Air Mobility Teams

New ‘Air Mobility Teams’ Can Help USAF Move Faster—If the Kinks Get Worked Out

The massive, Pacific-focused Mobility Guardian 23 exercise that wrapped up last month helped showcase a new Air Force effort to make key logistical forces more nimble—and highlighted places that effort still needs work on, the head of the Air Expeditionary Center told Air & Space Forces Magazine. Among the thousands of personnel who participated in Air Mobility Command’s signature exercise were Air Mobility Teams, Maj. Gen. John M. Klein Jr. said Aug. 4.  
SEAC fireside chat

Life Lessons from the SEAC: ‘Start Talking About the Value of Service’

Media influence and the lack of a “generational commitment” to public service are clouding the perceptions of many young Americans, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Ramon Colon-Lopez said Aug. 1. Nearing the end of a 33-year career spent as a special operator and senior enlisted leader in the Air Force, Colon-Lopez argued that service to one’s country offers intangible benefits young people would gravitate to—if they knew what they were. 

Lockheed Could Adapt F-22 Stealth Fuel Tanks for Other Aircraft Like F-35

The low-drag, stealthy fuel tanks and pylons Lockheed Martin is developing for the F-22 are potentially applicable to other aircraft like the F-35, the head of Lockheed’s Integrated Fighter Group told Air & Space Forces Magazine. Lockheed executive O.J. Sanchez and the Air Force’s director of fighters and advanced aircraft also said the Air Force’s hefty investments in F-22 capabilities over the next seven years will migrate to the Next Generation Air Dominance program and other platforms and won’t go to waste when the F-22 retires.

Operational Imperative No. 5

The general impression over the past few decades that U.S. air bases were somehow sanctuaries was a historical anomaly. The threat has grown qualitatively and quantitatively.

Radar Sweep

1/4 of DOD Cyber Jobs Are Vacant. Here's the Plan to Fill Them

Defense One

Nearly a quarter of the Pentagon’s cyber jobs are unfilled, but the department has a plan to slash that number as part of a multiyear implementation plan released Aug. 3. “Today we have about a 24 percent vacancy rate. And our plan, in the first two years…we're trying to reduce that about in half,” Mark Gorak, the principal director for resources and analysis for the Pentagon's chief information officer, told reporters.

Space Force Intel Focus: 50 Percent on China; 25 Percent on Russia

Breaking Defense

The Space Force is concentrating fully half of its intelligence-gathering activities on China to keep tabs on Beijing’s rapid evolution as a space power to reckon with, according to the service’s senior intelligence officer. “From an intelligence perspective … about half of what we do is focused on China. About 25 percent of what we do is focused on Russia, and a lot of that has to do because of the current conflict [i.e., in Ukraine],” Maj. Gen. Gregory Gagnon, Space Force deputy chief of space operations for intelligence, told the Space Force Association.

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.

OPINION: The US Needs to Modernize Its Approach to Munitions

Defense News

“In the face of rising threats to the U.S. and the constraints on military budgets, the Defense Department’s munitions enterprise requires a systemic review and development of a strategic plan. This plan would lay out production and fielding objectives for modernized and affordable weapons,” write retired Gen. Joseph Martin, former U.S. Army vice chief of staff, and retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Air-To-Air Missiles From UK Now Being Used By Ukraine As SAMs

The War Zone

A new mobile ground-based air defense system centered around AIM-132 ASRAAM (Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile) has emerged in Ukraine. It takes the AIM-132, a hugely capable weapon, and adapts it for surface launch. The ad-hoc system is another example of the wide variety of advanced weapons that have been supplied to Kyiv by the United Kingdom. It will help meet a dire demand for short-range air defenses (SHORADs) needed to tackle a resurgent Russian aerial threat on the frontlines.

Pentagon Warns of Disruptions as Army, Marines Both Lack Confirmed Leaders for First Time

The Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned that troop readiness and retention is at risk as the Army’s chief stepped down Aug. 4, leaving the military’s two ground combat forces without Senate-confirmed leaders for the first time in history. Speaking during a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Austin said the Senate’s failure to confirm the services’ new leaders is disruptive to the force and could impact relationships with allies and partners around the globe.

PODCAST: Congressional Defense Priorities, Allies Boost Modernization, China Realities, and Spacepower Perspectives

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In Episode 140 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, host John “Slick” Baum chats with retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, Todd Harmer, Anthony Lazarski, and Tim Ryan. The last few weeks have been busy, with Congress continuing to advance the defense bills and the looming potential for a government shutdown in the coming months. We’re also seeing a generational wave of modernization with our allies and partners. Our experts also assess recent threat developments as Russia continues its war in Ukraine, and as China maintains its assertive stance in the Pacific. On top of all that, we review the latest developments in spacepower.

A US Airman Was Accused of Betrayal in Syria. Then The Case Crumbled.

The Washington Post

The surveillance footage was alarming. Though grainy and inconclusive, it captured the nighttime movements of someone creeping into the ammunition storage area at a remote U.S. outpost in Syria. An hour later, twin explosions there wounded four Americans and ignited a fire that burned until daylight. A military investigation into the April 2022 incident led to the arrest of Tech. Sgt. David W. Dezwaan, an Air Force explosives expert found alone at the second blast site. Military prosecutors would later allege that he had both the skills and the access to equipment needed to stage an insider attack. The highly unusual allegation of betrayal went to court-martial earlier this year, resulting in Dezwaan’s acquittal after an eight-day trial in Utah.

The Military Is Missing Recruitment Goals. Are Thousands Being Unnecessarily Disqualified?

The War Horse

The average American doesn’t meet the basic qualifications to serve, and the pool of eligible Americans has dropped from 29 percent in 2013 to 23 percent in 2023. About 4 percent of eligible applicants would be ruled out for psychological and developmental diagnoses, such as autism, depression, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, according to the Defense Department, which works out to thousands of potential recruits a year.

After Azerbaijan, Will Pakistan Also Join Turkey’s 5th Generation Fighter Program?

Breaking Defense

Just a week after Turkey signed an agreement to add Azerbaijan to its fifth-generation fighter jet program, a senior Turkish official suggested that Pakistan, too, could join in. “Pretty soon, within this month, we will be discussing with our Pakistani counterparts to officially include Pakistan in our national fighter jet program, KAAN,” deputy defense minister Celal Sami Tufekci announced.

Blended Retirement System Is Helping Troops Prepare for Their Future

Air Force Times

When the Blended Retirement System was created more than five years ago, one of its primary goals was to help service members set themselves up financially for the future, even if they didn’t stay for 20 years and retire. That aim is being met, according to defense officials.

Lockheed Martin Opens New Factory Focused on Small Satellites


Lockheed Martin, a company that for decades has built schoolbus-sized spacecraft for the U.S. government, opened a new facility to assemble small satellites, which are now in higher demand. Lockheed Martin’s 20,000-square-foot factory is located at the company’s Waterton campus near Denver, Colo. It has six parallel assembly lines and capacity to manufacture 180 small satellites per year, Kevin Huttenhoff, Lockheed Martin’s senior manager for space data transport, told SpaceNews.

Head of Southern Command Warns of China’s Growing Technological Grip in Region


U.S. Southern Command is working deliberately via conferences, exercises and other engagements to inform international military partners in the region of China’s escalating presence and influence within their communications and technological infrastructure—and help them counter it, Gen. Laura Richardson said on Aug. 4.

Air Force Rolls Out New Mental Health Policies Under the Brandon Act

Task & Purpose

Air Force and Space Force members now have more mental health care options, including the ability to request referrals for mental health evaluations, according to a new memo from Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall. The Department of the Air Force announced the new policies that service members are eligible for through the Brandon Act this week. A memo dated July 28, 2023, obtained and shared by the unofficial Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page, outlines the department’s specific guidance. The move also applies to Space Force, which is part of the Department of the Air Force.

One More Thing

Why You Should Never Ask an Air Force PJ To Show You His Tattoo

Coffee or Die

A word of advice to anyone not thrilled by the possibility of seeing a man naked from the waist down: Never ask a United States Air Force pararescueman (aka a PJ) to show you his tattoo. If you do, there’s a chance he will drop his pants so you can see the pair of green feet inked on his posterior. To the uninitiated, the green feet might seem a bit random. You might also wonder, why are they on his ass? The confusion is justified, but rest assured, the man standing with his buttocks exposed before you is not a crazy person with a foot fetish. He’s just a PJ.