Air Force Strategies Chipping Away at Pilot Shortfall
At the end of Fiscal Year 2020, the Air Force reported a pilot shortage of 1,925, according to service personnel data. By the close of Fiscal Year 2021 in late September, however, the service’s shortage was down to 1,650 manned pilots. The 275 new pilots produced last year filled about 14 percent of the service’s vacancies.“The improvement was due to a slight increase in production coupled with successful retention efforts,” Air Force spokesperson Capt. Patrick Gargan told FLYING. “FY21 undergraduate pilot training production was 1,381, up from 1,263 in FY20, despite COVID-19 continuing to impact production. The Air Force is working diligently to meet the needs of both its Airmen and those of the Air Force.”
Two-piece Flight Suit, Wrap Dress on the Horizon for Pregnant Airmen
Though women were integrated into the armed forces in 1948, it took 30 years before the military began to widely acknowledge the resources and policies they needed to succeed — particularly while pregnant. Women were automatically kicked out of the military when they became pregnant until the late 1970s. Now, the Air Force is trying to boost the number of women it recruits and retains by doing more to meet their unique needs. Female airmen are more likely than men to leave the service as they age because of the competing demands of pregnancy, caring for children and supporting other family members.
Air Force Research Lab Pushes New Space Force Tack on Hybrid Architecture
The Air Force Research Laboratory’s new space-focused technology executive expects the science and technology community to play a key role in helping the Space Force accelerate its shift toward more hybrid, resilient architectures.
$12 Billion Deal May Bring Hundreds of Qatar, US Air Force Members to Idaho Base
The U.S. Air Force soon may bring 170 members of Qatar's air force to live on the Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. They would be coming to learn to fly the newest model of the F-15 fighter jet specially modified for the Persian Gulf state.
The US and China Could Soon Be In Race For Nuclear-Powered Satellites
If future U.S. satellites are to dodge incoming Russian or Chinese fire, they’ll need better ways to move around than today’s fuel-intensive thrusters. That’s why the Pentagon is looking into nuclear-powered propulsion. While leaders at the Space Force and the Pentagon Research and Development office remain publicly quiet about the idea of putting nuclear-powered spacecraft in orbit, the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace studies released a new report that argues for more focused work on it.
Before Pullout, Watchdog Warned of Afghan Air Force Collapse
Months before President Joe Biden announced the U.S.’s complete withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, Washington’s watchdog warned that the Afghan air force would collapse without critical American aid, training and maintenance. The report was declassified Jan. 18. The report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko, submitted to the Department of Defense in January 2021, underscores that American authorities had been alerted that Afghanistan’s air force did not have the capabilities to survive after a U.S. withdrawal. In particular, the report points to U.S. failure to train Afghan support staff, leaving the air force unable to maintain its aircraft without American contractors.
Israeli Air Force, US military Hold Joint Aerial Drill Over Negev
The Israel Defense Forces and the American military’s Central Command held a joint aerial exercise over southern Israel last week, simulating airstrikes and mid-air dogfights, the IDF said Sunday. The exercise, dubbed “Desert Falcon,” was the latest one held by the IDF and the Middle East-based CENTCOM, after Israel officially moved into the latter’s area of responsibility last year.
New NATO Space Policy Focuses on Space Support, Domain Awareness
The new NATO policy doesn't quite cover all the cracks in allied views of military action in space, noting that the 30 member states "should develop a common understanding of concepts such as the role of space in crisis or conflict."
Air Force Asks Industry to Develop Wearable Sensors to Detect Fatigue and Stress in Warfighters, Astronauts
The austere environments impose unique causes of fatigue that not only limit countermeasures, but also that could become chronic, leading to reduced health and compounded stress. Military leaders today do not require physiological monitoring to identify potentially dangerous fatigue. That's where the Real-Time Assessment and Augmentation of Cognitive Performance in Extreme Environments project comes in. This initiative seeks to develop wearable systems that continuously monitor biometrics of fatigue and stress using electrophysiological sensors and biomarkers of stress such as cortisol, DHEA-s, epinephrine, and NPY in interstitial fluid (ISF).
Space Force Signals Demand for Commercial Weather Data, but Will the Industry Deliver?
U.S. military needs for data such as cloud coverage and theater weather imagery currently cannot be met by the commercial industry and likely will require significant new investment.
South Korea Inks Largest Arms Export Deal with UAE for Missile Interceptor
South Korea has inked a deal with the United Arab Emirates to export midrange surface-to-air missiles, marking the Asian country’s largest-ever arms export deal in history. Valued about $3.5 billion, the contract for the Cheongung II KM-SAM weapons was singed Jan. 16 during a meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Emirati Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in Dubai as they discussed economic cooperation.
Former Air Force Base in South Dakota with '50 Beds, 15 Baths' Listed for Sale
A 42-acre parcel of land briefly used as an air force base north of Gettysburg is on the market with an asking price of $4.5 million. The Gettysburg Air Force Station was used from 1956 to 1968 as a radar station. Gettysburg was one of 28 sites selected for a radar surveillance network. While the base is no longer active, the Federal Aviation Administration continues to operate a radar site on the property.