Daily Report

Sept. 7, 2023

New Vice Chief: Slife Nominated for USAF’s No. 2 Job

President Joe Biden has nominated Lt. Gen. James C. Slife, now deputy chief of staff for operations, to be promoted to general and appointed vice chief of staff, succeeding Gen. David Allvin, who has been nominated to be Chief of Staff. Slife has had a long career in special operations, both with the Air Force and in a joint capacity.

Replicator Drone Effort Part of Pentagon ‘Culture Change,’ Not a New Program, Hicks Says

The Pentagon plans to field thousands of drones in the sea, in the air, and possibly on land to counter the large size of China’s military under its new Replicator Initiative. And the Department of Defense’s No. 2 official insists the DOD needs no new money to carry out that plan. “Replicator is not a new program of record,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, who is heading up the effort, said Sept. 6. “We’re not creating a new bureaucracy and we will not be asking for new money in FY24. Not all problems need new money.”

Outstanding Airmen of the Year: Master Sgt. Michael Galindo 

The Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2023 will be formally recognized at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference from Sept. 11-13 in National Harbor, Md. Air & Space Forces Magazine is highlighting one each weekday from now until the conference begins. Today, we honor Master Sgt. Michael Galindo, Chief of Weapons and Tactics with the 502nd Security Forces Group at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.

Radar Sweep

Air Force Contemplating Mission Adaptability for Future Robotic Wingmen


Some of the unmanned aerial vehicles that will fly alongside the Air Force’s fighter jet fleet in the future will likely be able to perform multiple missions from day to day, according to the head of Air Combat Command. Known as collaborative combat aircraft (CCA), the robotic wingmen will be part of a new family of systems for the Air Force’s Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program. The service plans to pair CCAs with the NGAD sixth-generation stealth fighter, as well as fighter jets already in the Air Force fleet, like the F-35 joint strike fighter.

US Announces It’s Sending Controversial Depleted-Uranium Rounds to Ukraine


The Biden administration will for the first time send controversial depleted-uranium munitions to Ukraine as part of a new $175 million package of military aid, the Pentagon announced Sept. 6. The decision comes after months of debate over the armor-piercing rounds, which are expected to be highly effective against Russian tanks. While the U.K. has already sent the same type of ammunition to Ukraine to arm its Challenger 2 tanks, this marks the first time the U.S. is sending the rounds.

Go Deeper on Operational Imperatives

Air & Space Forces Magazine

Virtually every part of the Department of the Air Force’s drive to modernize is being shaped by Secretary Frank Kendall’s seven Operational Imperatives—lines of effort that address the most important and urgent challenges facing the Air Force today. Now, the department and industry are working together to develop solutions for each imperative, and the results will likely change the Air Force and Space Force for the next generation. Keep up with all the latest news on each Operational Imperative.

Sluggish Deployment of Emerging Tech Hampers US Military, Officials Say

Defense News

The pace at which the U.S. Defense Department is seeking and then deploying cutting-edge technologies, such as those fueled by artificial intelligence, can be slower than the clip at which new dangers arise, leaving troops at a potential disadvantage, according to one official. U.S. Central Command’s chief technology officer, Schuyler Moore, on Sept. 6 said there is a desire to tap “exquisite technologies, that exist both in the department and out in industry, inside a 12-month time frame” should the conditions be right.

US Considering Long-Range Fires for Ukraine, State Dept Official Says

Defense News

The Biden administration is “closely considering” providing long-range fires and other capabilities to Ukraine, a State Department official overseeing arms transfers said. “We do need to continue to take a very close and deliberate look at what it is Ukraine needs,” Laura Cressey, director of regional security and arms transfers at the State Department’s political-military affairs bureau, said Sept. 6 at the Defense News Conference in Arlington, Va.

NSA ‘Recently Completed’ AI Strategic Study, Director Says

Defense One

The National Security Agency just finished a strategic study on using artificial intelligence and machine learning for its missions, its director said Sept. 5. Without giving much detail, Gen. Paul Nakasone said his agency recently completed a “roadmap for AI/ML,” exploring questions such as how generative AI and machine learning will be used for missions and how it may affect NSA workers.

SDA Steps Toward Global Hypersonic Missile Tracking, Plus New Targeting Capability

Breaking Defense

The Space Force’s Space Development Agency is soliciting industry proposals for a next set of satellites in low Earth orbit to track ballistic and hypersonic missile launched from anywhere around the world—satellites that will include new “fire control” sensors that will provide commanders with pinpoint coordinates to target those incoming missiles.

Space Force Rewrites Mission Statement


U.S. Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman on Sept. 6 unveiled a new mission statement for the service—in an effort to more clearly communicate what the Space Force does and why it was created. The new mission statement—“Secure our nation’s interests in, from, and to space”—was crowdsourced from across the ranks of the Space Force.

One More Thing

The U-2 Dragon Lady As You Have Never Seen It Before

The War Zone

For fans of military aviation—or flying in general—in the civilian world, the chance to get a ride in the cockpit of a combat aircraft is very likely top of many a bucket list. But there’s surely one in-service military jet that has a little more allure than most, for which getting strapped into is just the prelude to a trip into the stratosphere. That jet is the unique U-2 Dragon Lady spy plane, and one civilian photographer recently got a chance to fly in it and execute an air-to-air shoot unlike any other.