tactical aviation

GAO Tells Congress: Pentagon Still Needs a Portfolio Plan for Tactical Aviation

A GAO official told the House Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon still doesn’t have a portfolio-wide plan for tactical aviation, which would help itself and Congress identify true priorities and avoid duplication of effort. He also said the agency is worried that the F-35’s engine shortcomings are being addressed without an approved business case, and it noted the joint fighter is chronically missing targets.
air force recruiting partnerships

Air Force Plans New Campaign, Social Media Partnerships to Combat Recruiting Shortfall

Amid a high-profile recruiting crisis, Air Force leaders and experts increasingly note the challenging long-term trends the service faces in convincing young Americans to join: Declining numbers of eligible candidates, lower interest and propensity to serve, and reduced exposure to military people and service. But while leaders see no “silver bullet” to solve those issues, the Air Force Recruiting Service is pressing ahead with a push to attract more women to serve.

Editorial: Why Recruiting is in Crisis

Today’s recruiting challenges are systemic to our national circumstances. The military is in a more competitive environment than ever, at a time when other societal changes are also working to the services’ disadvantage.

Radar Sweep

Space Force’s Power Players Headline Spacepower Security Forum

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Chief of Space Operations Gen. B. Chance Saltzman headlines an A-list of Space Force leaders speaking at the 2nd Annual Spacepower Security Forum April 5 in Arlington, Va. Presented by AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, the Space Power Security Forum is a one-day deep dive into space. In addition to the CSO, the packed agenda highlights Lt. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt, Deputy Chief of Space Operations for Operations, Cyber, and Nuclear; Derek Tournear, Director of the Space Development Agency; and Lisa Costa, USSF’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer (CTIO).

‘Lower the Rhetoric’ on China, Says Milley

Defense One

Everyone needs to calm down about war with China, Gen. Mark Milley said March 31. The Joint Chiefs chairman warned against the rise of “overheated” rhetoric of a looming U.S. war with China, and he said he doubts China’s chances of “conquering” Taiwan. But, he added, the United States should continue to quicken arms shipments to the self-governing nation and its own military capabilities, just in case.

SpaceX Launches 10 Satellites for US Space Development Agency


A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off April 2 at 10:29 a.m. Eastern from Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., carrying 10 military satellites, including two built by SpaceX. The mission to low Earth orbit is the first launch of a new military communications and missile tracking constellation built by the Space Development Agency (SDA), a U.S. Space Force organization created to accelerate the use of commercial space technologies in military systems.

The US Air Force Sent F-35s to Defend NATO. Here’s What It Learned

Air Force Times

America’s most advanced fighter jet is in its element over Eastern Europe. As Russia launched its offensive in Ukraine in February 2022, NATO’s eastern flank became an ideal proving ground for the F-35 Lightning II, officials with the 388th Fighter Wing told Air Force Times during a recent visit to Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Members of the active duty 388th FW and the Air Force Reserve’s 419th Fighter Wing became the first American F-35A units to arrive in support of NATO amid the opening volleys of the Russo-Ukrainian War last year.

How DARPA’s AI Forward Program Seeks ‘New Directions’ on the Path to Trustworthy AI


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently initiated a dynamic engagement effort to uncover and explore new directions for building and deploying national security-aligned artificial intelligence and machine learning applications that people can trust without hesitation. Through AI Forward, DARPA plans to collaborate with and help shape future research paths for the community of experts now working to make trustworthy intelligent technologies a near-term reality—and simultaneously help inform the agency’s own associated IT investment strategies going forward.

Ukraine Confirms JDAM Precision Bombs Are Now Being Used in Combat

The War Zone

The Ukrainian Air Force has confirmed that it’s now using the U.S.-supplied Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, air-launched precision-guided weapon against Russian forces in the country. The announcement follows confirmation from U.S. officials that the long-range JDAM-ER version of the weapon had been supplied to Ukraine, providing the ability to hit targets up to 45 miles away with considerable destructive power.

Pentagon Prepares for Space Warfare as Potential Threats from China, Russia Grow

The Wall Street Journal

The Pentagon is gearing up for a future conflict in space as China and Russia deploy missiles and lasers that can take out satellites and disrupt military and civilian communications. The U.S. military long ago dropped the notion of crewed, orbiting space weapons in favor of satellites because the logistics of supporting people outside of Earth’s atmosphere were formidable.

China Draws Lessons From Russia’s Losses in Ukraine, and Its Gains

The New York Times

Thousands of miles from the cities that Russia is bombing in Ukraine, China has been studying the war. In an indirect struggle between two superpowers on the other side of the world, Beijing sees a source of invaluable lessons on weapons, troop power, intelligence and deterrence that can help it prepare for potential wars of its own.

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.

Duckworth Introduces Bill to Build Out ‘Imperative’ Tech Skills in Military

Breaking Defense

A new bill introduced by a key lawmaker on the Senate Armed Services Committee aims to build out the Defense Department’s “human capital infrastructure” in tech and cyber operations by formalizing how the military organizes and takes advantage of service members’ technical skills, from coding to artificial intelligence.

Pentagon Critics Blame Diversity Policies and Fitness Standards for Recruiting Woes


Conservative politicians and critics of the Biden administration have released a report that offers a solution to the recruiting issues facing the military: Ditch efforts to add diversity, fight extremism, or combat climate change. “What we’re trying to do is save the military from a pernicious ideology that can have a very negative effect on warfighting capability,” Rebeccah Heinrichs, a member of the Heritage Foundation panel that wrote the newly released report, said during a public rollout at the conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., on March 30.

One More Thing

Space Force Major Says Countries Should Have Crypto-Mining Contests Instead of Going to War


A Space Force official has some bold military advice for the Pentagon: make crypto, not war. A lengthy thesis project by Jason Lowery, a Space Force major who also happens to be a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has become a best-seller since it was released as a book last month. The thesis' thesis? You guessed it: that the future of global military moves lies in crypto mining.