F-35 joint program office

Senate Panel Wants the Services to Manage F-35 Sustainment, Not the JPO

For more than two decades, a joint program office has overseen the development, acquisition, and sustainment of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. In the next few years, at least part of that could change. The Senate Armed Services Committee released its markup of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act on Sept. 22, and in the bill, the panel called for the Department of Defense to transfer sustainment management to the military services for their respective variants by no later than Oct. 1, 2027.
artificial intelligence data

Does AI Present a New Attack Surface for Adversaries?

Increasing reliance on artificial intelligence to augment human decision making raises the risk of attacks targeting critical data and AI algorithms, warned the Air Force’s cyber policy chief at AFA’s Air, Space, & Cyber Conference. “If our adversary is able to inject uncertainty into any part of that process, we’re kind of dead in the water,” said Lt. Gen. Mary F. O’Brien, deputy Air Force chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and cyber. Speaking on a panel on information warfare along with 16th Air Force boss Lt. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh and Air Force Chief Information Officer Lauren Barrett Knausenberger, O’Brien said AI is like any other new weapon system: Getting it is only half the battle. Defending it is just as critical.
airmen vaccinated

Nearly 94 Percent of Airmen, Guardians Now Vaccinated Against COVID

As the Nov. 2 deadline for members of the Air Force and Space Force to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 approaches, the percentage of vaccinated service members in the department has jumped significantly, the latest data show. In a Sept. 28 update, the Department of the Air Force reported that 75.1 percent of Active-duty Airmen and Guardians are fully vaccinated, with another 18.8 percent partially vaccinated, for a total of 93.9 percent that have received at least one shot of the vaccine.
defense supply chain

Pentagon Wants Industry Input on Risks to Supply Chain

The Pentagon is seeking industry comments about defense supply chain vulnerabilities in the areas of “select” kinetic weapons, power storage, microelectronics, and castings and forgings. The Biden administration wants the information to develop policies that can head off single-point failures in defense supply. Biden directed six federal agencies to assess their respective industrial bases in a February executive order.

Radar Sweep

Air Force Chief Anticipates ‘Something Special’ for B-21 Public Debut

Defense One

The Air Force has five B-21 Raider stealth bombers in development, but they won’t all roll out at once, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. told Defense One on Sept. 28, during the annual State of Defense conference. But there will be a special public splash when the service is ready to introduce its newest warplane, he said.

ABMS: Top Air Force Manager Pleads for Industry Aid

Breaking Defense

The head of the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office, Randy Walden, said that of the 40-odd programs his team manages, right now they need the most help with the department’s flagship battle management, command, and control effort.

Contradicting Biden, Top Brass Testify They Advised Him to Keep Troops in Afghanistan


President Joe Biden's top military officials on Sept. 28 and 29 testified that ahead of the chaotic exit from Afghanistan, in which 13 American troops and scores of civilians were killed, they recommended keeping troops in the country past August. That directly contradicts earlier comments by the President that he was never advised to keep troops in the country.

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AI is Helping US Air Force to Decide Which Targets to Strike

New Scientist

The U.S. military has started using artificial intelligence to guide its air strikes, according to Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall. Speaking at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Sept. 20, Kendall said the Air Force had recently “deployed AI algorithms for the first time to a live operational kill chain.” He didn’t give details of the strike, such as whether it was by a drone or piloted aircraft, or if there were civilian casualties.

Meet Lt. Col. John Marks, the Airman with the Most Time in the A-10C ‘Warthog’

Air Force Times

Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. John Marks of the 442nd Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., on Sept. 1 became the only Airman ever to log 7,000 hours in the autocannon-toting A-10C Thunderbolt II attack plane. Marks joined the Active-duty Air Force in 1987 and moved into the Reserve after 14 years. He’s known for destroying 23 Iraqi tanks in one day in 1991 and hopes to keep flying until age 62—two years past the mandatory retirement age.

Space Force Issues $47.5 Million Contract for Prototype Data Transport Service


The U.S. Space Force has awarded Sev1Tech a $47.5 million contract to demonstrate a prototype data transport capability that will help connect its space operators with warfighters across the globe. The demonstration will be part of the Advanced Battle Management System, the Air Force’s contribution to joint all-domain command and control—a Department of Defense-wide initiative to connect sensors and shooters all over the world in real time.

Purdue Announces Partnership With US Space Force


The United States Space Force announced Sept. 29 it is partnering with Purdue University to help provide manpower and research in the years ahead. The partnership includes scholarships for interested ROTC students who are studying in academic areas needed by the Space Force.

Senators Release Cyber Incident Reporting Bill, Preview FISMA Reforms

Federal News Network

Leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released legislation requiring critical infrastructure owners and operators to report cyberattacks to the government within 72 hours, while a bill is forthcoming requiring agencies and federal contractors to also report hacks. The bill released by Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-Ohio) would create a Cyber Incident Review Office within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to receive, aggregate, and analyze reported incidents.

Last C-130H Rolls Down the Stretch at Kentucky Air Guard

Air National Guard release

The last C-130H aircraft assigned to the 123rd Airlift Wing departed the Kentucky Air National Guard Base on Sept. 28 for its new home with the Delaware Air Guard. On site to see it off were dozens of maintainers, aircrew, and a former crew chief for the aircraft, which is named after Kentucky Derby winner Exterminator. Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Crosier was the plane’s dedicated crew chief for seven years, starting in 2001. He said its departure is bittersweet.

Active Shooter Drill Mistaken for Actual Active Shooter at Tyndall Air Force Base


Dozens of local and state law enforcement officers converged on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., on Sept. 28 after reports of an active shooter. Turns out someone mistook an active shooter drill for the real thing. Although we now know Tyndall was conducting a drill, when law enforcement members got word of the possible situation, they acted fast.

One More Thing

The Aviation Roots of ‘Star Trek’


If you are a “Star Trek” fan, you probably remember where you were Sept. 28, 1987, when “Star Trek: The Next Generation” premiered. STNG, as it is known among the fans, was the second live-action series created by Gene Roddenberry. Roddenberry was a pilot, and as such the “Star Trek” franchise is peppered with references to terrestrial aviation.