A key Air Force official said the service is developing an “architecture” to address integrated “kill chains” for its new battle network framework and is addressing operational gaps for the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS), as the service ramps up its contributions to the Pentagon’s sprawling Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) initiative. The first analysis of what that architecture would look like was delivered to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall in June, Brig. Gen. Luke Cropsey, program executive officer for command, control, communications and battle management, said during a keynote speech at the Air Force Life Cycle Industry Days conference in Dayton, Ohio, last week.
An influential U.S. commission that advises Congress and the White House is soliciting proposals from companies that can produce an unclassified report on China’s remote sensing capabilities. The request for proposals, issued Aug. 8, seeks a report that assesses China’s objectives in remote sensing technologies, the state of the country’s remote sensing technology and its competitiveness. Proposals are due Sept. 8.
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.
DOD’s Failure to Standardize Exceptional Family Member Program Leaves Gaps in Services, Watchdog Finds
The Pentagon has yet to implement all recommendations for improving its Exceptional Family Member Program across the military services, a shortcoming that could leave families with special needs at installations that lack the facilities or specialties required for medical care and support. The office responsible for developing and implementing the program's policies—the Office of Special Needs—has failed to collect detailed data, such as installation-specific information, needed for families and assignments personnel to make informed decisions, according to the Defense Department Office of the Inspector General.
In a recent brief to a Defense Department advisory committee, fitness experts for each of the military services described how they’re on track to eliminate the inaccuracies in body-fat measurement methods that have frustrated service members with nonstandard builds for decades. But this quest for accuracy has led them to distinctly different conclusions: No two services can even agree on where to measure a service member’s waist when deploying the hated, but hard-to-eliminate tape test.
Raytheon Technologies’ long-troubled ground stations that will control the Pentagon’s constellation of GPS satellites won’t be ready till next year—seven years behind schedule. The Space Force is replacing its current ground stations through a program called GPS Next Generation Operational Control Segment, or OCX. Back in 2016, when OCX was supposed to be ready, it was already being called the “most troubled program” in the Air Force. Now lawmakers are angry.
Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, competitors in the Missile Defense Agency’s billion-dollar effort to develop its Next-Generation Interceptor (NGI), both say they are striving to shave months off their planned schedules for delivering a prototype.
The Pentagon’s counter-drone office will focus on neutralizing swarms of unmanned aircraft in its next demonstration planned for June 2024, according to a slideshow displayed during an Aug. 8 presentation by the office’s director. The proliferation of drones on the battlefield is rising. For example, Ukraine is losing 10,000 per month while defending itself from Russian invaders, according to the Royal United Services Institute think tank. Flooding the battlefield with a large number of drones, especially those able to fly in a coordinated fashion, is a threat the U.S. military is still trying to address.
The “modern triad”—a combination of space, cyber and special operations capabilities—is needed to address the new paradigm of activity that is occurring below the threshold of armed conflict known as the competition space or gray zone, officials say. Unveiled last year, the Army has begun exercising and demonstrating this concept in which its components pair their unique capabilities that span across the globe to provide integrated packages for commanders.
The U.S. Air Force's premier air combat exercise, Red Flag, has been blended together with a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier's capstone Composite Unit Training Exercise, or COMPTUEX, for the first time. The latest iteration of Red Flag was centered on longer-range maritime combat scenarios that American military aviators might expect to encounter in the Pacific, with a particular eye on a potential future conflict with China.
Irrespective of the mode of travel, transporting the President of the United States is a logistical challenge. The United States Air Force (USAF) ensures that designated aircraft are available when the standing president needs to travel. Air Force One is the official callsign for any USAF aircraft carrying the US President.