Editor’s Note

The Daily Report will not publish Tuesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. We will be back in your inboxes Wednesday, July 5.
joanne bass

Exclusive: CMSAF Bass Explains What Led to Her Recent ‘Standards’ Memo to Airmen

Earlier this month, the Air Force’s top enlisted leader released a memo to Airmen urging them to abide by the service’s standards: the customs and courtesies, operating instructions, technical orders, and dress and appearance regulations considered central to the Air Force’s identity. Rigorous adherence, she argued, is crucial for being the best Air Force in the world. In an exclusive interview with Air & Space Forces Magazine, Bass said there was no standard in particular that prompted her memo. Instead, the letter was intended as a reminder that wearing a uniform means committing to those standards every day.
Air Force Special Duty Pay

3,700 Airmen No Longer Rate Special Duty Assignment Pay

A year after planning but ultimately reversing cuts to its special duty assignment pay program, the Air Force is forging ahead with an even larger reduction for fiscal 2024 which will affect thousands of Airmen. In a June 23 release, the service announced that after a board review, 70 job specialties, including four new ones, will receive special duty pay in 2024—special duty pay, which ranges from $75 to $450 per Airman per month, is given to service members with extremely difficult duties that may involve an unusual degree of responsibility or military skill. On the other hand, 33 job specialties have been cut from the program. 

State Department Greenlights F-35 Sale for Czech Republic

The State Department has OK’d the sale of two dozen F-35As to the Czech Republic, along with 25 Pratt & Whitney F135 engines, aircraft spares, and assorted weapons, including AIM-120 AMRAAMs and AIM-9X Sidewinders, collectively valued at up to $5.62 billion. The Czech Republic joins nine other countries in Europe and 17 worldwide that have selected the F-35 for their combat air forces.
Korean Peninsula B-52s

B-52s Keep Up Surge in Bomber Activity over Korean Peninsula

Multiple B-52 Stratofortresses flew over the Korean Peninsula on June 30, escorted by U.S. and South Korean fighters as part of a “combined aerial training event,” both countries’ militaries announced. The nuclear-capable bombers flew alongside U.S. Air Force F-16s and F-15Es and Republic of Korea Air Force F-35As and KF-16s, according to a release from the ROK Ministry of Defense.

Radar Sweep

Physiological Issues in Flight Are Going Down, But Still Persist

Air Force Times

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.

Space Force Chief Seeks to ‘Shift Mindset’ to Defend Joint Force on the Ground

Breaking Defense

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.”

ESA’s Euclid Mission Launches to Explore ‘Dark Universe’


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.

Gen. Milley Anticipates New ‘Joint Futures’ Organization Will Come to Fruition


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.

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.

The Pentagon Policy Bill’s Next Big Stumbling Block: Kevin McCarthy


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.

Uniforms? Check. Motto? Check. Now the Space Force Needs an Identity.

The Washington Post

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.

HAC-D Chair Throws Cold Water on New F-35 Engine, Won’t Talk DOD Supplemental Until Budget Set

Breaking Defense

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 to Buy 25 More F-35 Stealth Jets in $3 Billion Deal


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.

PODCAST: Hill Update, Budget Caps, Space Trends, and Ukraine Perspectives: The Rendezvous

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

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.

Skunk Works Cryptically Teases NGAD-Like Aircraft Silhouette

The War Zone

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.

Cancer Research Getting New VA Effort as Burn Pit-Linked Cases Expected to Rise


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.

America’s Front Line of Missile Defense Is Straining Under the Demand of Global Threats


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.

One More Thing

Pentagon to Filmmakers: We Won’t Help You If You Kowtow To China


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.