Ukraine air defense package

Pentagon Announces New Ukraine Aid Package Focused on Air Defense

As Ukraine begins its long-awaited counteroffensive against Russia, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III is headed to Europe for a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Brussels and the Pentagon announced another batch of military aid aimed at helping Ukraine secure its skies against Russian aircraft, drones, and missile attacks.
Space National Guard

Space National Guard Gains Steam in House

The House Armed Services personnel subcommittee advanced legislation June 12 to establish a Space National Guard and to pave the way for part-time Guardians, rather than form a Space Force Reserve. Subcommittee members voted to turn the 14 units and 1,000 space-focused Airmen in the Air National Guard into a new Space National Guard. Lawmakers also offered a measure that would require the Space Force to maintain a single personnel management system, rather than creating a separate Space Force Reserve.
air force ace bases

Lawmakers Want to Know: How Will The Air Force Defend Austere ‘ACE’ Bases?

Members of Congress want to know how the Air Force plans to defend remote or forward-deployed airfields as part of its Agile Combat Employment strategy. By February 1, the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee expects a report outlining the Secretary of the Air Force’s plan to provide expeditionary, mobile air defenses to austere airfields, along with the estimated cost, timeline, and additional authorities which might be needed to develop and procure such defenses. 


A June 12 article incorrectly stated the number of fighter aircraft approved for divestment by the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee. The correct figure is 99 fighter jets.

Radar Sweep

Legislators Call for Reorganizing Pentagon’s R&D Office, Shifting Focus to Commercial Tech Integration


Lawmakers in the House Armed Services Committee are proposing to change the official job title of the Pentagon’s chief technology officer and designate new responsibilities for the position. A provision in the mark for the fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act by the Cyber, Information Technologies and Innovation subcommittee would rename the position of undersecretary of defense for research and engineering—a post currently held by Heidi Shyu—and change it to “undersecretary of defense for technology integration and innovation.”

US Helicopter Crashed Shortly After Takeoff in Syria, Injuring 22 Troops

The Pentagon says that a helicopter accident in northeastern Syria that left 22 service members injured over the weekend happened just after takeoff. Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told reporters at a briefing June 13 that the incident involved an MH-47 Chinook that had a problem with one rotor, causing a hard landing during takeoff.

The US Military Is Struggling to Account for Equipment Sent to Ukraine

Task & Purpose

The U.S. military did not properly maintain accountability for thousands of pieces of equipment transferred to the government of Ukraine as part of the former’s security assistance program in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion, according to a new government watchdog report. The assessment from the Defense Department’s inspector general published on June 12 states that military personnel responsible for rapidly transferring material to Ukraine through an aerial port in Jasionka, Poland, “did not fully implement their standard operating procedures to account for defense items and could not confirm the quantities of defense items received against the quantity of items shipped” in three of five shipments examined by defense officials.

Space Force Eager to Harness Satellite-Servicing Technologies


Servicing satellites in orbit is a nascent segment of the space economy that the U.S. military has been watching mostly from the sidelines. The Space Force says it is now ready to get in the game. It is investing in early-stage technologies and laying out a strategy to buy commercial services to refuel and service satellites in geostationary orbit by the early 2030s.

OPINION: As It Plans NGAD Fighter, Pentagon Must Learn from Past Failures

Defense News

“The U.S. Air Force has officially begun to accept proposals for the sixth-generation Next Generation Air Dominance fighter and plans to award the contract in 2024. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall ominously stated that the classified and secretive NGAD will cost ‘multiples’ of the F-35, meaning each aircraft will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. While its fifth-generation fleet offers unsurpassed capability, it is vital that the Department of Defense correct the mistakes incurred in its development,” writes Sean Kennedy, director of policy and research for Citizens Against Government Waste.

Flying QF-16 ‘Zombie Vipers’ That Were Born to Die

The War Zone

Combat Archer, the U.S. Air Force-led live missile firing exercise in Florida, has some truly unique characteristics. Flying unmanned QF-16 'Zombie Vipers' that act as realistic targets for the live missile shots is definitely one of them. Under the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group (WEG), which oversees the exercise, the remotely controlled drones are a critical element of the missions and are often blown out of the sky by squadron pilots as they put their skills to the test.

Go Deeper on Operational Imperatives

Air & Space Forces Magazine

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.

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Raytheon Delivers Palletized Laser to US Air Force Lab

Aviation Week

Raytheon has announced the delivery of the fourth 10-kW-class, high-energy laser weapon for countering uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) to the U.S. Air Force. The latest delivery of the H4, a fiber-combined laser, is the first such weapon system to be palletized so that it can be easily transported.

House Lawmakers Push Alternate F-35 Engine

Defense One

House authorizers want over half a billion dollars to fund an alternative engine for the F-35—despite Air Force officials saying the program is too expensive to ever make it into the fighter. The Air Force recently decided it will upgrade the existing Pratt & Whitney engine through a program called engine core upgrade, or ECU, and not pursue a new engine through its Adaptive Engine Transition Program, citing cost and the fact that it wouldn’t work on all variants of the F-35. However, House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., wants to keep the adaptive engine program alive. The chairman’s markup of the annual defense policy bill authorizes $588 million to continue developing the new engine.

DOD ‘Tiger Team’ Releases Raft of Reforms Aimed at Speeding Foreign Arms Sales

Breaking Defense

Following pressure from lawmakers and industry, a special Pentagon team released a slate of recommendations June 13 that seek to speed up arms transfers to allies and partners through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process, as demand for American weapons surges abroad. The dozens of reforms, compiled by a special DOD “Tiger Team” in a memo signed off by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, focus on six key “pressure points” in the FMS process, such as establishing contract award standards and metrics to monitor the pace of arms deliveries, the Pentagon said in a press release.

One More Thing

9 Father’s Day Gift Ideas and Military Discounts

The third Sunday of every June is dedicated to the celebration of dads. Father’s Day is the perfect time to let the special dads in our lives know how much they’re loved and appreciated. But what do fathers really want? Here are some ideas for the military dad in your family, along with some great deals so pampering him won’t break your bank.