A top Space Force official said the branch is planning to use artificial intelligence to expand space domain awareness, maintain space-based platforms, and provide command-and-control capabilities to the U.S military. “We need to use every possible form of data available to us, whether that’s supplied by our government systems or by our commercial partners or allied partners,” said Lt. Gen. John Shaw, deputy commander of the U.S. Space Command, at a space innovation summit hosted by the America’s Future Series. “Just understanding and awareness is one big use of artificial intelligence.”
Amid a high tempo of arms transfers to Ukraine, the stockpile of US weapons and those of allies are getting “dangerously low,” the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) said July 12. And worse, he warned, no “short term” fixes are on the horizon. Speaking on a panel with the air chiefs of the United Kingdom and Sweden during the Chief of the Air Staff’s Global Air & Space Chiefs’ Conference in London, USAFE Commander Gen. James Hecker urged fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organization members to take a hard look at the status of their weapon stockpiles.
“Valery Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, recently made another impassioned plea for F-16s, arguing that Western countries would not themselves launch a counteroffensive without air superiority. Yet, Kyiv is trying to do just that while awaiting the delivery of F-16 fighter jets, he complained. ‘A very limited number would be enough,’ Zaluzhny said, linking their arrival to the success of Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive. That claim is as bold as it is doubtful,” write U.S. Air Force Col. Maximilian Bremer and Kelly Grieco, a senior fellow at the Stimson Center.
France has begun delivering cruise missiles to Ukraine, weapons with the kind of range that the Biden administration has so far resisted sending. “Deliveries have been going on for some time, so it has been anticipated,” said Laurent Bili, France’s ambassador to the United States, said at a July 12 event hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Bili spoke one day after French President Emmanuel Macron announced more vaguely that he had approved the transfer of deep-strike munitions.
House and Senate lawmakers want more details on the potential implications of a Space Force plan to make cuts to the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared satellite program that’s designed to provide missile warning capabilities from space. Next-Generation OPIR satellites are meant to identify ballistic missiles from polar and geosynchronous orbits, more than 22,000 miles above the Earth. The Space Force planned to build and launch three GEO-based and two polar-orbiting spacecraft, but its fiscal 2024 budget would remove one geosynchronous, or GEO, satellite from the constellation.
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.
A Senate panel wants to explicitly authorize the Pentagon to use its cyber forces to combat illegal activity stemming from Mexico. A provision in the Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act would allow the secretary of defense, along with other federal agencies and in consultation with the Mexican government, to “conduct detection, monitoring, and other operations in cyberspace to counter Mexican transnational criminal organizations that are engaged” in a variety of activities that cross the southern U.S. border.
A B-52 Stratofortress bomber diverted to the home of U.S. Forces Japan in western Tokyo on July 12 due to an in-flight maintenance issue. The aircraft, assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., arrived at Yokota at 10:22 a.m., according to an 11:06 a.m. post on the base’s website. “It landed safely and without incident,” the post said.
While the manned centerpiece of the USAF's Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) ecosystem remains draped in secrecy, and the competition to build it appears to be narrowing, a few general assumptions can be made about its configuration and capabilities. One area that still remains a real question mark though is its targeted performance.
The House began debate on its Pentagon policy bill on July 12, but Republican infighting that could still kill the must-pass legislation is far from over. Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his conservative detractors are working to hammer out a deal to hold votes on several controversial amendments that will allow the National Defense Authorization Act to proceed toward a final vote in the House.
Turkey’s agreement this week to allow Sweden to become a NATO member, in apparent exchange for President Biden’s willingness to push forward Ankara’s long-stalled purchase of U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets, may not be the end of the issue. Greece—Turkey’s longtime regional rival—wants F-35s, the most advanced U.S. fighter jets, a pending purchase that has been in limbo. And though senior members of Congress appear to have softened their opposition to Turkey’s F-16 request following Ankara’s agreement to drop its objections to Sweden’s NATO accession, they have linked the two deals.
For the first time in the history of basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, a Space Force Guardian has been named as the top graduate. In a press release July 11, the service announced that Space Force Specialist 3 Dakota Desrosiers, a 26-year-old all-source intelligence analyst, was not only named as Space Force's top performer for his class but also was the top graduate for all of the trainees at boot camp, including members of the Air Force.
While cinematic history is full of movies about the military and war, films about the Air Force in particular are essential because of the important stories they tell about one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. The Air Force is one of six branches of the United States military including the Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and the Space Force. Through history, the Air Force has played a key role in many conflicts such as World War I and World War II.