Hypersonic HAWC Won’t Fly This Year Due to Ongoing Test Problems

The Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) missile failed to fly in a planned test launch, due to mechanical errors, not the missile design, sources reported. The problem follows captive-carry test flight issues during the spring and summer, which led to a HAWC prototype being damaged. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency predicted in September it would fly HAWC before the end of the calendar year, but that schedule will slip to January at the earliest.
Facebook Town hall Diversity

Brown: ‘Shame on Us’ if Military Diversity Efforts Falter

Change is coming to make the Department of the Air Force a more diverse, equitable place—but it won't happen overnight, the four-star generals in charge of the Air Force and Space Force said in a Dec. 22 town hall on racism and discrimination. “Shame on us if we miss this opportunity to make a change that's required across our Air Force to make it better, whether it's the Air Force or the Space Force,” Air Force Chief of Staff Charles Q. Brown Jr. said. The discussion comes the day after the Department of the Air Force released the results of an Inspector General report on racial disparities across the force.
Brig. Gen. Brook Leonard

US Space Command Comes Into Focus in Year 2

When the revived U.S. Space Command got up and running more than one year ago, Pentagon leaders faced the question: They knew they needed the group again, but how would it work? The organization, which manages operations of the satellites, radars, and other support systems that enable everything from guided missiles to troop communications, launched in August 2019. Since then, SPACECOM has built a staff of nearly 600 employees from across the military, according to Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Brook J. Leonard. What has also matured is the command’s understanding of how the armed forces should work together to use and defend space assets.

USAF, DOD Leaders Make Holiday Visits to Middle East

Top Air Force and Defense Department leaders visited several bases throughout the Middle East to meet with Airmen for the holidays, and receive updates on ongoing missions. Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass met with Airmen at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, and al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar. In a Dec. 22 tweet, Barrett said the Airmen “are the ultimate competitors in a competition-driven security environment—the Nation sleeps soundly at night because of their efforts.” Also on Dec. 22, Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller traveled to Afghanistan in an unannounced visit. During the trip, he met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss ongoing U.S. military support and peace talks.

Radar Sweep

Snapshot: DOD and COVID-19

Air Force Magazine

Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

S. Korea Scrambles Jets as Chinese, Russian Aircraft Enter Air Defence Zone


South Korea said it scrambled fighter jets in response to an intrusion into its air defence identification zone by 19 Russian and Chinese military aircraft on Dec. 22. Four Chinese warplanes entered the Korea Air Defence Identification Zone (KADIZ) followed by 15 Russian aircraft, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

Five Persistent Misconceptions About Modernizing the U.S. ICBM Force


Retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute of Aerospace Studies, debunks five common misconceptions surrounding the modernization of the ICBM Force. They include: A land-based component of the triad is not necessary; ICBMS are “destabilizing;” extending the life of Minuteman III is more cost effective; “There is no rush for a Minuteman III replacement;” and “the GBSD award was non-competitive.”

'You Were in the Situation Room, We Were High-Fiving:' Airmen Brief DOD Chief on Hostage Rescue Support Mission


On Oct. 31, members of SEAL Team Six inserted into Nigeria via CV-22 Ospreys and MC-130J Commando II special operations aircraft to rescue Philip Walton, who had been kidnapped from his farm in bordering Niger days before. The mission was an unqualified success: Walton was recovered safely, and the SEALs killed all but one of his seven captors while sustaining no casualties themselves. The 100th Air Refueling Wing, at RAF Mildenhall, U.K., sometimes called "the only gas station in town" because its capabilities are unique to the region, supplied five of its 15 KC-135 Stratotankers to the mission, supporting the special operations aircraft from 352nd Special Operations Wing, co-located at Mildenhall.

VA Gets Big Funding Increase in Final Fiscal 2021 Budget Deal

Military Times

The Department of Veterans Affairs will see nearly a 12 percent increase in total funding under the full-year spending deal approved by Congress on Monday, another significant financial boost for a department that has seen steady growth over the last two decades.

Air Force Graduates its Largest Class of Female Test Pilots and Engineers in History


They soar into the desert skies, piloting some of the most sophisticated aircraft the world has ever seen. They have an innate understanding of high-performance aircraft and are always pushing the boundaries on performance. They are the small cadre of flight test pilots who graduate from the US Air Force Test Pilot School (TPS) at Edwards Air Force Base in California -- and this year they include a group of five women, a record number.

Former Tuskegee Airman Alfred Thomas Farrar Dies at Age 99

The Associated Press

Alfred Thomas Farrar, a former Tuskegee Airman, died on Dec. 17 in Virginia only days before a ceremony planned to honor his service in the program that famously trained Black military pilots during World War II. He was 99. Farrar would have turned 100 years old on Dec. 26.

Free 3-Year Memberships!

Air Force Association

The Air Force Association offers more than $190,000 annually in scholarships, program, grants, and educator awards. AFA is a top supporter of aerospace education, join today to be a part of the force behind the Air and Space Forces. Airmen and Guardians—Active, Guard, Reserve and civilian—are eligible for free 3-year memberships with AFA!

Space Force To Focus SATCOM Management On JADC2 Needs: EXCLUSIVE

Breaking Defense

The Space Force is preparing to launch a new effort to manage military and commercial satellite communications networks and link them to ensure troops in the field are always connected, even in the face of enemy jamming. This next stage in the rapid prototyping program is focused on ensuring 24/7 SATCOM availability for future All-Domain Operations (ADO).

SPONSORED—VIDEO: 4 Principles of Agile JADC2 Development

Air Force Magazine

Innovation has always been a hallmark of the U.S. Air Force. But with the accelerating pace of technology development, the service needs a new approach to modern design to make the latest technologies profoundly more accessible.

One More Thing

Operation Christmas Drop Continues for 69th Year Despite COVID-19

Air Force Magazine

USAF C-130s dropped 64 bundles to the 500-island archipelago of Palau earlier this month, providing aid to people on the islands, while also providing airdrop training for C-130 crews, according to a Dec. 17 release. “Operation Christmas Drop is one of those exercises, it’s one of those missions, that you don’t forget,” said Maj. Joseph Spitz, Operation Christmas Drop mission commander, in a video release. “It’s got a special place in everyone’s heart who accomplishes it. It’s something you can’t duplicate in any other sense.”