congress CR

What’s at Stake for Air Force as Senate and House Work Out Final 2024 Defense Bill

The Senate overwhelmingly passed its version of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act late July 27 in a bipartisan 86-11 vote. But the House version of the bill was passed largely on party lines, and the two chambers must resolve their differences before the annual defense policy bill can reach the President's desk. Differences that must be resolved of particular concern to the Air Force begin with airframes.

F-35 Crashed Due to Computer Glitch Caused by Turbulence: Accident Report

In just 10 seconds, a normal training mission became a nearly fatal accident when an F-35 fighter jet crashed while landing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, on Oct. 19, 2022. An investigation published July 27 found the crash was caused by a glitch in the aircraft software system which occurred after the pilot, who survived with minor injuries after ejecting from the stricken jet, flew too close into the turbulence left by the wake of the F-35 ahead of him. 

New Air Force Detachment Supports RC-135 Recon Jets in Alaska

The Air Force’s 55th Operations Group is standing up a small detachment at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska to help launch and recover jets from the RC-135 family of intelligence and reconnaissance platforms as they conduct operations and exercises over the Indo-Pacific.

Radar Sweep

US Announces $345 Million Military Aid Package for Taiwan

The Associated Press

The United States has announced $345 million in military aid for Taiwan, in what is the Biden administration’s first major package drawing on America’s own stockpiles to help Taiwan counter China. The White House said July 28 the package would include defense, education, and training for the Taiwanese. Washington will send man-portable air defense systems, or MANPADS, intelligence and surveillance capabilities, firearms, and missiles, according to two U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

Military Logjam Worsens as Senators Leave Town with No Fix to Tuberville Blockade


Senators flew home for recess July 27 with no solution in sight to Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) blockade of military promotions, leaving the Pentagon in an unprecedented predicament: By mid-August, the heads of the Army and Navy are slated to retire with no Senate-confirmed leader to replace them. They’ll join the Marine Corps, which has had a temporary commandant for the past three weeks, unable to act with the full force that comes with the stamp of approval from the upper chamber.

Aerojet Eyes Resource Sharing, Renewed Stability After L3Harris Buy

Defense News

Sharing of manufacturing facilities and other resources, pooling supply chains, new opportunities for employees’ career advancement and renewed stability after three tumultuous years are among the benefits Aerojet Rocketdyne’s division president expects from the company’s acquisition by L3Harris. In an interview with Defense News, Ross Niebergall, the newly named president of L3Harris’ Aerojet Rocketdyne segment also expressed confidence that he will have the independence to continue running the Aerojet sector as a supplier of engines and propulsion systems to other contractors, including those that might compete with L3Harris.

ULA Has Concerns About a Third Competitor in National Security Space Launch


United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno said he has “a bunch of questions” about the latest changes announced by the Space Force for the procurement of national security space launch services. Speaking on the CNBC “Manifest Space with Morgan Brennan” podcast that aired July 27, Bruno was asked to comment on the Space Force’s decision to add a third heavy-lift launch provider in the next round of contracts, known as National Security Space Launch Phase 3.

Japan Forecasts Large Boost to Defense Spending Over Next Five Years

Defense News

Japan will spend more than double on defense over the next five years compared to the previous five amid a host of security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the country’s latest defense whitepaper. The English version, released July 28, projects Japan will spend $309.75 billion on defense between fiscal 2024 and fiscal 2028, compared with $122.48 billion between fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2023.

US Hunts Chinese Malware That Could Disrupt American Military Operations

The New York Times

The Biden administration is hunting for malicious computer code it believes China has hidden deep inside the networks controlling power grids, communications systems and water supplies that feed military bases in the United States and around the world, according to American military, intelligence and national security officials. The discovery of the malware has raised fears that Chinese hackers, probably working for the People’s Liberation Army, have inserted code designed to disrupt U.S. military operations in the event of a conflict, including if Beijing moves against Taiwan in coming years.

Pentagon Investigates ‘Critical Compromise’ Of Air Force Communications Systems


The Pentagon is investigating what it has called a “critical compromise” of communications across 17 Air Force facilities by one of its engineers, according to a search warrant obtained by Forbes. The document also details evidence of a possible breach of FBI communications by the same employee, who worked at the Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee.

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Air Force Maverick Who Warned of War with China Sticks to His Guns

The Washington Post

He’s been called a “big teddy bear,” a gruff “football coach” and a “cowboy” who needs to be put out to pasture. But one thing Gen. Michael A. Minihan is not: shy. Here, where the suburbs of St. Louis meet the cornfields of southern Illinois, resides the four-star commander who, in uncommonly confrontational language for such a senior military officer, has ordered the 110,000 troops under his command to prepare for war. With China. Two years from now, maybe.

Better, But Still ‘Whack-a-Mole’: IT Industry Adapts to Supply Chain Problems, For Now

Breaking Defense

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed supply chain issues across the defense industrial base, affecting everything from missiles down to the microchips and software that direct them to their targets. And while the larger defense industry may be unevenly bouncing back, top executives from several IT defense firms, whether in public or in interviews with Breaking Defense, suggest that they have mostly recovered, or at least adapted to the new normal where shortages of key items remain. One referred to the issues now as “whack-a-mole” rather than systemic.

L3Harris: NATO Could Make E-3A Replacement Downselects Over ‘Next 6 Months’

Breaking Defense

NATO could reduce an industry field for its Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) program, meant to replace the aging E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, in the next half year, according to an official with competitor L3Harris. “In the next six months we believe there will be some discussions [between NATO and AFSC competitors] and downselects with a lot of pending politics behind it,” Tara Martin, senior director business development, ISR sector at L3Harris told Breaking Defense in a recent interview.

How the US Is Using Open-Source Intel to Track Russia's War in Ukraine

Defense One

The Pentagon’s lead military intelligence agency has been relying on public and commercially available information to keep tabs on Russia’s movements in Ukraine. The Defense Intelligence Agency recently invited a small cadre of reporters to view recovered remnants of unmanned aerial vehicles made in Iran and used by Russia in its war on Ukraine, noting that open-source intelligence has played “an outsized” and “critical” role.

Can AI Diagnose Brain Trauma? The Military Wants to Know

Defense One

A Defense Department-managed public-private partnership seeking technology to diagnose traumatic brain injuries in U.S. service members is looking for insights from industry. In a sources-sought notice issued July 24, the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium—a nonprofit biomedical technology consortium operating under an Other Transaction Authority with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command—called for new tech prototypes that can help detect, diagnose, and treat TBI cases.

The Next Frontier for Warfighters Might Be Implants in Their Brains. Is the Pentagon Ready for the Consequences?

The potential medical applications of access to the brain for treating ailments are far-ranging, but pressure to compete with America’s adversaries might tempt leaders with the next step: enhancement. The fear of being surpassed by “near-peer" competitors—Pentagon parlance for Russia and China -- is driving all kinds of technology pushes by the military, including hypersonics, artificial intelligence, and bioenhancement. Both China and Russia can move at an expedited pace when it comes to military research due to their authoritarian government structure, and both have different standards when it comes to ethical guidelines in medical testing.

Go Deeper on Operational Imperatives

Air & Space Forces Magazine

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has defined seven Operational Imperatives for the Department of the Air Force to work on, warning that “if we don't get them right, we will have unacceptable operational risk.” From a resilient space order of battle to the development of next-generation tactical air dominance and global strike platforms, these imperatives will define the Air Force for decades to come—Dive deeper into each one with our new “Operational Imperatives” pages highlighting all the latest news and developments on these critical efforts.

One More Thing

Do You Know a Struggling Student Veteran? Here’s Where to Start


Mental health among college students has been a popular topic among higher education professionals and academic researchers. For most traditional students, the transition to college life from high school can be tough. Student veterans are an especially vulnerable population on college campuses. The average ages of student veterans and traditional students leaves quite a significant gap between the two groups. This makes it harder for student veterans to make connections and friends on campus. Furthermore, student veterans often have additional responsibilities, such as spouses, children, and aging parents.