hypersonic HACM

Kendall: Air Force ‘More Committed’ to HACM After Latest Unsuccessful ARRW Test

While the Air Force released scant details about the latest test of its AGM-183 Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon late last week, Secretary Frank Kendall told a Congressional panel it was “not a success”—and given ARRW’s checkered test history overall, Kendall indicated the service may shift focus to its other hypersonic program, the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile. 

US, Russia Stop Sharing Nuclear Forces Data in Another Blow for New START

The U.S. will not share key data on its nuclear arsenal with Russia after Moscow refused to do the same with its own strategic forces, Biden administration officials said March 28—yet another blow to the New START agreement. The move marks the first time the Biden administration has responded to Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement that he was "suspending" Moscow's participation in the treaty.
Air Force ICBM cancer

Air Force ICBM Boss Says Cancer Study Now Underway, First Phase Expected to Take 6-10 Months

The Air Force’s study of possible links to elevated rates of cancer among personnel who worked on intercontinental continental ballistic missiles has begun, the commander in charge of the U.S. ICBM fleet confirmed March 28. The initial phase of that study will mine cancer registries for information and compile a database, Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere, head of Air Force Global Strike Command, said in testimony to Congress. The data collection phase began in the past two weeks, and the entire study will take six to 10 months to complete, according to Bussiere.
unfunded priority lists austin

As Unfunded Priority Lists Pour In, Austin Backs an Effort to End Them

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III wishes “wish lists” would just go away.  Asked by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) whether he would favor repealing the law requiring service leaders to provide Congress with a list of unfunded priorities at a Senate Armed Services Committee hear, Austin said “I would support that.”  The unfunded priorities lists—or “wish lists” as some call them—have been an annual rite of spring in Washington for nearly three decades.

Better Goals, Data Tracking Could Help Ease Military Recruiting Strain, GAO Finds

The Department of Defense needs to collect and track more data, develop better goals and strategies, and monitor the effectiveness of its plans when it comes to recruiting and retaining service members, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released March 28. The report comes as recruiters across the military struggle to hit their recruiting goals. Earlier this month, the head of the Air Force Recruiting Service, Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, said the branch would likely come up 10 percent short of its target for the Active-Duty component this year.

Radar Sweep

‘No Indication’ Biden Will Flip SPACECOM HQ to Colorado: Kendall

Breaking Defense

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall refuted a report that the Biden White House plans to base US Space Command headquarters in Colorado, overturning the previous administration’s controversial choice to move it to Alabama. “I have no indication that the President’s going to do anything with regard to that decision,” Kendall responded to a grilling by Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., during a House defense appropriations subcommittee hearing. “Secretary [of Defense Lloyd] Austin delegated it to me, and that’s where it stays today.”

Vibrations Caused Another F-35 Engine to Fail Before Texas Mishap

Defense News

An F-35 engine failed during a pre-delivery test due to a vibration problem in March 2020, nearly three years before a similar issue caused an alarming fighter mishap in Fort Worth, Texas, Defense News has learned. The F-35 Joint Program Office and Pratt & Whitney, the Raytheon-owned maker of the F135 engines that power the F-35, said in a statement to Defense News that Pratt “immediately informed the JPO” after the 2020 vibration failure occurred.

Pentagon Chief: Biden Admin Should’ve Notified Congress ‘Earlier’ on Deadly Syria Strike

The Hill

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on March 28 conceded that the Biden administration should have notified Congress “earlier” than it did about a deadly drone attack on U.S. forces in Syria last week. The admission comes after several Senate Armed Services Committee Republicans admonished Pentagon leaders for not quickly notifying Congress of the Iran-backed attack that killed an American contractor and plans for a retaliatory strike, calling the delay “unacceptable.”

Go Deeper on Operational Imperatives

Air & Space Forces Magazine

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has defined seven Operational Imperatives for the Department of the Air Force to work on, warning that “if we don't get them right, we will have unacceptable operational risk.” From a resilient space order of battle to the development of next-generation tactical air dominance and global strike platforms, these imperatives will define the Air Force for decades to come—Dive deeper into each one with our new “Operational Imperatives” pages highlighting all the latest news and developments on these critical efforts.

KC-135 Tankers to Finally Get Fuel Saving Winglets

The War Zone

The U.S. Air Force looks set to finally add winglets to a portion of its KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling fleet. The service says putting upturned devices on the tips of the wings on the over half-century-old aircraft will improve their fuel efficiency and reduce drag, saving up to $65 million each year in operating costs as a result. Winglets are already in widespread use on commercial airliners for exactly these reasons.

The Air Force Overpaid Service Members in South Korea by $2.3 Million, But Won’t Make Them Return the Money


Nearly 8,000 Airmen stationed in South Korea will not have to pay back more than $2 million worth of overpayments issued last year, the Air Force has decided. Between March 1, 2022, and Nov. 30, 2022, 7,800 airmen stationed at 11 locations throughout South Korea received a total of $2.3 million in hardship-duty pay, which wasn't supposed to have been issued during that time period, Air Force spokeswoman Tech. Sgt. Deana Heitzman told Military.com. Typically, the service tries to claw back erroneous payments from service members, but it's letting it slide this time.

US Space Force Ramps Up Cybersecurity Spending


The head of the U.S. Space Force told lawmakers March 28 that the service is investing heavily in cybersecurity for satellite ground systems in response to increasing threats. The need for greater protection has intensified since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which saw satellite systems targeted in cyberattacks, Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, chief of space operations, said during a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee.

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Air Force Secretary Labels China’s Rapid Nuclear Expansion Most ‘Disturbing’ Threat He Has Seen

Stars and Stripes

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told lawmakers March 28 that increased efforts by China to rapidly expand its inventories of nuclear weapons worries him more than anything he has seen in his long national security career. “I don't think I've seen anything more disturbing in my career than the Chinese ongoing expansion of their nuclear force,” Kendall, a former Army officer who has spent decades in Pentagon and other national security roles, told House appropriators during a hearing on Capitol Hill.

‘It’s a Powerful Effect’: Austin Fires Back at GOP Senator’s Blockade of Military Promotions


Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin went on offense March 28 against one Republican senator’s blockade of 160 senior military promotions, cautioning that delaying the moves will harm national security. Austin delivered the warning at a Senate Armed Services hearing, where he made the case for the Pentagon’s annual defense budget. The defense chief was asked about Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s temporary hold, which is based on new policies aimed at shoring up troops’ access to abortions, and pleaded with the Republican to change course.

One More Thing

101-Year-Old Air Force Veteran Celebrates Birthday in Dallas


John “Lucky” Lackadoo is celebrating a milestone worth a big celebration. The last living original pilot of Eighth U.S. Army Air Force’s 100th Bomb Group known as the “Bloody Hundredth” in World War II has turned 101 and he did it by celebrating with many of his friends. The party was held in Dallas at Presbyterian Village North, the senior living community where Lucky lives, with about 60 people in attendance, including family, friends and residents.