Flight Ops

Navy, Air Force Team on New Fighter as Navy Aims for 50 Percent Robot Jets

The Navy and Air Force are working together on the Next-Generation Air Dominance program, expecting to produce dissimilar airframes but with common internal systems, the Navy's air warfare chief reported March 30.. The new aircraft carrier airwing will increasingly shift toward unmanned aircraft in the next decade, with UAVs eventually outnumbering crewed jets, he said.

F-35As Officially Heading to Tyndall

Three squadrons of F-35As will come to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., the Air Force formally announced March 29, after years of groundwork. The aircraft will begin to arrive in September 2023, with the base eventually housing three squadrons of 24 aircraft each once the base’s 325th Fighter Wing reaches full mission capability, according to a Tyndall release. The plan was first announced in 2018 following the devastation caused by the Category 5 Hurricane Michael, which essentially leveled the base and prompted the move of F-22s from Tyndall to other bases.

ABUs Officially Phase Out on April 1

The Air Force on April 1 will officially finish the transfer to the Operational Camouflage Pattern, meaning March 31 is the last day that Airman Battle Uniforms can be worn in regulations. USAF in May 2018 announced it would phase out the ABU in favor of the OCP, developed by the U.S. Army. The adoption began in a phased approach, with OCPs now universal in both the Air Force and the Space Force.

Watch, Read: CSAF’s Fireside Chat with Mackenzie Eaglen

Watch the video or read the transcript of the fireside chat with Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force; and Mackenzie Eaglen, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, during AFA’s 2021 virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.

vAWS 2021: Mission Domain Live Engagement—Strategic Deterrence

Watch Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration Lt. Gen. James Dawkins Jr.; Greg Manuel, vice president and general manager for strategic deterrent systems at Northrop Grumman Space Systems; and moderator USAF Gen. Timothy M. Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command boss and commander of Air Forces Strategic—Air at U.S. Strategic Command take part in the "Mission Domain Live Engagement—Strategic Deterrence" session from AFA’s 2021 virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.

Radar Sweep

POLITICO Pro Q&A: Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown


Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. took over as the first Black Air Force Chief of Staff in August during one of the most dynamic periods for the military in modern times. "Think about Covid, racial disparity, change of administration, extremism, sexual assault," he said, running down just some of the challenges and changes. "All these things are factors that our leaders have to deal with." The service is also staring into the maw of a Washington budget battle that will almost certainly inflict casualties on some weapons programs that do not directly advance the Pentagon's effort to prepare for great power competition with Russia and China.

Air Force Drone Plan May Rile MQ-9 Champions

Breaking Defense

The Air Force plans to develop a family of highly survivable drones for multiple missions to replace the MQ-9 — but rather than the Reaper’s traditional ground-attack role, the service’s top priority seems to be counter-air capabilities.

OPINION: F-35 Hitmen Put U.S. And Partner Lives At Risk


“Rep. Adam Smith’s recent attack against the F-35 program was followed by an avalanche of anti-F-35 hype putting the aircraft under pressure in the court of public opinion. Unfortunately, most of these assaults have been made without realization or acknowledgement of the benefits that the F-35 provides. The F-35 is actually excelling in combat, over a dozen countries are in line to buy it, and the price per unit is below the cost of alternative fighter designs with less capability. China has worked tirelessly to build a copy of the F-35 as a key component of its military modernization program. If the F35 is such a ‘bad deal,’ why is the Chinese Air Force trying to copy it in quantity?” writes retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Power.

The Growing Case for Active Debris Removal

Space Review

There are, unfortunately, plenty of reminders of the growing problem of orbital debris. On March 18, the Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron (18 SPCS), responsible for tracking objects in Earth orbit, announced that the retired NOAA-17 polar-orbiting weather satellite had broken up eight days earlier, creating 16 pieces being tracked (and likely more too small to be tracked.) On March 22, 18 SPCS reported that a Chinese satellite, Yunhai 1-02, had broken up four days earlier, creating 21 pieces being tracked.

Bidens Pay Tribute at Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Military Times

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden paid tribute March 29 at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to mark the 48th anniversary of the departure of the last U.S. combat troops from the war zone.

OPINION: Why Space Command Should Stay in Colorado Springs

Air Force Times

“When the Department of Defense and the Air Force announced in January that Huntsville, Ala., had been chosen as the permanent location for U.S. Space Command, the 11th combatant command, I was surprised and disappointed. More so when I read the recent reports of the Air Force’s ratings of Peterson Air Force Base, as middle or bottom third relative to the six finalists in several categories,” writes retired Gen. Gene Renuart, former commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., from March 2007 to July 2010.

Red Flag 21-2 Creates Agile, Multi-domain Problem-Solvers

USAF release

“Nested within the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center and 57th Wing priorities, Red Flag is aligned with our National Defense Strategy,” said Col. William Reese, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander. “Using complex mission scenarios against a powerful and unrestricted aggressor team, participants get the best high-end training available.”