satellite hurricane hunters

A Satellite Swarm May be the Next-Gen Hurricane Hunters

A mockup of a 30-centimeter-long satellite on a shelf in the lobby of Blue Canyon Technologies may not look like much, but it represents a new approach to weather reconnaissance that could one day render one of the Air Force’s earliest missions obsolete. The three-unit, or 3u, cubesat’s real-life counterpart is already in orbit, itself a pathfinder, while in a workroom at Blue Canyon Technologies in August, technicians put together one of six that NASA plans to launch as a constellation in 2022.

Air Force Innovation Hub Hears Pitches for ‘Flightline of the Future’

The Air Force's technology innovation hub has asked technology companies, industry partners, academia, and others to "revolutionize" flight line operations. The effort—a “sequel” to AFWERX's 2020 base of the future initiative—is aimed at addressing challenges such as airfield maintenance and repair; aircraft maintenance operations; and flight line security.
austin qatar

Austin, Blinken Thank Qatar for its Role in Afghanistan Evacuation

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken joined their counterparts in Qatar on Sept. 7 to acknowledge the transit and care of 58,000 evacuees from Afghanistan and to give a nod to the country’s strategic role in countering Iran as the American Mideast presence draws down. Austin and Blinken both thanked the Gulf partner and described Qatar’s role in America’s desire for a continued over-the-horizon counterterrorism capability. Drone strikes in Afghanistan following the American withdrawal are believed to have originated from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

Outstanding Airmen of the Year: Staff Sgt. Colleen F. Mitchell

The Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2021 will be formally recognized at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference from Sept. 20 to 22 in National Harbor, Md. Air Force Magazine is highlighting one each workday from now until the conference begins. Today, we honor Staff Sgt. Colleen F. Mitchell, who was the sole aerospace medical technician assigned to Manda Bay, Republic of Kenya, in support of Operation Octave Shield. She risked her personal safety to help establish a casualty collection point during the first ever Al-Shabaab attack on a U.S. military base in Kenya.

Radar Sweep

Here's How Fighter Pilots Could Control ‘Loyal Wingmen’ Via a Tablet on Their Thigh

The Drive

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, or GA-ASI, recently announced that it had conducted a demonstration to show how pilots in fourth- and fifth-generation fighter jets will work together with advanced semi-autonomous "loyal wingman"-type unmanned aircraft in the future. During the test, an individual riding in a specially configured Beechcraft King Air twin-engine turboprop, acting as a surrogate for a fighter jet, was able to issue commands to a stealthy Avenger drone through a software app loaded onto a tablet-like device.

DOD Forms New Task Force to Shore Up Supply Chain

Breaking Defense

The Defense Department has created a new task force dedicated to addressing ongoing challenges with its supply chain visibility and resiliency, including ways to mitigate risk. Gregory M. Kausner, who is currently handling the duties of undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, stood up the Supply Chain Resiliency Working Group on Aug. 30, the Pentagon said last week.

LETTER: ‘Dear America’: Gold Star Families Want ‘Archaic’ Support Systems Fixed

Defense One

“We write today as Gold Star families whose loved ones were killed in action over the last twenty years. We do not ask for pity, but we stand as warriors, and ask for action and accountability. Just last week, 13 families joined us in the greatest loss known to American life: They have joined our ranks as new families of the fallen. We hear a lot of promises and know our leaders care, but you politicize our loss rather than wrapping around us and prioritizing us with support, policies, and services that are needed to heal and move forward,” write dozens of family members of fallen service members.

Air Force Wants to Spot Potential Outbreaks in Personnel Sooner With Wearables


Members of the U.S. Air Force and its Readiness Management Agency are exploring commercially provided proximity tracing options, data integration services, and biometric-capturing wearable devices that can alert people to possible sickness early on. Such capabilities could support the branch’s Pandemic Case Management Suite, or an operational requirement intended to bolster its fight against COVID-19 and future biological outbreaks, by pinpointing symptoms and providing digital traceability of infected personnel, according to a recent request for information.

China Weighing Occupation of Former U.S. Air Base at Bagram: Sources

U.S. News & World Report

China is considering deploying military personnel and economic development officials to Bagram Airfield, perhaps the single-most-prominent symbol of the 20-year U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. The Chinese military is currently conducting a feasibility study about the effect of sending workers, soldiers, and other staff related to its foreign economic investment program known as the Belt and Road Initiative in the coming years to Bagram, according to a source briefed on the study by Chinese military officials.

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Toys and Bouncy Castle for Afghan Kids Stranded at US Base in Germany


A sprawling U.S. air base in a remote part of Germany has become a temporary home for Afghan children separated from their parents during the chaotic evacuation from Kabul airport, and officials are scrambling to reunite them with their families. The two dozen or so children housed in heated tents at Ramstein Air Base near the western town of Kaiserslautern share their fate with several hundred other minors left unaccompanied after the airlift.

SPONSORED: Rolls-Royce’s High-Speed Innovation Stirs an Airman’s Soul


Darryl Roberson knows a little bit about flying jets. After flying F-4s, F-15s, F-16s, and F-22s over a 34-year Air Force career—a rarity in a modern, specialized world—he’s now helping to bring a new age of modern engineering and manufacturing to today’s warfighters. As a senior vice president with storied engine maker Rolls-Royce North America, Roberson is an ambassador for some of the most ground-breaking technologies to emerge in propulsion in recent decades, including digital engineering, alternative fuels, additive manufacturing, and a host of other innovations.

Four Questions with the Head of Air Combat Command

Defense News

U.S. Air Force Gen. Mark Kelly, who leads Air Combat Command, wishes he could tell the public more about the service’s secretive sixth-generation fighter program, Next Generation Air Dominance. Last September, the Air Force disclosed that a full-scale NGAD demonstrator had already flown, signaling that the program was further along than most outside aerospace analysts predicted. Kelly—a major supporter of the NGAD program—isn’t sure when the service will be able to divulge more about the highly classified system of systems, which could include new manned and unmanned aircraft, advanced weapons, and sensors.

Inside Skunk Works, Lockheed Martin’s Super-Secret Weapons Facility


Sixty-two miles north of Los Angeles, the desert town of Palmdale, known as America’s Aerospace Valley, is home to one of the most secretive aircraft design and production programs on the planet. Few are allowed in, but the sky is littered with clues of the work being done behind the high fences topped with barbed wire.

One More Thing

This Video of a Red Bull Stunt Pilot Flying Through Two Tunnels is Absolutely Bonkers

The Drive

Really grabbing people's attention with an aerial stunt isn't as easy as it once was. A lot of what can be done has been done, regulations are tighter than ever surrounding the execution of such feats, and the constant “look at me” dwell of the internet makes doing something truly impressive without killing yourself really tough. Red Bull stunt pilot Dario Costa just overcame this reality and set four world records in the process. And, oh, was the record-setting flight intense.