The F-16 Fighting Falcon was the backbone of allied air power in Europe for a generation. Today, however, the fourth-generation fighters are aging: The average Fighting Falcon is more than 30 years old, and some started flying in the early 1980s. While the Air Force tries to breathe new life into some F-16s in hopes they’ll keep flying into the 2040s, the general in charge of planning for the service’s future knows a replacement is inevitable. What makes that equation a problem for Lt. Gen. Richard Moore is that replacement fighters, particularly F-35As, aren’t arriving fast enough.
More than 30 A-10 Warthogs assembled in one place, with every squadron in the Air Force that currently flies the airframe represented in a friendly competition to see who is the best of the best. That’s the premise of ‘Hawgsmoke,’ an event that brings together the Air Force’s community of A-10 Thunderbolt II pilots and maintainers as they unleash plenty of the aircraft’s signature “BRRRT.” The 2022 event was hosted by the previous winners, the Idaho Air National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing, at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho, from Sept. 6-9.
The former commander of the German Air Force has confirmed that Germany intends to buy the Arrow 3 air defense system from Israel, as a central part of what German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has described as a pan-European air defense network. In a telephone interview on Sept. 12 with Breaking Defense, retired Lt. Gen. Karl Müllner said the choice had been set and confirmed at a defense conference in Koblenz, Germany, two weeks ago.
HII’s development and operation of the Navy Continuous Training Environment (NCTE), the Navy’s Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) Training Program, provides scalable Government-owned solutions that facilitate unit- to fleet-wide, joint, and coalition training. HII is leveraging these solutions with their existing USAF DMO and range programs to achieve best of breed training architectures, providing DoD with a viable framework for Joint All Domain Operations training.
The Air Force has created a new program to help recruit and train college-aged ROTC and Air Force Academy cadets for special warfare jobs, which it has been struggling to fill amid the service's ongoing recruiting crisis. “Historically, neither the Air Force Academy nor AFROTC filled all of their commissioning slots for Special Warfare, which down the road impacts mission readiness,” Col. John Graver with Air Force Special Warfare said in a press release.
A bipartisan group of 15 senators has unveiled legislation aimed at expediting the Defense Department’s ability to backfill U.S. weapons stockpiles sent to Ukraine through non-competitive contracts. Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., introduced the Securing American ARMS Act as stand-alone legislation alongside 13 other senators last week.
A federal appeals court has denied the Air Force’s attempt to overturn class certification and a class-wide preliminary injunction that protects airmen from discipline as a lawsuit continues against the Department of Defense mandate requiring members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Department of Air Force’s emergency motion to stay the class certification and the injunction granted by Cincinnati federal district Judge Matthew McFarland in July.
The U.S. Space Force is continuing to expand its University Partnership Program, with the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez signing on as the 14th member Sept. 9. The partnership program began last year and aims to recruit and educate the potential workforce for the nation's youngest armed forces branch, while also providing opportunities for research collaboration.
The increasing commercial use of launch pads and other space infrastructure could eventually hinder the Pentagon’s ability to deploy new satellites when and where they’re needed, the nominee to lead the Space Force told lawmakers on Sept. 13. “Currently, our capacity on our ranges meets the governmental needs, but with the proliferation of small satellites, that’s going to change rapidly,” Lt. Gen. Chance Saltzman told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing to be the chief of space operations.
An impressive list of Hollywood legends have served in the United States Air Force, even though the service branch is the youngest of the big four and didn't come into existence until Sept. 18, 1947. Of course, the USAF counts the World War II heroics of the Army Air Forces as part of its own history, but this list concentrates on the entertainers who served in the USAF after its official founding. That cutoff leaves us with plenty of great stories to tell.