Daily Report

June 6, 2023

Air Force Bumps Annual Retention Bonus for Aviators Up To $50K

The Air Force is bumping up bonuses in its quest to retain pilots, the service announced June 5. Aviators—including pilots, air battle managers, and combat systems officers—can now receive up to $50,000 annually for agreeing to stay on in fiscal year 2023, a significant increase from the cap of $35,000 set last year.

In First, B-1 Bombers Join Largest Nordic Air Exercise

A pair of B-1 bombers flew over the North Sea on June 5, joining in on an expansive aerial exercise taking place in the Nordic region. As part of Arctic Challenge Exercise 2023, the B-1s from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, flew above the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier and integrated with F-35s from the U.S. Air Force and Royal Norwegian Air Force, as well as U.S. Navy aircraft.

Why No Bomb Is a Dud When Air Force EOD Is Around

Cleaning trash off a training range may sound like a dull task—but not if the trash is highly explosive. Airmen with the 775th Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Flight deal with such trash on a regular basis at the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR), an area about the size of Delaware where military aircraft practice dropping a wide range of ordnance. In the hands of an EOD technician, a dud bomb can become a useful tool to understand explosives and practice new disarming techniques that can help both the 775th and other units across the military.

Radar Sweep

Ukrainian Forces Step Up Attacks on Multiple Russian Positions

The Financial Times

Ukraine’s armed forces stepped up attacks against multiple Russian positions in the east of the country as Kyiv’s long-awaited counter-offensive entered a new phase after weeks of preparatory operations. Ukrainian officials refused to discuss whether the uptick in offensive activity in Donetsk province over the weekend and into June 5 amounted to the start of full-blown counter-offensive. But deputy defense minister Hanna Maliar admitted “in some directions we are moving to offensive actions.”

OPINION: The Pentagon Is to Blame for Industrial Base Failures

Defense News

“In April, the Department of Defense released a report on the financial health of the defense-industrial base, spelling out three key findings: the defense industry is financially healthy, the DoD does not need to change its profit and incentive policy, and the Pentagon can procure the goods and services that the American warfighter needs to effectively defend our nation. Talk about missing the forest for the trees,” writes retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John Ferrari, a senior nonresident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute think tank, and Charles Rahr, a research assistant at AEI.

Northrop Seeks Cash for B-21, L3Harris Signs Partnership with AWS; Raytheon Might Sell Flight Control Business

Defense One

Northrop Grumman is angling for extra cash from the Pentagon to make up for high inflation and pandemic-related economic pressures when it finalizes a deal for the next batch of B-21 bomber aircraft later this year. CEO Kathy Warden told a Berstein investors conference that the company is also taking a number of additional steps to offset what could be $1.2 billion in losses from building B-21 aircraft over the decade.

No Breakthrough in NATO-Turkey Talks About Sweden Joining

The Associated Press

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg made no breakthrough on June 4 in talks about Sweden’s membership in the military organization with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with officials from the two countries to meet in just over a week to try to bridge their differences. NATO wants to bring Sweden into the fold by the time U.S. President Joe Biden and other allied leaders meet in Lithuania on July 11-12, but Turkey and Hungary have yet to endorse the move. All 31 member countries must ratify a candidate’s accession protocol for it to join the trans-Atlantic alliance.

Advancing the Warfighter

Air & Space Forces Magazine

The way modern Airmen and Guardians prepare for the future fight is changing, with live, virtual, and constructive training offering new ways to practice essential skills. Learn more about how virtual and augmented reality, simulated environments, and other technologies are helping train warfighters everywhere from the cockpit to the maintenance depot.

AFRL Welcomes New Commander at Air Force Museum Ceremony

Dayton Daily News

Taking the helm of the organization that helps shape the Air Force’s future combat capabilities, Brig. Gen. Scott Cain assumed command of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on June 5. “We’re at the hinge of history,” Cain told assembled Airmen, Space Force Guardians, and guests in the museum’s building two. “Our role at AFRL is to define what’s on the other side of that door.

L3Harris to Develop Missile-Warning Sensor for Medium Orbit Constellation


The U.S. Space Force awarded L3Harris Technologies a $29 million contract to design a sensor payload that can track hypersonic missiles from medium Earth orbit. The contract, announced June 5, positions L3Harris as a possible third vendor in the program known as MTC Epoch 1, short for missile warning, missile tracking, missile track custody. The Space Force has already selected Millennium Space Systems and Raytheon Technologies to design sensors for MTC Epoch 1.

Air Force Plans Drones with Commercially Available Components

Federal News Network

An Air Force plan to acquire a new type of semi-autonomous drones follows an emerging pattern of buying items that are already at least partially available commercially and modifying them for Defense Department needs. The collaborative combat aircraft (CCA) will fly alongside fighter jets as a robot wingman that extends the jets’ capabilities without requiring another pilot.

PODCAST: Defense and the Budget Deal, Hill Update, ANG Fighters, and Space Trends

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In Episode 131 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, John “Slick” Baum chats with retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, Doug Birkey, Todd Harmer, Anthony Lazarski, and Charles Galbreath about the latest national security developments—the new budget deal and its implications for defense, how Air Force and Space Force requests are faring on The Hill, legislation that was introduced by Rep Bacon (R-NE) regarding ANG fighter capacity, and an update about the latest developments in Ukraine.

Air Force to Send Hackers to Space, Sort of

National Defense Magazine

An upcoming Air Force Research Laboratory program will unleash teams of hackers to test the vulnerability of space systems and provide data on how to make future systems more resilient. In June, AFRL is scheduled to launch a satellite called Moonlighter, which will be used as a “literal hacking sandbox in space” for the lab’s Hack-A-Sat hacking competition, its program manager Rachel Mann said during a media briefing at the Space Foundation’s Space Symposium.

One More Thing

Why Colorblindness Disqualifies Military Pilot Hopefuls

Air Force Times

In one of the most heartrending dark comedies of the mid-aughts, one cast member of “Little Miss Sunshine” raised the question of vision standards required for military service. Philosophical teen Dwayne (Paul Dano) never speaks during a road trip to his younger sister’s beauty pageant, vowing silence until he can become an Air Force fighter pilot. In the last leg of the drive, he realizes he is color blind, which will disqualify him. An explosive emotional breakdown leads him to utter his first word: a gutturally screamed “F--K!” And while Dwayne’s experience is a work of fiction, the scene is based on a color vision requirement reality.