Russian Missile Damaged MQ-9 Over Syria, US Reveals

A Russian surface-to-air missile came much closer to downing an American drone over Syria in November than previously reported, according to new details disclosed by a U.S. official. The U.S. acknowledged last month that a Russian SA-22 Pantstir surface-to-air missile system had fired at an American MQ-9 that was operating over Syria on Nov. 27. A U.S. official, however, told Air & Space Forces Magazine that the Russian missile came within 40 feet of the MQ-9. The explosion from the Russian missile’s warhead damaged the U.S. drone, which was still able to land, the official added.
Alabama Air National Guard Wing preps for transition to the F-35

With F-16s Gone and New F-35s on Their Way, Alabama Guard Wing Starts Conversion

The F-16s at Dannelly Field, Ala., are gone, save for a few receiving some final maintenance. The F-35s that will eventually fill out the 187th Fighter Wing won’t start arriving until December. But the next seven months will be anything but quiet for the Alabama Air National Guard unit, as the 187th goes all in on its transition to the fifth-generation fighter.

Radar Sweep

Who Bombed the Kremlin?

Defense One

An early May 3 drone attack on the Kremlin has Moscow accusing Ukraine of a raid on the Russian capital—but U.S. officials aren’t so sure. A video shared to social media network Telegram shows a slim gray tube gliding through the night past a Russian flag atop a Kremlin building, then exploding just overhead. A second drone is visible in other photos distributed online, matching Russian official accounts of an attack by two drones.

US Sending About $300 Million in Military Aid to Ukraine

The Associated Press

The U.S. is sending Ukraine about $300 million in additional military aid, including an enormous amount of artillery rounds, howitzers, air-to-ground rockets, and ammunition as the launch of a spring offensive against Russian forces approaches, the Pentagon said May 3. The new package includes Hydra-70 rockets, which are unguided rockets that are fired from aircraft. It also includes an undisclosed number of rockets for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, mortars, howitzer rounds, missiles, and Carl Gustaf anti-tank rifles. The weapons will all be pulled from Pentagon stocks, so they can go quickly to the front lines.

Lockheed, Raytheon to Develop Ground Systems for Nuclear-Hardened Satellite Communications


The U.S. Space Force selected Lockheed Martin and Raytheon to develop competing ground systems for a next-generation space communications network that can survive a nuclear attack. Each company won a $30 million contract to develop prototypes of a ground system for the Evolved Strategic Satcom (ESS) program, the Space Systems Command announced May 2. ESS is a classified satcom system designed to operate in the event of a nuclear war.

Senate Advances Bill to Enhance Latin America Security Cooperation

Defense News

The Senate on May 3 advanced a bill to strengthen U.S. security cooperation “with democratic partner nations” in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Foreign Relations Committee moved the Western Hemisphere Partnership Act and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Authorization Act forward in a unanimous voice vote, paving the way for consideration by the full Senate.

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.

How Space Force, NRO Are Sharing the Ground-Tracking Mission, For Now

Breaking Defense

After two years of wrangling over how to split acquisition responsibilities between the National Reconnaissance Office and the Space Force, NRO will be in charge of developing a new, classified space-based payload for tracking moving targets on the ground—albeit with some Space Force funds, and oversight by the Pentagon to ensure that warfighter needs are met as the program proceeds.

‘We’re at the End of Our Rope’: Will Space Command Move to Alabama? Senator Wants Answers.

As the indecision on a permanent home for U.S. Space Command lingers, Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville acknowledged May 3 that there is not much else the state’s congressional members can do. Redstone Arsenal has emerged through multiple assessments as the best location for Space Command, which is currently in its startup home in Colorado Springs. Yet the decision remains undetermined despite the Air Force announcement more than two years ago that Redstone was the preferred location. “We’re about at the end of our rope here,” Tuberville said.

Expansion of Commissary Grocery Deliveries on Hold, for Now

The expansion of a popular grocery delivery program to all military commissaries in the U.S. is on hold while Defense Commissary Agency officials explore how to ensure it is economically feasible for customers, delivery providers and the government. Commissary spokesman Kevin Robinson said May 2 that the cost of Click2Go delivery has risen and more research is needed to find a "sustainable and cost-effective" long-term delivery solution before the program can grow.

DOD Overhauls Overseas COLA Policy, Leading to Pay Decrease for Some Military Members

Federal News Network

Military service members stationed in most overseas locations are set to see decreases in their take-home pay starting in June because of changes in how the Defense Department calculates their cost of living adjustments (COLAs). At issue are the overseas COLAs the Pentagon uses to ensure members outside the continental U.S. get compensated fairly. The basic idea is to make sure people stationed in Hawaii or Germany have the same purchasing power for day-to-day needs as their stateside peers at the same rank.

New Software Aims to Allow Fewer Troops to Manage More Drones

Defense One

The U.S. military will be unable to fully exploit drones until it can enable fewer people to control more robots, says Anduril’s Chris Brose, who says his company has found a way to do just that. Brose said a modified version of Anduril’s Lattice software could allow numerous types of robotic weapons to autonomously operate with one another on the battlefield. Ultimately, such software could help the Pentagon use drones instead of human-operated warplanes and warships.

Watch Air Force Security Forces Train to Recapture a Nuclear Missile Silo

The War Zone

As part of a recently released Air Force video, Security Forces personnel can be seen storming a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile silo, and at several points disarming individuals role-playing the parts of armed intruders. These sorts of ‘recapture and recovery’ exercises, which are relatively routine for U.S. forces, allow security personnel to practice how a captured nuclear missile silo would be retaken if such an event came to pass.

One More Thing

Air Force Vet Helps Woman Down 9 Flights of Stairs After Shooting

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

KJ Johnson, a U.S. Air Force veteran from Alpharetta, Ga., was with his son on the ninth floor of the Northside Hospital Midtown medical center when he heard the pops. He said there were about 20 patients inside the waiting room of the medical imaging office at the time, but credits the staff with keeping everyone calm. Doors were quickly locked and the patients were brought to a back room until police arrived and everyone was allowed to leave, Johnson told reporters outside. “I had no idea that something like this would happen,” said Johnson, who served 21 years in the military.