U.S. Rushes to Evacuate Personnel as Taliban Takes Over Kabul

U.S. and coalition air crews rushed to evacuate personnel from Kabul as the Taliban entered the Afghan capital Aug. 15, completing the group's rapid takeover of the country and forcing the now former president into exile. USAF airlifters, along with those of other NATO nations, carried personnel out of Afghanistan as the State Department warned Americans to shelter in place, with the city’s airport reportedly taking fire. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said in an alert, “The security situation in Kabul is changing quickly including at the airport.”
Space systems command

USSF’s Space Systems Command Stands Up

The U.S. Space Force now has two of its three planned commands in place. The Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., was officially redesignated Space Systems Command on Aug. 13. Lt. Gen. Michael A. Guetlein took command of the newly formed SSC at the ceremony.
space national guard

With Troops ‘Orphaned’ by the Air Force, Florida Guard Boss Calls for Space National Guard

Florida Air National Guard members specializing in offensive space capabilities have “kind of been orphaned” by the transfer of Air Force assets to the Space Force without the corresponding creation of a Space National Guard, Adjutant General of the Florida National Guard USAF Maj. Gen. James O. Eifert said. Name change legislation recently passed out of the Senate Armed Services Committee would not help those Guard members, who need a direct link to the Space Force, he said. A study ordered in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act on Space Force Reserve components lingers with the Office of Management and Budget.
adversary air drone

Stealth Adversary Drone Contract Expected in September

Blue Force Technologies expects a contract in the next month authorizing it to proceed with development of a stealthy, unmanned aerial system for Air Force fifth-generation fighters to train against. The company expects to build four aircraft for a demonstration program, with first flight in July 2023. The aircraft are being developed using small business development money under the Air Force Research Laboratory and Air Combat Command. The company is also studying an offensive version.

DARPA Drone Cybersecurity Software Foils Hackers in Demo

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is so confident in the hack-proof software it developed for a remote-controlled quadcopter that it invited hackers at the recent DEF CON cybersecurity convention to try to break in and take it over. Developed using a technique called "formal methods," DARPA’s High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems, or HACMS, software mathematically ensures the absence of software flaws that let hackers break into and take over computer systems.

Radar Sweep

Here’s What the Space Force’s No. 2 Officer Learned from Having COVID-19

Air Force Times

Nearly a year after contracting the coronavirus, Gen. David D. Thompson has a warning for his fellow Americans: Don’t gamble with your health. Thompson, who as the Space Force’s Vice Chief of Space Operations is the second-highest-ranking officer in the newest military branch, tested positive for the coronavirus in October 2020 after coming into close contact with an infected family member.

AFMC Airmen Augment Alternative Fitness Beta Test

Air Force release

Airmen at four Air Force Materiel Command installations are helping to beta test the new alternative fitness components announced by the Air Force in July. Volunteer testers at Wright-Patterson, Hill, Edwards, and Tinker Air Force Bases will provide data the Air Force will use to determine if the new components are effective and are assigned proper scoring. The data from the AFMC testers, along with that collected by the other major commands, will be used to finalize the fitness testing models moving forward.

Space Force Expands Commercial Launch Services Pool

Breaking Defense

The Space and Missile Systems Center has expanded its pool of potential providers of commercial launch services, bringing the number of companies to 11 who can compete for some 20 expected rapid launch contracts through October 2028. All three of the new additions to the Orbital Services Program-4 Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract vehicle, announced last week, already have been contracted by DOD in some form: ABL Space Systems, Astra Space, and Relativity Space.

Canadian Firm Begins Negotiations to Buy Lebanese Hawker Hunter Jets

Defense News

Canadian company Lortie Aviation is entering negotiations to buy five of Lebanon’s Hawker Hunter fighter jets after the Ministry of National Defense held three auctions for the aircraft, Defense News has learned. The ministry authorized the Lebanese Armed Forces to issue an agreement of consent with the Canadian firm for the sale of the five Hawker Hunters and spare parts. The parties involved will now negotiate a price. The deal is expected to be worth about $1 million.

ANALYSIS: ALIS Is Dying; Long Live F-35’s ODIN

Breaking Defense

The F-35 program began taking a major step the last two weeks toward removing an enormous albatross from around its neck by replacing the much-maligned ALIS logistics system with its sleeker, faster, and younger replacement, ODIN. The move to install ODIN on two of 14 deployments brings the logistics and planning system to units in all three services that are buying the plane.

Space Force Dreams of Using Rockets to Supply Warfighters

National Defense Magazine

The Defense Department hopes to one day be able to use commercial rockets to rapidly transport cargo—and potentially troops—from point to point across the globe. While that might sound like a pipe dream to some, experts say the concept is theoretically feasible, but many challenges must be overcome for it to be militarily viable. The Air Force Research Laboratory in June designated its new Rocket Cargo effort a Vanguard program, making it a top science and technology priority.

PODCAST: Logistics Under Attack: A Conversation with AMC Commander Gen. Van Ovost

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In episode 34 of the Aerospace Advantage, John Baum and Mitchell Institute dean Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Dave Deptula discuss what it will take to sustain tomorrow’s military with Air Force Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost. No military force can operate for any period of time without a robust flow of supplies. Whether discussing munitions, spare parts, food, fuel, or medical items—the reality is that the scale, scope, and pace of combat operations fundamentally rely on logistics.

One More Thing

Drill Sergeants are Now Prowling Military Academies—and Taking Super Gnarly Pictures Like This One

Coffee or Die

Hazing freshmen has long been banned at service academies, including at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. But a military photographer recording this year’s incoming class on the school’s assault course snapped a picture of an academy drill sergeant ready to deliver some “purple haze.” The shot was taken on an obstacle-course event during the academy’s Basic Cadet Training, the six-week boot camp each cadet must pass in the summer before his or her freshman year. In the photo, a drill sergeant—whom the Air Force calls a military training instructor, or MTI—emerges from a purple smoke cloud, his almost-certainly angry face hidden by a black mask.