air force caucus congress

Fighter Pilot Lawmakers in Congress to ‘Speak on Behalf of Airpower’ With New Caucus

The Mach 1 Caucus, officially announced Feb. 3, will unite Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.), Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas), Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-Texas), and Rep. Scott Franklin (R-Fla.) as advocates for fighter jets and their pilots—with firsthand experience in the matter. Their goal is to be a “Rosetta Stone” for their fellow lawmakers, capable of explaining the complexities of the military services’ fighter and attack platforms. That could be especially important as the Air Force and Navy look to retire their older assets and procure funds to buy new ones, such as the F-35.

CENTCOM Boss Says There is ‘Rare Opportunity’ to Integrate Air, Missile Defense in Region

While much of the Pentagon’s stated focus in the past few months has been about pivoting away from the Middle East to strategic competition with Russia and China, “the most immediate and credible threats to the American homeland” are still coming from the Middle East, U.S. Central Command boss Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. argued Feb. 3. And the biggest threat in CENTCOM, McKenzie added during a virtual seminar hosted by the Middle East Institute, is neither the Taliban in Afghanistan nor the Islamic State group—it’s Iran.

Radar Sweep

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America Led in Hypersonic Technology. Then Other Countries Sped Past.

The Washington Post

Why did the Pentagon fall so far behind China and Russia in developing hypersonic missiles when the United States had an early lead in this technology? The answer helps explain why it’s so hard to modernize the magnificent monstrosity that is the U.S. military. Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten tried to explain this paradox to a group of defense writers back in October, when he was preparing to retire as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A fundamental problem, he said, was the military’s aversion to failure. Early tests of cruise missiles that could fly at speeds of Mach 20—20 times the speed of sound—weren’t successful. As a result, the technology became toxic.

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Britain Escorts Russian Bombers for Second Day Running


Britain intercepted and escorted two Russian bomber aircraft that were approaching Britain's area of interest Feb. 4, the Royal Air Force said in a statement—the second such incident in as many days.

X-32 Test Pilot on Why It Lost to What Became the F-35

The Drive

In 2001, two aircraft went head to head in a competition for the massive Joint Strike Fighter contract. The winner would go on to become the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, while the loser, the Boeing X-32, would live on largely as a punchline for its unconventional looks. There’s much more to the story of the X-32 than meets the eye, though. In a recent interview, the chief test pilot for the X-32 program talks about the jet and why it lost to the X-35.

BRAVO 0 Hackathon Proves Air Force Can Develop Weapons Capabilities in Under One Week

Air Force release

The Air Force concluded the first department-wide, secret classification innovation hackathon Jan. 11 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., inside the Threat Training Center’s hangar following six days of 24-hour operations. Working beneath the wings of MiG jets strewn with duct-taped network and power cables, over 80 hackers—product managers, engineers, pilots, and data and visualization scientists—of experience ranging from E-3 to general officer and with contributions from 12 industry partners developed capabilities leveraging Air Force weapons, sensor, health, and maintenance data. These new capabilities were demonstrated during a science fair-style exhibition. The approximately 200 hackers, support staff, attendees, and judges came from Air Force software engineering groups, software factories, and flight and frontline units.

PODCAST: The Backbone of JADC2: Satellite Communications

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In episode 62 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, host John "Slick" Baum speaks with the director of the Space Development Agency, Derek Tournear; vice president for space systems at General Atomics EMS, Gregg Burgess; and MI-SPACE senior analyst Lukas Autenried to discuss steps to ensure resilient space-based communications. The ability to exchange information in a global, real-time fashion is vital to any military operation. The space enterprise is key to this function. The problem is that our current architectures and systems aren't designed for the speed, scale, and complexity that modern, all-domain operations demand. The problem grows even more daunting in the face of a capable adversary that views our space systems as high-priority targets in any potential conflict.

Nordic Countries Bundle Up Against NATO-Russia Freeze

Defense News

Nordic governments are set to deepen cross-border defense collaboration against the backdrop of rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine. Despite renewed threats from Russia, unaligned states Finland and Sweden have decided against joining NATO at this time. Instead, both plan to strengthen Nordic defense cooperation and establish closer bonds with the alliance and the European Union.

Quantum Space Unveils Plans for Cislunar Platforms


Maryland-based Quantum Space announced Feb. 3 it’s starting work on a spacecraft platform that would initially operate at the Earth-moon L-1 Lagrange point and host various payloads. That platform would be serviced by another spacecraft that would deliver and install payloads. “We’re trying to transform the way we deploy and operate spacecraft,” said Steve Jurczyk, co-founder, president, and chief executive of Quantum Space, in an interview. Jurczyk is a former acting administrator of NASA. “We’re really an in-space services company, and those services are enabled by a new platform called an outpost, which is a spacecraft designed to be serviceable.”

Biden Administration Approves $4.2B F-16 Sale to Jordan

Defense News

The Biden administration said it has cleared a possible sale of as many as 16 F-16 fighters and related equipment to Jordan worth up to $4.21 billion. The State Department also approved a possible additional sale to the United Arab Emirates of spares and repair parts for air defense systems that would bring its value up to $65 million, as well as a possible $23.7 million sale to Saudi Arabia for data and voice communication systems.

One More Thing

There's No Space Force to Stop a Planetary Disaster in 'Moonfall.' How Will the Earth Survive?

"Moonfall," the latest movie from disaster picture director Roland Emmerich, has so many questions for the audience. Is our planetary defense system ready if the moon crashes into Earth? Should we listen to NASA scientists or the Pentagon when devising our outer-space defense strategy? There's no Space Force in "Moonfall," and an efficiently run, space-oriented military branch might have helped the washed-up astronaut (Brian Harper, played by Patrick Wilson), the interplanetary conspiracy theorist (K.C. Houseman, played by John Bradley), and the put-upon NASA director (Jocinda Fowler, played by Halle Berry) who are left to clean up the mess when the moon diverts from its orbit and heads toward a collision with Earth.