air force icbm test launch

Air Force Launches First ICBM Test of 2023

Air Force Global Strike Command conducted its first intercontinental ballistic missile test launch of 2023 on Feb. 9, sending an unarmed Minuteman III from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. The 11:01 p.m. launch, supported by Airmen from the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., included a test reentry vehicle that landed approximately 4,200 miles away in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, according to an Air Force release. 

Radar Sweep

After UFO Shoot-Downs, Senators Fret over Holes in Homeland Defenses

Defense News

Lawmakers on Feb. 14 voiced frustration that, after tens of billions of dollars spent on America’s sophisticated homeland defenses, low-tech objects of mysterious origins managed to enter North American airspace. As the Biden administration gave senators a classified briefing on four incursions by unidentified floating objects in recent days, lawmakers were left with many questions unanswered, and several have vowed to go over the North American Aerospace Command’s budget and capabilities with a fine-toothed comb.

Defrauding Veterans Would Be a Federal Crime Under Bill Pushed by Senators

Defrauding veterans of their benefits would be its own federal crime under a bipartisan bill recently reintroduced in the Senate. Under the bill from Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., fraud schemes that target veterans benefits would be punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine or both.

A ‘Modern National Security Strategy’: Q&A with Rep. Ro Khanna

Defense One

The United States has an “incredible advantage” in terms of traditional military forces and weapons, but must make sure it has the same advantage in new tech, and needs a “modern national security strategy” to make that happen, the ranking member of the House Armed Services subcommittee on cyber, information technology, and innovation told Defense One.

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DOD Eyes High-Energy Laser Mass Production, Aims to Fortify Critical Patches of Industrial Base

Inside Defense

The Defense Department is moving to lay the industrial groundwork necessary to mass produce high-energy lasers across the force—on ground vehicles, ships and aircraft—by shoring up weaknesses in manufacturing capacity of critical components needed to scale production of these powerful speed-of-light weapons. On Feb. 10, the Pentagon asked industry for information about existing fabrication capabilities for three technologies needed for combat lasers.

Register Now for the ‘Ukraine: One Year Later' Hybrid Series

Air & Space Forces Association

A four-part hybrid conference on the global impact of the war in Ukraine is being held from February through April. The series, “Ukraine: One Year Later,” was developed by retired Maj. Gen. Scott Gray, President of AFA’s Florida West Coast Chapter 429, in tandem with the University of South Florida and the Global Interdependence Center (GIC). Through a series of lectures and panels comprised of USAF and industry experts, the conference will examine how the Russian invasion of Ukraine has altered the global military-geopolitical outlook and financial-economic arena, as well as its impact on agriculture, cybersecurity, and world trade.

DOD’s New Cyber Workforce Strategy Creates New AI, Data-Focused Work Roles

Breaking Defense

The Defense Department’s new cyber workforce strategy creates dozens of updated work roles, including new artificial intelligence and data-focused specializations, as part of a broader effort to recruit and retain “the most capable and dominant” workforce in the world by utilizing “four human capital pillars.”

US Space Force Crafting New Schedule for GPS Ground System

Defense News

An already delayed U.S. Space Force effort to develop a modern, cybersecure GPS ground system is facing new schedule setbacks. The service is re-evaluating the delivery schedule for the Next-Generation Operational Control Segment, an upgraded version of the ground system used to operate GPS satellites. The program, dubbed OCX, was most recently planned for delivery this April, but a spokeswoman for Space Systems Command told C4ISRNET this week that timeline is now in question.

AI Agents Take Control of Modified F-16 Fighter Jet


Artificial intelligence agents have demonstrated their ability to control a modified F-16 fighter jet during an initial round of test flights in California as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency moves forward with its Air Combat Evolution program, according to DARPA. The ACE project aims to advance the Pentagon’s autonomous systems capabilities as the U.S. military pursues robotic wingmen and other drones.

One More Thing

UFOs Just the Latest in a 70-Year-Long List of Kills for the AIM-9 Sidewinder Missile

Task & Purpose

The Air Force has been chalking up kills the past two weeks as its fighter jets shot down a Chinese spy balloon followed by a series of unidentified flying objects over the United States. But no matter whether the F-22 or the F-16 fired it, the missile taking down all these mysterious visitors has been the same: the AIM-9X Sidewinder. The AIM-9 is a family of heat-seeking, air-to-air missiles that have an estimated 270 aircraft kills to their name.