Pentagon Wants ‘Rapid Response’ Authority for New Starts Without Budget

The Department of Defense is pushing Congress to give it the authority to start new developmental programs before a budget is approved—a change the Pentagon argues would make critical new programs less vulnerable to Washington gridlock. “Time is going by, and all those things that we worked hard to understand and formulate good solutions to, we're not able to act on them yet,” Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall told reporters at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. April 19. “That’s a lot to give away to an adversary when it's totally unnecessary.”
icbm test launch

Air Force Launches First ICBM Test Since Russia ‘Suspended’ New START

Air Force Global Strike Command conducted a test launch of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile April 19, the first such test since Russian leader Vladimir Putin announced he was “suspending” his country’s participation in the New START treaty and the U.S. and Russia stopped sharing key data on their nuclear arsenals. In a release, AFGSC emphasized that the test, which launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., at 5:11 a.m. Pacific time, was planned months in advance and was not in response to current world events. 

Radar Sweep

US Air Force Eyes September for Next Phase of Re-Engining B-52 Bombers

Defense News

The U.S. Air Force expects to seek a Milestone B decision on the program to put new engines on B-52H Stratofortress bombers in September. The completion of the Milestone B review will allow the Commercial Engine Replacement Program to begin engineering and manufacturing development as well as transition away from the middle tier of acquisition rapid prototyping effort under which it now operates, service acquisition chief Andrew Hunter told lawmakers April 18.

CENTCOM Hires AI Guru from Google

Defense One

U.S. Central Command is hiring an AI advisor from Google to accelerate the adoption of emerging technologies across U.S. military services in the Middle East, Defense One has learned. Andrew Moore has served as general manager and VP for the AI division of Google Cloud, where he was responsible for products such as Vertex AI platform, Contact Center AI, Anti Money Laundering AI, Vertex AI Computer Vision suite and AI applications in logistics.

NRO Expects Prototype Moving Target Sensor on Orbit in ‘8 to 12 Months,’ Director Says

Breaking Defense

The National Reconnaissance Office expects to have one or more prototypes of a new space-based sensor for tracking moving targets on the ground in near-real time sometime within “the next few months,” according to NRO Director Chris Scolese. “We’re in in the process of actually going into manufacturing, and we’ll start launching within the next eight to 12 months,” he told reporters in the margins of the Space Foundation’s annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

Advancing the Warfighter

Air & Space Forces Magazine

The way modern Airmen and Guardians prepare for the future fight is changing, with live, virtual, and constructive training offering new ways to practice essential skills. Learn more about how virtual and augmented reality, simulated environments, and other technologies are helping train warfighters everywhere from the cockpit to the maintenance depot.

With a New Medium Rocket, Firefly Plans to Compete for National Security Launches


Firefly Aerospace says its future medium rocket it is developing with Northrop Grumman will be ready to compete in the next round of U.S. national security launch contracts. The medium-lift rocket, projected to launch in 2025, is being designed to “support the requirements of the U.S. Space Force NSSL Phase 3,” Firefly said in a statement.

Space Force, SPACECOM Pushing to Speed ‘Sustained’ Maneuverability on Orbit

Breaking Defense

Space Command is targeting 2026 for a demonstration of capabilities, such as on-orbit refueling, to allow satellites to maneuver at will over long periods of time—with a goal of getting new constellations so equipped on orbit by 2030. Speaking to reporters on the margins of the Space Foundation’s annual Space Symposium, Gen. John Shaw, SPACECOM’s second in command, stressed that SPACECOM isn’t trying to dictate a solution, rather is interested in both technologies and/or operational methods that can flesh out the new concept of “dynamic space operations.”

Pentagon’s UFO Office Now Investigating More Than 650 Cases of ‘Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena’


Despite some apparent bureaucratic holdups, the Pentagon’s nascent All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) is working to strengthen data collection and intelligence analysis capabilities, standardize government reporting requirements, and introduce new digital tools to engage the public on its complex investigation into unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) as its caseload grows.

US Sending $325 Million in More Military Aid to Ukraine

The Associated Press

The U.S. is sending Ukraine about $325 million in additional military aid, including an enormous amount of artillery rounds and ammunition as the launch of the spring offensive against Russian forces approaches, the Pentagon said April 19. The U.S. has declined to say exactly how much munitions will be sent to Ukraine, but the latest package resembles other recent deliveries, which included rockets for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, and howitzers, as well as an array of other missiles and anti-tank ammunition. It will all be pulled from Pentagon stocks, so it can go quickly to the front lines.

One More Thing

Air Force Pararescue Teams: Unsung Heroes of Special Operations

We Are The Mighty

The Air Force’s pararescue teams, or PJs, are some of the bravest and most skilled individuals in the world. These men and women perform the most challenging rescue missions, showing exceptional bravery, determination, and an unwavering commitment to saving lives, even in extreme and hazardous conditions. The role of PJs is crucial in many different scenarios, including combat search and rescue (CSAR) operations, humanitarian aid missions, and emergency medical assistance in remote and dangerous environments.