F-22s to CENTCOM

F-22s Deploy to CENTCOM as Russian Pilots Act in ‘Increasingly Unsafe’ Manner

U.S. Central Command announced June 14 that Air Force F-22 stealth fighters have deployed to the Middle East, the latest action amid growing tensions between the U.S. and Russia in the skies over Syria—but also tied to Russia’s war in Ukraine. “The center of gravity of what Russia is doing right now is of course in Ukraine, but we see that manifesting here,” Air Forces Central commander Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich said.

Draft NDAA Would End ARRW Early, as Hypersonic Test Concerns Linger

Air Force leaders have already said they are shifting their focus away the hypersonic Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW). Now, the program may not get funding to complete a final few tests if the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee gets his way. In his markup of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act released June 12, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) completely removed $150.3 million in completion work on ARRW the Air Force had requested to “close out” and collect data from the program, which the service has said it won’t pursue into production after a series of test failures.
military quality of life

New House Armed Services Panel Will Focus on Quality of Life

Two Air Force veterans from opposite sides of the political aisle will chair a new House Armed Services Committee panel on quality of life issues affecting military families and service members. Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), a retired USAF brigadier general and RC-135 pilot, chairs the panel, while Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Penn.) a former engineer and program manager in the missile defense field, will be the ranking member.  

Air & Space Forces Magazine Recognized for ‘Journalism Excellence’

Air & Space Forces Magazine’s 10-part series in 2022 profiling the history of every living former Air Force Chief of Staff won first place for series in a trade publication in the 2023 Dateline Awards for journalism excellence presented by the Society of Professional Journalists’ Washington D.C. chapter. The Magazine also was a finalist in three other categories in a contest that received a record number of entries, according to SPJ.

Radar Sweep

Germany Adopts a More Muscular Security Plan. Critics Call It ‘Weak.’

The New York Times

Haunted by its responsibility for World War II and Nazi tyranny, Germany embraced the pursuit of peace with the fervor of a convert. But on June 14, its government took an important step toward shedding that legacy as war once again transforms the European continent. For the first time since the world war ended, the government unveiled a comprehensive national security strategy meant to confront Germany’s vulnerability to new military, economic, and geopolitical threats, including climate change.

More Could Be Done to Help Dual-Military Couples, DOD IG Reports

Air Force Times

About 88 percent of all dual-military service members have been able to co-locate with their spouse, but the services have work to do to ensure they’re balancing the needs of these families with the requirements of the mission as they make their assignment decisions, according to a report from the Department of Defense inspector general.

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Blinken to Travel to China This Week as Spy Balloon Fallout Eases

The Washington Post

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to China this week in a sign that relations between Beijing and Washington are improving after a massive feud erupted in February with the downing of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that breached U.S. airspace and loitered near sensitive military sites as it traversed much of the country.

What the Pentagon Can Learn from the Saga of the Rogue AI-Enabled Drone ‘Thought Experiment’


The Air Force’s chief of artificial intelligence test and operations inadvertently created a media frenzy when he spotlighted a breath-taking scenario where an AI-enabled drone aggressively turned on the humans it was teamed with, during an on-stage talk late last month at the Royal Aeronautical Society’s international Future Combat Air and Space Capabilities Summit in London. In the aftermath of the incident, DefenseScoop asked national security and AI experts to reflect on this overarching miscommunication, the media firestorm it ignited, and the military’s response.

New Developments in Warfighter Training

Air & Space Forces Magazine

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.

House Appropriators’ $826B Pentagon Spending Bill Sets Up Fights with Authorizers

Breaking Defense

The House Appropriations Committee published its initial draft of the Pentagon’s fiscal 2024 spending bill June 14, providing an $886 billion topline for the national security spending and $826 billion specifically for the Defense Department. Those numbers adhere to the cap figures agreed to by White House and congressional leaders late last month as part of the debt ceiling deal. The $826 billion topline for the Pentagon is $285 million more than the White House requested and about 3.6 percent more than last year’s enacted budget, according to a committee statement.

Enlisted Troops Could See 30 Percent Pay Hike Under House’s 2024 Defense Spending Bill


Junior enlisted troops could see their pay jump more than 30% next year under a proposal unveiled June 14 by House Republicans. A House panel's proposal for annual Pentagon spending would give E-6s and below significant increases in their base pay, and lawmakers want to set aside $800 million to rework the military's pay scale for those service members. On top of the rewritten pay scale, all service members would also get a 5.2 percent pay raise under the bill drafted by the House Appropriations Committee. That means the junior enlisted personnel would see even bigger pay bumps than the 30 percent increases in the pay chart.

Tuberville Rejects GOP Attempts to End Military Promotions Blockade


Sen. Tommy Tuberville is rejecting off-ramps and advice from more senior Republicans to end his hold on military promotions, even as Pentagon officials step up their warnings that the maneuver is compromising America’s security. The Alabama lawmaker’s colleagues have approached him in recent weeks to broker a compromise that would allow roughly 250 senior officer promotions to clear the Senate. The hold threatens to ensnare President Joe Biden’s pick for Joint Chiefs chair, Air Force Gen. C.Q. Brown, along with others preparing to rotate in as senior military leaders prepare to retire.

Space Force Working to Define What It Means to Be a Guardian


Amid the growing pains that come with being a new military branch, the U.S. Space Force is trying to establish its brand and build an identity. “The amount of work that we’ve done in three years is absolutely eye-watering to me, but we’re still trying to figure out how to navigate” within the large military bureaucracy, said Lt. Gen. DeAnna Burt, deputy chief of the U.S. Space Force for operations, cyber, and nuclear.

Combat Archer Is A Final Crucible For Deploying US Fighter Squadrons

The War Zone

The huge flight line at Tyndall Air Force Base is a hive of activity, with rows of fighter jets lined up under the rising Florida sun, heralding the start of the day’s Combat Archer activities. First light sees ground teams receive live AIM-9M and AIM-9X Sidewinder heat-seeking short-range missiles, as well as AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) from the resident munitions squadron, which had already built and prepped the weapons for loading onto the jets for the day’s missions.

With War Next Door, Poland Wants More from NATO

Defense One

Poland has long understood “the bargain” with Europe: if the Russians invade, Poles would likely be first in the line of fire. So post-Cold War Poland quickly signed up to receive protection from the toughest neighborhood gang: NATO. Today, as NATO nations arm neighboring Ukraine for its battle with Russia, all eyes, roads, and most weapons lead through Poland. The day after visiting Kyiv in February, President Joe Biden took to an outdoor stage in Warsaw and delivered a Kennedy-esque address. “Knowing who stands with you makes all the difference. The people of Poland know that … more than anybody,” Biden said.

Netherlands Outlines 3-Step F-16 Training Plan for Ukraine, Plus $43.4M Air Defense Package

Breaking Defense

The Netherlands will begin to train Ukrainian F-16 fighter jet pilots “as soon as possible” as part of a three-step plan backed by the US Department of Defense and has stepped up military aid to Kyiv by way of a new €40 million ($43.3 million) air defense package, set to be announced at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting in Germany on June 15. Both the training and spending plans were revealed by Kajsa Ollongren, Dutch minister of defense, in a letter to the country’s House of Representatives.

One More Thing

Britain Bids Farewell to C-130 Hercules With Spectacular Flypast

The War Zone

A farewell flypast for the Royal Air Force’s C-130 Hercules transport aircraft took place June 14 as the service’s remaining J-models approach retirement later this month. C-130s—starting with legacy C-130K models—have been in operational service with the RAF for 56 years. The retirement of the RAF’s C-130Js marks the end of the Hercules’ use by the service, with the C-130K models having been retired in 2013.