Daily Report

May 24, 2024

Editor’s Note

The Daily Report will not publish Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. We will be back in your inboxes Tuesday, May 28.

First Ukrainian Pilots Graduate US F-16 Training

Multiple Ukrainian pilots have graduated from their F-16 training course at the Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing in Tucson, Ariz., Arizona National Guard spokesperson Capt. Erin Hannigan said. The 162nd Wing is the U.S. Air Force’s training unit for foreign F-16 pilots.

Melissa Dalton Confirmed as New Air Force Undersecretary

The Senate confirmed Melissa Dalton to be undersecretary of the Air Force, the department’s No. 2 civilian job, on May 22. Dalton has served as the assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and hemispheric affairs since March 2022. In that role, she has advised the Secretary of Defense on key issues like homeland defense, the Arctic, and defense policy for North, Central, and South America, as well as the Caribbean. 

House Panel Adds More New Test F-35s to NDAA

The House Armed Services Committee will add three more test-dedicated F-35s to the fleet, reaching the nine the Joint Program Office said it needs to meet test requirements. The move is part of a cluster of efforts the HASC is taking to put the spurs to the F-35 program, which has not delivered any completed jets since last fall because of delays in testing the Tech Refresh 3 upgrade.

Radar Sweep

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Advancing Russian Troops Threaten to Reverse Some of Ukraine’s Hard-Won Gains

The New York Times

Russian troops in recent weeks have been taking ground from Ukraine all across the front line. In some cases, they are seizing land that Ukrainians had recaptured in hard-fought battles just last year. And in a surprise offensive, Moscow has made its biggest territorial gains since late 2022.

House Proposal Could Derail Air Force Plan to Move Space Guard Units

Air Force Times

Governors would maintain their authority over Air National Guard units with space missions under an amendment approved by the House Armed Service Committee on May 22, complicating an Air Force proposal that seeks to transfer those units and several hundred Airmen to the Space Force.

19.5 Percent Pay Raise for Junior Enlisted Troops Approved by House Panel


A 19.5 percent pay hike for junior enlisted service members next year is one step closer to reality after the House Armed Services Committee advanced its must-pass defense policy bill. The committee voted 57-1 to approve its version of this year's National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, that includes a host of measures aimed at improving quality of life in the military. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., was the lone “no” vote.

Lawsuit Alleges Contractors Lied About V-22’s Safety

Defense One

Family members of Marines killed in a V-22 Osprey crash two years ago are suing Boeing, Bell Textron, and Rolls Royce—accusing the companies of knowing the aircraft was unsafe and not disclosing it to the Pentagon. The companies made “recklessly false statements” about the Osprey, leading five service members to fly in an “unsafe and unairworthy aircraft,” according to allegations in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Replicator Drones Already Being Delivered, Pentagon Says

Defense News

The Pentagon has started sending systems to Indo-Pacific Command as a part of Replicator—a program aimed at hastening the purchase and delivery of drones. In a short statement, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, who leads the program, said that the deliveries began earlier in May.

‘This Is Overdue’—Air Force Creating Tactical Cyber Capabilities to Ensure Air Superiority


In a future operating environment, sophisticated adversary cyber technologies could inhibit the Air Force’s ability to achieve its number one role for the joint force: air superiority. While the Department of Defense has teams that conduct cyber operations, those joint forces are limited in number and focused on attacking enemy systems and defending the network. As such, the Air Force believes it needs its own cyber capabilities to ensure it can gain and maintain air superiority.

US Seeks Bids from Satellite Manufacturers for Military Space Test Program


The U.S. Space Force is soliciting bids from commercial satellite manufacturers for a 10-year procurement of small satellites to carry experimental payloads to space. The Space Test Program office on May 23 issued its final request for proposals for the Space Test Experiments Platform (STEP) 2.0 contract—an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) deal aimed at harnessing the commercial small satellite market.

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Combat Course at Air Base in South Korea Aims to Forge ‘Multi-Capable Airmen’

Stars and Stripes

Every month at Osan Air Base south of Seoul, security forces Airmen spend 10 days honing the combat skills they need to fend off an attack on the installation. The Combat Readiness Course is mandatory for the 450 members of the 51st Security Forces Squadron, but it is also open to other Airmen.

One More Thing

Explorers Find What They Believe Is World War II Ace Richard Bong’s Downed Plane in South Pacific

The Associated Press

Searchers announced May 23 they’ve discovered what they believe is the wreckage of World War II ace Richard Bong’s plane in the South Pacific. The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center in Superior, Wisc., and the nonprofit World War II historical preservation group Pacific Wrecks announced in March they were launching a joint search for Bong’s Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter. Bong nicknamed the plane “Marge” after his girlfriend, Marge Vattendahl.