Air National Guard F-35

Air Force Picks New Guard Locations for F-35, F-15EX Fighters

The Air Force announced locations for two new F-15EX squadrons and a new F-35 unit on April 18, all within the Air National Guard. The preferred location for the new F-35A squadron is Barnes Air National Guard Base, Mass., while the F-15EXs are slated for Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, La., and Fresno Air National Guard Base, Calif. 
Air force intel leak security review

Kendall Promises ‘Full-Court Press’ Security Review After Intel Leak

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told lawmakers his department is committed to a complete review of its security practices after an Airman allegedly shared a trove of classified documents on the war in Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific and Middle East military theaters, and other sensitive subjects on an online group chat. In the meantime, the Air National Guard unit to which the accused Airman was assigned has been temporarily relieved of its intelligence mission while a second, more focused review unfolds, an Air Force spokeswoman told Air & Space Forces Magazine.
air force lockheed martin F-35 deliveries

Lockheed Will Miss Its Goal for F-35 Deliveries in 2023

Lockheed Martin won’t make its goal of 156 F-35s in 2023 due to engine delivery delays and continuing development and testing of the Tech Refresh 3 update, which underwrites the Block 4 upgrade. However the company expects a Performance-Based Logistics Contract by the end of the year, officials said.

China Shows ‘Concerning Lack of Interest’ in Talks, DOD Says

U.S. officials expressed growing concern April 18 about the lack of communication between the Chinese and American militaries in light of increasingly aggressive actions by Beijing. It has now been nearly five months since Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III last spoke to his Chinese counterpart, despite a number of high-profile incidents involving the countries’ forces.

Radar Sweep

Pentagon Taps Official to Oversee Civilian Protection in War Zones

Military Times

The Pentagon named a researcher from a nonprofit to establish and lead a center devoted to civilian protection and harm mitigation, in the wake of reports from previous years that looked at inadvertent civilian casualties resulting from U.S. strikes. Michael McNerney was tapped by the Pentagon to lead the Civilian Protection Center of Excellence. He previously served as a senior international and defense researcher at the Rand Corporation, where he published research on civilian protections, according to a Pentagon statement.

Go Deeper on Operational Imperatives

Air & Space Forces Magazine

Virtually every part of the Department of the Air Force’s drive to modernize is being shaped by Secretary Frank Kendall’s seven Operational Imperatives—lines of effort that address the most important and urgent challenges facing the Air Force today. Now, the department and industry are working together to develop solutions for each imperative, and the results will likely change the Air Force and Space Force for the next generation. Keep up with all the latest news on each Operational Imperative.

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China Readies Supersonic Spy Drone Unit, Leaked Document Says

The Washington Post

The Chinese military could soon deploy a high-altitude spy drone that travels at least three times the speed of sound, according to a leaked U.S. military assessment, a development that would dramatically strengthen China’s ability to conduct surveillance operations.

SPACECOM to Reach Full Operational Capability by End of Year, Commander Says


U.S. Space Command is on track to reach full operational capability before the end of 2023, its commander announced April 18. Having been reestablished in August 2019, SPACECOM is the Defense Department’s newest combatant command and is responsible for military operations throughout the space domain. The organization reached initial operational capability in August 2021 and immediately began working towards full operational capability.

Northrop Grumman Passes Key Review for New Transport Satellites


Northrop Grumman’s design for the Space Development Agency’s next batch of communication satellites passed a critical review in March, the company said in a statement April 18. Northrop is on contract to build 42 satellites for SDA’s Tranche 1 Transport Layer, a suite of satellites that will provide resilient data transfer and communications capabilities to users on the ground.

Allies Want Space Defenses Too, US Official Says

Defense One

U.S. allies, once satisfied with buying satcom terminals and GPS gear, are now launching their own constellations—and worrying about how to protect them, a top Air Force official said. “One thing that we're certainly seeing as a trend, especially with some of our closest allies, is that they're really interested in developing robust space industries within their countries,” Kelli Seybolt, deputy Air Force undersecretary for international affairs, said at the Space Symposium.

China’s Military Chief Vows to Bolster Ties with Russia

The Associated Press

The Chinese defense chief vowed April 18 to take military cooperation with Moscow to a new level, a statement that reflects increasingly close Russia-China ties amid the fighting in Ukraine. Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Li Shangfu held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu after attending a meeting April 16 with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.

DOD Launches New ‘Effort’ to Rapidly Adopt Commercial Space Capabilities

Breaking Defense

The Defense Department is launching a new “effort” to closely collaborate with the private sector in hopes of better harnessing commercial space capabilities for the U.S. military, the Pentagon’s top technology officer said today. “The goal of this effort is to incorporate [the] incredible innovation system of the commercial space economy and link them into our joint warfighting concepts to access and accelerate capability adoption,” Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, said at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo.

US SPACECOM Tries to Satisfy Global Military Demand for Satellite Services


U.S. Space Command, a military combatant command responsible for operations in outer space, is seeking more funding and resources from the Pentagon to defend the nation’s spacecraft and fill growing demands for satellite services, the head of the command Gen. James Dickinson said April 18. “The command is putting out demand signals,” he said in a keynote speech at the 38th Space Symposium.

One More Thing

Absences, Illnesses, and Perseverance: Here Are the Military Child of the Year Honorees

They've endured frequent moves, long separations from one—or both—parents, had their lives upended by a global pandemic and, in at least two cases, battled potentially life-threatening illnesses. Yet during a trip to Washington, D.C., last week to be honored as Operation Homefront's Military Child of the Year, seven young military dependents representing each of the military branches showed all the ebullience and moxie that Defense Department leaders dream could be bottled and sold to potential recruits.