Ned price

US Officials: Russian Anti-Satellite Test Created Extensive New Orbital Debris Field

The U.S. government said Nov. 15 that a Russian anti-satellite missile test created hundreds of thousands of new pieces of orbital debris in a "dangerous, reckless, and irresponsible" act that threatens the interests of the whole world. State Department spokesperson Ned Price confirmed reports, saying in the department's daily briefing that Russia had "recklessly conducted a destructive satellite test of a direct-ascent satellite missile against one of its own satellites."

How to Break a Program: Funding Instability, Requirements Changes

The fastest ways to hobble a major acquisition program are to put it through the funding instability of continuing resolutions or to apply constant major changes to the requirements once the program is well underway, panelists said on an AFA Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies webinar Nov. 15. The one major aircraft program over the past three decades that escaped serious problems in development and production—the Navy’s F/A-18E/F—benefitted from being largely left alone by Congress and senior Pentagon leaders in these regards.
senate appropriations

Chair of Powerful Senate Appropriations Committee Won’t Seek Reelection in 2022

A complete change in leadership is coming for one of the most important committees in the Senate, a change that could have trickle-down effects for the defense subcommittee that wields major influence over the Pentagon’s budget. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Nov. 15 that he would not seek reelection in 2022. Leahy currently serves as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees all discretionary spending legislation.
Michael Marks

Integrating, Upgrading, and Protecting America’s Defense Systems is Essential for Our National Security

"Foreign adversaries increasingly are incorporating technological superiority into strategic planning to gain advantage over the U.S. While sometimes coming from true scientific advances and genuine research and development, for some adversaries reverse engineering, intellectual property theft, corporate espionage, and cyber intrusions constitute official state policy. Many new players in the tech space are seeking defense contracts. While bringing fresh ideas and innovation, they need partnerships with experienced contractors that can lead the efforts," writes Michael Marks, head of a consultancy specializing in competitive intelligence, opposition research, technology scouting, forecasting, and predictive analysis.

Radar Sweep

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U.S. Bombers’ Future Hints at Missions Alongside Drones


Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said in an interview that he’s “looking at things that would introduce unmanned platforms,” would “complement some of our more expensive high-end platforms,” and would “give us the quantity we need at a reasonable cost.” Among the conceptual possibilities, Kendall said, is using the B-21 being built by Northrop Grumman Corp. in a quarterback role directing pilotless systems. “We’ve got to start finding ways to provide military capability which does not rely so much on small numbers of very expensive platforms,” Kendall said. “My thinking is it would be unmanned at this point.”

US Claims 2019 Syria Airstrike Investigated by NY Times ‘Legitimate’

France 24/AFP

U.S. Central Command said Nov. 14 that a 2019 airstrike that killed civilians in Syria was "legitimate" after a New York Times investigation said the military had concealed the death of dozens of non-combatants. In a detailed response, the command said an investigation found the strike was "legitimate self-defense" and "proportional" and that appropriate steps were taken to rule out the presence of civilians.

SPONSORED: The ‘Insidious’ Enemy—Preserving Combat Performance

MDS Coating Technologies

After decades of combat flying in the harsh Middle East environment, the Air Force embarked on an aggressive program to deal with an insidious problem that steals aircraft performance, greatly increases maintenance requirements, results in higher fuel consumption rates, and increases emissions. The culprit: the constant erosion and corrosion of high pressure compressor and turbofan blades due to environmental particulates. These small particulates include sand, dust, smoke, pollutants, sea salts, volcanic ash, and rain droplets that slowly erode and corrode compressor blades, reducing engine performance and fuel efficiency.

VIDEO: From EMD to Milestone C and Beyond

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Retired Lt. Gen. Mark D. Shackelford, Randall G. Walden, director and program executive officer for the Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office, and retired Maj. Gen. Dwyer L. Dennis, former program executive officer for C3I and Networks, joined retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, to discuss the institute’s new forum paper. The paper examines eight aircraft development programs that encountered challenges at Milestone C, the critical transition period from development to production, and identifies several common issues, offering key insights that may aid future programs.

National Guard Names Martin Akerman as First Chief Data Officer


The National Guard has appointed Martin Akerman as its first chief data officer. Akerman previously held the role of data strategy director for the Air Force and joined the National Guard in September. In the new post, his formal title is IT specialist, policy and planning/data management, and he reports to the National Guard Bureau’s J6 Chief Information Office.

PODCAST: Building the Next Gen Space Enterprise

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In Episode 50 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, Building the Next Gen Space Enterprise, host John “Slick” Baum speaks to a number of key leaders in the Space Force and industry to discuss how and why new actors are entering the space business. Given all the recent activity in space—whether discussing the explosion of small satellites or new launch players such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, or Blue Origin—it’s hard to remember that the space industry was once the realm of a select few companies.

A Harrowing Night in Afghanistan Earns A-10 Pilot the Distinguished Flying Cross, 10 Years Later

Air Force Times

Lt. Col. Mike Hilkert, operations director at the 303rd Fighter Squadron, received the Distinguished Flying Cross with valor Oct. 2 through a combination of support from local leaders and a bit of retrospect. The military’s seventh-highest award honors heroism or extraordinary achievement during aerial flight, particularly in harrowing combat situations. On April 23, 2011, Hilkert coordinated the movement of 21 aircraft in a fight lasting more than six hours, according to the 442nd Fighter Wing. “He repeatedly put his aircraft in harm’s way to draw fire away from rescue helicopters and was instrumental [in] saving the lives of more than 30 Soldiers and Airmen,” the wing said.

Aircraft Propulsion: The Power of Modern Propulsion

Air Force Magazine

The engines that power the Air Force are the best in the world. But as technology continues to evolve, new improvements promise greater power, range, and other capabilities. Read the latest on advances in aircraft engines and propulsion technology.

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A Village of ‘Peace and Hope’ for Afghan Refugees Living on Holloman Air Force Base

Alamogordo Daily News

The refugees—Task Force Holloman calls them guests—live in the tent city on the base that just months ago was desert, full of scrub brush. From that desert, base staff and the refugees themselves created Aman Omid Village—a name which the Village’s governor Col. Curtis Velasquez said expresses what each person there is searching for: peace and hope. Velasquez said the Village is “this generation’s Ellis Island.” The residents of Aman Omid Village do not leave until they are ready to fly out to their resettlement location.

DOD Hasn't Talked to Oklahoma Governor About Relaxed National Guard Vaccine Policy


The Pentagon says U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III hasn't spoken to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt about the state's National Guard relaxing its COVID-19 vaccine policy. New Oklahoma National Guard Adjutant General Thomas Mancino sent a memo about the change one day after the announcement that Mancino would be replacing Gen. Michael Thompson.

One More Thing

Former New Mexico Military Base Town is Up for Sale


Looking to buy an old military base town? Well, you’re in luck because the town of Fort Wingate, N.M., just east of Gallup, is for sale. Founded in 1867, the area was home to former generals, Buffalo Soldiers, and Navajo Code Talkers. Now, 111 years later, the 18-acre town is for sale for $11 million.