-based interceptor engagements more lethal.”
The Pentagon is speaking out against Russia's launch of a spy satellite believed to be shadowing one of its American counterparts closely in the same orbit. The Russian satellite Kosmos 2558 launched Aug. 1 and appears to have been placed in nearly the same orbit as a classified American reconnaissance satellite with a separation of 37 miles. "That's really irresponsible behavior," said Gen. James H. Dickinson, commander of U.S. Space Command, in a report released by NBC News. "We see that it's in a similar orbit to one of our high-value assets for the U.S. government. And so we'll continue like we always do, to continue to update that and track that.”
Pregnant Airmen assigned to Air Mobility Command will now have more information privacy during their pregnancy as part of a new directive by AMC Commander Gen. Mike Minihan. Under the new guidelines, pregnant Airmen will still be able to access prenatal medical care while maintaining health information privacy, a standard that aligns with other medical privacy policies, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
A fifth U.S. Air Force B-2 bomber has flown to Base Amberley to train with Royal Australian Air Force F-35s amid tension between China and Taiwan. The UFO-like Spirit can carry nuclear weapons and is thought to be the most expensive aircraft ever made, valued at around $2 billion each.
“Success in future conflicts requires the U.S. to maintain a large and diverse inventory of combat drones. In a major war with China or Russia, reducing risks to U.S. forces will be essential. Against large, capable forces, the U.S. military risks significant loss of blood and treasure, which, in turn, may lead to mission failure as the adversary’s military assets live to fight another day and American assets dwindle. Drones provide a way to turn the tables: They reduce U.S. costs—measured in both lives and dollars—and impose those costs on the adversary’s most valued targets,” writes Caitlin Lee, senior fellow for the Center for Unmanned and Autonomous Systems at AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.
A congressional push to block the Air Force’s plan to retire 33 F-22s could have ripple effects for one of the service’s top priority programs, the Collaborative Combat Aircraft. The Air Force’s proposal to cut the F-22s is part of a broader plan to divest 150 aircraft in fiscal 2023 to free funds for higher priorities such as the B-21 bomber, hypersonic weapons programs, and Next Generation Air Dominance systems.
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.
As part of its military arsenal, Ukraine uses advanced military drones for observation and attack. But the bulk of its drone fleet consists of off-the-shelf or hand-built units adapted in workshops around the country to drop grenades or anti-tank munitions. The soldiers call them “mosquitoes.”
The Air Force implemented new training for aviation psychologists that aims to increase the psychologists’ knowledge of aviation training and practices. One of the many aspects of Air Force aviation psychology is focused on resiliency and readiness of its aircrews’ daily activities by addressing the human factors involved in safe and effective performance. Enhanced understanding of pilot training and the human performance demands on aircrew will facilitate improved ability for these psychologists to accomplish their mission.
The National Guard is shipping doses of Novavax’s newly approved COVID-19 vaccine out to units in hopes that it will help shrink the number of unvaccinated Guard members who face expulsion. About 10 percent of Guard members—around 45,000 Soldiers and Airmen—are not fully inoculated against the coronavirus that has killed more than 1 million people in the United States and nearly 6.5 million worldwide since December 2019.
Three members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Maintenance Group visited Latacunga, Ecuador, to provide aircraft maintenance training to the Ecuadorian Air Force as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program. The Kentucky Air Guard members visited the country in response to the EAF’s request for training, sending a focused team of air advisers to train, advise, assess, and equip the partner nation.
The Pentagon’s costliest program ever—the $398 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter made by Lockheed Martin—has had its share of travails: software snafus, delays, and most recently groundings. But it’s set to be largely insulated from a problem that seems poised to plague other weapons systems: the lack of a new budget for fiscal 2023. The specter of a budget impasse is rising as Congress heads into rancorous midterm elections in November—and coincides with the Pentagon negotiating new contracts for hundreds more F-35 aircraft.
Four al-Shabab terrorists who recently attacked Somali forces were killed Aug. 10 after a series of American airstrikes, U.S. Africa Command announced. U.S. forces, in coordination with the Somali government, launched three airstrikes against the terrorists who attacked the Somali troops near Beledweyne, Somalia. “The command’s initial assessment is that the strikes killed four al-Shabab terrorists and that no civilians were injured or killed,” AFRICOM said. “U.S. forces are authorized to conduct strikes in defense of designated partner forces.”
The U.S. Air Force has deployed 12 F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft to support NATO’s air shielding mission in Poland. The deployed aircraft are from the USAF’s 90th Fighter Squadron based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. On Aug. 5, the F-22 fighter jets arrived at the 32nd Tactical Air Base in Lask, Poland.
At noon Aug. 15, 1945, the Japanese people stopped whatever they were doing to listen to a voice almost none of them had ever heard before but that belonged to a man whom they thought about and worked for every day of their lives. For many, it was like listening directly to the voice of God. And he was telling them to surrender. Though Emperor Hirohito of Japan never used the word for “surrender” in this remarkable four-minute, 36-second broadcast, and though he used an archaic form of Japanese that few commoners could clearly understand, it soon became known throughout the empire of Japan that World War II was now over—and that they had unequivocally lost.