Spangdahlem Spins Up to Counter Russian Threat

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany—Not long ago, Spangdahlem Air Base in western Germany felt like a quiet retreat, surrounded by verdant hilltops with tiny church steeples in the distance. That all changed when Russia attacked Ukraine and threatened the NATO alliance. Nearby Ramstein Air Base could not keep up worldwide transit operations and deliver air power to the eastern flank of the alliance. Spangdahlem could. “Spangdahlem definitely has the perception of being a little Sleepy Hollow out here,” said 52nd Mission Support Group commander Col. Betsy Ross. “Which is great, because it’s a good cover for all the great operations that we do.”
Space Force divest

Space Force Has No Plans to Divest Legacy Assets, SSC Boss Says

While the Air Force is looking to retire hundreds of old assets to free up money for new systems, don’t expect the Space Force to follow suit, said the head of Space Systems Command. Even as the Space Development Agency—soon to transition to be part of the Space Force—proceeds with plans to procure dozens of new satellites, rolling them out on a regular two-year cycle, the service is not looking to divest anything, said Lt. Gen. Michael A. Guetlein.
JADC2

Defense Execs: Industry Should Collaborate to Jumpstart JADC2

Companies in the defense industry believe they’re better positioned than the military services to help the Defense Department link its data together as part of the joint all-domain command and control concept. During an American Enterprise Institute event, the chief technology officers of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman pointed out how their companies already work with all the services and the Intelligence Community. “We just need to get that story, I think, more over to the DOD side," said Steve Walker of Lockheed Martin.

Radar Sweep

No, Additional Fighter Jets Haven’t Been Delivered to Ukraine

The Drive

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby has clarified remarks he made April 19, stressing that the U.S. government has only facilitated deliveries of spare parts for Ukraine's fighter jets, not whole aircraft, at least not so far. The Ukrainian Air Force had already denied widespread reports that it has received any additional fighter jets or other fixed-wing aircraft from any of its foreign partners.

Canada’s Answer to the Space Force

SpaceNews

Canada’s military will establish a new space division later this year as it further develops its capabilities and skills for space operations. Royal Canadian Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Adamson, the service’s director general for space, said Canada is following its allies who have created similar organizations. The U.S. has a Space Force expected to number 16,000 people at full strength, but Adamson noted that Canada’s version would be much smaller.

Pentagon Chief Speaks for 1st Time to Chinese Counterpart

The Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on April 20 spoke with his Chinese counterpart for the first time since becoming Pentagon chief more than a year ago, breaking a communications impasse that American officials saw as increasingly dangerous amid concern that Beijing might provide military support for Russia’s war in Ukraine. Austin, who calls China the U.S. military’s leading long-term challenge but has been forced to focus heavily on Russia this year, requested the telephone conversation with Gen. Wei Fenge after months of failed effort to speak with Gen. Xu Qiliang, the highest ranking uniformed officer in the Communist Party military structure.

Will the Air Force Continue With Its Chief Architect Experiment? Kendall Says Maybe More Is Needed

Federal News Network

The Department of the Air Force is facing an existential question over how to structure its leadership to further the advancement of technologies in a landscape that is increasingly reliant on new capabilities. The Air Force saw its first-ever chief architect, Preston Dunlap, resign Monday after three years of service, in what he called a “passing of the baton.” Now the Air Force is questioning how it will continue to accelerate the development of technologies throughout its two military services, and that could mean the need for a chief architect is not warranted.

The Military's 5G Gear Could Be Obsolete When It's Fielded

Defense One

The Pentagon's security concerns around 5G are pretty well known and a high priority. But the time it will take to field 5G capabilities is also a major concern, according to a top Navy tech official. The Defense Department has been working on several 5G pilot programs, including some for smart warehouses, one at Naval Base Coronado, Calif. But Michael Galbraith, the Navy's chief digital innovation officer, who is a longtime commercial IT executive, said those solutions could easily become obsolete by the time they are out of production.

SpaceX Beating Russian Jamming Attack Was ‘Eyewatering’: DOD Official

Breaking Defense

The U.S. military’s electronic warfare enterprise needs to take a page from SpaceX when it comes to responding to new threats, the Pentagon’s director for electromagnetic warfare said. After SpaceX sent Starlink terminals to Ukraine in February in an apparent effort to help Ukraine maintain its internet connection amid war with Russia, SpaceX founder Elon Musk claimed that Russia had jammed Starlink terminals in the country for hours at a time. After a software update, Starlink was operating normally, said Musk, who added on March 25 that the constellation had “resisted all hacking & jamming attempts” in Ukraine.

Space Force Developing Plans for Tactically Responsive Capabilities

Defense News

As Congress pushes the Space Force to develop a responsive launch capability that can reconstitute assets quickly, the service is looking more broadly at how it can make its entire architecture more responsive. For the last two years, Congress has included language in the National Defense Authorization Act directing the Space Force to establish a Tactically Responsive Space Launch program and to develop plans for how the service will execute the initiative. The Space Force has opted not to request funding for the effort, relying instead on congressional largesse including a $50 million add in the Fiscal 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

4 New Burial Sites With Capacity for More Than 300,000 Veterans and Their Families Part of VA Plans

Military.com

After several years of planning and delays, the Department of Veterans Affairs is pushing for funding to open four new, unique burial sites within the next two years—two columbaria in major cities and two rural cemeteries in the West that eventually will entomb 310,000 veterans or family members. The four sites are in New York City; Indianapolis; Elko, Nev.; and Cedar City, Utah, and will cost the VA $3 million next year to ensure that they will open and be staffed within the next two years.

One More Thing

Texas Airman to be Buried 79 Years After Death in World War II

KWTX

A Texan who died when the bomber he served on was shot down in World War II is finally coming home for burial in a rural East Texas cemetery. Tech. Sgt. Frank A. Norris, 23, of Quinlan, Texas, was serving with the Army Air Forces as a flight engineer aboard a B-24 Liberator, according to a Defense Department statement. His bomber was part of an Aug. 1, 1943, air raid on the Ploesti oil fields in Romania, the biggest of the war on that strategically important target.

This Day in Airpower
Celebrating 75 Years of Air and Space Power