B-21 artist rendering

New B-21 Stealth Bomber Image Shows Stealth Windows

The Air Force’s newest rendering of the secret B-21 bomber suggests an exotic layout of cockpit windows. The image, the third released so far, offers a new oblique view of the aircraft from below its port side, suggesting a deeper keel and wider weapons bay than that of the B-2 bomber it will succeed. But the air intakes, which have been redesigned, are obscured.

Pentagon Cancels JEDI, Looks to New Cloud Contract

The Pentagon on July 6 canceled the massive and controversial $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract after years of challenges to its award to Microsoft. The Defense Department said the move comes because the contract, which has been long delayed due to those challenges, no longer meets its requirements. The department is now looking to a new multi-vendor replacement called the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability. While the Pentagon will reach out to industry for additional providers, DOD research indicates that only Microsoft and Amazon Web Services are able to meet DOD requirements.

MacDill Sends KC-135s to McConnell as Tropical Storm Elsa Approaches

MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., closed its gates to non-mission-essential personnel and sent its KC-135s to Kansas as Tropical Storm Elsa approached Florida. MacDill moved to Hurricane Condition 2-Non-Evacuation the morning of July 6, expecting wind gusts of 60 mph, more than eight inches of rain, and a storm surge of up to five feet. On July 4, MacDill KC-135s moved to McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., in advance of the storm. “We’ve got the airfield buttoned up and closed down so that we can focus on taking care of our families and make sure that they are safe,” 6th Air Refueling Wing Commander Col. Benjamin R. Jonsson said in a video statement.

Afghanistan Withdrawal Nearly Complete After US Leaves Bagram

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is almost complete after American forces abruptly left the largest operating base in the country July 1, a move the Pentagon said was needed because of operational security. As of July 5, 90 percent of the withdrawal had been completed, with about 984 C-17 loads of equipment flown out of the country, according to U.S. Central Command. Gen. Austin Scott Miller, commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and the Resolute Support mission, met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at NATO headquarters in Brussels on July 6 to discuss the drawdown.

Russia Simulates Bombing Exercise in Black Sea as NATO, US Forces Exercise

Vladimir Putin is not happy about recent American and NATO exercises in the Black Sea, ordering the bombing of simulated enemy ships and conducting aerial denial tests in a region he believes to be within Russia’s sphere of influence. The U.S. and Ukrainian navies, including Airmen from the 7th Special Operations Squadron, 5,000 military personnel, 30 ships, and 40 aircraft from the U.S., Ukraine, and NATO ally and partner nations, are helping to strengthen Ukraine’s capacity to protect its territorial waters as part of Exercise Sea Breeze.

Radar Sweep

Opinion: Misleading Budget Accounting in the Department of Defense Needs Correction


“Take a quick look at the Department of Defense budget request for fiscal year 2022, and you would think that the Department of the Air Force is the best funded of the three military departments—Army, Navy, Air Force. You would be wrong. In fact, the Pentagon invests the least real service budget authority in the Air Force compared to the Army and Navy as services and all the other defense agencies as a group. Only the U.S. Marine Corps and nascent U.S. Space Force as services receive less,” writes retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

The Air Force Didn’t Have a Manual for Pregnant Airmen. So This Mom Made One.

Military Times

When Tech. Sgt. Nancy Thompson gave birth to her daughter Isabel in 2019, she found herself lost and overwhelmed in a sea of information for new mothers that was spread across the Air Force. She thought she had one year to spend with her baby before the Air Force could assign her to a new job overseas. Then she got orders to ship out to South Korea after only six months.

Female Vets in Congress Decry Proposal to Disband Pentagon’s Advisory Panel on Women


A 70-year-old Defense Department panel focused on women's personnel issues that has advocated for expanded opportunities for female service members must be preserved, say the six female veterans currently serving in Congress. The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) has been suspended temporarily and its membership dissolved as part of a cost and efficiency review of the Defense Department's 42 advisory committees that began in January.

PODCAST: The Aerospace Advantage

Mitchell Institute Aerospace Advantage Podcast

In episode 29 of the Aerospace Advantage, The Rendezvous, host John Baum speaks to members of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies’ team about how Congress is responding to the Air Force and Space Force budget submissions. This episode covers a broad range of important air and space topics that have been dominating recent Congressional defense hearings, including discussions on specific programs like the F-35 and GBSD, as well as Space Force priorities, readiness issues, and individual member perspectives.

The Air Force Wants to Make its First New Pistol in 35 Years Even Smaller

Task & Purpose

The Air Force would like to make its already-tiny M18 service pistol even smaller, according to a bid posted last month on the U.S. government’s contracting website. The M18—a compact version of the M17 that came out of the Army’s Modular Handgun System program—is the Air Force’s first new service pistol in 35 years. It replaces the M9, which Airmen have wielded since 1985.

F-16 Fighting Falcon is Latest Aircraft to Join Wichita State ‘Digital Twin’ Program

The Wichita Eagle

Aerospace engineers at Wichita State University will soon have another U.S. military aircraft to disassemble and turn into a 3D replica. Two Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons will be delivered to WSU by the end of September as part of a “digital twin” program at National Institute for Aviation Research, university officials announced Wednesday in a news release. The 3D replica created by NIAR through the four-year project will help extend the operational lifetime of the fighter jet.

One More Thing

WPAFB Pair Named Air Force’s Top Athletes

Dayton Daily News

The Air Force’s 2020 Male and Female Athletes of the Year both hail from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Capt. Amber Hansen, commander of Global Activities Squadron Detachment 4 at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, and Airman 1st Class Michael Mannozzi, who works in Religious Affairs at the 88th Air Base Wing Chaplain’s Office, competed against other highly qualified athletes throughout the Air Force for this prestigious award.