An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, crashed in an agricultural area about 11.5 miles from Osan Air Base at approximately 9:45 a.m. May 6. The pilot ejected safely and was transported to the Osan Air Base Urgent Care Center for evaluation, according to a news release from the 51st Fighter Wing, the host unit at Osan.
In Episode 127 of the Aerospace Advantage, John Baum and retired Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula chat with one of the leading national authorities on defense, Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.)—the chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces. After three decades of sole superpower status, the United States finds itself stretched thin as it struggles to deal with the rapid rise of an assertive China and an increasingly aggressive Russia, along with a nuclear weapons ambitious Iran and North Korea. This scope of concurrent security demands, ranging the full spectrum of the threat envelope, places an extremely heavy burden on the U.S. defense establishment. Decisions made by Congress are critical to addressing these factors—whether from a policy, budget, or oversight vantage.
The Defense Department is inviting seven of the closest U.S. allies—the members of the Five Eyes intelligence coalition, plus France, Germany and Japan—to participate in operations of GPS satellites by assigning their own military personnel to serve alongside the Space Force’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron, according to the squadron’s commander. “We’ll be offering this as an opportunity to those nations’ personnel,” Lt. Col. Robert Wray told reporters April 21 on a rare tour of the GPS ops floor.
The Defense Department, the world’s largest institutional greenhouse gas emitter, is trying to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, even as it seeks to lessen its dependence on China in the renewable energy supply chain. Republicans on Capitol Hill are pushing back against the Pentagon’s climate goals by invoking China’s dominance over the raw materials necessary to manufacture the electric vehicles and solar panels that the Defense Department needs to meet its emissions-reductions targets.
After designing its initial warfighting platform—strung together with disparate systems from each of the services—U.S. Cyber Command is looking to build out the next generation. The Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture (JCWA) was designed in 2019 to get a better handle on the capabilities, platforms and programs the command was designing, and set priorities for the Department of Defense as well as the industry partners that would be building them.
Pentagon officials have called attention to DoD’s need to access commercial space industry services. However, very little of the Space Force’s budget is being allocated to these types of services, a space industry and budget analyst said May 2. Commercial space services—enabled by increasingly capable small satellites and cheaper access to orbit—include imagery, space surveillance, weather data, broadband communications, and others that could be procured as an alternative to traditional acquisitions.
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.
President Joe Biden is expected to name Air Force Gen. C.Q. Brown as the nation’s next military’s next top officer—but first the Senate must sign off. If confirmed, the current Air Force chief of staff would succeed Army Gen. Mark Milley, who retires in the fall, as the president’s military adviser. A low-key fighter pilot who commanded forces in the Pacific and the Middle East, Brown found a deep well of support on Capitol Hill and was confirmed 98-0 to the Air Force’s top job in 2020, becoming the first Black officer to lead a military branch.
President Joe Biden will return as U.S. Air Force Academy commencement speaker for the 2023 graduating class, this time as president of the United States. Biden, who recently announced his reelection campaign, previously spoke at graduation during his two terms as vice president, the first in 2009 and again in 2014, where he challenged graduating Air Force Academy cadets to help create a "new world order for the 21st century."
As Wednesday morning surrendered into the afternoon, it was a normal March day for Senior Airman Gabrielle Glover. Crash! Right in front of her eyes, a vehicle collided into a motorcyclist … parts, shards, and people thrown from impact. A crowd gathered, but confusion prevailed as it often does in times of crisis. “I could see how much blood there was, people just standing there and how everyone else drove past,” recalled the all-source intelligence analyst assigned to the 354th Fighter Squadron. “I just thought to myself, ‘somebody has to do something.’”