Hypersonic test

Hypersonic Research Funding Skyrockets as DOD Looks to Push Capability to the Field

The government’s 70 hypersonics programs—ranging from enabling technology efforts to all-up prototyping projects—are expected to cost $15 billion from 2015 through 2024, and several have sharply exceeded cost estimates, the Government Accountability Office reported. Hypersonic research funding grew 740 percent, government-wide, between 2015 and 2020. Production costs have not yet been developed, the agency said, though it predicts that hypersonics spending will decline in the next few years, hovering at just over $2 billion annually, and basic development will be eclipsed by spending on production.

Coalition Aircraft Batter ISIS with 133 Airstrikes in Iraq

U.S.-led coalition aircraft recently conducted a major offensive against the Islamic State group in northern Iraq, conducting 133 airstrikes over 10 days targeting a cave complex that served as a safe haven for terrorists. That's more than any monthly airstrike total in Iraq and Syria since 2019. The offensive, in support of Iraqi ground forces, destroyed 61 hideouts, 24 caves, and eliminated “a number of terrorists,” said Col. Wayne Marotto, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III

Austin Calls for Reduction in Violence, ‘Responsible’ End to Afghan War

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III visited Afghanistan on March 21 to meet with Afghan leaders and urge further reduction in violence, as NATO foreign ministers prepare to meet this week to discuss the future of the mission. “It’s obvious that the level of violence remains pretty high in the country,” Austin said in Kabul after meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan boss Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller to gauge progress following the February 2020 deal with the Taliban. “We’d really like to see that violence come down. And I think if it does come down, it can begin to set the conditions for some really fruitful diplomatic work.”
Team CyberAegis Cobalt

CyberPatriot Crowns National Champions in Virtual National Finals

The Air Force Association held the CyberPatriot XIII National Finals virtually on March 19-21 for the second year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. Through a series of online competition rounds, teams are given a set of virtual operating systems and are tasked with finding and fixing cybersecurity vulnerabilities while maintaining critical services. The season started with 4,801 teams registered to compete and the field was narrowed to just 28 teams that advanced to the National Finals Competition.
CSAF Brown speaks at Command Chief Training

Brown Reinvents the Chief’s Reading List

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. is reinventing the Chief’s reading list, posting an updated library of suggested books, podcasts, and other forms of information instead of a static list. Brown, in announcing the CSAF Leadership Library, said he wants it to change as “novel ideas are published, recorded, and debated.” “I am an avid reader and consumer of information, constantly looking for ways to broaden my perspectives and develop myself as a leader,” he wrote in a March 22 memo.

Space Force JROTC to Get First Units Starting This Fall

The Space Force and the national Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps announced the first 10 JROTC units to convert their affiliation from the Air Force to the Space Force. All 10 schools converting volunteered. Selections were based on proximity to Space Force or related government agencies, including Space Force bases, facilities, and centers of influence, such as U.S. Space Command Headquarters, or NASA, Missile Defense Agency, and other locations, or where the current instructor cadre had prior space operations experience.

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

GAO to Investigate SPACECOM HQ Selection Process

Inside Defense

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) requested the review in a Feb. 1 letter to the Government Accountability Office, questioning the evaluation criteria for the decision and highlighting concerns that "there was untoward political influence exerted by President Trump on [Air Force] leaders to modify the process and ensure Huntsville, Alabama was chosen."

US Air Force’s T-38 Trainer Could Soon Dogfight with Augmented Reality Adversaries

Defense News

In the future, when U.S. Air Force fighter pilots face off in aerial combat training missions, they could be dogfighting the video game version of Chinese and Russian warplanes at a fraction of the cost of using real jets like the F-22 Raptor. At least that’s the pitch the California-based company known as Red 6 is making to the service.

Navy and Marine Corps Make Drones a Top Priority

Federal News Network

The services released an Unmanned Campaign Plan last week that will advance manned-unmanned teaming in naval and joint missions and build a digital infrastructure that integrates drones at speed and scale.