Air Force PCS moves

Congress Clears Way to Restart Bonuses and PCS Moves. What will USAF Do Now?

Congress has approved the Pentagon’s request to reprogram personnel funds, Air & Space Forces Magazine confirmed July 19—but it remains to be seen whether that will be enough for the Air Force to reverse its decision to stop awarding new bonuses and delay some permanent change-of-station orders. 

Mobility Guardian Ditches ‘Easy Button’ to Put Airmen to the Test in the Pacific

U.S. and allied air forces are wrapping up one of their largest mobility exercises in history: Mobility Guardian 23. The drill is designed to take on the challenges of operating in the vast Pacific region, now the primary focus of America’s military strategy. “The joint force cannot fight if they're not in place to fight,” Maj. Gen. Darren R. Cole, Air Mobility Command’s director of operations, told Air & Space Forces Magazine in a recent interview. “That’s not as easy as it may sound.”

PHOTOS: Six Countries Contribute to Impressive Elephant Walk on Guam

Six different countries participated in a “elephant walk” at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam on July 19, showcasing the vast array of aircraft currently in the Indo-Pacific. The air forces of the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan, and France all contributed to the 23-plane formation, which included fighter, bomber, transport, and refueling aircraft. 

Radar Sweep

Allies’ ‘Main Effort’ for Ukraine Shifting from Donating Weapons to Fixing Them


The West’s focus on building Ukraine’s war machine has shifted significantly to repairing and sustaining those weapons, a recognition that the war will grind on for months and years to come, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official said. Even before Ukraine launched its counteroffensive this summer, allies were becoming increasingly worried that efforts to keep donated equipment up and running were falling behind battlefield needs.

Menendez Maintains Hold on Turkey F-16 Jets Despite Sweden NATO Deal

Defense News

A key senator is refusing to lift his longstanding hold on the sale of 40 Block 70 F-16 fighter jets to Turkey despite the Biden administration’s announcement last week that it wants to move forward with the deal. The $20 billion potential sale also includes 80 modernization kits. National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the sale would proceed last week after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced at the NATO summit in Lithuania that Turkey would ratify Sweden’s NATO accession bid. But Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., told Defense News on July 18 that he continues to use his position as Foreign Relations Committee chairman to block the sale.

Air Force’s Kendall Says Service Members Held ‘Hostage’ by Tuberville Confirmation Blockade

Breaking Defense

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall recently served up a blunt rebuke of Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s hold on military promotion nominations, saying American service members have been taken “hostage” amid a policy dispute. “That is using—holding hostage, if you will, our military people for a political policy objective that’s not being attained by other means,” Kendall said during the Potomac Officers Club 2023 Air Force Summit on July 18, though he did not mention Tuberville by name. “That’s not the right thing to do.”

Space Force Changed Launch Procurement Plan Due to Concerns About Capacity


The U.S. Space Force last week announced plans to increase the number of providers in the national security launch program. Officials said July 19 the decision was driven by a projected growth in demand for satellite launches and concerns about a shortage of heavy-lift rockets later this decade. “The manifest is growing. So in Phase 3 we’re refining our strategy,” said Col. Douglas Pentecost, deputy program executive officer of assured access to space at the Space Systems Command.

Inside the Air Force’s Anechoic Chamber

Defense One

A cavernous facility in the Mojave desert free of sound and radio waves has tested some of the Air Force’s most advanced aircraft for more than two decades—and now is heading off mission-ending problems with next-gen satellites. Edwards Air Force Base is home to the largest anechoic test facility in the world, which provides a virtual open-air range for the Pentagon’s platforms to test radio frequency systems.

Dearth of Jamming Gear Follows Years of ‘Autopilot,’ Says Rep. Bacon

Defense News

The U.S. military is failing to speedily develop and deploy electronic warfare equipment amid a global competition for electromagnetic spectrum supremacy, according to a congressman who served in the Air Force for more than two decades. After years of putting electronic warfare on “autopilot,” troops’ ability to now jam and spoof and spy from afar has “withered,” said Rep. Don Bacon, a Nebraska Republican and former director of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance strategy, plans, doctrine and force development.

Advancing the Warfighter

Air & Space Forces Magazine

The way modern Airmen and Guardians prepare for the future fight is changing, with live, virtual, and constructive training offering new ways to practice essential skills. Learn more about how virtual and augmented reality, simulated environments, and other technologies are helping train warfighters everywhere from the cockpit to the maintenance depot.

China, Russia Creating a ‘Dangerous World’ with Friendlier Military Relationship, Pacific Commander Says

Defense One

The growing relationship and collaboration between China and Russia’s militaries worries the U.S. military’s top officer in the Pacific. “Today, a Russian and Chinese maritime task force is doing a combined patrol. We'll see where that ends up, whether it's off the Aleutian Islands, whether it's in the Philippine Sea … or whether it goes off the west coast of the United States. So, their exercises have increased, their operations have increased,” Adm. John Aquilino, the commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said July 18 at an Aspen Security Forum panel. “I only see the cooperation getting stronger, and, boy, that's concerning. That's a dangerous world.”

Northern Edge Exercise Becomes Test Field for Prototypes from DOD’s Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve


Prototypes associated with the Pentagon’s Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve (RDER) are deploying as part of the Northern Edge joint training exercise series that unfolds biannually, Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu said on July 19. Via RDER, the Defense Department is funding various technology prototypes—that notably fill capability gaps identified by combatant commanders, the Joint Staff and the services—at an accelerated pace.

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US Scrambles to Determine Fate of Soldier Travis King, Who Fled to North Korea


U.S. officials scrambled on July 19 to determine the fate of an American soldier who made an unauthorized crossing into North Korea, handing Washington a new crisis in its dealings with the nuclear-armed state. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told a regular briefing the Pentagon had "reached out" to counterparts in North Korea's Korean People's Army about the soldier, Private Travis King, but added: "My understanding is that those communications have not yet been answered."

Tracking US Military Aircraft Online Could Become Much Harder

The War Zone

Members of the U.S. Senate are pressing the Department of Defense to adopt more uniform policies to limit the ability of third parties, including the general public, to track U.S. military flights via their Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast transponders. Senators have expressed particular concern about the current ease with which aircraft carrying senior officials can be monitored. If these measures become systemically implemented, it could severely limit the ability for the public to track aerial movements of U.S. military aircraft.

One More Thing

B.F. Skinner and the Unflappable Pigeon Pilots of WWII

Coffee or Die

Before radar-guided missiles, there were pigeon-guided missiles. Almost. During World War II, the United States War Department amassed a vast arsenal of bombs and rockets. The more firepower, the better, as they say, but the U.S. military still had to figure out how to use it effectively. You see, in those days, munitions didn’t come equipped with guidance systems, which meant they couldn’t lock onto targets and were thus unreliable for conducting precision strikes.