Photos: US-Israel Conclude Massive Exercise with F-35s, B-52s, and More

The recently-concluded Juniper Oak, an “all domain” exercise carried out from Jan. 23-26, was the “largest U.S.-Israel partnered exercise in history,” according to U.S. Central Command. The exercise was intended to demonstrate that the U.S. can rapidly deploy massive firepower to the region even as it shifts its focus away from the Middle East and towards the Pacific and Europe. Photos and videos recently released by the Department of Defense show the scale of the operation.
air force rotc scholarship

Air Force ROTC Unveils Sweeping New Scholarship for Older Cadets

The Air Force last week announced an expansive new ROTC scholarship available to older Cadets committed to commissioning, with the goal of recruiting and retaining more future Airmen in the program. The Brig. Gen. Charles A. McGee Leadership Award, named after the legendary Tuskegee Airman, will give either $18,000 per year in tuition or $10,000 per year in housing assistance to every Cadet not already on a scholarship who has completed field training and entered the Professional Officer Course at the start of their junior year.

Hypersonic Scramjet Missile HAWC Successfully Tested for Last Time

DARPA and the Air Force conducted the final test of their scramjet-powered Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) missile, DARPA announced Jan. 30, and said the program’s “findings will now be used in follow-on efforts.” The Air Force is moving forward with two hypersonic weapons—the AGM-183 Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), developed by Lockheed Martin, and the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM). ARRW has completed several successful test flights, and a contract for HACM was awarded to Raytheon last September.

Radar Sweep

‘That Pisses Me Off’: Congressman to Lead Panel on Struggles for Troops Focusing on Pay, Food Insecurity

With the House personnel subcommittee targeting “other issues” like politicization in the military, the House Armed Services Committee has set up a new panel that will exclusively focus on the issues that directly impact service members' quality of life. Boosting pay for junior enlisted service members and improving military housing conditions will be among the priorities of the new subpanel, its leader told in an interview.

Defense Business Brief: Hyten Sets Up Shop in the Private Sector

Defense One

As the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, John Hyten worked to streamline the military’s requirements process, to speed up the process. Now more than a year into retirement, he’s working to help commercial companies break into the defense sector. “It's frustrating for a commercial company to figure out how to do business [with the Pentagon], but if we don't win the artificial intelligence race, and we don't win the quantum race, we're in a world of hurt as a country,” Hyten said in an interview.

Snagged Military Fuel Card Contract Triggers Lawmaker Scrutiny

Defense News

The Pentagon is taking another stab at opening competition for the AIR Card program, a government credit card widely used to pay for a huge military expense―fuel, but the effort is facing skepticism from a key lawmaker. Under the contract, troops use the Aviation Into-Plane Reimbursement (AIR) cards and Ship Bunkers Easy Acquisition Card (SEA) cards to keep U.S. military aircraft around the globe fueled up and ready to go. The contract holder processes the transactions and profits almost entirely from transaction fees it charges the government’s network of commercial fuel suppliers.

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US Military Poised to Secure New Access to Key Philippine Bases

The Washington Post

The U.S. military is poised to secure expanded access to key bases in the Philippines on the heels of a significant revamp of U.S. force posture in Japan—developments that reflect the allies’ concern with an increasingly fraught security environment in the region and a desire to deepen alliances with the United States, according to U.S. and Philippine officials. While negotiations are still ongoing, an announcement is expected as soon as this week when Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin meets in Manila with his counterpart and then with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Iran Says Drones Attacked Military Factory, in Latest Hint of Shadow War with Israel

NBC News

Drones loaded with bombs targeted a military factory at the heart of the central Iranian city of Isfahan, authorities said Jan. 29, causing a large explosion and minor damage to the facility. The incident served as the latest flashpoint for rising tensions over the country's nuclear program and its supply of drones to Russia. The news drew a celebratory reaction from Kyiv that earned its own rebuke from Tehran on Jan. 30.

Electra to Build Full-Scale eSTOL Aircraft Prototype for US Air Force

The Defense Post

The U.S. Air Force AFWERX innovation arm has awarded Electra a contract to develop an electronic short take-off and landing (eSTOL) aircraft prototype. The full-scale pre-production eSTOL prototype will be constructed to validate operational use cases and associated requirements for the service. It will be equipped with improved precision flight controls, aerodynamics, acoustics, hybrid-electric powertrains, and distributed electric propulsion resulting from previous AFWERX Agility Prime program contracts in 2021 and 2022.

Air Force Wants to Hire More Special Agents to Investigate Domestic Violence

The Department of the Air Force is doing a 90-day review of how the Air Force and Space Force help victims of domestic violence, an analysis that has already led to plans to hire more special agents for future investigations into cases of abuse. The review comes as a response to a 2021 survey that found that 66 percent of women and 48 percent of men in the Air Force reported experiencing some form of interpersonal violence, meaning abuse that ranged in severity from workplace bullying to physical or sexual assault and family violence.

One More Thing

Time to Rock Out: Elmo and Friends Help Military Families with Stress

Military Times

While routines are important, sometimes mixing things up to enjoy a spontaneous moment with your family can be a great form of self-care. And that is the message from the newest suite of resources from “Sesame Street for Military Families.” In an announcement of the new resources, Sesame Workshop officials noted the disruptions caused by the pandemic over the last three years, with added stressors affecting the emotional well-being of children and their caregivers. This was especially true for military families, who already regularly face disruptions in their routines because of the military lifestyle, such as relocation and deployment.