Rogers Says Air Force Cannot Fix Space, so Congress Must
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) forcefully reasserted his intention to create a separate military Space Corps Thursday during the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee markup session for the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Rogers used his platform as chair of the committee to rebuke senior Air Force leaders, who had criticized the subcommittee’s plans when the markup was released Wednesday. Saying that he is “willing to work with” Air Force leaders to develop the best plan, Rogers nonetheless said he was “shocked by the response from the Air Force leadership,” and he threatened to “take this mission totally away from the Air Force” if they remained staunchly opposed to his reform efforts. Read the full story by Wilson Brissett.
USMC Temporarily Halts F-35 Flights as USAF Limits Luke Operations
The Marine Corps on Thursday temporarily suspended F-35 flight operations at its Arizona base due to concerns with the jet’s logistics system as USAF investigators look to the root cause of hypoxia-like incidents in its variant at Luke AFB, Ariz. Read the full report by Brian Everstine.
Electronic Attack Jet Analysis of Alternatives Coming in July
The Defense Department will likely wrap up its analysis of alternatives on a new Penetrating Electronic Attack aircraft within a month, Pentagon electronic warfare guru Bill Conley told attendees at an AFA Mitchell Institute program June 22. Conley, who’s the deputy director of electronic warfare in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, said that while it’s true the PEA will probably “turn into” an Air Force program, the AOA is a joint affair. “We’re answering this question” of stand-in and standoff electronic warfare “holistically, but then it will turn into service-specific investments,” Conley said. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.
Perdix Program Could be DOD’s Pathfinder to Progressive Projects
In an exclusive interview with Air Force Magazine, DOD’s Strategic Capabilities Office Director William Roper explained the status of the Perdix program. The effort is to build so-called expendable micro-drones that can theoretically be airdropped from various aircraft to accomplish a variety of missions, including largely ISR objectives, and remain mutable for future payloads of varying degrees. The program could also define the way forward for other SCO and DOD projects, from methodology to production to deployment. Read the full story from Gideon Grudo.Air Force Expanding Battlefield Airmen Incentive Pay
Air Force Expanding Battlefield Airmen Incentive Pay
The Air Force is beginning a pilot program to expand incentive pay for battlefield airmen in an attempt to retain the airmen as they move away from combat to staff positions, or continue serving while injured. Starting this fall, battlefield airmen will be eligible for monthly incentive pay of up to $615 per month, similar to aviation, skill, or foreign language proficiency bonuses. The program will run for three years, after which the service will reassess the program’s effectiveness, Air Force spokesman Col. Patrick Ryder said. The goal is to retain the airmen, such as combat controllers and tactical air control party airmen, longer into their careers and keep them serving. Previously, the airmen’s incentive pay would not continue as they progressed into other positions, such as staff or instructor billets. —Brian Everstine
When “Buy American” Makes Sense Abroad
When foreign nations seeking new military equipment “Buy American,” they’re not just buying hardware. They also buy into a long-term relationship with the United States. Read Adam J. Hebert’s full report from the Paris Air Show.
Textron on OA-X: Since it’s an Experiment, It’s an Honor Just to be Invited
USAF’s light attack experiment comes with no promises. But for Textron, placing two aircraft in OA-X is a great opportunity for the aircraft to strut their stuff as the world watches. Read the full story by Adam J. Hebert.
How to Keep a Stealthy F-35 Safe While on Public Display
How do you keep a state of the art F-35 stealth fighter safe in a crowd? By following procedures and responding to your instincts. Read the full story by Adam J. Hebert who is reporting from the Paris Air Show.
House Continues to Wrestle with Response to Russia
Twenty-two House Democrats, led by Armed Services Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), introduced new legislation Thursday aimed at responding to a range of Russian aggressions against the US and its allies. Also on Thursday, the HASC strategic forces subcommittee moderated the language of its proposed legislation to punish Russia for violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty at its markup session for the 2018 NDAA. Read the full story by Wilson Brissett.
—An RQ-4 Global Hawk, assigned to the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale AFB, Calif., crashed near Mount Whitney in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain on June 21 after taking off from Edwards AFB, Calif., on a routine flight back to its home base. No one was injured or killed. The incident is under investigation: Beale release
—The House Armed Services military readiness subcommittee’s mark of the 2018 NDAA, which was approved Thursday morning, contains no authorization for a new round of base realignment and closure (BRAC).
—Russia expects to complete testing of its MiG-35 fighter jet by the end of the year: Defense News
—Pacific Angel 2017 started on Thursday in the Philippines, marking the beginning of four remaining Pacific humanitarian engagements. The other locations are Tam Ky, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam; Northern and Western Divisions, Fiji; and Gorkha, Nepal: USAF release