Hawaii ACE

Hawaiian Inter-Island ACE Helps PACAF Practice Close to Home

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii—Some Airmen consider the Marine Corps' landing strip on the southeast side of Oahu island in Hawaii to be the most difficult to land on in the world. Surrounded on both sides by water and protected by a mountain range, the 7,800-foot runway is near a population center. Small islands rise from the waters of Kaneohe Bay. It’s also perfect for practicing the Air Force's concept of agile combat employment (ACE), which requires Airmen to practice landing in austere Pacific island locations as though they were in a contested environment.
f-35 engines

Raytheon’s Pratt & Whitney Gets $4.4 Billion F-35 Engine Deal

Raytheon Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney military engines unit received a $4.385 billion Naval Air Systems Command contract for 178 of its F135 engines to power all variants of the F-35 fighter. The eventual contract value could be as much as $8 billion. The contract is a not-to-exceed, undefinitized modification to the Lots 15 and 16 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter production.
house funding

House Panel Releases Draft Defense Bill, Cutting F-15EX Buy, Blocking Changes to Pass-Through Funds

The House Appropriations defense subcommittee rolled out its draft version of the fiscal 2023 defense funding bill, cutting the Air Force’s planned buy of F-15EX fighters and moving to block any changes to the current system of “pass-through” funding. All told, the top line for the budget is $761.7 billion for the entire Department of Defense, an increase of some $32 billion over the fiscal 2022 enacted total and in line with the Pentagon’s 2023 request. However, that sum is likely to be challenged by lawmakers who feel the increase isn’t enough to keep pace with historically high inflation. The panel meets for a closed markup session June 15.
air superiority

How Sanctions Are Affecting Russia’s Defense Industrial Base

The U.S. shouldn’t count on economic sanctions to cripple Russia’s defense industrial base or to prevent Russia from replacing military equipment lost or expended in Ukraine, according to a panel of experts. Despite a shrinking economy—Russia’s gross domestic could contract as much as 10 percent—they deemed its abilities to finance the war and its military "pretty robust” during the discussion hosted by the Center for a New American Security.

Radar Sweep

As Tyndall Tries to Rebound, A-10 Fight Prompts F-35 Maintainer Shortfall, ‘Significant Risk’

Breaking Defense

After Hurricane Michael devastated Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., in 2018, the installation got a lifeline when the Air Force announced plans to base three F-35 Joint Strike Fighter squadrons there. But as construction ramps up and the base begins to visibly bounce back, an old political scuffle thousands of miles away is threatening Tyndall’s F-35 timeline and forcing the service to scramble to find maintainers for the world’s most advanced fighter—including through options that would hinder F-35 operations at other bases.

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DARPA Re-Imagines KC-46 as Airborne Battery Charger

Aviation Week

DARPA has launched a new project that sees a fresh role for the Air Force's fleet of aerial tankers as airborne recharging points for networks of electric-powered UASs by adding a wing-mounted laser pod.

Lack of Space National Guard Could Hurt Training, Recruiting

Defense One

Some military leaders are worried that without a Space National Guard or similar component, administrative delays could hurt readiness and personnel training. Lt. Col. Jeremiah Hitchner, the commander of the 109th Space Electromagnetic Warfare Squadron in Guam, told reporters the brand-new unit is struggling to train new operators because it relies on Space Force availability.

Air Force Using AI to Improve Weather Models for Military Planning

Air Force Times

The Department of the Air Force is using artificial intelligence to augment weather predictions and better understand environmental conditions in places where the U.S. military may be headed. Deputy Chief Information Officer Winston Beauchamp said the technology is improving forecasting abilities and providing valuable insights for planning and operations.

4 Lessons China Should Take From Ukraine: Pentagon Policy Chief

Breaking Defense

When discussing the world’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. officials have been upfront that they're aware that China is watching and hopeful that the strong signal of support for Kyiv will dissuade Beijing from plans to invade Taiwan. Colin Kahl, the undersecretary for defense for policy, underlined that idea, saying, “Potential adversaries and aggressors everywhere else in the world are looking at the global response in Ukraine."

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.

‘A Huge Lag Time’: DOD Struggles to Rush Cutting-Edge Tech to Ukraine


Ukraine’s president isn’t the only one who’s frustrated that cutting-edge U.S. military gear isn’t making its way to the battlefield. Thousands of American-made weapons are flowing into Ukraine, but the Pentagon’s acquisition system is still not pivoting quickly enough to get the latest commercial gear to the front lines, according to defense industry executives, lobbyists, and some of the Pentagon’s own technologists.

BlueHalo Wins $11 Million Air Force Contract for Laser Communications Terminals


BlueHalo won an $11 million contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory to develop a pair of optical laser communications terminals and a ground station that will be used for on-orbit experiments, the company announced. The equipment, to be delivered in 2025, will support demonstrations of optical uplinks and downlinks between satellites in geostationary and low Earth orbits.

Northrop Grumman Demonstrates Mynaric Laser Terminals for Military Constellation


Northrop Grumman, one of three companies selected to deliver 42 satellites for a U.S. military low Earth orbit constellation, announced that it completed a ground demonstration of laser terminals that will be used to send and receive data in space. For the demonstration, Northrop Grumman teamed with laser terminal manufacturer Mynaric and space avionics provider Innoflight. The companies tested high-rate encryption and decryption across an optical link.

Troop Leave for Abortion Services Would Be Protected in House Defense Spending Bill


House Democrats are moving to ensure that service members can take leave to get an abortion ahead of the Supreme Court’s expected ruling to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that prevents states from outlawing the procedure. A draft of the fiscal 2023 defense spending bill would not allow the Pentagon “to deny leave for any member of the Armed Forces or civilian employee of the Department of Defense ... who is pregnant and requests leave to obtain an abortion.”

One More Thing

Airman Creates Patriotic Paint Scheme for NASCAR Race Car

DOD release

If you're a NASCAR fan, you may have seen the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro SS zipping around the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway over Memorial Day weekend. If you're a service member or history buff, you may have noticed that its coloring was in line with the olive drab that was prevalent throughout the military for much of the 20th century.