Five years after the U.S. military began to see a spike in reports of dangerous mental and physical effects experienced by troops in flight—particularly those in fighter and training jets—aviators are breathing easier. Concerted efforts to curb incidents of hypoxia and other physiological episodes across the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps cut the number of reported events from 376 in 2018 to 142 in 2022, or 62 percent in five years, Military Times has found.
Chief of Space Operations Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, in his latest missive to Guardians, argued the need for the Space Force to emphasize that the newest service’s mission includes operating in space to defend the Joint Force on the ground, at sea, and in the air from adversaries’ space-enabled attacks—rather than focusing only on protecting U.S. satellites. “While important, a narrow focus on protecting space capabilities disregards how U.S. strategic competitors are preparing to use their own space capabilities to find, target, and attack forces operating in the terrestrial domains,” Saltzman wrote in his internal June 23 “Commander’s Note.”
The ESA (European Space Agency) Euclid spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 11:12 a.m. EDT on Saturday, July 1, beginning its mission to study why the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. Astronomers use the term “dark energy” in reference to the unknown cause of this accelerated expansion.
The U.S. military is set to publish new doctrine in July, and its top officer expressed confidence that a new Joint Futures organization will be set up to help drive modernization over the long term. The Pentagon recently published its Joint Warfighting Concept 3.0. “That is now at a mature enough state, we think anyway, to be turned into doctrine,” Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, said June 30 during remarks at the National Press Club.
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.
The Pentagon’s must-pass policy bill has been signed into law each year for six decades. House Democrats are worried Kevin McCarthy is about to muck it up. The $886 billion National Defense Authorization Act could be where McCarthy makes his next concessions to conservative Republicans, letting them load up the bill with provisions that strip Biden-era personnel policies out of the military. But those provisions also run the risk of driving away Democrats whose support will be crucial to the legislation surviving a vote in a closely divided House.
The uniforms resemble costumes from the television series “Battlestar Galactica,” and the logo is right out of Star Trek. Even the name given its members, “Guardians,” seems born of science fiction. But three years after it was established as the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Space Force is very much a reality.
House appropriators don’t intend for the Pentagon to re-engine the F-35 with a new adaptive powerplant, the chairman of the House defense appropriations subcommittee (HAC-D) said. “It states pretty specifically in the appropriation bill that we’re not looking or seeking to change out the Pratt & Whitney engine,” Rep. Ken Calvert, (R-Calif.), said in a June 28 interview at the inaugural North LA Defense Forum. “Unless there’s a catastrophic failure on the part of [current engine maker] Pratt & Whitney, which I don’t foresee, I don’t see at this point that there’s going to be any change. … Pratt & Whitney will continue to have that engine.”
Israel has approved the purchase of a third squadron of F-35 stealth fighter jets in a deal worth $3 billion, the Ministry of Defense said on July 2. The additional 25 aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin will bring the number of F-35s in Israel's air force to 75, the ministry said, adding that the deal will be financed through the defense aid package Israel receives from the United States.
In Episode 135 of the Aerospace Advantage, Hill Update, Budget Caps, Space Trends, and Ukraine Perspectives: The Rendezvous, Doug Birkey chats with Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF (Ret.), Washington expert Todd Harmer, and Mitchell Senior Fellow for Space Studies Henry Heren about some of the latest national security developments. Our conversation begins by exploring recent news from Ukraine, especially the Wagner Group’s rebellion in Russia. We also discuss how the defense bills are progressing through both the Senate and House—evaluating how priorities are faring as they work through the markup process in the various committees. We specifically focus on the modernization accounts, legislation tied to Space Force equities, how the new budget caps are going to impact spending, and whether there’s any hope for a defense supplemental. We also discuss the Hill’s take on “divest to invest.” Join us for unique air and space insights on the issues you’ve seen in the headlines.
Lockheed Martin's famed Skunk Works advanced projects division has posted a cryptic planform drawing of an aircraft on Instagram. The post appears directly related to its 80th anniversary publicity push and its constant teasing that there is much they can't show us just yet. This is hardly a surprise for an institution that helped mold the deeply classified weapons development ecosystem that exists today. The aircraft in question appears to be a Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD)-like manned tactical aircraft design or at least somehow related to it.
The Department of Veterans Affairs and Stanford University's medical school are planning to launch a cancer research and treatment center at the VA's Palo Alto, Calif., hospital, the organizations announced June 30. The plan comes as the need for cancer care at the VA is expected to rise as more veterans develop cancers suspected to be linked to their service and after the PACT Act made it easier for those veterans to seek health care and benefits from the department. The PACT Act designated 23 diseases as presumed to be linked to burn pits used during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and other airborne pollutants and environmental hazards from earlier conflicts.
The U.S. Army’s air defense units are among the most overworked in the U.S. military, manning missile systems across the globe to provide around-the-clock deterrence against adversaries including North Korea, China, Iran, and Russia. As demands stack up with the war in Ukraine and amid looming concerns over a potential conflict with China, service leaders have been sounding the alarm that these critical missile defense units could be stretched too thin.
If you’re a filmmaker and you want the Pentagon’s help, from now on you’ll have to guarantee that you won’t let China censor your movie first. On June 28, the Defense Department updated its rules for working with movie studios to prohibit any assistance to directors who plan to comply or will likely comply with censorship demands from the Chinese government in order to distribute their movie there.