Daily Report

Oct. 4, 2023

SPACECOM Hosts Multinational Tabletop Exercise as Allied Cooperation in Space Ramps Up

The U.S. and its allies are working together on plans to protect their space assets, as the domain will likely be contested in the event of a conflict. U.S. Space Command recently hosted a multinational tabletop exercise with some of America’s key allies. The U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and France “explored areas of opportunity to support the safety and sustainability of space through increased mission assurance and resilience through a multinational force” during a four-day exercise held Sept. 18-22.
cmsaf bass

Watch, Read: CMSAF Bass on ‘Airmen of the Future’

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass highlighted personal success stories of Airmen and warned about the dangers of information warfare during her keynote address at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Sept. 13, 2023. Watch the video or read the transcript.

Radar Sweep

Air Force’s Marijuana Waiver Program Proves More Popular Among Applicants Than Expected


The Air Force anticipated only 50 cases annually when it announced a new pilot program last year that would allow some applicants who drug-tested positive for THC, the active compound in marijuana, a chance to retest and possibly enlist. But the Air Force Recruiting Service told Military.com on Oct. 3 that, within the first year of the program, the service encountered triple that number—granting 165 waivers after candidates retested and were shown to be free of THC.

OPINION: F-16s Are No Magic Bullets in Ukraine, But Their Armaments Will Matter

Defense News

“Now that Ukraine is in line to receive F-16s, opinions surrounding their effectiveness span from being counterproductive to war-winning for Ukraine. While most discussions have focused on the fighters’ air-to-air performance and the platform itself, the broader effect of their deployment with the right munitions will be decreased Russian ground strikes,” writes Michael Bohnert, a licensed engineer at the think tank RAND.

Air Force Eyes Thrust Range Targets for Wingman Drones, Wants Engine Development to Start in FY25

Breaking Defense

The Air Force is eyeing a thrust range of 3,000 to 8,000 pounds of force for future drone wingmen, and is setting its sights on launching an engine development program for the uncrewed systems known as Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) in the first quarter of fiscal year 2025. The new details, outlined in a Sept. 29 request for information (RFI), suggest the Air Force is looking for a “mid-sized jet engine” that would power a “fairly capable military-class aircraft,” according to Caitlin Lee, director of the Acquisition and Technology Policy Program at the RAND Corp.

How Many F-35 Versions Are There? Hint: More Than 3

Defense One

The F-35 program, pitched as a way to equip three services with one largely similar aircraft, has now produced “at least 14 different versions” of the Lightning II, according to a report from a government watchdog agency. “Extensive” differences in the variants are complicating maintenance and sustainability, contributing to the program’s poor readiness, the Government Accountability Office said in its report.

Announcing the 2023 DefenseScoop 50


In their inaugural year, the DefenseScoop 50 awards honor the trailblazers and leaders in and outside the U.S. military who are dedicated to using modern technology to revolutionize defense. The list of award winners in its first year is comprised of leaders and programs from across the Department of Defense and industry that are shaping how technology is becoming a central fixture in deterring and defending against emerging threats.

Military Space Groups in New Mexico Expand Recruitment and STEM


Attracting a talented workforce is a high priority for Scott Erwin, chief scientist for the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. “If we don’t hire the best and brightest, it’s going to definitely impact our ability to do science and technology research, and keep up with competitors around the globe,” Erwin told SpaceNews.

The Reason Why the Air Force Pulled the Plug on a Huge Cyber Contract May Surprise You

Federal News Network

The Air Force was 18 months into the Enterprise Cyber Capabilities acquisition and on the brink of making awards. The excitement over this potentially $5 billion multiple award indefinite delivery, indefinite quality contract among industry was a high as any opportunity on the street over the last few years. With a few strokes on the keyboard on Sept. 19, the Air Combat Command terminated EC2.

One More Thing

Moment Flare Released From F-35 Captured in Remarkable Photo

The War Zone

In recent months we have taken a close look at some fairly exceptional airshow photography. ... This has brought us very close to action including the moment of release of a counter-measures cartridge from an F/A-18 Hornet fighter, as well as the spectacle of a Polish Su-22 ground-attack jet using photo-flash flares to light up the night sky. Now, Twitter user and aviation photographer @Task_Force23 has shared with us a remarkable capture of an F-35A jet popping out a flare in its uniquely stealthy way.