Air Force to Upgrade F-35A Gas Tanks to Weather Lightning Strikes
The F-35A Lightning II could start flying near thunderstorms again soon, once the Air Force finishes upgrading its first jet for extra protection against lightning strikes. If the upgrades go according to plan, one F-35A—the most widely used Joint Strike Fighter variant—by July would be allowed to resume unrestricted flight for the first time in almost two years.
Glasses With Facial Recognition Are Here—and the Air Force Is Buying
Clearview AI, the facial recognition company backed by Facebook and Palantir investor Peter Thiel, has been contracted to provide the Air Force with augmented reality glasses combined with facial recognition. The contract with the Air Force is just $50,000 and promises to help protect “airfields with augmented reality facial recognition glasses.” From the contracting records, first highlighted by Jack Poulson from technology industry accountability nonprofit Tech Inquiry, there’s little more information on just how many pairs of glasses will be provided or how they will be used.
US Rejects Charge That Starlink Satellites Endangered China’s Space Station
The United States, in an official “note verbale” to the United Nations, has refuted China’s unusual diplomatic accusation that SpaceX’s Starlink satellites have endangered, and continue to endanger, its crewed space station. “If there had been a significant probability of collision involving the China Space Station, the United States would have provided a close approach notification directly to the designated Chinese point of contact,” asserts the Jan. 28 missive filed with the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs in Vienna.
New Mexico Asks National Guard to Work as Substitute Teachers to Keep Classrooms Open
As of this week, 78 members of the New Mexico National Guard have begun work as substitute teachers. They are responding to a call from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who also asked state employees to volunteer in an effort to keep schools open during an acute shortage of teachers exacerbated by the omicron wave of COVID-19.
Missile Warning & Defense
Defending against missile threats launched in, at, or through space has never been more challenging—nor important. Learn more on Air Force Magazine’s Missile Warning & Defense page.
Space Force Extends L3Harris’ Contract to Upgrade Space Tracking System
The Space Force has extended L3Harris Technologies’ contract to develop a software platform used to monitor space launches, satellites, and debris in orbit, the company announced Feb. 3. “L3Harris has been developing applications in a new architecture that will allow ATLAS to scale and handle the exponential growth of commercial constellations, increased debris, anti-satellite tests and adversarial threats,” the company said. The contract extension is for the integration of government equipment and to oversee the deployment of ATLAS at military command centers in Colorado and California.
Traumatic Brain Injury Classifications Are Leading to Preventable Deaths, Report Says
At least 439,000 U.S. service members have been diagnosed with brain injuries since 2000, with more than 83 percent of those classified as "mild" and roughly 36,000 defined as "moderate" or "severe." These common labels for defining a traumatic brain injury may obscure the severity of head injuries, however, leading to inadequate treatment and potential harm to the patient, according to a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Behind the Lines: Original Hangar at Robins AFB Still Crucial to Base's Mission
From WWII bombers to today's giant C-5s, the hangar has housed a wide array of planes in the last 80 years.
'A Crisis of Confidence'—After Decades of Failures, VA Secretary Seeks 'Game-Changers'
As the 11th Secretary of Veterans Affairs since President Ronald Reagan established it as a cabinet-level organization in 1988, Secretary Denis McDonough hardly has big shoes to fill. Each of those former secretaries made promises. They spoke of honoring veterans. They referred to Abraham Lincoln and the gratitude of a nation, and they laid wreaths and visited hospitals. And each time, veterans wondered what they could believe. McDonough has come forward with a new set of promises: transparency. A proactive, rather than reactive, system. Again working for internal cultural change so veterans no longer chant: “Delay, deny … until you die.”
Boxer, Grunt, Flyboy: the Wild Life of the First Black American Combat Pilot
If there were ever a candidate for a real-life ‘most interesting man in the world,’ it would be Eugene Jacques Bullard. The son of a former slave, Bullard ran away from home in Georgia and moved to Europe at an age before most learn how to drive. He went on to fight in two world wars; brush elbows with some of the most famous artists of the early 20th century; become a French national hero; and, on a bet, become one of the world’s first black combat pilots. But despite Bullard’s many accomplishments, his story remains little known in the United States. It’s unclear exactly why, but the racism he encountered in his home country throughout his life may have played a role.