Daily Report

July 18, 2023

F-35s Deploying to CENTCOM After ‘Alarming’ Actions by Iran, Pentagon Says

The U.S. is deploying F-35 fifth-generation fighters and additional F-16s to the U.S. Central Command region, the Pentagon announced July 17. A senior U.S. defense official told Air & Space Forces Magazine that the F-35s could be used over the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz if the airspace became contested and could be used over Syria if Russia presented a more significant threat.

Future of the F-15E and More In the Balance as Senate Starts NDAA Debate

On July 18, the Senate will start debate on the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, bringing the annual defense policy bill one step closer to passage. But to reach that point, lawmakers will have to decide what to do with the 666 amendments currently filed to the bill. For the Air Force in particular, there are several key amendments that could shape the service in the years to come. 

Radar Sweep

Data-Rights Fight May Delay Training on Air Force's New F-35 Simulator

Defense One

A fight over data may prevent U.S. Air Force pilots from training on the newest version of the F-35 when the service’s next-gen flight simulator opens next summer. Plane-maker Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office have yet to agree on terms for equipping the facility, known as the Joint Simulation Environment, with the data needed to replicate the still-under-development Block 4 upgrade, said Lt. Col. James Petersen, commander of the Air Force’s 445th Test Squadron.

An Arctic ‘Great Game’ as NATO Allies and Russia Face Off in Far North

The Washington Post

For several years now, European and U.S. security and intelligence officials have been keeping a closer eye on the world above the Arctic Circle, knowing that melting polar ice will open new trade routes, propel a race for natural resources and reshape global security. Western officials watched as Russia revived Soviet-era military sites and while China planned a “Polar Silk Road.”

US Risks ‘Weakness and Dependence’ As It Falls Behind China in Tech Race: Report

Breaking Defense

If the U.S. doesn’t take immediate action to catch up to China in emerging tech fields, it risks a future of “weakness and dependence,” according to a blistering new report from the data analytics firm Govini. “America is falling short in rapidly incorporating cutting-edge software and hardware into military platforms and munitions,” according to the company’s 2023 National Security Scorecard. “We are neither innovating our way past those historic capabilities, nor innovating our way to accelerated production of them.”

New Developments in Warfighter Training

Air & Space Forces Magazine

Driven by advancements in technology and research, the Air Force and Space Force are adapting how they train their warfighters to complete the missions at hand. Keep up with all the latest news on changes and improvements to the services’ training enterprises.

Space Force Should Offer European Allies Protection from Anti-Satellite Attacks: Saltzman

Breaking Defense

The top U.S. Space Force uniformed official recently put his full support behind the service defending European allied satellites against adversary attacks, warning any destruction of a friendly satellite will be considered “an act of war.” Gen. Chance Saltzman, chief of space operations, told media at the Royal International Air Tattoo on July 14 that protection on offer to allies by the U.S. should be “no different” to how it currently provides air defense cover by protecting communication nodes “regardless of the country that has contributed to those nodes.”

Sensitive US Military Info Exposed in Accidental Emails to Mali

Defense News

A simple typo reportedly directed millions of emails with sensitive information to the African country Mali rather than their intended U.S. military recipients. For years, a misspelling of “.MIL” in the suffix of military email addresses as “.ML”—the country domain for Mali—unintentionally led to a “typo leak,” according to The Financial Times, which first reported the story. As a result, everything from diplomatic documents, tax returns, passwords, and travel details of top officers has been exposed, the outlet noted.

Court-Martial Convictions Would Need Unanimous Jury Verdicts Under Measure Added to Defense Bill


Court-martial convictions and sentences would require unanimous jury verdicts under an amendment added to the House's version of the annual defense policy bill last week. The amendment, which was approved by voice vote as part of a package of proposals considered noncontroversial, would change one of the last ways the military justice system differs from civilian courts after a series of reforms Congress mandated in recent years. The court-martial legislation and the package received little attention amid heated partisan battles over the larger bill.

UK Defense Plan Zeroes in on Replenishing Weapons Stockpiles

Defense News

Britain’s defense ministry plans to boost weapons stockpiles spending and form what it calls a global response force, according to a new plan to improve warfighting readiness set for release July 18. The British are increasing spending by £2.5 billion ($3.3 billion USD) on replenishing weapons stocks, the defense ministry’s plan, known as a command paper, says.

Air Force C-32 Jets Are Going Incognito Under New Security Policy

The War Zone

Serial numbers are disappearing from the tails and rear fuselages of U.S. Air Force's secretive C-32B Gatekeeper personnel transport planes and its more commonly seen C-32A executive transport jets that often fly in the Air Force Two and Air Force One role. This is part of an initiative that originated with the service's Air Mobility Command that is ostensibly intended to improve operations security, but some experts and observers have questioned its utility.

PODCAST: Understanding Air Power with Former USAF Futurist

Aviation Week

The definition of airpower has remained the same for more than a century, but the doctrine, tactics and technology continues to evolve. As the Russia-Ukraine war rages on and the U.S.-China rivalry heats up, Aviation Week invited the former "chief futurist" of the U.S. Air Force, retired Lt. Gen. Clinton Hinote, to talk what the application of airpower means today and how it is likely to evolve over the next decade.

This Plane Required Pilots to Lay Down in the Cockpit to Fight

We Are The Mighty

We've talked before about the Gloster Meteor, the only Allied jet fighter of World War II. Because Britain couldn't risk the jets falling into enemy hands, they served only on the home front and mostly defended against flying bombs. But the British worked to get ahead of the rest of the world in the jet age, so they experimented with designs. One wonky design, aimed at reducing G forces on pilots and friction on the plane, called for pilots to fight from their bellies in fast-moving jets.