Air Force Changes Formation Approach Rules—Again—After Fatal Training Jet Crash
The Air Force has revised its rules for practicing tandem runway approaches in fighter pilot training, after a collision between two T-38C Talon jets killed one pilot and injured two others last November. It’s the second time in two years that the Air Force has changed its flight protocols regarding formation flights, in which two aircraft fly side-by-side before one or both jets touch down. Both updates were spurred by the deaths of Airmen who crashed while attempting the maneuvers.
AI Less About ‘Killer Robots,’ More About Pentagon Transformation, Groen Says
A leader of the Department of Defense’s artificial intelligence efforts said discussions about the technology are less focused on futuristic death machines and more about upgrading the department and helping maintain the U.S. competitive edge. “Inside the department, clearly there’s a question about what is AI for,” Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Michael Groen, director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, said May 25 at an Atlantic Council event. “And, although there are conversations about killer robots and all the rest, I think the reality is much more mundane.”
Senator Wants DOD Climate Change Goals Locked into Law
As the military services roll out their climate change plans, a key senator is pushing to ensure the goals are met by enshrining them in law. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and an Army National Guard veteran, is introducing a bill Thursday that would set renewable energy goals for the Defense Department that match targets the military services have announced in recent months.
British Air Force Pushes ‘Really Big Contract’ for Typhoon Radar Upgrades
British defense officials are awaiting top leaders’ approval to complete development and production of an active electronically scanned array radar destined to upgrade Royal Air Force Typhoon jets. “We are putting in place now what is going to be a really big contract,” taking the program through to initial and full operating capability, said a Ministry of Defence official briefing reporters May 24 here at the combat jet production and development site of BAE Systems.
Air Force Announces New Mustache Policy, Sister Service and Joint Unit Patch Update
The Air Force recently published a memorandum outlining updates to the Department of the Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of United States Air Force and United States Space Force Personnel, which include mustache, sister service and joint unit patch wear guidance. The updates are effective immediately for Airmen. "These changes will allow Airmen additional flexibilities as to how to wear mustaches" said Gwendolyn DeFilippi, acting Deputy Chief of Staff for manpower, personnel and services. "Additionally, allowing Airmen to wear sister-service patches in their current color configuration influences cohesiveness and pride while assigned to joint organizations."
COMMENTARY: What Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Means for the Middle East
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exposed several truths about its foreign policy, while the poor performance of its military has revealed facts about its defense policy. Both suggest that Gulf countries that have been seeking closer ties to Moscow as a hedge against a declining American commitment to the region are likely wasting their time,” writes Kirsten Fontenrose, director of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative.
To Infinity and Beyond
The U.S. Space Force (USSF)—the nation’s newest military service branch and the first created in a generation—stands ready to engage in a new era of national defense where commercial space and military interests collide.
NATO Nations Should Invest More on Air Defense, Fires, EUCOM Nominee Says
President Joe Biden’s nominee for Supreme Allied Commander Europe said today NATO members will need to increasingly share the burden of supplying military capabilities to defend the continent as the US shifts its defense resources toward the Indo-Pacific. “It’s imperative as we look at the emergence of the threat of China, for us to find ways to be able to handle the acute threat of Russia in a collective fashion with the alliance,” Gen. Christopher Cavoli told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee at his confirmation hearing. “There are a number of different ways that could play out. Almost all of those ways include increased burden sharing … on the part of other members of the alliance.”
How Nearly 900 Soldiers from Maine Earned—And Lost—the Medal of Honor
The nation’s highest medal for valor has such a rigorous approval process that there’s a cumbersome flowchart just for the procedure. This can take months, if not years, to go through, which begs the question: can a Medal of Honor Recipient have their medal downgraded or taken away? As it turns out, the answer is yes. In fact, 911 medals have been revoked since it was created during the Civil War. If that’s not shocking enough, 864 of them belonged to one unit: the 27th Maine Infantry Regiment and most of them have disappeared.