During a roundtable discussion at the 459th Air Refueling Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Sept. 11, Undersecretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones met with Air Force Reservists to discuss the Department of Defense-wide COVID-19 vaccination directive and its quickly-approaching completion deadline of Dec. 2 for the Air Force Reserve established by Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall.
The Space Force is testing out new software that could not only improve the accuracy of its current system for tracking satellites and dangerous junk in space, but also enable actual tracking in near-real-time that would allow the service to keep better tabs on adversary spacecraft seeking to hide from prying eyes. The software package was developed by The Mitre Corp., a nonprofit federally funded research and development center, and was turned over to Space Systems Command in July.
Disinformation and malign influence online are among nascent digital threats the U.S. military is actively countering, top officials said Sept. 13. “Watching Facebook and Reddit and Twitter and [Russian social media site] VK and [Chinese search engine and internet company] Baidu after and during the Afghanistan mission—everyone should take a look,” said Alex Miller, Army G-2 senior advisor for science, technology, and innovation.
The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is hosting a live virtual Aerospace Nation at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time Sept. 16th to discuss its latest research: “Understanding American Voters’ Perceptions Regarding Strategic Nuclear Deterrence.” Mitchell Institute launched this research effort in partnership with Seven Letter Insight to understand where public perceptions really stand regarding strategic nuclear deterrence far past what the headlines, op-eds, and political comments convey.
On Sept. 10, 2001, Pentagon leaders were preparing to buy a generation of weapons wholly ill-suited to the actual wars that would follow. Two weeks before hijacked airliners slammed into the Twin Towers, Boeing tested a prototype rocket that would become the centerpiece of a limited defensive shield against intercontinental missiles. Nine days after the attacks, the U.S. Air Force ordered its first 10 F-22 Raptors, stealth fighters designed to dominate Russia’s best warplanes. And on Oct. 26, just days after Vietnam-era B-52s began carpet-bombing al-Qaida and Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced that Lockheed Martin would build the tri-service combat jet now known as the F-35.
The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sept. 15 criticized South Korea’s president and threatened a “complete destruction” of bilateral relations after both countries tested ballistic missiles hours apart. The launches of missiles underscored a return of tensions between the rivals at a time when talks aimed at stripping North Korea of its nuclear program are stalled.
Details remain limited at this time, but there was an incident at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, the home of the Air Force's B-2 Spirit stealth bomber force, early Sept. 14. This has resulted in a circular temporary flight restriction, or TFR, being put up over and around the base, extending six miles in every direction and from the ground up to 8,000 feet. The mishap involved a B-2 that was landing at Whiteman's only runway.
Last year, it was an F-35A Lightning II fighter jet—one of the most advanced aircraft the world has ever seen. Now, after a crash that cost an estimated $176 million, it's being cut into pieces for training aids. The Air Force jet was left a mess of scorched metal that would never fly again after a botched landing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in May 2020. The pilot ejected safely. Rather than toss the burnt remains on the scrap pile, the service decided on a second life for the F-35 parts as practice for military aircraft maintainers.
Cloud computing is helping the Air Force reinvent everything from combat systems to working from home. Find out the latest on Air Force IT modernization here.
Three former U.S. intelligence operatives have admitted to selling their hacking talents, connections, and U.S. cyberweapons to the United Arab Emirates, federal officials announced Sept. 14. U.S. citizens Marc Baier, 49, and Ryan Adams, 34, as well as Daniel Gericke, 40, a former U.S. citizen, all were working for an unnamed American company that was developing intelligence capabilities for the United Arab Emirates. However, in January 2016, the three left for a UAE-based company "after receiving an offer for higher compensation and an expanded budget," according to federal officials.
With space garbage such a problem, it makes sense that someone might want to explore opportunities as a space garbageman. That’s where Steve Wozniak comes in. The co-founder of Apple recently launched Privateer, a service intended to both monitor and discard objects found in space. News of the venture leaked out back in August; this week, Wozniak made a tweet mentioning a new space startup that will be unlike any of the others currently making headlines, such as SpaceX or Blue Origin.