The Air Force is reviving its storied “William Tell” aerial shooting competition with an eye on the Pacific, as the service renews its focus on air-to-air combat after decades of ground warfare. It’s been 19 years since the Air Force last convened the biennial air-to-air weapons meet, which began in the early days of the Cold War in 1954.
In its new role overseeing the nation’s network of missile-defense sensors, U.S. Space Command plans to make more efficient use of these assets, officials said June 7. Gordon White, Space Command’s deputy chief of global sensor management, said the recent realignment of responsibilities approved by President Biden in April is significant because it puts one command in charge of the sensors that track missiles and also threats in outer space.
About two dozen U.S. service members and a Polish aeromedical evacuation team piled into an American C-130 around dawn June 6 at Ramstein Air Base in Germany for a six-hour round trip to retrieve a handful of mock casualties from Romania. It was a long way to go for a small patient load, which included an “injured” mannequin military working dog, but the training flight signifies a paradigm shift for military medicine, participating U.S. personnel said.
Ransomware wasn’t even a thing the last time the White House updated its playbook for cooperating with industry to guard critical infrastructure, but a new, bipartisan report offers 12 recommendations for bringing the decade-old policy into the present day. “It sounds boring, because it's kind of like government bureaucracy. But it's the kind of government bureaucracy that is the backbone of security. And so we've really got to get moving out on this," Mark Montgomery, senior advisor for CSC 2.0, a project that continues the work of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission established by Congress, said.
The Netherlands has once again emerged as a likely frontrunner among the Western nations looking to get F-16 fighter jets into the hands of the Ukrainian Air Force. In the latest development regarding the future of the Dutch Viper fleet, the country’s defense ministry has confirmed that plans to sell a dozen of the jets to the contractor contractor ‘red air’ company Draken have been dramatically scaled back. The ministry also now says that one alternative use for the F-16s would be training Ukrainian pilots—an aspiration that the Netherlands has previously said it wanted to support.
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.
Ohio’s rich history of aviation innovation makes it an ideally suited location for the Air Force’s new U.S. Space Command headquarters or Space Force units, a group of the state’s congressional delegates told Democratic President Joe Biden in a letter June 7. The bipartisan group—Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Republican U.S. Rep. David Joyce, and six others—joined a coalition of the state’s business and technology leaders and the state’s governor in making a pitch for the facility, as selection of a headquarters city has been embroiled in politics.
The Space Force’s acquisition command plans to release “within a couple weeks” a draft “framework” for how commercial satellite services could be called up in times of crisis or conflict to support military missions for industry feedback—with an official “industry day” to discuss it planned for sometime next month, according to an officials involved.
Purdue University’s applied research arm has unveiled a new facility that will house the university’s hypersonic aircraft evaluation and testing efforts. The Purdue Applied Research Institute has invested $41 million in the development of the 65,000-square-foot Hypersonics and Applied Research Facility that contains the only Mach 8 quiet wind tunnel and a hypersonic pulse reflected shock/expansion tunnel, Purdue said June 6.
“After years of obstruction, Congress is finally approving the Air Force’s plan to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt. This is the right call, as the A-10 is no longer suited to America’s geostrategic needs. However, we should not simply dispose of this venerable plane; in the hands of our international partners, it can continue advancing the national interest,” writes Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Senior Defense Department leaders used an event celebrating Pride Month at the Pentagon on June 7 to sound the alarm about the rising number of state laws they say target the LGBTQ community, warning the trend is hurting the armed forces. “LGBTQ plus and other diverse communities are under attack, just because they are different. Hate for hate’s sake,” said Gil Cisneros, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for personnel and readiness, who also serves as DoD’s chief diversity and inclusion officer.
Washington-area residents were startled June 4 when a D.C. Air National Guard F-16 fighter jet went supersonic in pursuit of an unresponsive Cessna business plane, letting loose a sonic boom that echoed across Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The U.S. military routinely trains near the national capital region, practicing to intercept wayward aircraft and other threats along the East Coast. But those jets rarely break the sound barrier over land unless they face a real-world emergency, to prevent panic among unsuspecting residents on the ground and damage to the community around them.