air force frank kendall

Secretary Kendall’s Plan: Lessons From the Cold War, More Engineers

When Frank Kendall got a call from the White House asking if he could return to the Pentagon to lead the Air Force, he did not need long to think it over. Kendall, who left public service in in 2016 after leading Defense Department acquisition for four years, knew becoming the service’s top civilian was a chance to help address a growing national security problem he had been sounding the alarm on for more than a decade. “The short answer is I thought I could make a contribution to our national security,” Kendall told Air Force Magazine in an exclusive interview, his first since starting as Air Force Secretary. “I’ve been obsessed, or, if you will, very concerned maybe would be a better way to say it, with Chinese military modernization since 2010. And I think we have made some progress in addressing that problem. But, there’s a lot more that can be done.”
military covid-19 vaccine

Austin to Seek Waiver in Mid-September Requiring Troops to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

As the delta variant of COVID-19 rapidly spreads across the country, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III has announced he will ask President Joe Biden for a waiver to require all service members to inoculate—but he will wait at least a month, the Pentagon confirmed Aug. 9. Despite Congressional urging, the Pentagon had long declined to ask for a presidential waiver to require the coronavirus vaccine prior to full FDA approval. Then, Biden made the same request.
commercial space

Cyberattacks on Commercial Space Are Inevitable, Deputy SPACECOM Boss Warns

It is “only a matter of time” before cybercriminals and bad actors start launching attacks on commercial space assets, the deputy commander of U.S. Space Command warned Aug. 9. Space Force Lt. Gen. John E. Shaw, speaking at the virtual Small Satellite Conference, predicted that as commercial space becomes an increasingly active and crowded sector, there will be increased “interoperability” between assets in orbit, so that satellites from different government agencies, private companies, and academic institutions can better connect and communicate.
afghan taliban advance

Pentagon Hints Afghan ‘Leadership’ Will Be to Blame if Kabul Falls

At least five provincial Afghan capitals had fallen to the Taliban within three days, and U.S. airstrikes had failed to turn the tide for retreating Afghan forces, leading the Pentagon on Aug. 9 to preemptively blame a lack of political and combat “leadership” if the Afghan government falls. “They have the advantages, and it’s really now their time to use those advantages,” Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby said of the Afghan government’s Air Force, modern weaponry, and superior numbers in the face of the rapid Taliban advance.

Radar Sweep

The Military's Award for Serving During War Isn't Going Away Despite Afghanistan Withdrawal

There is no plan to retire the National Defense Service Medal, or NDSM, the military's most common decoration, even after U.S. troops pull out of Afghanistan later this month. “The NDSM is reviewed annually to determine if the award is still merited,” Maj. Charlie Dietz, a Pentagon spokesperson, told in an email. “At this time, there are no plans to discontinue awarding the NDSM.”

OPINION: Space-Based Optical Communications: Updating SATCOM for the Information Age

Defense News

“Success in future military conflicts will depend on which side can collect, process, and share information to make better decisions faster than their adversary. This is the fundamental imperative behind efforts such as DOD’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control strategy and the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System. A major step in turning these concepts into reality took place in late June when the Space Development Agency launched its first two satellite missions into orbit,” writes Lukas Autenried, senior analyst with the Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Research Center.

BAE Systems Showcases New Large Area Display for Eurofighter


BAE Systems has showcased for the first time the new large area display (LAD) cockpit it has developed for the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft. Shown publicly in early August at the Kaivopuisto Airshow 2021, where the Eurofighter was being displayed as part of its HX bid to the Finnish Air Force, the LAD has been developed as part of the multinational consortium's Long-Term Evolution plan that is designed to place the aircraft at the forefront of military capabilities for decades to come.

If China and the US Claim the Same Moon-Base Site, Who Wins?

Defense One

There’s a not-so-quiet race back to the moon underway, but the two largest factions, with China and Russia on one side, and the United States and its partners on the other, are not recognizing each others’ proposed rules on what’s allowed once they get there. Lawmakers and space policy analysts are concerned: How do you avoid conflict in space if the international laws and policies on Earth no longer apply?

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Russia’s New Jet Fighter Aims to Rival US in Air—and on Geopolitical Map

Wall Street Journal

At Russia’s premier expo for military aircraft in July, Russian President Vladimir Putin inspected a prototype jet that is designed to take on more than enemy fighters. The lightweight stealth plane also is meant to cause geopolitical headaches for the U.S. The LTS Checkmate would be the world’s second single-engine fighter plane to incorporate the most sophisticated radar-evasion and command systems. The only other plane in this category, the F-35, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp., is the most advanced plane in the U.S. arsenal.

The Story Behind the Air Force Chief of Staff's ‘Kicking Butt’ Recruiting Ad

During downtime while doing voiceovers for two other recruiting commercials, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. spoke with the director and recalled an interview he had previously done on diversity. “When I get in the airplane and I put my visor on and put my mask up, you don’t know if I’m African American, you don’t know who I am,” Brown said during an interview at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 6. “Earlier this year, at a women’s forum, I said essentially the same thing. The director said, ‘I think we want to take that.’”

US Military Doubles Down on GPS Despite Vulnerabilities

Space News

Space weapons meant to target U.S. satellites are a growing concern for the U.S. military. Especially worrisome are electronic jamming devices designed to interfere with GPS signals. That threat is “real today and concerning,” the Chief of Space Operations of the U.S. Space Force Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond told the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee during a hearing in May. Raymond pointed at China and Russia as the primary actors pursuing technologies aimed at “robust jamming of GPS and communications satellites.”

17 months Later, Congress Still Waits for Details About Deadly al-Shabab Attack in Kenya

Military Times

Nearly a year and a half of waiting with no response to “repeated” requests for information from the Defense Department is prompting lawmakers to press Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III for answers to questions about the January 2020 attack by al-Shabab militants in Manda Bay, Kenya, that took the lives of three Americans. “It is simply unacceptable for the Department to withhold information from Congress about a terrorist attack that killed three American citizens,” Rep. Steven Lynch, D-Mass., and Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., of the House Oversight Committee wrote to Austin.

Air Force Asks Raytheon to Build Batch of AMRAAM Radar-Guided Air-to-Air Missiles in $482.9 Million Order

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Aircraft missile experts at Raytheon Technologies Corp. are gearing up to produce upgraded versions of the U.S. Air Force and Navy AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) that will extend the missile's lifetime well into the 2020s. Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., announced nearly a half-billion-dollar order late last month for a redesigned radar-guided AMRAAM missile with a new guidance section.

One More Thing

F-16XL: Why America Didn’t Get the Best F-16


For more than 40 years, the F-16 Fighting Falcon has served as the backbone of the U.S. Air Force’s fighter fleet, but one year before the first F-16 entered service, the team behind its development had already developed a better F-16, in the F-16XL. The fighter was so capable, in fact, that it went from being nothing more than a technology demonstrator to serving as legitimate competition for the venerable F-15E in the Air Force’s Advanced Tactical Fighter program.