US Air Force Tests Cross-Country Data Sharing Across Three Flag Exercises
For the first time, the Air Force last week carried out three major test flag events at three separate locations simultaneously to see how well the service can share data electronically across different battle spaces. The Orange Flag, Emerald Flag, and Black Flag large force test events were held Oct. 26 in California, Florida, and Nevada, the Air Force said in a Monday release.
Air Force Opens Enlisted DSD Assignments at AFROTC Detachments
Air Force noncommissioned officers will have the opportunity to directly influence the development of future officers with the release of a new developmental special duty. The new Special Duty Identifier 8B300, ROTC Training Instructor, places NCOs as enlisted mentors at one of the service’s 145 Reserve Officer Training Corps detachments. Currently, only NCOs in the personnel and administration career fields serve at detachments. The new training instructor position allows enlisted cadres to be a deliberate part of the detachment mentorship team and opens the duty to all career fields.
Cadets from the Air Force Academy Build Satellite Operating in Space
Cadets helped build and operate a satellite that is now successfully operating in space. The FalconSAT-8 launched aboard the Air Force X-37B orbital test vehicle in May 2020. As of Oct. 20, the satellite is transmitting from several miles above the Earth. The satellite is returning information for five research experiments, including in electromagnetic propulsion and flywheel energy storage, a star tracker, low-power antennae, and a carbon nanotube radio frequency experiment.
Firefly Aerospace Hires Former Air Force Officer to Lead Space Transportation Sales
Firefly announced Nov. 3 that it hired Jason Mello to be president of Firefly Space Transportation Services, a subsidiary responsible for sales of its Alpha rocket, Blue Ghost lunar lander, and in-space transportation services. Mello, a retired Air Force colonel with 23 years of service, was previously chief research and technology officer for science and engineering at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and held other defense and intelligence positions, many related to launch and space systems.
A+ Toolkit Presented at Fall Corona Conference
The A+ Toolkit was presented at the 2021 Fall Corona Conference, a biannual meeting with Air Force senior leaders and MAJCOM commanders, Oct. 21, 2021, at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The A+ Toolkit, published in September 2021, was designed to facilitate collaboration between military installations and their local school districts to increase access to high-quality public education for military-connected children.
Still No Timeline for When Annual Defense Authorization Bill May Move in the Senate
Senate Republicans on Nov. 2 bashed Democratic leaders in the chamber as apathetic or possibly antagonistic to the needs of the military in their decision not to speed up legislative work on the annual defense authorization bill. “Each year we come together in a bipartisan way with input from Republicans and Democrats in order to pass this,” said Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
OPINION—Needed: A Military Strategy for China
The Pentagon, with its outdated policies, may not have the luxury of time when a crisis develops, according to Seth Cropsey, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and director of Hudson’s Center for American Seapower. Cropsey previously served as a naval officer and as deputy undersecretary of the Navy.
Planned NRO Imagery Contracts to Ease Sharing, With One Big Exception
The National Reconnaissance Office’s highly anticipated call for bids from commercial providers of electro-optical imagery debuts new “user friendly” contract terms spy agency officials say will ease data sharing—including adjustments made at the behest of industry. At the same time, NRO has maintained a controversial provision to initiate a new Civil Space Reserve Fleet, first revealed by Breaking Defense, that gives the agency the right to permanently commandeer imagery taken during the time when that “fleet” is called up.
Quantum Sensor Breakthrough Paves Way for GPS-Free Navigation
The main problem wasn’t weird subatomic physics. It was finding a simpler way to maintain a vacuum.