Accelerated Path to Wings

‘Accelerated Path to Wings’ Graduates First Class of Pilots

Air Education and Training Command's “Accelerated Path to Wings” program graduated its first-ever class of undergraduate pilots at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, on March 12. The program produces pilots in approximately seven months—five months shorter than typical undergraduate pilot training—by letting student pilots stick to a single aircraft.
Raptors arrive

F-22 Experiences In-Flight Emergency, Ground Mishap at Eglin

An F-22 experienced an in-flight emergency and a subsequent mishap upon landing March 15 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The pilot was transported to the base’s flight medicine clinic for an evaluation immediately after landing, Eglin said in a statement. The F-22, assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, landed safely around 3:30 p.m., and there were no details available on the aircraft’s condition.
Brig. Gen. Lawrence Schloegl Visits Soldiers in D.C.

Lawmakers, NGAUS Call for End to Guard Mission at US Capitol

Bipartisan lawmakers and the main advocacy group for the National Guard are calling on the Defense Department to end the mission protecting the U.S. Capitol, as about 2,300 Guard personnel remain on duty. Three days before the mission was slated to end on March 12, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III extended the mission through May 23 at the request of U.S. Capitol Police. “We cannot ignore the financial costs associated with this prolonged deployment, nor can we turn a blind eye to the effects it will soon have on the National Guard’s overall readiness,” wrote House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Ranking Member Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) in a March 11 statement.

New Ribbon Recognizes Guard Troops Who Supported Biden Inauguration

The D.C. National Guard Presidential Inauguration Support Ribbon, a new award created by the head of the District of Columbia National Guard and approved by the Army last year, recognizes National Guard troops from the District and any U.S. state or territory who supported President Joe Biden's inauguration on Title 32 orders, DCNG wrote in a March 15 release. As of press time, Guard personnel who supported the 2021 inauguration were the only ones cleared to receive the award. However, in the release, Walker hinted at potential regulation changes that would greenlight Guard troops who supported past inaugurations to get it, too.

Virtual Events: Scowcroft Group’s Miller on Mitchell’s Nuclear Deterrence Series, and More

On March 23, the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies will host a virtual Nuclear Deterrence Series event featuring Scowcroft Group Principal Frank Miller. At a time when nuclear modernization programs are accelerating around the world, proposals to recapitalize the U.S. nuclear arsenal are at the forefront of debates over defense spending. Miller will share his insights into the prospects for U.S. nuclear modernization programs and the value of nuclear deterrence in today's competitive security environment. The think tank will post event video on its website and YouTube page after the live event.

Radar Sweep

OPINION: Redefine Readiness or Lose

War on the Rocks

“As the Chiefs of services [are] increasingly pulled in multiple directions in both time and space, we have had an increasing number of both formal and informal discussions on what readiness really means, and what it should mean,” write Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David H. Berger. “This article is a continuation of those discussions and, while there are only two service Chiefs on the byline, we have had likeminded conversations with our fellow service Chiefs—the Chief of Staff of the Army, Chief of Naval Operations, and Chief of Space Operations.”

Hypersonic and Directed-Energy Weapons: Who Has Them, and Who’s Winning the Race in the Asia-Pacific?

Defense News

A number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region are caught up in the global hypersonic and directed-energy weapons race, with these regional powers having either developed or publicly stated intentions to develop such technology. Defense News has contacted regional government and military officials, businesses, and analysts to find out who is keeping pace in the worldwide contest.

OPINION: US Army Missile-Buying Spree Is a Waste of Money

Aviation Week Network

“In an era when national security demands are increasing while resources allocated to defense are decreasing, leaders must prioritize solutions that optimize U.S. power-projection capabilities at best value,” writes retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. “To those points, the choice between Air Force bombers and Army long-range missiles yields a very clear determination: Bombers win, hands down.”

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Leaving Afghanistan Under the Deal Biden Inherited from Trump Could Spur Chaos, US Commanders Say

Los Angeles Times

Fighting in Afghanistan will intensify sharply and Taliban militants could threaten major cities unless a Biden administration diplomatic push to end the 20-year conflict yields results in the next two months, according to two senior U.S. commanders. The tight time frame is driven by a May 1 deadline to withdraw the remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan, as required under a deal with the Taliban that President Biden inherited from the Trump administration.

INDOPACOM Drafts Regional Strategy for All-Domain Ops

Breaking Defense

Indo-Pacific Command has drafted a new warfighting concept for the Asian theater, designed to parallel the global Joint Warfighting Concept spearheaded by the Joint Staff, says George Ka’iliwai, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s director for requirements. The new INDOPACOM Warfighting Concept is being shepherded by the command’s J5 planning directorate, said Ka’iliwai at the National Defense Industrial Association POST conference on March 12.

State TV: Iran Inaugurates New Underground Missile Facility

The Associated Press

Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard on March 15 inaugurated a new underground facility designated for missile storage, the country’s state TV reported. The report quotes Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami as saying that cruise and ballistic missiles will empower the force’s navy even more.

One More Thing

Want to Experience a Piece of Cold War History? This Nuclear Missile Complex Is Now an Airbnb

Baxter Bulletin

Titan Ranch, located at 23 Missile Base Road in Vilonia, Ark., offers renters the chance to spend a night underground in a converted intercontinental ballistic missile facility. The facility was one of 18 underground Titan II missile silos in Arkansas that helped form the backbone of the United States' nuclear arsenal from the 1960s until the 1980s.