Boeing hypersonic Valkyrie

Boeing’s Updated Valkyrie Reveals Evolving Hypersonic Design

Boeing has revealed an updated concept for its Valkyrie reusable, unmanned hypersonic aircraft that indicates new design approaches for inlets and shaping. Shown in an artist’s concept illustration provided to Air Force Magazine—and in the form of a model at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics meeting in San Diego—the aircraft shows several design departures and revisions from Boeing’s previous concept, made public in 2018.
satellite communications

Proliferated Architecture Necessary for Future Satellite Communications

When it comes to the Defense Department’s plans for satellite communications, the Pentagon will need all different kinds of space architectures, two top Pentagon officials said during a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies webcast Jan. 7. David Voss, director of the Spectrum Warfare Center of Excellence at the Space Warfighting Analysis Center, and Stephen Forbes, Blackjack program manager at DARPA, addressed the need for proliferated architectures while discussing a recent Mitchell Institute policy paper, “The Backbone of JADC2: Satellite Communications for Information Age Warfare.”
Meeting of the North Atlantic Council - Extraordinary meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Brussels

Stoltenberg: NATO’s Open-Door Policy Must Stay; Risk of Conflict in Europe ‘Is Real’

Emerging from a virtual meeting with allied foreign ministers, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg declared ahead of a meeting with Russia that NATO’s open-door policy is sacrosanct. He also detailed the reasons why NATO believes new conflict in Europe is imminent. “The risk of conflict is real,” Stoltenberg told members of the media Jan. 7 after a meeting to discuss Russia’s troop buildup on the border of Ukraine, which is believed to number some 100,000 with growing military capabilities.

Army’s Kurilla Tapped to Lead CENTCOM, Get Fourth Star, Reports Say

The next leader of U.S. Central Command has reportedly been identified. Army Lt. Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla has been nominated for a fourth star by President Joe Biden, according to Congressional records. And while the Senate Armed Services Committee record specifies only that Kurilla will be “assigned to a position of importance and responsibility,” reports from the Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press indicate he will take over as commander of CENTCOM if confirmed.

Radar Sweep

Unvaccinated Guard Members Can't be Deployed to Hospitals


Across the country, National Guard troops have been deployed since early in the pandemic at food banks, COVID-19 testing sites, and makeshift hospitals. Guard personnel are now being deployed to hospitals in five states including Ohio, with one of the highest COVID hospitalization numbers in the country. But it turns out not all Ohio Guard members are available for that mission.

Unvaccinated Airmen Lose Pay, Benefits as Air National Guard Yanks Orders

Air Force Times

A new year is bringing new consequences for thousands of Air National Guard members who aren’t vaccinated against the coronavirus. As of Dec. 31, 2,500 unvaccinated Airmen and Guardians were ineligible for pay or benefits from the Air National Guard. Those troops were also banned from finishing out jobs, taking on new orders, showing up to drill weekends, or taking part in training.

Scaled Composites Unveils New Encore High-Altitude Optionally Manned Aircraft Concept

The Drive

A new design from Scaled Composites, the Model 412 Encore, has appeared for the first time in 3-D-printed model form. The company has said the Model 412 Encore is currently a white paper concept in the “preliminary design phase.” The company said it has already been pitching the concept to a number of interested customers and is now looking for funding to continue development, including a flying prototype.

Dover Air Force Base Housing Manager Paying $500K to Settle Fraud Case

Delaware Business Now

Hunt Companies, one of the largest providers of privatized military housing, agreed to a $500,000 settlement with the U.S. government to resolve allegations of fraud at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Between January 2013 and June 2019, Hunt submitted what the government determined to be materially false information in order to receive higher performance incentive payouts.

Cyberspace Solarium Commission to Reboot as a Nonprofit

Defense One

The Cyberspace Solarium Commission was charged in 2019 with sorting through the difficult policy solutions needed to help prevent and prepare the U.S. for cyberattacks. The commission is shutting down this month after more than two years and a report to Congress with nearly 100 recommendations that led to a slew of legislative changes. But as cyber incidents seemingly increase in number and scale, the panel is rebooting as a nonprofit in 2022.

Out With the Old, in With the New Air Force PT Tests

Air Force Times

Resolving to work out more in 2022? Practice the exercises that became part of the Air Force physical fitness test Jan. 1. In the Air Force’s first full year of regularly scheduled PT tests since 2019, it’s letting Airmen mix and match the exercises they want to be judged on. Proponents hope the change will play to people’s strengths rather than pigeonholing everyone into the same three moves.

The Military’s Gender Relations Survey Is Now Open to All Troops

Military Times

The Defense Department will soon have a more complete picture of the state of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military, with a new version of its annual Workplace and Gender Relations Survey that is open to all service members who want to fill it out. Previously, the survey was sent only to roughly half of Active-duty and Reserve component troops, but there’s now a shortened version that any service member can take.

Space Force Plans Multiple Hosted Payloads for GEO Belt Monitoring

Breaking Defense

Space Force is looking for cheap, lightweight electro-optical cameras to keep tabs on spacecraft in the high-value geosynchronous orbit (some 36,000 km in altitude) that could fly as payloads on any number of satellites. GEO is where most communications satellites, military and commercial, currently operate.

China Plans Space Station Completion, Many Launches in 2022

The Associated Press

China has recommitted itself to completing its orbiting space station by the end of 2022 and says it is planning more than 40 launches for the year, putting it roughly even with the United States. Launches would include those of two Shenzhou crewed missions, two Tianzhou cargo spacecraft, and the station’s additional two modules, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Major Threats and Challenges for America in Space

Breaking Defense

It’s become a standard line when Pentagon officials discuss space: The warfighting domain is more “contested and congested” than ever before. But what does that mean in real terms? The first Breaking Defense Space Survey polled space professionals on topics including threats to America’s space ambitions, the growing role of the Space Force, and which space capabilities need the most investment going forward.

One More Thing

'Space Force' Season 2 Will Land on Netflix in February

Netflix has confirmed that the space-themed satire "Space Force" will return early this year—Friday, Feb. 18 to be precise. The streaming service hasn't given any clues away yet, not even a trailer, but it's more than likely to pick up from the ending of Season 1 with the threat of nuclear war hanging over everyone's heads; the arming, disarming, and rearming of Habitat One; potential conflict with the Chinese; and General Naird (Steve Carell) headed back to the Space Force to deal with the situation.