Rolls-Royce B-52 new engine test

Rolls-Royce Tests New B-52 Engines, Nacelles Before Early 2024 Critical Design Review

Rolls-Royce is in the last few months of testing its F130-200 engines before a critical design review of the powerplants, which will equip the re-engined and upgraded B-52J, a company official said. “We’re about one-third through” engine runs with F130-200 Nos. 1 and 2, F130 program manager Scott Ames said in a briefing at the company’s Indianapolis facilities where the powerplants will be assembled. The F130-200 critical design review is expected in January 2024, and Ames said Rolls-Royce sees no threat to passing the review.
Air Force ISR boss talks space

USAF Looks to Fill Intelligence Gaps from Space

As the Air Force plans to retire many of its aging intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft in the next few years, it is working with the Space Force and agencies in the Intelligence Community to cover potential gaps and build persistent coverage around the globe, the service’s top intelligence officer, Lt. Gen. Leah G. Lauderback, said May 17. 

21 AMC Jets Line Up, Take Off from Travis to Cap Two-Week Exercise

A line of 21 C-5s, C-17s, and KC-10s rolled down the runway and into the skies over Travis Air Force Base, Calif. on May 12 in a “maximum aircraft generation event.” The impressive display of airpower came on the final day of a nearly two-week exercise that saw Airmen, Marines, and Sailors practice moving people and cargo to locations in California and Nevada. Between the exercise and the large takeoff, nearly all of the aircraft at Travis were off the ground May 12, leaving the base, known as the “Gateway to the Pacific,” nearly empty.

Radar Sweep

Why Gen. Allvin Is the Frontrunner to Become Air Force Chief of Staff

Air Force Times

Gen. David Allvin, the Air Force’s No. 2 officer, is the frontrunner to become its next chief of staff, four people familiar with the deliberations told Air Force Times. Allvin, a career mobility pilot and strategist who has served as Air Force vice chief of staff since November 2020, is the service’s internal pick for chief, according to one current military officer, two retired officers, and another expert outside of the Pentagon, all of whom were granted anonymity to discuss the issue.

Lawmaker Calls for ‘Joint Autonomy Office’ in DOD’s CDAO to Coordinate Tech Adoption

Breaking Defense

A proposed joint autonomy office within the Pentagon’s Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO) could help the department coordinate and advance its adoption of autonomous technologies, according to the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. And while the creation of a new office within the CDAO, an organization stood up less than a year ago, raises the question of whether it adds onto bureaucracy within the department or just how much authority the office would have, Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA), said the office he’s envisioned in the legislation would act as a single place for how DOD resources and directs its autonomous technology efforts and policy.

US Will Use AI to Track Orbiting Objects, Space Command Says

Defense One

The U.S. military is planning to use artificial intelligence to track objects in space—including China’s. The number of orbiting objects U.S. Space Command needs to keep tabs on has almost doubled to “over 46,000” since it was re-established as a unified command in 2019, said its commander, Gen. James Dickinson. Tracking everything from defunct satellites and active satellites to rocket bodies generates a massive amount of data, Dickinson said May 16. ... His command is working to “train an AI capability to look at that, and then tell us what we really need to spend our time on.”

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.

Pentagon’s JADC2 Vision for Connected Battlefield Will Officially Incorporate Partners Going Forward


Going forward, the Pentagon’s new way of connected warfighting—referred to as JADC2—will officially take into account partner integration. While the Department of Defense historically stresses that it doesn’t fight alone without a coalition—especially as it applies to its new way of fighting—it is now referring to this effort as Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2).

Belgium Ready to Train Ukrainian Pilots to Fly F-16s

The War Zone

Belgium has become the latest country to indicate that it could train Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16 fighters that Kyiv says it so desperately needs to help turn the tide of the Russian invasion, but which have so far yet to materialize. The announcement from Belgium is tempered by the fact that Brussels says it’s unable to transfer any F-16s to Ukraine. However, following the news that the United Kingdom is about to start providing Ukraine with F-16-focused training, it seems momentum is now also building for the emergence of a coalition of nations that can provide the required instruction.

Pentagon Policy Chief Colin Kahl to Leave in Summer

Breaking Defense

Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, is reportedly set to leave the Pentagon this summer, marking the first high-profile member of President Joe Biden’s Defense Department to exit. NBC News first reported that Kahl will leave the department sometime after the early July NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. A source familiar with the situation confirmed the news and told Breaking Defense that Kahl plans to return to Stanford University, where he has technically been on leave from since joining the department. In a statement, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin praised Kahl’s “unwavering dedication and probing intellect.”

Pentagon Tests Joint Warfighting Technology during TREX Exercise

Defense News

The Pentagon’s chief technology office kicked off a weeklong experimentation campaign to demonstrate technologies that can be quickly fielded to military users. The event, dubbed Technology Experimentation 2023 or TREX, runs from May 16 to 24 at Camp Atterbury in Indiana. Hosted in partnership with the Indiana National Guard, it will support the Pentagon’s Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve, which funds promising prototypes that can meet near-term needs.

Pressure Campaign on Biden to Send F-16s to Ukraine Goes into Overdrive


The Biden administration is facing a new and amplified pressure campaign to greenlight the transfer of F-16s to Ukraine, after the U.K. announced it will train Ukrainian fighter pilots and Kyiv ramped up its calls for the warplanes. While the administration has crossed several other red lines in military aid—approving everything from guided rockets to drones to Abrams tanks they once claimed would provoke Russia—the Biden administration is holding the line for now on the Lockheed Martin-made F-16s.

Space Force Official: Lack of Communication with China Increases Risk of Mishaps in Orbit


The Defense Department has adopted a set of rules for responsible space operations amid growing concerns that rival nations are deploying weapons that could destroy U.S. satellites. One of those rules is to openly communicate about U.S. military space activities to prevent misunderstandings and miscalculations. However, China’s lack of transparency about its own space activities makes it difficult to reduce those risks, Lt. Gen. DeAnna Burt, deputy chief of the U.S. Space Force for operations, cyber, and nuclear, said May 17.

2 Air Force Leaders Speak about Breaking Barriers, Inspiring Positive Change

CBS News

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown, Jr., and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass, are both firsts in their roles. Brown is the first Black man to serve as chief of staff, while Bass is the first woman to earn chief master sergeant title. “One of the things I really believe is young people only aspire to be what they see,” Brown told CBS News this week. “You don't decide to grow up to be something you've never seen.” “It is humbling,” Bass said of being the first woman to serve as chief master sergeant. “And it's an honor to be able to serve alongside heroes and visionaries like these people.”

One More Thing

For Ink and Country: Military Tattoos Past, Present, Future

Coffee or Die Magazine

Danny O’Neel, Army veteran and co-owner of Folsom, Calif., tattoo shop Kinetic Ink, laughed when asked about the most common military tattoo request at their shop. “A flag,” he said. In reality, service members and veterans of the armed forces have as much variety in their tattoos as do civilians. But it is fairly common to see tattoos representing or commemorating their time in the service. Indeed, tattoos have been a rite of passage for service members across cultures for more than 2,000 years.