Editor’s Note

In honor of the Fourth of July, the Daily Report will not publish on Monday, July 5. We will resume publication Tuesday, July 6.
frank kendall

Why Frank Kendall’s Nomination to be Air Force Secretary Remains on Hold

Michigan Democratic Sen. Gary Peters is holding up Frank Kendall from a nomination vote for Air Force Secretary over the Pentagon’s decision to award the F-35 international training center to Arkansas's Ebbing Air National Guard Base. Michigan’s Selfridge Air National Guard Base possessed “superior qualifications” in the bid, a Peters spokesperson told Air Force Magazine on July 1. Peters, along with Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Utah Republican Mike Lee, have put holds on the nomination vote. “Senator Peters wants—and Michigan deserves—additional information and data from the Air Force and the Department of Defense regarding its process surrounding the recent F-35 international training center decision,” a Peters spokesperson said.

Army, Navy Space Units to Begin Transfer to Space Force This Year

Some 60 space-related units and mission sets remain outside the purview of the Space Force, but that will begin to change this year, Lt. Gen. Nina M. Armagno told Air Force Magazine on July 1 on the sidelines of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies’s first in-person event since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In a wide-ranging discussion that covered the progress made in the service’s first 18 months, Armagno zeroed in on threats posed by China and Russia, providing descriptions of adversary capabilities that challenge vulnerable American space architecture. She also acknowledged that new strategies will have to be employed to recruit and retain talent and compete with the high-paying private space industry.

Raytheon Receives $2 Billion EMD Contract for LRSO Missiles

The Air Force has awarded a $2 billion contract to Raytheon Missiles and Defense to engineer and develop the Long Range Standoff weapon system, the service’s next-generation air-launched nuclear missile. The deal, announced July 1, is for the engineering and manufacturing development phase and is set to last through February 2027 as Raytheon will continue to develop the cruise missiles, with an end goal of demonstrating full production readiness.

ISIS in Afghanistan Remains a ‘Serious Threat,’ Special Envoy Warns

As the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan reaches its final stages, the Islamic State’s Khorasan branch in the country remains a “serious threat,” warned John T. Godfrey, the acting U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Speaking with reporters on a call July 1, Godfrey echoed other recent warnings from American officials and generals that the Islamic State’s presence in Afghanistan, thought to be severely diminished just a few years ago, is far from eradicated.

Investigation: Pilot’s Reliance on ‘Seat of the Pants Feel’ Caused February T-38 Crash

An Air Force pilot’s mistake in raising landing gear too quickly during a touch-and-go landing was the main cause of a February crash of a T-38 trainer jet, according to an accident investigation report published June 29. Investigators faulted the pilot for relying on a “seat of the pants feel” to decide the aircraft was airborne instead of verifying it through available instruments in the cockpit and visual cues.

Radar Sweep

B-52 Engine Replacement Could Keep Bomber Flying Through Its 100th Birthday

Defense One

It was 75 years ago this June that the U.S. Army Air Forces first awarded Boeing a modest $1.7 million contract to begin work on a new strategic bomber. Later this year, the 76 remaining B-52 Stratofortresses will start to get new engines that just might keep the venerable bomber flying through its 100th birthday.

Virgin Orbit Plane Launches Four US Military Satellites into Space


Virgin Orbit successfully delivered four U.S. military satellites to low Earth orbit on June 30 as part of the company’s second successful launch of the LauncherOne rocket. While most space launches start with the rocket standing vertically on a pad, VOX Space, a subsidiary of Virgin Orbit, is one of a growing number of launch providers that takes its rockets up into the sky via aircraft before launching them midair.

Remarriage Rules Relaxed For Surviving Spouses Seeking VA Benefits


A little-noticed provision in Public Law 116-315, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020, makes it easier for surviving spouses to continue receiving Department of Veterans Affairs benefits if they remarry. The law made changes to the remarriage rules for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). Effective Jan. 5, 2021, a veteran's surviving spouse who remarries after the veteran's death will remain eligible for the benefit paid by the VA if the spouse is at least 55 years old. The remarriage must have occurred on or after that date.

AFRL Holds High Power Electromagnetic Wargaming Event

Air Force Research Laboratory release

The Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate held its second in a series of wargaming, modeling, and simulation events June 21-25 at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. The latest Directed Energy Utility Concept Experiment, or DEUCE, focused on the use of high power electromagnetic (HPEM) weapons as part of an integrated air defense system, whereas the DEUCE held in January concentrated on the capabilities of high energy laser systems.

China’s J-35 Carrier Fighter Appears

Breaking Defense

China’s Navy has taken another step toward eliminating the last advantages that the U.S. Navy enjoys, in the form of the new, stealthy carrier fighter aircraft known as the J-35. What has caught the attention of U.S. defense policy makers is the J-35’s appearance at the aircraft carrier building in Wuhan, Hubei Province that performs research for PLAN naval aviation operations. The photo is the latest of images taken of the Wuhan facility over the years by Chinese aviation enthusiasts and then posted anonymously on various PRC-based websites.

Boeing Names New CFO, Elects Former Pilot and Air Force Lieutenant General to the Board

Seattle Times

Boeing announced June 30 the appointment of a new chief financial officer, Brian West, a former CFO at GE Aviation. And Stayce Harris, a retired U.S. Air Force Reserve lieutenant general and former 747 captain with United Airlines, will join Boeing’s board. Effective at the end of August, West will report to Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun and serve on the company’s executive council.

Meet the MC-145B Wily Coyote Armed Special Ops Transport Plane

The Drive

The Sierra Nevada Corporation, or SNC, has given us the first look at its MC-145B Wily Coyote. This armed aircraft, which is derived from the Polish PZL M28 Skytruck, as is the U.S. Air Force's existing fleet of C-145A Combat Coyote special operations light transport planes, is the company's entry into the U.S. Special Operations Command's Armed Overwatch trials.

Putin Says US and UK were Behind Black Sea ‘Provocation’

The Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin said June 30 that an incident involving a British destroyer in the Black Sea couldn’t have triggered a global conflict even if Russia had sunk the warship because the West knows it can’t win such a war. The tough statement appeared to indicate his resolve to raise the stakes should a similar incident happen again.

Oracle Petitions Supreme Court Over $10B JEDI Protest


Oracle has filed a new brief with the Supreme Court, calling on it to hear the latest argument in its years-long legal battle against the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract. The tech company hopes to overturn the initial ruling of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which identified issues with the $10 billion cloud contract’s award structure but said that potential conflicts of interest had not affected Oracle’s chances or cost it the deal.

‘Black Hawk Down’ Veterans to Receive 58 Silver Stars

Defense One

The Army is upgrading the valor awards of 60 special operators who participated in the ill-fated Battle of Mogadishu 28 years ago—perhaps best known through the “Black Hawk Down” book and movie. The late recognition comes as Pentagon officials decide whether to send U.S. troops to Somalia anew.

One More Thing

Air Force’s Top Enlisted Leader Surprises Airman with On-the-Spot Promotion

Task and Purpose

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass surprised an Airman with an on-the-spot promotion ceremony June 29, but not before having a little harmless fun with her first. “Jenkins, did you know you’re out of uniform?” Bass asked then-Airman 1st Class Ivanna Jenkins, of the 412th Security Forces Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., according to a video posted to Bass’ Facebook page.