The Air Force wrapped up Thracian Star 21—an exercise designed to enhance interoperability and combat effectiveness—July 23. The exercise, spearheaded by the Bulgarian air force and held at Graf Ignatievo Air Base in Bulgaria, involved more than 150 personnel and eight F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the famed 555th Fighter Squadron—known as the “Triple Nickel”—based out of Aviano Air Base in Italy.
A leaked audio recording of a group commander at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., lecturing airmen after sorties were canceled due to crew fatigue has raised concerns about the wing’s leadership style and safety culture. The concerns became public July 17, when the unofficial Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page posted an account by an anonymous author alleging “toxic culture of leadership” in the operations group for Tinker’s 552nd Air Control Wing, which flies the Boeing E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System, or AWACS, aircraft.
Pregnant Cadets, Midshipmen Must Give Up Their Child or Their Career. Two Senators Want To Change That.
Two senators are teaming up to change an “unfair, antiquated” policy that requires students at military academies who get pregnant to choose between abandoning their military career or their child. Last week, Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., introduced the Candidates Afforded Dignity, Equality, and Training, or CADET, Act of 2021, which would ensure that students at military universities have the option to continue their education while also maintaining their parental rights.
In episode 32 of the Aerospace Advantage, “From the Ostfriesland to the B-21: Billy Mitchell and Modern Aerospace Power,” we mark the 100th anniversary of Brigadier General Billy Mitchell and the Air Service’s First Provisional Air Brigade sinking the captured German battleship Ostfriesland. While that accomplishment is incredibly significant unto itself, this anniversary also gives us an opportunity to consider Mitchell’s accomplishments with a broader lens and think about what it all means today. Mitchell’s vision fundamentally changed what it means to project effective military power.
The Senate Armed Services Committee’s proposed 2022 defense policy bill contains a provision that would require women to register for the draft, officially known as the Selective Service System. The initial version of the Senate’s proposed National Defense Authorization Act would amend the Military Selective Service Act and for the first time include a requirement for women.
The Federal Aviation Administration has revised its criteria for awarding astronaut wings to those flying on commercial spacecraft, making the requirements stricter while including a significant loophole. The FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation issued an order July 20 describing its FAA Commercial Space Astronaut Wings Program and the criteria for awarding them. The order represents the first formal update of the wings program since it was introduced in 2004.
The Department of Defense recently concluded a round of tests of new machine learning technology that aims to increase data sharing between combatant commands. The North American Aerospace Defense Command and Northern Command’s Global Information Dominance Experiment 3 (GIDE 3) brought 11 combatant commands, the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) and other tech leaders together July 8-15 at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado to test the use of AI in warfare.
The Air Force's communications gateway prototype is expected to next fly in early fiscal year 2022 after the product experienced a schedule slip that pushed back a planned demonstration slated for earlier this summer, according to a service spokesman. The service previously announced it planned to test the prototype, formerly known as gatewayONE, during an Orange Flag exercise in June.
The wait is over. Space Systems Command’s Guardians and Airmen are called to defend American interests and ensure our forces, our allies, and the world never experience a day without space. We are honored to reveal SSC’s emblem signifying our gold standard of space acquisition. Watch it here.