Farewell ‘Big Sexy’: Airmen Bid Adieu to Final East Coast KC-10

Several hundred other Airmen past and present gathered with friends and family members under drizzly, overcast skies at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., on June 21 to see the last KC-10 stationed there take its last flight to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, also known as The Boneyard, in Arizona.

Kendall: Air Force Recruiting Shortfall Not a ‘Crisis’

The Air Force does not have serious long-term concerns about recruiting, Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said on June 22. "We have things that we can do to manage our way through this, so we're not in any kind of crisis," Kendall said at an event hosted by the Center for a New American Security. The Air Force is in line to miss its recruiting goal by about 10 percent this year for the Active-Duty Force, with slightly worse numbers for the Guard and Reserve. Kendall said the service has tried to offer more flexibility in a competitive job market to help fill the shortfall.
NORAD homeland defense

NORAD Boss: Future of Homeland Defense Will Look ‘Vastly Different’

The U.S. must focus on detecting and tracking potential air and missile threats to the homeland before they even launch, a top Air Force general said June 22—and doing so will require homeland defense to “look vastly differently than it does today.” U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command boss Gen. Glen D. VanHerck added that such change will go beyond just better domain awareness, an issue that gained extra scrutiny earlier this year during the Chinese surveillance balloon incident when he acknowledged that multiple balloons had slipped past NORAD undetected in recent years. 
missile warning and defense

HASC Seeks Greater Missile Warning and Defense Around the Globe

Members of the House Armed Services Committee are concerned about missile warning and defense—from the homeland to Europe and the Indo-Pacific and extending into space. Lawmakers on the panel agreed to a half dozen or so amendments pressing the Pentagon for more information and analysis on the issue as part of their markup of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, which they approved early in the morning of June 22.

Radar Sweep

Biden, Modi Announce Major Deal on Fighter Jet Engines, Drones


President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked their countries’ growing defense trade partnership June 22 by announcing a landmark deal for General Electric to build military jet engines in India with Hindustan Aeronautics, a state-owned company. “The U.S.-India defense partnership has been growing stronger through the years, but we’ve now entered really sort of a next generation defense partnership,” a senior administration official told reporters.

Key House Committee Passes Divisive $886 Billion National Security Spending Bill

Breaking Defense

Following a spirited debate over social issues, the House Appropriations Committee approved their fiscal 2024 defense spending bill, with a $886 billion national security topline. By and large, the approved draft spending bill maintains the defense subcommittee’s plans to provide the Department of Defense with $826 billion in new discretionary funds next year. It fully funds some top Pentagon priorities, such as the B-21 bomber and the Columbia-class submarine, while preventing it from pursuing multi-year munition contracts.

Kendall: Generative AI Tech Like ChatGPT Currently Has Limited Military Utility


Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall is keen on his department acquiring artificial intelligence capabilities, but he’s not so gung-ho on some of the generative AI technology that’s commercially available now. Tools that can generate content—such as text, audio, and images—based on prompts and the data they’re trained on have gone viral in recent months.

Embraer Not Talking to Ukraine About A-29, But Hopes for Other Breakthroughs in Europe

Breaking Defense

Even as it seeks to market its A-29 Super Tucano to nations across Europe, Brazilian defense giant Embraer has no ongoing discussions with Ukraine about selling the light attack plane to Kyiv, according to the CEO of Embraer’s defense arm. “They were very interested in our plane in the past, but to be honest with you, we are not in touch with them anymore,” Bosco da Costa Junior told Breaking Defense during the Paris Air Show. “I don’t have any kind of open conversation with them.”

Pratt & Whitney Angered by Lockheed’s Support for New F-35 Engine

Defense One

Pratt & Whitney is miffed over Lockheed Martin’s support for a new jet engine that one day might replace the one it makes for the F-35 stealth fighter. Tensions spilled over at the Paris Air Show this week, as Pratt executives accused a Lockheed executive of making misleading statements about the F-35’s purported need for a new engine years from now. Pratt accused Lockheed of trying to market the F-35 as a sixth-generation fighter jet.

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.

House Defense Bill Pushes US Air Force on Jet Trainer Availability

Defense News

The House’s proposed version of the fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act includes provisions that would push the Air Force to make available more pilot training aircraft—both old and new—and tap the brakes on some future fighter retirements. The bill, which the House Armed Services Committee advanced early June 22, includes an amendment from Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, that would aim to speed up the Air Force’s acquisition of the delayed T-7A Red Hawk training aircraft.

Space Force Missile-Warning Satellites Drawing Congressional Attention


Military satellite procurements for strategic defense and communications are drawing increased funding and congressional scrutiny. These are the largest satellite acquisitions planned by the U.S. Space Force over the next several years and “represent a fundamental departure from how DoD has historically carried out these critical missions,” says a new report by the Aerospace Corp. published June 22.

COMMENTARY: The Compelling Case for AUKUS Developing a Loyal Wingman Drone

The War Zone

A common uncrewed aircraft designed to be able to work closely with stealthy 5th generation, but especially older 4th generation fighters, as well as other aircraft, would offer a huge battery of benefits to the U.S., British, and Australian armed forces. Cooperative acquisition of such a drone could help speed up development, foster unparalleled interoperability during future operations, ease global fleet management strains, reduce logistical and sustainment burdens for all parties involved, accelerate ongoing upgrades and innovation, spread out costs, and above all else, achieve economies of scale that would provide strategic-level advantages. In doing so, such an endeavor would provide a massive leg up in the race for retaining air supremacy. And all of this would be perfectly in line with AUKUS' goals.

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National Guard Struggles to Attract Recruits as Private Sector Offers Tough Competition for Talent

Stars and Stripes

Leaders for the Army and Air National Guard said June 21 that they hope to get closer to their recruiting goals in 2023 than they did last year, but they are battling tough competition from private companies such as FedEx, Microsoft and Wendy’s in attracting recruits to the military. “This is the most challenging recruiting environment the Department of Defense has ever faced,” Col. Anthony Pasquale, division chief of Air National Guard recruiting and retention, told reporters during a panel discussion.

One More Thing

Warning Issued to Troops Receiving Strange Smartwatches in the Mail


If you got a free smartwatch in the mail, you'd activate it and throw it on your wrist, right? Wrong. According to a press release from the Department of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division, or CID, there seems to be a program targeting service members with free smartwatches. While the CID did not respond to a request for numbers or services affected in time for this story, the phenomenon is sufficiently widespread to merit the division issuing a military-wide alert.