Space Force transfers

Space Force Recruiting Is Strong, but Army, Navy, USAF Woes Don’t Help

While military leaders and lawmakers have spent much of the past year or so fretting over low recruiting numbers for the Army, Navy, and Air Force, the Space Force has been an anomaly, having to turn away thousands of applicants eager to join the newest military service. But while interest in the Space Force is still strong, the recruiting woes of the other services may wind up affecting the branch all the same, Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David W. Thompson told a Congressional panel on April 19.

Radar Sweep

US Military Prepares for Possible Sudan Embassy Evacuation

The Associated Press

The Pentagon is moving additional troops and equipment to a Naval base in the tiny Gulf of Aden nation of Djibouti to prepare for the possible evacuation of U.S. Embassy personnel from Sudan. Two Biden administration officials say the deployments to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti are necessary because of the current uncertain situation in Sudan, where fighting is raging between two warring factions.

Space Systems Command ‘Reimagines’ Its Commercial Integration Office

Breaking Defense

The Space Force’s primary acquisition arm, Space Systems Command, has rebranded its efforts to interact with commercial industry, creating a higher-level umbrella group responsible for a number of different outreach and contracting units. “We’ve realized we need to reimagine our Commercial Services Office. Because that had ‘services’ in it, that really focused people only in the services realm and so, the boss, Gen. [Michael] Guetlein, has decided to reimagine that office to become the Commercial Space Office,” Brig. Gen. Jason Cothern, SSC deputy commander, said.

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.

INDOPACOM’s Aquilino Seeks More Electromagnetic Resources for Pacific

Defense News

The U.S. commander in the Indo-Pacific considers domination of the electromagnetic spectrum, which militaries rely upon for weapons guidance, communications and deception, a top priority that requires additional resources. Navy Adm. John Aquilino, who leads the China-focused Indo-Pacific Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee April 20 that “immediately behind” the pressing demand for beefed up Guam missile defense stands another need for so-called decision superiority, or the ability to find, classify, target and knock out foreign threats, among other actions.

The Pentagon Is Increasingly Relying on Billionaires’ Rockets. And It’s OK with That.

Defense One

The U.S. Space Force is not concerned about relying on mercurial billionaires to provide space capabilities, according to top service leaders. The service’s ability to put large satellites in space rests primarily on the shoulders of Elon Musk, whose SpaceX test-flew a new heavy-lift rocket for the first time on April 20, and Jeff Bezos, whose Blue Origin is slated to deliver engines to United Launch Alliance.

White House Names Pick for Key Pentagon Acquisition Post

Defense News

U.S. President Joe Biden on April 20 announced Cara Abercrombie as his pick to take over as assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, a post without a permanent leader since early 2021. Abercrombie currently serves as deputy assistant to the president and as a coordinator for defense policy and arms control on the National Security Council.

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Air Force Sees Gap Between End of KC-46 Deliveries and Newest Tanker

Inside Defense

The Air Force expects a gap period between the end of KC-46 tanker aircraft production and the delivery of the next-generation replacement and plans to close that gap by recapitalizing its current tanker fleet, a top service official told Congress yesterday. Delivery of the first [Next Generation Aerial-refueling System] increment is expected in the mid-to-late 2030s.

One More Thing

Why The First US Jet Fighter Pilot Wore a Gorilla Mask During Test Flights

The United States wasn’t the first country to develop a jet-powered fighter aircraft, but it was definitely the first in which a pilot flew wearing a gorilla mask and derby hat while holding a cigar. It seems the test pilot for what would become the Bell P-59 Airacomet had a pretty robust sense of humor.