Distinguished Flying Cross

C-17 Guard Crew Honored for Valor During Kabul Airlift

One New York Air National Guardsman received the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, and five of his fellow Airmen were awarded an Air Medal with Valor on June 4 in recognition of their actions aboard a C-17 during the noncombatant evacuation out of Kabul, Afghanistan, in August 2021.
Chinese UAV

Chinese UAV Industry Creates New Challenge for the US Air Force

China’s growing capability in the production of unmanned aerial vehicles, along with its lack of end-user restrictions, will require the U.S. Air Force to ramp up counteroffensive measures, panelists and attendees at the recent China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI) conference told Air Force Magazine. “A smaller nation very well could have a whole ton of drones that we just haven't thought about,” said CASI director Brendan Mulvaney. “We're not doing nearly enough to deal with the unmanned systems problem,” added panelist David R. Markov of the Institute for Defense Analysis. “I’m not sure we’re set or geared to think about that problem, and certainly not in the countermeasure side of the house.”

Tracking Hypersonics in Real Time 

New capabilities are required—now—to combat long- range precision missiles being tested by adversaries. The Department of the Air Force is rolling out plans to beef up missile warning and tracking as China, North Korea, Russia, and even Iran develop, build, test, and field new long-range missiles. Air Force Magazine digs into the topic in its May issue.

Radar Sweep

Commercial Providers of Satellite Services Face a Trust Gap with Military Buyers


Despite growing enthusiasm for new space internet services, some military buyers remain distrustful of commercial solutions as a replacement for government-developed systems, a senior procurement official said June 2. “We see the LEO mania, and the new capability available … but customers have a bit of a trust issue,” Clare Grason, chief of the Space Force’s Commercial Satellite Communications Office, said during an online event hosted by the Aerospace Corp.

OPINION: Stop Calling Switchblades ‘Drones’—It’s Causing Policy Confusion

Defense News

“Words matter, especially when it comes to understanding and overseeing new military technologies. That is why it is especially important to be deliberate and precise in how we talk about a new class of aerial munitions, like the Switchblade loitering munition, which many, including government leaders, are inaccurately referring to as unmanned aerial vehicles,” writes Heather Penney, a senior resident fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Turkey Seeks to Repair Ties with Western Procurement Club

Defense News

After the controversial, multibillion-dollar purchase of a Russian-made missile defense system, the Turkish government appears to be taking advantage of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine to force a return to the Western procurement system. “Turkey is a NATO ally and will remain one. The war between our two partners Russia and Ukraine has created a new understanding in favor of strengthening procurement ties with our NATO allies,” a presidential aide told Defense News, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss Ankara’s diplomatic tightrope walk.

Live, Virtual & Constructive Training

Air Force Magazine

The Air Force is transitioning to more virtual training to give pilots an edge, saying some higher end maneuvers cannot be replicated in real-time training. Learn more on Air Force Magazine’s Live, Virtual & Constructive Training page.

For Space Force’s Monthly ‘Reverse Industry Days,’ Space Domain Awareness Next Up

Breaking Defense

The Space Force’s acquisition command next month will hold a so-called “reverse industry day” on space domain awareness, including in the vast cislunar region between the orbits of the Earth and the Moon, as the next topic in a planned series of events designed to help hash out the service’s future purchase plans. It will be the third time the service has held one of these new types of industry briefings—where Space Systems Command (SSC) officials gather Defense Department stakeholders to explain problems and threats to interested companies and hear what commercial technology industry can bring to bear

ESSAY: Flowers for Joyce

Defense One

Useful Fiction is a new approach to sharing research and analysis through using the oldest communications technology of all: story. Sometimes called FICINT or Fictional Intelligence, it fuses real data and insight with narrative scenarios. The goal is not to replace the white paper or journal article, but to provide a new means to share insights, in a form that audiences are more likely to read, but also more likely to act upon. If science fiction and technothrillers are like a milkshake, and strategy papers and trend reports are like vitamins or kale, think of useful fiction as the equivalent to a breakfast smoothie for policymakers that blends education and entertainment with a purpose. This essay was produced through an initiative undertaken with the U.S. Air Force's “Blue Horizons” futures team.

KC-46 Tanker’s Recent ‘97 Percent’ Milestone Isn’t The Whole Story

The Drive

The U.S. Air Force has confirmed that it is still not using its fleet of KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tankers to support combat operations, and will not for the foreseeable future except in response to "emergency need." This is despite the service recently touting that these aircraft can now "support 97 percent of the daily Joint Force air refueling demands" as part of what it calls an Interim Capability Release plan intended to help move the long-troubled jets toward a truly operational state.

One More Thing

WWII Fighter Pilot Reunited with Plane at Georgia Airport

The Associated Press

The last time James McCubbin saw his old P51 Mustang was in the German countryside almost 80 years ago, when an enemy plane shot his wing and he had to eject. Fast forward to Wednesday, and the 101-year-old World War II veteran smiling happily as he watched a P-51 Mustang fly once again at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport in Rome, Ga.