An unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile has been launched from California to test the defense system, the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command said. The Minuteman III missile lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base at 11:01 p.m. Feb. 9 and its reentry vehicle traveled about 4,200 miles (6,800 kilometers) over the Pacific Ocean to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, an Air Force statement said.
Americans weren’t the only ones surprised by the appearance of a Chinese balloon over Montana on Feb. 1. The same day, a quiet démarche by Washington to Beijing over what U.S. officials believed was a spying mission sparked questions in China’s corridors of power. No one knew at that point how the balloon would quickly turn what was supposed to be a period of improving U.S.-China relations into one now dominated by an extraordinary new and continuing point of friction.
Fantasy football apps. Dating apps. Secretive, encrypted messaging apps. An app for dealing luxury yachts. Even a pair of apps developed by a Chinese commercial drone manufacturer. These are but a few of the types of unauthorized mobile apps that the Pentagon inspector general recently found on Defense Department personnel’s DOD-issued mobile devices meant to be used for official business only, the IG revealed in a new report.
Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula responds to reports from the Department of Defense on the downing of a ‘high-altitude object’ over Alaska on ‘Cavuto Live.’
As the recent Chinese spy balloon encounter showed, keeping the skies safe is a tough job. For decades the U.S. Air Force has relied on the E-3 Sentry, and the most recent version, the E-3G, has been upgraded with more modern electronics and software to keep up with new threats. “The best way to describe it is kind of like the quarterback in the sky,” said Air Force Col. Keven Coyle, commander of the 552nd Air Control Wing. “It’s the job of the E-3 to surveil, to layout the enemies arrayed, and then allow our friendly forces to be able to be set up in a way that allows them to fight with the greatest capacity.”
As Britain, Italy and Japan embark on an ambitious plan to build a new fighter by 2035, the U.K.’s defense minister has warned of disastrous consequences should any of the partners get “cold feet” and pull out after work starts. British minister Ben Wallace made the claim ahead of a meeting next month in Japan where he will join his Italian and Japanese counterparts to discuss the way forward for the 6th-generation Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP).
The imminent release of a cyber workforce strategy and implementation plan will buttress new Pentagon initiatives to recruit and retain skilled cyber workers, a Defense official said Feb. 9. Mark Gorak, the principal director for resources and analysis in the DOD chief information officer’s office, said the Pentagon expects the cyber workforce strategy—which DOD has been working on for almost a year—to be finalized “literally any day now.”
The classification of the “object” shot down by US fighter jets “is pretty quizzical,” says retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula. “First, there’s been no indication of its origin. Second, it was described in the short news conference at the Pentagon had as ‘not resembling an aircraft.’”
A key lawmaker says his subcommittee will consider the idea of having a Space Force-like independent cyber military service, but he said he wants to study the idea more to make sure it wouldn’t complicate the challenging mission further. The idea was floated by Mark Montgomery, senior director of the Center on Cyber Technology and Innovation at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who told the House Armed Services Committee’s (HASC) cyber, innovative technologies and information systems subcommittee that it needs to examine “if the current design of the Cyber Mission Force is what we need for the 21st century, or should we be considering an independent cyber force as we’ve recently done with the Space Force.”
In episode 115 of the Aerospace Advantage, John “Slick” Baum and retired Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula chat with the commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). The RCAF is one of the U.S. Air Force’s and Space Force’s closest partners. We’ve repeatedly gone to war together—going all the way back to the dawn of air combat in World War I. And given that we share the same continent, Canada and the U.S. are fundamentally aligned when it comes to the northern tier defense mission, something that is more relevant than ever given adversary activity we are seeing in the Arctic. Learn more about the RCAF as they undergo a major transformation with their capabilities in air and space. This conversation includes specific focus on Canada’s acquisition of the F-35, remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS), a new training aircraft, a new aerial tanker, and spacepower initiatives.
Space launch company executives said this week that as they serve an increasingly diverse mix of government and commercial customers, striking a balance between the demands of the two sectors can be a challenge. United Launch Alliance, the long-time sole-source launch provider for U.S. Department of Defense missions, is experiencing this challenge in real-time as it expands into the commercial market, according to Clint Hunt, the company’s director of intelligence and defense programs.
Out of all of the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft in the U.S. Air Force’s fleet, an A-10 Warthog with the serial number 81-994 may be among the most unique for one simple reason: it’s the only aircraft we know of to sport kill markings for taking out a cow downrange. Assigned to the Red Devils of the 107th Fighter Squadron, 127th Wing of the Michigan Air National Guard at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, the A-10 in question has been spotted in official Air Force photos sporting a yellow kill marking for a cow alongside those for ordnance released.