space industrial base

Raymond: Yearlong CR Would Cause ‘Ripple Effect,’ Could Push Back 2 Space Launches

Going the full fiscal year funded by a continuing resolution would cost the Defense Department the ability to procure two space launches and cause a “ripple effect for years to come.” Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond addressed the effects of a continuing resolution on the National Security Space Launch program Jan. 18 during a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies webinar. Pushing off the two launches would then bump two more, setting off the ripple effect, Raymond said: “It’s more than just a one-year impact.”

Air Force’s Major Accidents Trending Down Slightly

The trend for Air Force major accidents is down over the past five years, with fewer Class A accidents and fewer deaths. However, Class B accidents, which are less destructive, are on the rise, according to data released by the service Jan. 18 and current as of Dec. 15.
fighter generation squadrons

Air Force Activates Two New Fighter Generation Squadrons at Moody

The Air Force inactivated one squadron and activated two new ones at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., on Jan. 14, as Air Combat Command continues working to better align fighter operations and maintenance. The 23rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron is making way for the 74th and 75th Fighter Generation Squadrons. The shift is part of ACC’s Combat Oriented Maintenance Organization, a new structure whereby aircraft maintenance squadrons will be transitioned to fighter generation squadrons.
autonomous weapons

Countries Take Small Steps Toward Limiting Lethal Autonomous Weapons

United Nations countries couldn’t agree on limiting lethal autonomous weapons, but those seeking a treaty may have made headway nonetheless. The U.N.’s Conference on Certain Conventional Weapons concluded its Sixth Review Conference in December, a meeting held once every five years, without moving ahead on treaty negotiations. But the fact “that the conversation is happening at all” may have amounted to progress, said Elisabeth Braw, senior fellow with the American Enterprise Institute.
Pentagon Press Secretary Briefs Media

DOD Condemns Iranian-Backed Houthi Attack on Partner UAE

Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels attacked U.S. partner the United Arab Emirates on Jan. 17 with a combination of drone and missile strikes targeting two of the country’s airports and an oil refinery, killing three and setting off multiple explosions in the capital of Abu Dhabi. The Defense Department condemned the attack on the regional partner and promised to seek ways to help the UAE better defend itself.

Radar Sweep

Air Force Strategies Chipping Away at Pilot Shortfall

FLYING Magazine

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

Air Force Times

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.

The US and China Could Soon Be In Race For Nuclear-Powered Satellites

Defense One

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

The Associated Press

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

Times of Israel

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.

Air Force Asks Industry to Develop Wearable Sensors to Detect Fatigue and Stress in Warfighters, Astronauts

Military+Aerospace Electronics

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).

South Korea Inks Largest Arms Export Deal with UAE for Missile Interceptor

Defense News

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.

One More Thing

Former Air Force Base in South Dakota with '50 Beds, 15 Baths' Listed for Sale

Aberdeen News

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.