The top Air Force general in charge of the nation’s air- and ground-launched nuclear missiles has requested an official investigation into the number of airmen who are reporting blood cancer diagnoses after serving at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The illnesses became publicly known this week after The Associated Press obtained a military brief that at least nine missileers—those officers serving in underground bunkers near silo-based Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles and responsible for turning launch keys if ordered—were reporting diagnoses of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. One of the officers has died.
Red 6, an augmented reality company, is working with the Air Force to train fighter pilots, a historically costly and dangerous task. NBC News’ Dasha Burns took to the skies to see how pilots are flying while using helmet devices to project combat scenarios and how it can keep more Airmen safe.
A contingent of military officials is quietly pushing the Pentagon to approve sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine to help the country defend itself from Russian missile and drone attacks, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions. Ukraine has kept American-made F-16s on its weapons wish list since the Russian invasion last year. But Washington and Kyiv have viewed artillery, armor and ground-based air defense systems as more urgent needs as Ukraine seeks to protect civilian infrastructure and claw back ground occupied by Russian forces.
Christopher Kubasik, CEO of L3Harris Technologies, said Jan. 27 regulators continue to review the company’s proposed $4.7 billion acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne and expects the merger to close in 2023. L3Harris, headquartered in Melbourne, Fla., is a global defense and aerospace firm with more than $17 billion in annual revenue. In December it announced an agreement to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne, a Sacramento, California-based manufacturer of rocket engines and propulsion systems for space vehicles, ballistic missiles and military tactical weapons.
An inspector general review ordered by the Secretary of the Air Force following a CBS News investigation by Norah O'Donnell has found the Air Force must do more to establish trust with domestic violence victims in the early stages of reporting and investigations. Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall ordered the review after a September 2021 CBS News investigation into domestic violence in the military included the stories of survivors who reported abuse to the Air Force.
“I would say we are more valid now than ever before. With the Secretary of the Air Force and Secretary of Defense saying their focus is China, China, China, that’s what we are here for. We are here to embody and replicate our enemies to the best of our ability,“ says Lt. Col. Christopher “Vön“ Finkenstadt, F-16 pilot, and commander of the U.S. Air Force’s 64th Aggressor Squadron (AGRS), at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Finkenstadt cites the message from his boss, Maj. General Case Cunningham, commander of the USAF Warfare Center, regarding “the pacing challenge of China,“ and the USAF aggressors’ mandate to accurately replicate that threat.
In episode 113 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, John “Slick” Baum chats with Robert “Otis” Winkler from KRATOS Defense about what it’s like to design, develop, and field a next generation UAV, what the Air Force now calls Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA). Uninhabited aircraft have been a fixture in the U.S. airpower arsenal for over two decades. However, evolving operational demand, paired with new technologies, is rapidly changing the scale and scope of these aircraft. This episode explores this topic through an industry lens.
The Marine Corps has formally opened its first new base in 70 years: Guam’s Camp Blaz, which is to become a “strategic hub” as the U.S. military expands its Pacific operations. “Forward, persistent presence is key to the regional security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz is a critical part of that,” Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger said at the ceremony.
On the front lines in Ukraine, a soldier was having trouble firing his 155 mm howitzer gun. So, he turned to a team of Americans on the other end of his phone line for help. “What do I do?” he asked the U.S. military team member, far away at a base in southeastern Poland. “What are my options?” Using phones and tablets to communicate in encrypted chatrooms, a rapidly growing group of U.S. and allied troops and contractors is providing real-time maintenance advice—usually speaking through interpreters—to Ukrainian troops on the battlefield.
The Pentagon plans to develop department-wide guidance on what content it should include in its training and education efforts for decision-making in a “contested information environment,” following recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office. The information environment, which a new GAO report defines as “the aggregate of factors that affect how humans and automated systems derive meaning from, act upon, and are impacted by information,” isn’t limited by geographic boundaries, posing a risk for the U.S. where adversaries, like Russia or China, can attack.
Candyce and Dustin Brown last spoke to their son Hunter by phone on Sunday, Jan. 8, discussing the class schedule for his upcoming sophomore year at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. Hunter was in good spirits. He was taking it easy in his dorm with his roommate as he continued to recover from foot surgery he'd undergone two months earlier, aimed at fixing a torn ligament suffered during football practice at the service academy. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary or unusual. But the following day as he was heading to class, Hunter experienced a medical emergency and died. He was 21 years old.
L3Harris delivered the experimental Navigation Technology Satellite-3 to the Air Force Research Laboratory for its final phase of integration and testing, keeping the program on track for a late 2023 launch. AFRL announced the delivery Jan. 26, which brings the lab closer to conducting the first U.S. positioning, navigation, and timing experiment in almost a half century.
Artificial intelligence can be used to do some pretty terrible things. From identity theft to deep fakes, there’s seemingly no limit to the havoc AI can create. However, rendering “The Muppets” as soldiers in America’s famous wars has proven a particularly redeeming endeavor for an AI art generator.