Daily Report

Sept. 21, 2022
Digital Domain, Intelligence Operations, and Targeting Air, Space, & Cyber Conference 2022

‘We’re Not Ready’ to Fight China in Space and Cyber, Say Top U.S. Generals

The United States is unprepared for a wartime fight with a peer adversary in the space and cyber domains, top U.S. generals said at AFA's Air, Space & Cyber Conference. "The answer is no, we're not ready," Lt. Gen. Leah G. Lauderback, Air Force deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and cyber effects, said when posed the question by Lauren Barrett Knausenberger, the Department of the Air Force's chief information officer.
Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost,

Van Ovost: Time to Invest in Next Generation of Tankers, Airlifters

The Air Force needs to start investing in its “next generation of strategic mobility and refueling assets,” U.S. Transportation Command boss Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost said—and that means replacing the two pillars of those respective fleets. “The C-17 has demonstrated its merits countless times, but the last one was delivered to the Air Force in 2013,” Van Ovost told reporters at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber conference. “When we receive the last KC-46 at the end of this decade, we will still have hundreds of Eisenhower-era KC-135s in our fleet that must be recapitalized.”
Air Force

Brown’s 5 Big Steps to Transforming His Air Force

Aggressive competitors, limited resources, and accelerating technological advances compel the Air Force to rapidly transform, as it has during other inflection points in its 75-year history, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said. “We’ve done this before … we can do it again,” Brown said in his keynote address to AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber conference.
air force congress

Lawmakers: Congress, Air Force Must Work Together to Address Capacity Risk

Congress needs to do a better job of providing the Air Force with steady, consistent funding; the Air Force needs to find ways to develop programs faster; and the two need to work together to ensure that the service can build capacity for both the present and the future, said a pair of Airman lawmakers. Rep. Kaialiʻi Kahele (D-Hawaii) and Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) offered bipartisan support for the Air Force and the importance of air power at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference. Kahele is a member of the Air National Guard and has flown C-17s, while Pfluger is in the Air Force Reserve and has flown F-22s.
B-21

First B-21 ‘Rollout‘ Planned for Early December

The B-21 Raider will roll out of Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale, Calif., plant in early December, Air Force acquisition executive Andrew Hunter said, but how much of the airplane will be visible remains to be seen. During a press conference at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Hunter said the new bomber will emerge from the factory “the first week of December," meeting USAF's forecast to roll it out this year. Air Force officials have said supply chain and other issues delayed the rollout from occurring sooner.
Space Force song

Space Force Launches Official Song, ‘Semper Supra’

The Singing Sergeants of the Air Force joined the Space Force’s Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond on stage at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Sept. 20 for the world premier of the Space Force’s official song, “Semper Supra.”
Shine

F-35 Pilot Recognized With 40th Anthony C. Shine Award 

It took two years, but Maj. Matthew J. “Eraser” Riley, an F-35 pilot, finally received the Anthony C. Shine Award recognizing his combat prowess as a member of the 34th Fighter Squadron, 388th Fighter Wing, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the award was presented by Gen. Mark D. Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command, at a private ceremony during AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.
air force capacity

Brown: Need to Consider Allies When Analyzing Air Force’s Capacity

The Air Force’s internal analysis has left Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. confident in the capacity of the service’s combat aircraft fleet—especially when considering what the U.S.’s partners and allies can bring to the fight. Speaking with reporters at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference, Brown also reaffirmed his vision of a “4+1” fleet of fighters and explained why the Air Force has shelved plans for an F-16 replacement for the time being.

Military Spouses Gain Strength By Sticking Together

Sharene Brown knows firsthand the contributions military spouses make, and she's committed to improving the lives of those challenged by the military lifestyle that came with marrying a military member. “There is no doubt our spouses make a difference, serving alongside their Airmen and Guardians every day,” said Brown, the wife of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. “You—our spouses—are often the agents of change,” she said as she moderated a discussion at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.

AFRL and Air Force Test Center to Meet for Joint Summit on Autonomy

The Air Force Research Laboratory and the Air Force Test Center will host their first-ever summit on autonomy, a weeklong session this fall to dive into the concept that is key to the service's future strategy. The Defense Department is accelerating its push for autonomous systems. In a contested environment, autonomous systems can lower the risk to Airmen while increasing the force brought to bear against an adversary.

Radar Sweep

Air Force Picks 5 Companies to Take on Battle Management Challenges

C4ISRNet

The Air Force selected five companies to help accelerate the development of its Advanced Battle Management System as the service’s secretary, Frank Kendall, acknowledged that efforts to modernize command and control systems have proved more challenging than expected.

Air Force Secretary: ‘China Would be Making an Enormous Mistake to Invade Taiwan’

Defense One

One day after President Joe Biden said the U.S. would defend Taiwan militarily, his Air Force Secretary issued a stern warning to Beijing: Don’t do it. Frank Kendall said Chinese leaders should look no further than Russia’s botched attempt to take over Ukraine to see why an invasion of Taiwan would not be easy and would have severe consequences.

Secretive Jet Fighter Program Reaches Design Phase—Sort Of

National Defense Magazine

The Air Force’s secretive Next Generation Air Dominance program has reached a new phase of development, the service’s top civilian official said. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said the service’s next-generation jet fighter has reached its design phase but clarified that he meant that “colloquially.”

It Took ‘Couple of Months’ to Put US Anti-Radiation Missiles on Ukrainian Fighters, USAF Reveals

Breaking Defense

It took only a “couple of months” for defense contractors to equip the Ukrainian air force’s Soviet-era MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters with American-made AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles, the head of U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa said. “It was quite the effort,” said Gen. James B. Hecker. “We have some [really] smart contractors that were able to make this happen. Now, is it as integrated as it is on an F-16? Of course not.”

Space Force Shifting Resources to Intelligence and Cybersecurity

SpaceNews

Space Operations Command is assigning cybersecurity and intelligence specialists to work side by side with satellite operators so they’re better prepared to protect U.S. systems from electronic and physical threats, said Maj. Gen. Douglas Schiess. The Space Force is following a directive from Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall to harden space systems against cyber attacks that rivals like China would attempt during a conflict.

From Kabul to Kyiv, Air Mobility Boss Reflects on a Year Unlike Most

Air Force Times

Gen. Mike Minihan knew his first year in command would be busy—but not this busy. For nearly a decade, Minihan was entrenched in the daily work of military operations in the Pacific and—with building urgency—debating how to counter China’s power and influence. The career transport jet pilot planned to put his INDOPACOM expertise toward preparing the Air Force’s mobility enterprise to outpace China on its home turf. But last summer, Afghanistan was falling to the Taliban, and America’s airlift pilots were flying a desperate mission.

STARCOM’s ‘Black Skies’ Exercise Includes Satellite Jamming

Breaking Defense

The first of a new series of Space Force exercises aimed at training Guardians in specific skill sets is called Black Skies. It focuses on electronic warfare, including “live fire” in the form of real-world satellite jamming, according to the head of the service’s training command. “It’s an electronic warfare exercise that Guardians are participating in, particularly the Space Operations Command units,” said Maj. Gen. Shawn Bratton, commander of Space Training and Readiness Command.

Swiss Sign Controversial $6B Deal to Purchase F-35 Fighters

The Associated Press

Swiss officials formally signed a procurement contract to acquire three dozen F-35 fighter jets from the United States as part of a planned refurbishment of Switzerland’s air force that has run afoul of critics of the big defense purchase, the government said.

One More Thing

What Is It Like to Re-enlist After Years of Being Out of Uniform?

Task & Purpose

Most, if not all, service members have fond memories of collecting their DD-214 and leaving the military. No more early morning PT formations. No more weekend duty. You can finally grow that beard. But sometimes, circumstances change. Maybe a new job didn’t work out, or it just isn’t as personally satisfying as you expected it to be. Maybe you just miss the camaraderie, and you find yourself considering joining back up.

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