air force waist measurement tape test

The New Tape Test? Leaked Waist-to-Height Ratio Scores Are ‘Pre-decisional’

Documents leaked online showing the Air Force’s revamped plans for taking body measurements are “pre-decisional and subject to change,” the Office of the Air Force Surgeon General told Air Force Magazine. On Feb. 16, the unofficial Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page posted images of an email and charts detailing a new waist-to-height ratio measurement that would take the place of the oft-criticized tape test, which was separated from the annual fitness test in December 2020.
academy sexual assault

Air Force Academy Cadets Report Most Sexual Assaults Among Service Academies in 2020-2021

Reports of sexual assaults of service academy cadets and midshipmen have trended upward since 2014. Defense Department officials said Feb. 17 that record numbers reported in the most recent academic year could be due to a higher proportion of victims making official reports—something the academies have encouraged. But the officials won’t know if that’s what happened in 2020-2021—the year with the most reports ever totaling 131 at all three academies—until 2023. Meanwhile, the most recent available data, from 2018, showed the estimated prevalence of sexual assaults, reported or not, also going up, said Nathan W. Galbreath, acting director of the DOD’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
Niger MQ-9

Austere MQ-9 Operating Location Offers Opportunities for Young Airmen

AIR BASE 101, NIAMEY, Niger—Domed tents pumped full of cool air are lined in neat rows that resemble a neighborhood at Air Base 101 in the sub-Saharan country of Niger, a base for MQ-9 operations against a panoply of terrorist groups operating in the region. Between the tents, quick-footed Airmen grab water bottles from shaded pallets as they crunch over gravel. Heavy, armored vehicles meant to protect convoys from attack by militants enter and exit the compound through cement barricades, passing security checkpoints lined with concertina wire. To execute the mission, Airmen at the small operating location rely on a deep sense of purpose and a family atmosphere. Growth opportunities for young Airmen also help them overcome the challenging work environment and off-base restrictions.
spectrum warfare

Fixing Spectrum Warfare Won’t Be Quick—Creativity Needed

Long neglect of electronic warfare and electromagnetic spectrum operations won’t be reversed quickly, especially without funding priority—and creative approaches are needed to get back in the game, experts said. However, there is top-down urgency to find solutions. Fixing EMS operations will require boosting the number of people working in the field, said Maj. Gen. Daniel L. Simpson, Air Force assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

Radar Sweep

Texas Guard Members Move to Unionize, Pointing to Troubled Border Mission

Several Texas National Guard Soldiers are moving to unionize amid reports of a troubled border mission ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott that has been plagued by accounts of wage disruptions, rejected hardship requests, alcohol abuse, and self-harm. At least six Guard members are working with the Texas State Employees Union to try to unionize Guard troops. The union has a long track record of lobbying elected officials and filing lawsuits tied to employment rights and wage-related issues on behalf of members.

New US, UK Agreement on Helicopters Gives Brits Unique FVL Access

Breaking Defense

The U.S. and British armies have agreed to pursue a Future Vertical Lift Cooperative Program Feasibility Assessment, which aims to ensure interoperability between their respective rotorcraft aviation forces in the future. The assessment, signed Feb. 14 in London by Maj. Gen. Walter Rugen, U.S. Army Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team director, and Maj. Gen. James Bowder, Director Futures, U.K. Ministry of Defense, outlines how both nations will “share information about their future rotorcraft requirements and programs.”

Ukraine, UK, Poland Announce Security Pact Amid Heightened Tensions

Defense News

The Ukrainian government announced a new security pact with the U.K. and Poland on Feb. 17 as the day’s developments upped the ante yet again in the standoff with Russia. The tie-up is meant to deepen Ukraine’s relationships with the two European nations in matters of cybersecurity, energy security, and countering disinformation, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote in a statement.

Military Tenants Were Promised a Database for Housing Complaints. They’re Still Waiting.

Air Force Times

Defense officials say they are running into roadblocks in creating a publicly available database for complaints about military privatized housing units, as required by law. The publicly available database would allow tenants of housing units to file a complaint about issues with their housing unit for inclusion in the database. Information is expected to include the name of the installation, the name of the landlord responsible for the housing unit, and a description of the problem they are having. It won’t include personally identifiable information, but it would be available to anyone, including other military families, military leaders, and privatized housing landlords.

The Latest on Missile Warning & Defense

Air Force Magazine

Recent Russian and Chinese missile launches raised the stakes in space. Find out the latest news on sensing, tracking, and defending against enemy missile strikes.

The Extraordinary Story of the Last Fighter Mission Over Afghanistan

The Drive

In the dead of night, high over Kabul, with no diversion airfield available in the event of an emergency, U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles watched over the final American withdrawal from Afghanistan last August. Working independently, with what can only be described as chaos in the air and support just from eyes on the ground as thousands of people fled the clutches of the Taliban, it was a mission full of extreme risk with the highest of stakes.

A Coast-to-Coast Battle to Bring Home the Space Jobs


With California losing its luster as the aerospace industry’s golden state, a coast-to-coast competition for space companies is heating up. Cities, counties, and states offer grants, tax incentives, land, facilities, and workforce training to convince space companies to move. “California will still and forever remain the startup capital of the world just because of the venture capital ecosystem,” said Sean Casey, former Silicon Valley Space Center managing director and co-founder of the New York Space Alliance. “You’ll always pull them in based on Silicon Valley, but can you hold onto them?”

PODCAST: Aerospace Nation: Spectrum Warfare

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies’ latest Aerospace Nation event on Spectrum Warfare, retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula is joined by Maj. Gen. Daniel L. Simpson, assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; Col. William E. Young Jr., head of the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing; retired Maj. Gen. Ken Israel, former assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for airborne reconnaissance; and Ken Dworkin, executive adviser for electromagnetic combat at Booz Allen Hamilton. They cover a range of spectrum warfare concepts, plans, and requirements, including a report on the Air Force’s consolidation of EMS capabilities into the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing.

One More Thing

How a Rivalry Between Two WWII Vets Led to the World’s Smallest Flyable Airplanes

Task & Purpose

Everybody has a hobby, and for some it involves building airplanes in their garage. Ray Stits and Robert Starr were two such people who drew upon their knowledge of fixing and flying aircraft in the military to become pioneers in the world of homebuilt aircraft. Along the way, they created some of the smallest aircraft ever built, aircraft that look more like go-carts than flying machines. Like many great stories, this one started with a bet.