Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III signed off on the implementation plan for the department’s 2020 Electromagnetic Spectrum Superiority Strategy, the Pentagon announced Aug. 5. The authorized plan marks a significant milestone toward modernizing a key capability to enabling practically every aspect of modern warfare—including the DOD’s Joint Warfighting Concept and All Domain Operations—and one which the U.S. has allowed to atrophy since the end of the Cold War, according to experts. The EMS enables a broad range of military capabilities, from communications, signals intelligence, and command and control to sensing, navigation, and targeting.
The Space Force believes it could improve the way it develops space capabilities by thinking in terms of portfolios rather than developing each program of record independently. When asked about the need for acquisition reforms, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration Shawn Barnes said the Space Force had enough flexibility in issuing contracts to do what it needs to do. However, he said the service could do better by thinking in terms of portfolios rather than single platforms.
The Air Force has set an ambitious goal for the B-52 Stratofortress: Update the aircraft for the modern battlefield so the legendary bomber can continue flying combat missions at least 100 years after its first flight. Central to the Air Force’s plan are new engines, which should slash maintenance and fuel costs while delivering significantly improved mission performance and reliability. “There’s never been a better time to upgrade the B-52 with a modern commercial engine that will provide huge benefits to both the warfighter and the taxpayer,” said former B-52 pilot, retired Lt. Gen. Michael R. Moeller, who is now Vice President for military engines and integrated customer solutions at Pratt & Whitney.
The U.S. military shut down a state highway in northeast Michigan on Aug. 5 to test landing aircraft on civilian roads. The Michigan National Guard closed a portion of M-32 for five hours to perform the landing. Working with the Michigan Department of Transportation and local organizations, the Guard successfully landed four aircraft, including A-10s from Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township.
Ohio could be on the front lines in protecting national data infrastructure from cybercriminals. The Air National Guard is looking to launch a cyber wing, and an Ohio location is one of two being considered. Ohio National Guard Maj. Gen. John Harris says officials are assessing the viability of the Guard's base in Mansfield as the location for the Air National Guard’s first cyberspace wing. “It is a huge deal because, No. 1, it will be one of the first of its kind in the Air National Guard inventory, and secondly, that’s really where the emerging challenges are going to be for us as a nation in the future," Harris says.
“U.S. officials recently announced that they are considering sanctions against a supply chain that enables Iran’s unmanned aerial systems, or UAS, program. But sanctions are unlikely to be effective, and in fact, are almost beside the point. What is needed is a multilateral effort around ending Iran’s support of militias acting against internationally recognized governments,” writes Kirsten Fontenrose, director of the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative in the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Programs.
Engine technology has long been a place where U.S. prowess dominated. Stay current on the latest in engines and propulsion here.
The President nominated Air Force Maj. Gen. David J. Julazadeh for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as deputy chief of staff for capability development, Supreme Allied Command Transformation, Norfolk, Va.
A new sensor payload developed by Northrop Grumman Corp. and Ball Aerospace to detect missile launches has passed a critical design review, the companies announced Aug. 5. The payload is one of two being manufactured for the U.S. Space Force’s Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next-Gen OPIR) geosynchronous satellites made by Lockheed Martin. A competing payload is being developed by Raytheon. Next-Gen OPIR is a planned constellation of early warning satellites that detect intercontinental and tactical ballistic missile launches.
Master Sgt. Shale Norwitz, an Airman assigned to the 5th Combat Communications Group, 688th Cyberspace Wing, is “on the [autism] spectrum, and that makes me good at being a strategic thinker and contributes to my innovation,” he said. “This is the stuff that makes us great, but it is something we need reinforcement on.” Norwitz said his neurodiversity allows him to objectively react during situations. He said that because of his ability to remove emotion from a situation, he is able to see a clear series of targets, tasks, and creative solutions whenever an issue arises.