The Pentagon now has two separate missions involving President Joe Biden’s announcement Thursday aimed at increasing COVID-19 vaccines in the federal workforce. The Defense Department must develop plans to make the vaccine mandatory for the military and set up new requirements for federal workers who will have to either attest to a COVID-19 vaccination or face frequent testing and travel restrictions.
A second attempt to carry out a flight test of a prototype of the Air Force's AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon hypersonic missile, or ARRW, has failed. The weapon separated safely from the B-52H bomber carrying it, but the rocket motor did not ignite. This follows the first unsuccessful attempted flight test in April, in which the missile did not even leave the wing of the B-52H it was attached to.
For the first time, an F-16 Fighting Falcon’s Electronic Warfare System received an in-flight software update as part of an Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) demonstration during a recent test sortie at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. An F-16 updated its Mission Data File with information transmitted from hundreds of miles away using an existing beyond-line-of-sight F-16 satellite communication system. The airborne F-16 Block 50C was able to receive an MDF update from the Hill Software Integration Lab, process it using custom-developed Center Display Unit software, and load the new data into the ALQ-213 Countermeasures Signal Processor.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has restored a crucial pact governing the presence of U.S. troops in the Southeast Asian nation, the two countries' defense ministers said Friday, reversing a decision that had caused increasing concern in Washington and Manila. The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) provides rules for the rotation of thousands of U.S. troops in and out of the Philippines for war drills and exercises. It has assumed additional importance as the United States and its allies contend with an increasingly assertive China. Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he was unsure why Duterte had reversed himself but made the decision after meeting U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III in Manila on Thursday.
A familiar face is back in command at Keesler Air Force Base, and she’s hoping her kinship to South Mississippi will help lead the Second Air Force through these uncertain times. On Friday, Maj. Gen. Michele Edmondson became leader of the Second Air Force at a change-of-command ceremony. Edmondson was also assigned to Keesler from 2015 to 2017 as commander of the 81st Training Wing.
Joint U.S. Army and Air Force exercises centered on Guam are intended to keep adversaries guessing about how America’s armed forces would defend and attack during a conflict, a top Pacific Air Forces official said Sunday. “[Adversaries] believe that we'll concentrate and will build large mountains of sustainment and supply, and then we'll wait to go forward,” said Lt. Gen. Jon T. Thomas, deputy commander of Pacific Air Forces. “We know that we can't wait to do that, nor can we give them that opportunity, and so thus we're preparing to operate in a different way.” This summer’s exercises are doing just that.
As the Space Force plans possible missions in cislunar space—the vast area between the Earth and the moon—one concern is the limitation of traditional chemical propulsion. A spacecraft powered by solar thermal energy that uses water as its main propellant could provide a viable alternative, says Shawn Usman, astrophysicist and founder of startup Rhea Space Activity. RSA won a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 study contract funded by the Space Force to design a spacecraft with a solar-thermal propulsion system.
A recovery mission off Vietnam’s coast showed how advances in technology have given new reach to the Pentagon’s search for American war dead.