‘A Vessel of Hope’—Air Force C-17 Crews Exhausted but Proud after Largest Airlift in US Military History
However you feel about the end of the war in Afghanistan, one thing is certain: The U.S. Air Force airlifted a hell of a lot of people and supplies in and out of Kabul since Aug. 15, when the city fell to the Taliban. By the time the last C-17 took off from Kabul on Monday, 120,000 Americans, Afghans, and other allies had been moved out of the city, according to the White House, all without a major aircraft mishap or accident, which is an achievement all its own considering the crowded airspace and limited air traffic control over Kabul.
When the deputy defense ministers from Russia and Saudi Arabia signed a new military cooperation agreement last week, it served not just as a sign of growth between the two governments, but also as a clear signal from Riyadh: It is willing to diversify its defense relationships beyond its longtime focus on the United States.
The Veterans Affairs suicide hotline received an increase in calls during the final two weeks of the U.S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Veterans placed more than 35,000 calls to the Veterans Crisis Line between Aug. 13 and 29, according to VA data provided to the Washington Examiner, which coincides with the time period in which the U.S. military and coalition forces were embarking on what would become one of the largest airlifts in history.
Cloud technologies are accelerating change at every level of the Air Force—and the Space Force. Whether it's pure computational power to enable autonomy or advanced encryption to ensure mission-grade security, the future of IT is here and now.
The Pentagon needs to invest more in science and technology programs to be prepared to deter or defeat advanced adversaries, according to a recent think tank report. President Joe Biden’s fiscal 2022 military budget request is a “mixed bag,” said a new Center for a New American Security study, “Risky Business: Future Strategy and Force Options for the Defense Department.”
The US Air Force turned up the pressure this month at its premier air-to-air combat training exercise, for the first time adding F-35 stealth fighters flown by dedicated red-air aggressor pilots—who emulate the tactics of an enemy force—into the mix of threats that blue-air pilots face. Red Flag, which takes place at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, started as an air combat exercise but has evolved to include not just increasingly advanced aerial aggressor threats but also surface-to-air, space, and information threats.
The Nigerian air force has about a squadron's worth of light attack aircraft—their pilots and maintainers trained by U.S. Air Force personnel—to fight terrorists in the African nation. U.S. Africa Command noted the induction ceremony for the A-29 Super Tucano, a turboprop light attack aircraft, in an Aug. 31 release.
U.S. Air Force rescue teams have completed training in preparation for possible emergency bailouts of space launches by SpaceX and Boeing. The training took place last week in the Atlantic Ocean and the Banana River near Florida's Patrick Space Force Base, the Air Force said.
Leonardo DRS has developed the world’s smallest and most capable integrated broadcast service (IBS) solution in what is the new Joint Tactical Terminal (JTT-NG). With more capability packed into a smaller form, the system represents the best long-term solution for the Air Force in terms of performance and IBS connectivity.
Combatant Command officials remain worried about whether the Defense Department will truly be able to create a joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) network to manage future, rapid-paced battles against China and Russia, given that the military services each continue to focus on building their own internal capabilities.
Our nation’s defense effort high above the Earth would be reinforced with a National Guard of its own under legislation introduced in Congress this week by Colorado U.S. Reps. Jason Crow and Doug Lamborn. The U.S. Space Force, the country’s newest armed service branch, established under the Trump administration in 2019, would get the backup of a new Space National Guard. Many of its personnel would be based at Colorado’s Buckley, Peterson, and Schriever Space Force Bases in Aurora and Colorado Springs.
Ross Wilson, who was the chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, recently tested positive for Covid-19, according to three people familiar with the matter. He currently only has very mild, cold-like symptoms, one of the people said. Wilson was evacuated from the U.S. Embassy to the Kabul airport Aug. 15 and spent the last couple weeks there helping in the rush to get American citizens, Afghan allies, and other vulnerable Afghans into the airport and onto planes to safety.
Supersonic planes are notoriously noisy, but NASA engineers think they can reduce the thunderous boom these planes produce into a barely audible thump by cleverly shaping the aircraft to minimize how it reflects sound waves. The raw structure of a prototype of such a plane, the X-59, has just been assembled at the facilities of NASA contractor Lockheed Martin in Palmdale, Calif., and might take to the sky as early as the end of 2022.