AFSOC Commander Explains Why He Ordered CV-22 Osprey Stand Down

Air Force Special Operations Command has known about the issue at the heart of the recent CV-22 Osprey safety stand down for years now, just as the Marine Corps and other stakeholders have. But after two incidents in quick succession—including one that has left an aircraft stranded in a nature preserve in Norway—AFSOC commander Lt. Gen. James C. “Jim” Slife decided some action had to be taken to “draw attention” to the problem, even as the root cause remains a mystery.

DOD Stops Deliveries of New F-35s Over Material Sourced from China

Lockheed Martin said it’s “developing mitigation plans” to resume delivering new F-35s to customers. The F-35 Joint Program Office stopped delivery of new F-35s after learning that a material came from China. The material in question is an alloy in a magnet in the F-35’s turbomachine. Sourcing the Chinese material is “potentially in non-compliance” with the U.S. Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement, according to a statement by the Defense Department’s F-35 Joint Program Office.
minuteman iii

AFGSC Launches Second Minuteman III Test in Three Weeks

Air Force Global Strike Command launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif.—its second test launch in three weeks. The ICBM launched at 1:13 a.m. Pacific time with three test re-entry vehicles, according to an AFGSC release. The vehicles traveled some 4,200 miles before landing in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

AFSOC Has a Design for Its Amphibious MC-130J; Aircraft Integration Set for 2023

The schedule appears to have changed a little, but Air Force Special Operations Command is still working on developing an amphibious capability to go on its MC-130J aircraft. It has been roughly a year since Lt. Gen. James C. “Jim” Slife first detailed AFSOC’s plan to take the MC-130J—capable of personnel infiltration and exfiltration, logistics, resupply, and personnel recovery—and to find a way for it to land on water. At the time, Slife said the hope was for a demo flight by late 2022. But speaking at an AFA Warfighters in Action event, Slife said the plan now is to start integrating the capability onto aircraft in 2023.

Outstanding Airmen of the Year: Tech. Sgt. Alexander W. Messinger

The Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2022 will be formally recognized at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference from Sept. 19 to 21 in National Harbor, Md. Air Force Magazine is highlighting one each weekday from now until the conference begins. Today, we honor Tech. Sgt. Alexander W. Messinger, the noncommissioned officer in charge of standardization evaluation at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Radar Sweep

Reed Expresses Caution Over Sending US Aircraft to Ukraine

Air Force Times

The Senate Armed Services Committee chairman has raised doubts about transferring U.S. aircraft to Ukraine. Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) did not endorse an amendment in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act that would authorize $100 million to begin training Ukrainian pilots to fly U.S. fighter jets, raising doubts that the provision would survive negotiations with the Senate when Congress formulates the final legislation.

GAO: Defense, Intelligence Agencies Need a Better Plan to Buy Commercial Satellite Imagery


Despite a growing demand for satellite imagery, U.S. defense and intelligence agencies are not taking advantage of available commercial technology due to slow and cumbersome procurement methods, the Government Accountability Office said. The war in Ukraine has drawn attention to how governments are using commercial satellites to track troop movements and the impact of attacks.

US Officials Balance Arms Sales Push Against Securing Tech Secrets

Defense News

Pentagon leaders working to revamp the U.S. process of selling arms around the globe are balancing the need to quickly close deals with that of protecting secrets about weapons’ inner workings, a senior official said. The push to flush more American weaponry into the world market follows an increased appetite by governments to up-arm, said Jed Royal, deputy director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

Coming Soon: A US Competition for Sixth-Gen Drone Wingman Could Begin in FY24

Breaking Defense

The Air Force could kick off a competition for a drone counterpart for its sixth-generation fighter as soon as fiscal 2024, the service’s top leader said. The Air Force is currently having “early conversations” with industry as it prepares an acquisition strategy for a so-called collaborative combat aircraft program, which would field one or more types of uncrewed aircraft as part of the service’s Next Generation Air Dominance family of systems, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said.

Multiyear Procurement for Munitions Would Help Stabilize Industry: LaPlante

Breaking Defense

The Pentagon’s top acquisition official is signaling he could be amenable to putting certain high-priority munitions on multiyear contracts to fulfill ongoing Ukrainian requirements and replenish U.S. stockpiles. “What really matters is contracts,” said Bill LaPlante, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. “We buy munitions and many of these things in a single year. We don’t do multiyear contracts. We do multiyear contracts for ships. We do it for airplanes. We don’t do it for these other munitions. We need to do it because that’ll stabilize the supply chain.”

It 'Blew Everything Apart.' Osprey Accident Shows Danger of Clutch Issue as Services Keep Flying

In the early hours of Dec. 13, 2017, the Airmen aboard Pyro 76—an Air Force MV-22 Osprey—were jolted awake in the skies over Arizona by loud noises and aircraft movement. They were falling out of the sky. Based on testimony in the official Air Force investigation and an interview with an Airman aboard the aircraft on that flight, Pyro 76 illustrates the danger that hard clutch engagements, or HCEs—a problem that recently grounded all of the service's Ospreys—pose to aircraft and crew.

China’s New Super Long-Endurance Drone Has Flown, Mirroring US Efforts

The Drive

The state-run Aviation Industry Corporation of China, or AVIC, recently announced the first flight of a new high-flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft called the Qimingxing 50, or Morning Star 50. AVIC describes the drone as a "pseudo-satellite" intended to fly primarily in the stratosphere and says it could be used for various ostensibly civilian missions, including keeping watch for forest fires and conducting scientific research. However, unmanned aerial systems like this have a glaring potential for military applications.

Air Force to Install New Manager to Oversee Next-Gen Command and Control


The Air Force will soon install a new leader to oversee all of its complex command, control, and communications initiatives and ultimately empower the military branch to better support the Pentagon’s ambitious vision for a more connected way of conducting warfare, according to Secretary Frank Kendall.

US, Germany, Australia Air Forces’ Generals Share Airspace Together

Air Force release

U.S. Air Force Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander, along with Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Rob Chipman, chief of RAAF, and German Air Force Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, German air force air chief, flew fighter aircraft over Australia’s Northern Territory in a demonstration of friendship and cooperative leadership.

One More Thing

The Service Academies' Football Season Opening Performances, Ranked

Football is back, and the academies for the Army, Navy, and Air Force have all played their first games of the season. While none of the academies is likely to compete for the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy (but who knows, it's a long season), they are playing for something just as big: a trip to the White House to receive the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.