air force pilot retention

How USAF Is Tackling Pilot Retention: More Money, More Stability

As the Air Force battles a persistent pilot shortage made worse by aging training aircraft, the service has started approaching its current pilots earlier in their careers to offer retention incentives, hoping to convince them to stay in the military longer, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin said May 2. At the same time, the Air Force is set to launch a new program in the coming months that will offer bonuses and guaranteed assignment locations to selected pilots and rated officers. 

Radar Sweep

Biden Is Expected to Tap Air Force Chief to Be Nation’s Next Top Military Officer


President Joe Biden is expected to nominate Gen. C.Q. Brown, the Air Force’s top officer and the first Black person to lead any branch of the military, to succeed Gen. Mark Milley as the next Joint Chiefs chair, three people familiar with the discussion said May 4. Biden hasn’t given Brown the official stamp, and it’s unclear when he plans to make an announcement, said the people, a Democratic lawmaker, a congressional aide and a former Defense Department official familiar with the White House’s planning, all of whom were granted anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

‘We Can Think of Few Things as Irresponsible’: 7 Former Defense Secretaries Blast Hold on Military Promotions

Seven former defense secretaries who served in administrations from both parties are warning that a Republican senator's hold on nearly 200 military promotions hurts military families and emboldens U.S. adversaries. “There are also real-world impacts on the families of these senior officers,” the former defense secretaries wrote in a letter released by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. “Most cannot move and resettle their families; their children cannot enroll at their next schools on time; and spouses cannot start new jobs at the next duty station. We can think of few things as irresponsible and uncaring as harming the families of those who serve our nation in uniform.”

Air Force CIO Wants Service’s Platform One to Move Under JWCC

Breaking Defense

The Air Force’s chief information officer said May 4 that shifting the service’s software development platform known as Platform One into the Pentagon’s new Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) would be a “perfect” move, and is figuring out how to do it. “Actually the appetite’s pretty high and I think that would actually be a really good thing because Platform One was envisioned to be a platform that any development team could show up to and have a comprehensive and complementary set of products and services that were well orchestrated to drive mission value across whatever that mission was,” Lauren Knausenberger said.

Space Force Hopes to Recoup Costs of Commercial Launches

Defense One

Decades-old policies prevent the U.S. military from recouping the true cost of launching commercial rockets from its ranges. Now the Space Force is pushing a repeal. When a private company uses a federal launch range, the Space Force (or NASA) is only allowed to charge the company for the commodity provided—electricity, propellants, or other services—which means the government must eat the other costs. The arrangement was inked in the 1990s, when national-security launches outnumbered commercial launches. But now that the U.S. has a robust commercial launch industry, the service wants to change the way it does business.

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.

Marine XQ-58 Valkyries Will Be Electronic Warfare Platforms For F-35s

The War Zone

Kratos has provided an update on its stealthy XQ-58A Valkyrie drone, including a new unit cost for its flagship tactical product and details of expanding U.S. Marine Corps activities involving the drone, which seem to be centered upon electronic warfare. The company has also disclosed the existence of a new and previously secret drone project, known as Dark Fury, as well as another mysterious new, unnamed drone that is already undergoing flight testing.

CDAO Initiates Review of Pentagon’s Enterprise Data Strategy


The Defense Department’s enterprise-wide Data Strategy that defines its overarching vision for managing its sprawling and sensitive information assets might soon be revamped by the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office, DefenseScoop has learned. “CDAO is reviewing the existing strategy; and like most strategies, they do need to be updated from time to time,” the office’s spokesperson Kathleen Clark said.

Lockheed Martin Announces Reorganization of Its Space Business


Lockheed Martin announced May 4 it is consolidating several businesses focused on space into three sectors: Commercial civil space, national security space, and strategic and missile defense. “With an eye toward the future and building on our current business momentum, these changes position us to deliver end-to-end solutions for today’s mission demands and well into the future,” said Robert Lightfoot, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space.

One More Thing

Operation Deep Freeze: America’s Mission to Antarctica

Coffee or Die

Come spring, Northeasterners start planning beach days at the Jersey Shore, but that isn’t true for some of New York’s Guardsmen. Every April, parka-clad airmen load into ski-equipped cargo planes bound for a colder coast. Like a flock of metallic geese, the LC-130 “Skibirds” fly their passengers north to summer in the Arctic Circle. It is in the high north that air crews from the 109th Airlift Wing prepare for Operation Deep Freeze: America’s annual mission to the other pole.