Ray: Pace of China’s Strategic Advancement is ‘Breathtaking,’ Cause for Alarm

China is progressing faster than expected in developing and fielding strategic arms, said Gen. Timothy M. Ray, head of Air Force Global Strike Command, during a June 3 virtual Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event. He also said it will be cheaper to go forward with the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent than to try to fix the old Minuteman III system; and that the recent pace of bomber task forces will have to be reduced, even though demand for them remains high.

Air Force Will Try Again to Launch ARRW Hypersonic Missile in July

The Air Force will try again to make a free flight of its hypersonic missile the AGM-183 Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon in July, Gen. Timothy M. Ray, head of Global Strike Command, said June 3 during a virtual Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event. He's confident the problems that afflicted the last attempt will be overcome, he said.
delta 2

Space Force Looks to Operationalize New Structure, Build Culture in 2022

Through its first year of existence, the U.S. Space Force was focused on developing the overall structure by which the entirely new service would be organized. Now, as it heads into Year 2, the force will seek to “actually operationalize” that new structure, Col. Matthew S. Cantore, commander of Space Delta 2, said at an Air and Space Warfighters in Action event hosted by the Air Force Association on June 3.
vandenberg space force base

Vandenberg Plans Commercial Space Zone to Increase Launch Capability on Base

As the Defense Department works more closely with the commercial space industry for quicker, cheaper, and easier launches, Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, is working with industry, academia, and government to increase the ability of these organizations to launch from the base. Vandenberg will establish a “commercial space enterprise zone” on the sprawling base to attract companies to use the base’s existing infrastructure and build more, improved launch sites to increase the pace of launches.
e-11a bacn Bombardier

Bombardier Gets Contract for Up to 6 E-11A BACN Aircraft

The Air Force recently awarded Bombardier a $465 million contract for up to six more E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft. The E-11A, a heavily modified Bombardier Global 6000 business jet, acts as a “Wi-Fi in the sky." It is used heavily in Afghanistan, connecting troops on the ground, communications systems, and radios. The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract includes a firm order for one aircraft, with as many as five to follow. Bombardier will modify the aircraft at its Wichita, Kansas, facility with interior and paint done at a facility in Tucson, Arizona, the company said in a press release.

Radar Sweep

Mitchell Institute Unveils New Website

AFA Release

AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies launched a new website June 3, unveiling a platform that will better showcase its reports, podcasts, and video interviews with leading Air Force, Space Force, and other defense, government, and industry experts. In highlighting this library of work, the new website exemplifies the Institute’s essential mission of research and education and serves as a lasting resource on all that is aerospace power

Budget Request for Arlington Cemetery Nearly Triples Amid Plans for Major Expansion


The U.S. Army’s budget request for 2022 includes $228 million for Arlington National Cemetery, up from around $81 million last year, as plans for an expansion that would connect it to the nearby Air Force Memorial reach a critical stage. The plan was first unveiled in 2012 and has slowly progressed since, but the Army acquired the county- and locally owned property necessary through eminent domain and hopes to add 80,000 burial and inurnment sites to the historic cemetery.

Military Leaders Wary of Changes in Sexual Assault Policy

The Associated Press

In memos sent to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III, civilian Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and from the National Guard all expressed reservations about the increasing push to shift prosecution decisions for sexual assault and other major crimes away from the military chain of command, arguing that doing so could decrease the number of prosecutions, delay cases, and potentially provide less help for victims. A plan to change the policy was introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and now has bipartisan, filibuster-proof support.

Lockheed Martin Sees Hill Support For F-35 PBL

Breaking Defense

Lockheed Martin is projecting another 40 percent drop in its portion of the F-35’s costs per flying hour by 2025 and says costs could be reduced even lower if the Defense Department agrees to five-year performance-based logistics (PBL) contract. Defense officials have been reluctant to agree to a long-term contract with one vendor, but Frank Kendall, nominee for Air Force Secretary, did use PBL contracts as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics and has been publicly supportive of buying more F-35s.

Combating Climate Change Factors Into Defense Budget Request

DOD release

Keeping with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III’s view that climate change is an “existential threat,” the DOD’s 2022 budget request treats it as a priority, with funds for repair related to severe weather events to increased funding for electric and hybrid vehicles to construction aimed at reducing energy consumption.

JROC Tags Space Force To Make Satellites Link With JADC2

Breaking Defense

The Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) officially designated the Space Force as the integrator for all joint space requirements, an unsurprising but necessary step as it looks to launch the satellite system necessary for the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2). However, the Space Force is not actually in charge of building the JADC2 satellite backbone. That responsibility lies with the Space Development Agency, an independent DOD agency.

LGB Troops Are Much More Likely to be Sexually Assaulted Than Their Heterosexual Peers: Study

Military Times

A new study released by the Rand Corporation found that non-heterosexual service members made up 43 percent of sexually assaulted service members in 2018 despite accounting for just 12 percent of all military personnel. The data also showed that the finding was true for both men and women, and the study’s authors noted that their findings are consistent with other reports that “sexual minorities in the military experience high rates of threats, intimidation, vandalism to their personal property, and other types of physical assaults.”

One More Thing

Air Force Personnel Respond after Man Brings Live Hand Grenade to Bannock County Sheriff's Office

Idaho State Journal

On June 2, an elderly Idaho man entered the Bannock County Sheriff's Office around 10 a.m., asking deputies to help him dispose of a hand grenade. Upon further inspection, the officers determined the grenade was in fact real, live, and high-explosive and called in Airmen from Mountain Home Air Force Base. The Airmen took the grenade and were able to detonate the grenade at a shooting range without incident, and the man told officers he couldn't remember how he obtained it. He has not been criminally charged.