New Russian Fighter in F-35 Class Echoes Other JSF Designs

Leaked images of Russia's new F-35-class single-engine jet fighter suggest the aircraft borrows from U.S. Joint Strike Fighter designs, resembling both Boeing's X-32 and McDonnell Douglas' JSF in some key aspects. The fighter, to be formally unveiled July 20, joins a crowding field of F-35 competitors.
Air Force commercial

New USAF Ad Speaks to Diversity … and ‘Kicking Butt’

Over the weekend, millions of people tuning in to watch the pregame show for the NBA Finals also caught the premiere of the latest Air Force recruiting commercial, featuring Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. The 30-second ad, titled “Helmet,” features Brown delivering a simple, powerful message about diversity and air power, intercut with footage of him and other Airmen getting into the cockpit of aircraft and flying. “When I’m flying, I put my helmet on, my visor down, my mask up. You don’t know who I am—whether I’m African American, Asian American, Hispanic, White, male or female,” Brown says. “You just know I’m an American Airman, kicking your butt. I’m General C. Q. Brown Jr. Come join us.”
afghan interpreters

Defense Department to House 2,500 Afghan Interpreters and Family Members at Fort Lee

The Pentagon will honor a request from the State Department to initially house at least 2,500 Afghan interpreters and their families at Fort Lee, Va., to escape possible retribution from the Taliban. President Joe Biden has said the interpreters, and others who helped U.S. forces during the war, were "vital," and getting them out of Afghanistan was necessary "so their families are not exposed to danger." Afghan officials who spoke recently to Air Force Magazine on the condition of anonymity said as the Taliban have taken rural territories, they also have begun to restrict the rights of women and girls, a hallmark of their rule before the American invasion in 2001.
Scott Van Cleef

Brig. Gen. Scott P. Van Cleef, Former AFA Chairman, Dies at 71

Former Air Force Association Chairman of the Board retired Brig. Gen. Scott P. Van Cleef died July 18 at the age of 71. During Van Cleef's 29 years in the Air Force, he served as an F-5E Aggressor pilot and as a wing commander in the Kosovo conflict. He nurtured expansion of two of AFA's marquee enterprises: the CyberPatriot competition and the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Radar Sweep

Pentagon Offered to Pay National Guard’s Capitol Security Costs

CQ Roll Call

As lawmakers loudly sparred in recent weeks about how to reimburse the National Guard half a billion dollars for protecting the Capitol this year, the Pentagon quietly offered to simply foot the bill by deferring “non-urgent” facilities repairs by a few months, CQ Roll Call has learned. The Defense Department's seemingly simple solution has barely been mentioned in the current debate. Some lawmakers do not want the military to have to foot the National Guard's bill by redirecting money in its budgets, even if the Pentagon has suggested it can do so without adverse effect.

UK ‘Very Interested’ in Hosting US Space Force Radar Station

The Guardian

An American Space Force plan to develop a global monitoring system to track objects up to 22,000 miles from Earth could establish radar stations in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. The head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Wigston, in the U.S. for talks over the plans, said July 17 that the British were “very interested” in the project and hosting one of the American radar stations.

Biden Goes After China’s Cyber Attackers

Defense One

U.S. officials announced new measures aimed at exposing and disrupting China’s government-sponsored cyber criminal activities, including enlisting key NATO and other allies to reveal new details about the methods by which some massive cyber attacks have affected thousands of government and private networks in the United States, and how to protect against them.

OPINION: US Military Must Avoid a ‘Kasserine Pass’ Failure for Space Power

Defense News

“One of the primary reasons U.S. Space Command was reestablished and the U.S. Space Force created was to ensure necessary war-fighting synergies are achieved through unity of effort under an independent commander for U.S. military space power. Complicating this goal for space are two factors: the differing priorities for space assets developed, launched, and controlled by the director of national intelligence as opposed to those fielded by the U.S. military, and the roles and missions tensions of individual services insisting on maintaining indigenous capabilities to directly support their own forces,” writes ​​Matt Donovan, the director of the Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Research Center.

PODCAST: F-35 Lightning II with Allies and Partners: Pilots’ Perspective

Mitchell Institue Aerospace Advantage podcast

In Episode 31 of Aerospace Advantage, host John “Slick” Baum speaks to a selection of international pilots who are taking to the sky in the F-35 Lightning II. A core facet of the F-35’s design from Day 1 involved seamless integration with allies and partners. Hear from Squadron Leader Stewart Campbell of the Royal Air Force, Lt. Col. Maurizio “Driver” De Guida of the Italian Air Force, and Lt. Col. Gert Barend Van Woerden of the Royal Netherlands Air Force about what it’s like to bring fifth-generation combat aviation to their respective air forces.

DOD Holds First Public Outreach Event to Engage With PFAS Stakeholders

DOD release

On July 14, the Defense Department hosted, for the first time, an online forum that allowed for an open and transparent dialogue between the department and stakeholders affected by the presence of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. Department leaders created the event, the first of what is expected to be a continuing series of engagements, to increase the department's communication with affected communities and other stakeholders, and to enhance transparency regarding the department's PFAS-related activities.

Subscription Required

What Happened to Pat Tillman’s Jersey? Here’s How the Last Americans at Bagram Airfield Rushed to Secure Mementos

Stars & Stripes

Most of Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan for much of the past 20 years, is a ghost town. But in the days before coalition troops left July 2, some of the last to leave scrambled to safeguard war mementos or make sure that what stayed behind wouldn’t be left to whatever comes next in a country still at war. Many of the cavernous, empty structures the U.S. vacated were left open, but one in particular remained locked during a recent visit: a squat wooden lodge near the base’s airport terminal, once known as the USO Pat Tillman center.

Senate Democrats Propose Requiring Women to Register for Military Draft


Senate Democrats are proposing a sweeping rewrite of the military draft laws aimed at requiring women to register for the Selective Service System, according to a draft authored by Senate Armed Services Chair Jack Reed and obtained by Politico. The changes to Selective Service could be attached to the National Defense Authorization Act, a defense policy bill that’s one of the few pieces of legislation considered a “must-pass” by Congress. The move would reignite a contentious debate over whether women should be required to register for the draft, a move the House and Senate have each considered in recent years, though the change has never become law.

In a First, SecDef Pledges DOD to Space Norms

Breaking Defense

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III has signed an unclassified, formal memo mandating that the Pentagon abide by a framework set of norms for military activities in outer space—a first for the Defense Department, despite long-standing verbal pledges by top brass about “responsible” behavior in space. The July 7 memo, obtained by Breaking Defense, is “the first time, to my knowledge, that the DOD has released an unclassified statement about norms,” said Doug Loverro, former head of DOD space policy.

One More Thing

Meet 49ers' Newest Cheerleader: Air Force 1st Lt. Haley McClain Hill


Gameday is pretty much every day for 26-year-old 1st Lt. Haley McClain Hill, having just been named to the 49ers Gold Rush squad for the upcoming season while also leading more than 300 Airmen at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as a section commander. “I correlate being an NFL cheerleader, it kind of brings the sassy, feminine side to the military. That is very rare,” McClain Hill said.