Your Next CSAF: Allvin Chosen to Succeed Brown as Chief

President Joe Biden has nominated Gen. David W. Allvin to be the next Air Force Chief of Staff, according to a Senate notice posted July 25. If confirmed, Allvin, the current Vice Chief of Staff, would succeed Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., who has been nominated to become the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

F-35s Arrive in CENTCOM Amid Threats from Russia, Iran

Twelve U.S. Air Force F-35s have arrived in the Middle East to beef up U.S. Central Command’s airpower in the region and deter Iran from seizing oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, the service announced July 26. The deployment of the aircraft also comes as Russian fighters have stepped up their harassment of U.S. aircraft over Syria. 

Boeing Resumes KC-46 Deliveries, But Supply Chain Problems Persist

Boeing has resumed deliveries of KC-46 tankers after a prolonged halt due to quality problems with fuel tanks, company president and chief executive officer David Calhoun said July 26 during a second quarter earnings call. Yet company officials said supply chain problems continue to afflict Boeing programs, particularly defense-oriented ones, and full recovery will take some time.
SPACECOM nominee Lt. Gen. Stephen N. Whiting

SPACECOM Nominee Wants More Commercial Tech

U.S. Space Command should seek to work with and buy from commercial industry as much as possible, the Space Force general nominated to lead the combatant command said July 26. Lt. Gen. Stephen N. Whiting’s comments at his Senate confirmation hearing follow on recently announced plans by the Space Force intended to bolster ties with the burgeoning industry. 

Radar Sweep

Air Force Gas Stations in the Sky Are Aging, With Replacements Hamstrung and a Capacity Crunch Looming

Anchorage Daily News

Aerial refueling, the process of passing fuel from one airplane to another in the air, is a crucial part of American military strategy, a low-profile task that makes many of the flashier components possible. Everything from the high-tech fifth-generation jet fighters like the F-35 to bulky troop-transporting cargo planes depends on being able to stay aloft during refueling, particularly in the expansive Pacific theater, where the U.S. increasingly treats China as its peer adversary and the distances between runways are daunting.

Bill Would Ban Discrimination in Military 75 Years After Racial Integration

Policies barring discrimination in the military based on race, gender, and other innate characteristics would be enshrined in law under a bill introduced by a Democratic lawmaker July 26 to mark the 75th anniversary of the racial desegregation of the military. The bill from Rep. Marilyn Strickland, D-Wash., would ban the Pentagon from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Someone's eligibility for service could be based only on their ability to meet occupational standards, the bill adds.

L3Harris Expected to Close $4.7B Aerojet Rocketdyne Acquisition on July 28

Defense One

The Federal Trade Commission will not block L3Harris Technologies’ $4.7 billion acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne, allowing the deal to close as soon as July 28, L3Harris told inventors July 26. “We were advised today that the FTC will not block our acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne; therefore, we are moving forward to close the transaction on or about July 28,” L3Harris CEO Chris Kubasik wrote in a letter to inventors announcing the company’s second quarter financial results.

How High-Speed Drone Racing Could Aid Struggling Air Force Recruitment

Air Force Times

The U.S. Air Force is expanding its partnership with a professional drone-racing league that touts a tech-savvy fan base, which leaders believe will likely engage with and potentially enlist in the military. The Drone Racing League’s 2023-2024 season will for the first time feature an Air Force-endorsed pilot and flight deck, capping seven years of growing collaboration. An inaugural STEM day is also planned, during which children and young families can learn about tinkering and piloting.

Led by US, Global Spending on Military Space Jumped to $54B in 2022: Space Foundation

Breaking Defense

The Space Foundation’s latest report on the space economy, covering 51 countries and government organizations, shows that military space spending jumped in 2022 to an estimated $54 billion from some $45 billion in 2021—with the U.S. Defense Department responsible for a majority of the known expenditure. The Space Report 2023 Q2 study estimates that the Pentagon’s classified and unclassified spending in 2022 hit almost $43 billion. That sum is expected to jump to $54 billion in 2023, according to a copy of the report provided to Breaking Defense.

NASA and DARPA Select Lockheed Martin to Develop DRACO Nuclear Propulsion Demo


NASA and DARPA have selected Lockheed Martin to develop a spacecraft to demonstrate nuclear propulsion technologies in Earth orbit later this decade. The two government agencies announced July 26 that they had reached an agreement with Lockheed Martin to develop the spacecraft for the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) program. NASA and DARPA announced in January that they would collaborate on DRACO to demonstrate nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) technologies that are of interest to both agencies.

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.

Australia Starts Looking Beyond The F-35 For Next-Gen Fighter Needs

Aviation Week

Australia has started looking for options beyond the Lockheed Martin F-35A for its future fighter fleet, as interest in the next generation of air combat technology increasingly encroaches on funding available for existing aircraft. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) currently operates four fighter squadrons, with three already flying F-35As and the fourth composed of Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. The last in that list had been expected to be replaced by a fourth squadron of F-35As to be ordered and delivered by the end of the decade, but that plan is no longer guaranteed.

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The Korean War Veterans Who Never Came Home

The Washington Post

The mission came with hope and uncertainty. Kim Jong Un, the volatile leader of North Korea, had agreed to turn over the remains of U.S. troops killed decades earlier in the Korean War, and a lone Air Force C-17 was dispatched to recover them. When the giant cargo plane touched down at a coastal airstrip in Wonson, hours east of Pyongyang, Maj. Gen. Michael A. Minihan, the ranking U.S. military officer on board, directed his team to follow their North Korean counterparts inside a terminal. There, set out in neat rows, lay 55 boxes. A careful cataloguing was performed, and a formal transfer of control was made.

UK Launches Team Hypersonics in Bid to Eventually Develop ‘Hypersonic Strike Capabilities at Pace’

Breaking Defense

The U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) plans on delivering a hypersonic missile strike capability “as soon as reasonably possible” by collaborating with industry and academia under a Team Hypersonics partnership. Together, the group will “pursue advanced hypersonic strike capabilities at pace” by focusing on a three step strategy—buy, collaborate, and develop, according to tender documents published earlier this month.

Baltic Nations Bet Big on NATO’s Regional Defense Designs

Defense News

The Baltic states have presented a joint contribution to the emerging NATO air defense rotational model in the region, a recent alliance policy mean to create a beefier defensive posture in Europe’s north-eastern flank. The three nations hope that the move, an outgrowth of NATO’s plans for a regionalized defense concept, will tweak the alliance longstanding air-policing mission into a more comprehensive air-defense operation, combining ground-based systems with warplane patrols.

One More Thing

Tuskegee Airmen Celebrated During Aircraft Exchange Ceremony on Joint Base Andrews


Men who made history watched it unfold July 26 at an aircraft exchange ceremony on Joint Base Andrews in Maryland with three special guests in attendance, some of the documented original Tuskegee Airmen. The PT-17 will now go to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, as part of a Tuskegee Airmen exhibit there.