offensive space capabilities

To Deter Attacks in Space, US Needs Resilience—and an ‘Offensive Threat,’ Experts Say

Space Force officials have frequently touted the young service’s need for resilience, calling for more satellites in different orbits to deter an adversary’s attack. But in the complex calculus of deterrence, the Pentagon cannot only rely on defensive measures like proliferated architectures, experts and military leaders said April 5 at the Mitchell Institute’s Spacepower Security Forum. The U.S. also needs offensive options, they said.

Biden Administration Defends Afghanistan Withdrawal Decisions in New Report

The White House issued its account of the decisions that preceded the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, as Congress is moving to investigate the Biden administration’s policy making on that crisis. The 12-page summary, which was issued April 6, blames the Trump administration for putting the U.S. in a weakened position with the Taliban. It also faults the Afghan government and its security forces for allowing the country to fall into the hands of the enemy in August 2021.
Air Force reserve recruiting

The Air Force Is Offering Enlisted Airmen a $10,000 Bonus to Join the Reserve

The Air Force is offering a $10,000 bonus for prior-service enlisted Airmen who join the Reserve and fill an open job, part of an effort to boost flagging recruiting numbers for the component. The Active-Duty Air Force’s troubles meeting its recruiting goals have been well documented, as leaders and recruiters struggle with low unemployment rates, a competitive job market, and declining eligibility and propensity to serve. But things are even harder for the Guard and Reserve, which draw a majority of their force from Airmen leaving Active-Duty.

Radar Sweep

Rep. Wittman on F-35 Engine Upgrade, KC-46 Concerns and Which USAF Plane’s ‘Time Is Done’

Breaking Defense

For years, Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va,. was known as a leading voice on naval matters in Congress. But with the 118th Congress, Wittman has left his ship committee behind and taken on the role of chairman on the House Armed Services Committee’s tactical air and land forces subcommittee. Following a subcommittee hearing on March 29, Breaking Defense sat down with Wittman to discuss his key priorities for the Air Force.

A New Cash Benefit Will Expand to More Military Families This Summer, Pentagon Says

More military families could soon be eligible to apply for a new monthly cash allowance meant to alleviate food insecurity as the Pentagon plans to expand the pool of those who qualify in July, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said late last month. The Basic Needs Allowance, or BNA, began this year and is currently only for service members who have dependents and whose gross household income fell below 130% of the federal poverty level for their family size and location. To qualify, their income must have fallen below the threshold in both the previous calendar year and annualized for the current year.

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.

Top Air Force Recruiter Predicts Maintainer, Security Forces Shortage

Air Force Times

Air Force recruiters have made gains in new enlistments over the past few months, but the service still projects it will fall thousands of Airmen short in critical units next year. “We’re currently down 900 maintainers that will not show up for shift change tonight on the flight line,” Chief Master Sgt. W. Frank Rawls, the Recruiting Service’s operations superintendent, wrote in an organization-wide email on Wednesday. “Unless we stop the bleeding, 700 defenders, who are badly needed to keep watch over our missile fields and checkpoints, won’t be there come [Sept. 30].”

Inside the Network that Connects DOD Officials with Emerging Tech They Weren’t Aware Of


It might not be as well-known as some of the Pentagon’s more high-profile teams working to enable new civil-military technology collaboration—but the National Security Innovation Network is generating connections and resources to help convert some of the most nascent concepts with big potential for the military into minimum viable products or prototypes.

Northrop Grumman Developing Military Communications Satellite for 2025 Launch


Northrop Grumman is developing a geostationary communications satellite that will compete against a Boeing design in a military procurement estimated to be worth $2.4 billion. Boeing and Northrop Grumman were selected in 2020 by the U.S. Space Force to develop Protected Tactical Satcom prototype payloads, known as PTS. Both payloads passed government design reviews and were cleared for on-orbit demonstrations planned in 2025.

Leaked Secret Pentagon Documents Lift the Lid on US Spying on Russia’s war in Ukraine

NBC News

Dozens of leaked Defense Department classified documents posted online reveal details of U.S. spying on Russia’s war machine in Ukraine and secret assessments of Ukraine’s combat power, as well as intelligence gathering on America’s allies, including South Korea and Israel. NBC News obtained more than 50 of the leaked documents, many of them labeled “Top Secret,” the highest level of classification.

Leaked Documents Suggest Ukrainian Air Defense Is in Peril if Not Reinforced

The New York Times

For more than a year, Ukrainian air defenses, reinforced by Western weaponry, have kept Russian planes at bay. But without a huge influx of munitions, Ukraine’s entire air defense network, weakened by repeated barrages from Russian drones and missiles, could fracture, according to U.S. officials and newly leaked Pentagon documents, potentially allowing President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to unleash his lethal fighter jets in ways that could change the course of the war.

PODCAST: The Air Battle for Taiwan: Lessons Learned from Ukraine’s Drone Operations

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In Episode 123 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, John Baum chats with drone experts Sam Bendett of the Center for Naval Analysis and Mitchell Institute’s own Dr. Caitlin Lee. The war in Ukraine has turned the world’s attention to the game-changing potential of networked, autonomous drone technologies. But to what extent are the lessons learned from Ukraine relevant to the Indo-Pacific theater? In this episode, Baum, Bendett, and Lee discuss the range of drone technologies and concepts that have been employed by both Russia and Ukraine and share some thoughts on how these observations should shape thinking about the capabilities, forces, and postures necessary for drones to make a difference in a U.S.-China conflict.

One More Thing

Here’s Why USAF Put B-52 and B-1B Strategic Bombers on a Giant Trestle

The Aviation Geek Club

The Kirtland Air Force Base Trestle Facility is arguably one of the largest all-wood structures in the world, an engineering marvel and a landmark of the Cold War. The reason for the Trestle and its all-wood design was to test the effects of electromagnetic pulse, generated during a nuclear explosion, on operational aircraft.