About 1,000 Air National Guard troops who are assigned to space missions are mired in an identity crisis. Torn between the Air Force, where they have historically been assigned, and the military’s shiny new Space Force where they now work, their units have become orphans, according to commanders, as state and federal leaders wrangle over whether to create a Space National Guard.
NATO leaders will proclaim a united wartime front this week at a summit in Madrid. Yet the quandaries that once left NATO adrift are still bubbling. Before Russia sent its troops streaming into Ukraine, NATO had been searching for reinvention. For some, China and its expansive, modernizing military presented NATO’s next big challenge. Others wondered what the Afghanistan war quagmire meant for the alliance’s future. In 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron said NATO was experiencing “brain death.”
Soldiers in the frigid Arctic and Sailors aboard ships undergoing major construction could get extra pay as lawmakers look to respond through must-pass legislation to strings of suicides among service members in Alaska and on the USS George Washington. Included in the version of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, advanced by the House Armed Services Committee are provisions to provide new $200 monthly stipends to sailors on ships undergoing nuclear refueling and complex overhauls and $300 monthly stipends to service members “assigned to perform cold weather operations.”
The Air Force wants to modify its Boeing KC-135s and KC-46s in a new effort that the service says is independent of the KC-Y “bridge tanker” program it started last year, but now says is looking less likely to become a competition.
Google is creating a division to help win more federal and state government contracts, including work for the Defense Department’s battle networks, company officials announced. The Google Public Sector division will help add employees and facilities with the security clearances necessary to bid on Pentagon work, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian told Defense One.
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.
Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper urged the Air Force to address water contamination in El Paso County from polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which were found in firefighting foam used at Peterson Space Force Base. According to the lawmakers, PFAS have contaminated the Widefield aquifer that provides drinking water to thousands of area residents. They say it also supplies surface water to nearby ponds, some of which are used for recreational fishing.
The Navy will order fewer F-35C jets in fiscal year 2023 than manufacturer Lockheed Martin could produce under a pandemic catch-up plan, with officials hoping to use the lull to spend money on other priorities. Though top Navy leaders told lawmakers that COVID-related problems, including supply-chain shortages, drove the decision to ask for fewer F-35C Joint Strike Fighters in next year’s budget, that is only half the story.
The Pentagon on June 28 sought to alleviate fears over the impact on service members or dependents from last week’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. The Defense Department said in a memo it will continue to provide abortions in cases when the mother’s life is at risk or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, instances known as “covered abortions.”
An Airman’s amazing Air Force journey is coming to a fitting close this July after 58 years in uniform as both an Active-duty senior noncommissioned officer and Air Force Junior ROTC instructor. Retired Senior Master Sgt. David Weissgerber, aerospace science instructor, AFJROTC Unit JA-932, Kadena High School, Okinawa, Japan, will be retiring after an astounding 35-year career as an AFJROTC instructor, and this on top a distinguished 23-year Active-duty military career.