Air Force Special Ops Chief Says It’s Time to Embrace New Missions
Lt. Gen. Jim Slife is racing the clock. In June, the Air Force Special Operations Command boss will hit the three-year mark in the top post, around the time when his predecessors have moved on to another assignment or headed into retirement. Slife is using his remaining time in the seat to plan for an era in special operations that could look much different than the past 20 years of war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
Service Members Not Getting Adequate Help for Alcohol Use, Watchdog Finds
Service members who were diagnosed with alcohol use disorder didn't receive proper treatment to address their issues, and some received no care at all, according to a new report from the Department of Defense's Inspector General that reviewed surveys from 2018 to 2020. The findings come as the military tries to grapple with alcohol and substance use within the ranks as it puts service members at a higher risk of experiencing anxiety, depression, and, at worst, suicidal thoughts.
DOD Acquisition Nominee’s Hearing Set for March 22
President Joe Biden’s nominee for Pentagon acquisition chief, Bill LaPlante, will have his Senate Armed Services Committee nomination hearing March 22, according to a Senate aide. LaPlante is a former Air Force acquisition chief. The administration has faced a lengthy delay in filling the role of undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, a key position in the Pentagon’s race to compete with China technologically.
Russia May Be Holding Cyber Capabilities in Reserve, so US Must Keep Its Shields Up: Experts
Although Russia’s cyber operations have been “relatively mild” against Ukraine, the United States should keep its shields up in case any cyber attacks hit the private sector or critical infrastructure, according to the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a group of cybersecurity experts.
Biden's Nuclear Spending Plans Just Got More Complicated
Anti-nuke activists have long suggested that America’s nuclear weapons are too costly as well as too dangerous. Now they’re finding common ground with military and security experts who say planned upgrades to the strategic arsenal would crowd out a host of other, more cost-effective, programs. How much does it cost the United States to be a nuclear superpower? Is the cost actually prohibitive? And is any real change wanted or expected from the Biden administration?
Space Station Operations Remain Normal Despite Geopolitical Tensions
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not affected operations of the International Space Station or plans for a NASA astronaut to return home on a Soyuz spacecraft late this month, according to agency officials. At a briefing about a pair of upcoming spacewalks at the station, Joel Montalbano, NASA ISS program manager, emphasized repeatedly that the geopolitical tensions on Earth between Russia and the West have not extended to the ISS.
Missile Warning & Defense
Defending against missile threats launched in, at, or through space has never been more challenging—or important. Learn more on Air Force Magazine’s Missile Warning & Defense page.
Taiwan Grounds Mirage Fighter Jets After Crash
A Taiwanese Mirage 2000 fighter jet crashed into the sea March 14 during a routine combat training mission, the island's air force said, prompting the military to ground the fleet. The solo pilot took off from Taitung Air Base in the morning and reported a mechanical malfunction roughly an hour later, the Taiwan Air Force said in a statement. The pilot safely ejected some 10 nautical miles south of the base and was rescued.
Air Force Completes First Crewed Flight of ALIA eVTOL Aircraft
Air Force pilots Hank "Hog" Griffiths and Maj. Jonathan Appleby flew Beta Technologies' ALIA eVTOL for the first time. The flight test took place at Beta's facility in Plattsburgh, N.Y., marking the culmination of a two-year collaboration between the Vermont-based aerospace company and the Agility Prime program. Launched two years ago, the program focuses on accelerating the commercial market for eVTOL aircraft. Since 2020, Air Force engineers have collaborated with Beta's flight test team to build and optimize ALIA in order to bring electric aviation closer to reality.
OPINION: Russian ‘Nuclear 9/11’ Threats Against US Spike
“Despite shrugs from some Biden administration intelligence chiefs as to whether Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats are just bluster, there are growing concerns that the Kremlin means business and the United States is failing to prepare for an attack. A division among intelligence officials, and the administration’s hope that it can talk Putin into de-escalating the threats and war against Ukraine, have kept U.S. readiness at the lowest level of DEFCON 5,” writes Paul Bedard.
Air Force Pilot Recognized 26 Years After Heroic Sacrifice During Terrorist Attack
When 800 mourners gathered for the funeral of Air Force Capt. Christopher Adams on Long Island, N.Y., in July 1996, few could hold back their tears. The 30-year-old Adams was beloved by his community and by his fellow Airmen, one of whom he gave his life to save in the moments before a deadly terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia. Now, 26 years later, Adams has been recognized for his sacrifice by his former unit, the 71st Rescue Squadron, which awarded him a posthumous Airman’s Medal at a ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.