afghanistan drone strike

Kendall: Modernize Now to Counter China

China is “acquiring a first-strike capability” with its nuclear forces, and the Department of the Air Force does not have “a moment to lose” in modernizing its conventional and nuclear capabilities, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said in his keynote address at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference. To that end, Kendall said five B-21 stealth bombers are in production at Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale, Calif., factory. Program officials have forecast a first flight in mid-2022. He urged Congress not to cling to “legacy systems” that don’t address existing threats and urged a faster pace to embracing new operational concepts.
air force pilot production

Air Force Leaders: ‘We Are Out of Time,’ China Has Caught Up

The Air Force’s futurist has an alarming message for Congress: “We are out of time,” Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration, and requirements, told reporters at the start of the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Sept. 20. Hinote said the Department needs to modernize its forces now, divesting equipment that won’t stand up in a high-end fight, or face the reality that defeat is inevitable. Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. drove home that point in his keynote address, saying, “China continues to move its modernization timelines left at a rate of change that is outpacing the United States.”
Frank Kendall ASC 2021

Kendall Says ‘BRAC’-Like Package Deal May Help Congress Let Air Force Retire Old Gear

A package deal similar to the Base Realignment and Closure process offers hope of getting Congress to let the Air Force retire old airplanes, Department of the Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said. The move could give members of Congress some political cover for allowing what could be an economic hit on their districts. Kendall said he'd also try to convince members that the threat must take precedence over jobs.
air force sexual harassment

Kendall Promises ‘We Can Do Better’ at Fighting Race and Sex Discrimination

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said the lesson the Air Force and Space Force should take away from the sudden collapse of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan is that divisions in that government and nation were responsible. Within the Department of the Air Force, he said, surveys show conclusively that the Air and Space Forces are not providing opportunities for all their people fairly. He pledged to embrace diversity and to act to improve the Department's performance on issues related to diversity and sexual harassment.
global strikes space

Kendall: China Has Potential to Strike Earth From Space

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has spoken frequently about coming of age and serving in the military during the Cold War. On Sept. 20, he reached back to that era to talk about the capabilities that China—and potentially the Space Force—might use in the future.
Whiting ASC21

SpOC Commander Seeks More Intelligence Capability in Response to China

Space Operations Command Lt. Gen. Stephen N. Whiting envisions more robust space intelligence to drive the Space Force’s future defensive and offensive capabilities, particularly to better confront China’s threat to American space architecture. “The pace at which China has developed the threat capabilities we've seen has just truly been breathtaking,” he said.
AFSOC amphibious MC-130J

AFSOC Seeks ‘True Amphibious’ Capability for MC-130J With Demo Flight in 2022

Air Force Special Operations Command needs a “true amphibious” platform to enhance capabilities in the Indo-Pacific theater and plans a demo flight of an amphibious version of the MC-130J by late 2022. AFSOC commander Lt. Gen. James C. "Jim" Slife said at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Sept. 20 that AFSOC has already considered a variety of configurations.
united airlines

United CEO Says Veterans Have ‘Leg Up on Everyone’ for Management Spots

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby highlighted the advantage veterans bring to United management, as long as they can make the transition from military hierarchy to private-sector independence. “You’ve got to make the transition successfully,” he said during a keynote address at AFA's Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Sept. 20. “With that history and that background, if you can do it, it gives you a leg up on everyone.”

Radar Sweep

Nearly All New Air Force Trainees Are Vaccinated Against COVID-19, Training Boss Says

Air Force Times

Air Education and Training Command has emerged as a first line of defense for the Air Force amid the coronavirus pandemic, helping ensure that nearly all of the service’s newest members are fully vaccinated by their first duty station. About 45 percent of enlisted recruits are already fully vaccinated by the time they begin Basic Military Training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. But when AETC began offering optional COVID-19 shots to incoming Airmen and Guardians in June, that boosted the number to 95 percent by graduation.

Pilots Ejected From Military Plane Prior to Crash in Texas Neighborhood, Fire Officials Say

ABC News

Three homes have been damaged after a military training aircraft crashed in Lake Worth, Texas, according to the Fort Worth Fire Department. The Navy T-45C Goshawk jet trainer aircraft crashed in the back yard of one of the homes, and the debris damaged the nearby structures. A military flight student and an instructor pilot were apparently conducting a drill training exercise at the time of the crash.

A New Travel System Is Coming to Replace the Antiquated DTS

The Department of Defense has approved a new contract to replace its current Defense Travel System, or DTS, reporting process. The new system, scheduled to be fully online by fiscal 2025, will be known as "MyTravel." It will allow military travelers to buy plane tickets, make hotel reservations, and file for travel reimbursement from one online location.

As the US Air Force Looks to the Future of Special Operations, Vertical Lift Takes Center Stage

Defense News

In a future war against a technologically advanced peer such as China or Russia, U.S. Air Force special operations forces will need aircraft that are faster, more survivable, and capable of traversing longer ranges than the aircraft currently available, while still being able to launch from austere locations without a runway. The answer to the problem, according to Maj. Gen. David A. Harris, the Air Force’s director of innovation and integration, might be found in the nascent high-speed vertical takeoff and lift aircraft being developed commercially.

OPINION: On Its Birthday, the Air Force Needs to Fight for What It Deserves

Breaking Defense

“As the U.S. Air Force heads towards its 75th year of existence as a separate service, it faces daunting challenges, having been assigned more missions than the resources it has available to accomplish them. This fact puts the entire nation at risk of not being able to accomplish its National Defense Strategy. Accordingly, the Department of the Air Force (DAF) requires an increase in the Department of Defense budget share. Time no longer permits beating around the bush to assuage the latest version of joint military political correctness—the threats facing America are too real not to speak plainly and honestly,” writes retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

PODCAST: The Royal Australian Air Force: Command Perspective

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In episode 40 of the Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Advantage podcast, hear from Chief of the Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld as he discusses opportunities and challenges facing airpower and spacepower in the Pacific. Allies and partners are critical to mission success in today’s world, with the U.S.-Australian partnership especially crucial. Air Marshal Hupfeld discusses future operating concepts such as manned-unmanned teaming, current programs such as the F-35, and important missions such as air base defense.

The Air Force Is Still Short on Pilots and Hopes Tech Will Help Close the Gap

The Air Force is still far from its goal of training about 1,500 new pilots a year as it seeks to close a lingering shortfall and to help keep up with the long-running exodus of pilots going to well-paying commercial airline jobs. But Air Education and Training Command said it's seeing progress and hopes a combination of technologies and new approaches will help it increase how many new pilots it can graduate each year.

SPONSORED: Collins Aerospace Advancing Rapid Capabilities Evolution Through Open Systems

Collins Aerospace

At Collins Aerospace, we understand the need for a more agile, connected battlespace. We achieve this through open systems. Our customers consistently mention these recurring challenges: Breaking vendor lock; Leveraging new and commercial technologies more quickly; and Speeding the development and deployment of new capabilities to the warfighter, while minimizing impacts to airworthiness certifications.

One More Thing

Watch This RC-135 Spy Plane Make a Frightening Crosswind Landing in England

The Drive

On Sept. 7, an RC-135U Combat Sent electronic intelligence-gathering aircraft, one of just two in existence, made a frightening crosswind landing at RAF Mildenhall in England. The RC-135 had returned from an intriguing mission that saw the spy plane circumnavigate the border of Russia's Kaliningrad exclave.