Nearly eight decades after the Air Force’s founding, the schools that prepare Airmen for their military jobs are due for an overhaul. Air Education and Training Command wants to modernize its technical training enterprise for the 150,000 Airmen who take courses across more than 100 specialties each year. That requires a new look at everything from what students should be learning and how, and the environment in which they learn it, the three-star general in charge argues.
The flow of U.S. military aid so vital to Ukraine’s defense will slow—or even stop—by August unless Congress approves new funds, according to a Defense One review of Pentagon data. Since the Russian invasion of February 2022, lawmakers have approved the disbursement of $48.9 billion in military aid to Ukraine. As of May 15, $36.4 billion of that total has been delivered, contracted, or otherwise committed. At the average rate of disbursement since the invasion began, the remaining $11.3 billion will run out in about four months.
China is prepared to “resolutely smash any form of Taiwan independence,” its military said May 16, as the U.S. reportedly prepares to accelerate the sale of defensive weapons and other military assistance to the self-governing island democracy. A recent increase in exchanges between the U.S. and Taiwanese militaries is an “extremely wrong and dangerous move,” Defense Ministry spokesperson Col. Tan Kefei said in a statement and video posted online.
For three days last week, the government sought to make up for decades of neglect with a series of events on the National Mall meant as a symbolic “homecoming” for Vietnam veterans. The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, set up by President Barack Obama in 2012 and authorized by Congress, billed the belated recognition as a “Welcome Home Celebration,” although the term “celebration” can seem utterly out of place in reference to a long and divisive conflict that took the lives of more than 58,000 Americans and triggered widespread anti-war protests.
No one knows for sure exactly what a U.S. debt default will mean for military operations and veterans support programs. But there is widespread agreement that it won’t be good. Military paychecks could be delayed or stopped altogether. Veterans benefits checks would similarly be delivered erratically. Equipment purchases could be canceled. Contractors and civilian workers could face the choice of furloughs or working without any guarantee of stable pay.
Driven by advancements in technology and research, the Air Force and Space Force are adapting how they train their warfighters to complete the missions at hand. Keep up with all the latest news on changes and improvements to the services’ training enterprises.
The U.S. Air Force plans to test an AC-130J Ghostrider gunship equipped with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. Adding an AESA would give these aircraft a valuable tool for spotting, tracking, and engaging targets, especially in bad weather and at extended ranges. The radar could perform more general intelligence-gathering and provide improved situational awareness, along with other functions, as well.
Since the U.S. Air Force announced its plans to procure Boeing’s E-7A Wedgetail to replace its geriatric E-3 Sentry airborne early warning and control fleet, one question has been circling the program: How much faster can it go? “I’d like to accelerate [procuring] the E-7 if I could. We really need it,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall tells Aviation Week. “I’m motivated to go quickly—we need to get these things in the field, get them built.”
The Biden Administration will soon send Taiwan military weapons and equipment from its stockpiles but will require Congress to free up dollars to backfill that delivery, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said May 16. When Congress approved the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, it included a provision enabling the administration to send $1 billion military in aid to Taiwan via the Presidential Drawdown Authority
For the third consecutive year, bipartisan legislation will be moving through the House and Senate aiming to establish a Space National Guard as a reserve component of the U.S. Space Force. The legislative push, led by lawmakers from Colorado, California and Florida, has encountered stern opposition from the White House Office of Management and Budget which argues that a Space National Guard will introduce additional costs and unnecessary bureaucracy into the system.
The quest for speed has long topped the achievement list for aviators, and breaking the sound barrier stands as one of aviation’s most awe-inspiring feats. Going back to the pioneering exploits of Chuck Yeager, supersonic flight has shaped the course of aviation history. Most of us are familiar with the achievements of Yeager, the first pilot to officially break the sound barrier in 1947 in the Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis. But what else do you know about the fastest pilots in history? Here are seven fun facts about sound barrier-busting flights, shedding light on the challenges and triumphs above Mach 1.