A first group of six Ukrainian pilots is not expected to complete training on the U.S.-made F-16 before next summer, senior Ukrainian government and military officials said, following a series of delays in the West’s instruction program for the sophisticated fighter jet. The timeline reflects the disconnect between Ukraine’s supporters, who envision F-16s as a key tool in the country’s long-term defense, and Kyiv, which has desperately requested that the jets reach the battle space as soon as possible, viewing them as critical for the current fight against occupying Russian forces.
The U.S. Air Force is rethinking how it would medically evacuate thousands of wounded American troops from the Pacific in a matter of weeks if the military sustained high casualties in a war with China. Such a conflict would force the military’s flying ambulances to reckon with thousands of miles of open ocean, a lack of full-service health facilities, and the logistical challenges of transporting and cooling medical supplies across the region, Airmen told Air Force Times during a recent visit to Guam.
In Episode 141 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, host John “Slick” Baum chats with Col. Eric Felt, U.S. Space Force director of architecture; Matt Fetrow of the Space Rapid Capabilities Office; Arnie Streland of Northrop Grumman; and Charles Galbreath, Mitchell Institute Senior Fellow for Space Studies. Significant investments are required for nearly every aspect of the military space architecture to field defensive and offensive counterspace capabilities. It comes down to addressing the realities of space as a warfighting domain.
The military academies of the Army, Navy, and Air Force are bracing for a drawn-out court fight over whether they can continue to use race as a factor in admissions despite a Supreme Court ruling that initially gave them a pass. In its historic June 29 decision, the high court effectively ended race-based affirmative action in public and private higher education based on a suit brought by the conservative advocacy group Students for Fair Admissions, but Chief Justice John Roberts in a footnote exempted the military academies.
Satellite images, long used by militaries to track developments on Earth, are increasingly being used to keep tabs on the proliferating objects in space. Maxar Technologies has been filling U.S. government orders for images of objects in space for “several years,” said Kumar Navulur, the company’s director of strategic business development. The subjects include not just objects in highly populated low Earth orbits but in medium Earth orbits, geostationary orbits, and even beyond.
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.
As U.S. Space Command eyes a future where satellites are designed to maneuver in space, the Space Force’s rapid acquisition team is working to ensure the service’s ground infrastructure is ready to operate those systems. Led by the Space Rapid Capabilities Office—a Space Force acquisition organization created to deliver high-need capabilities on fast timelines―the Rapid Resilient Command and Control program, or R2C2, aims to develop and integrate a modernized suite of tools to operate those more mobile satellites.
U.S. Space Force imagery specialists during a recent military exercise in South America helped locate illegal fishing boats and track other activities using commercial sensor satellites. The exercise showed how unclassified data from commercial satellites can be leveraged for maritime security and other military applications, 1st Lt. McKenna Medina, head of the Space Systems Command’s surveillance, reconnaissance and tracking team, said in a news release Aug. 10.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines on Aug. 10 released the 2023 National Intelligence Strategy (NIS), focusing on “strategic competition” with China and Russia across the economic, political, and military spheres—and calling on the Intelligence Community to up its game on everything from information warfare to supply chain control to rapid adoption of emerging technologies.
The Pentagon is developing plans to restructure the National Guard in Washington, D.C., in a move to address problems highlighted by the chaotic response to the Jan. 6 riot and safety breaches during the 2020 protests over the murder of George Floyd, The Associated Press has learned. The changes under discussion would transfer the District of Columbia’s aviation units, which came under sharp criticism during the protests when a helicopter flew dangerously low over a crowd. In exchange, the district would get more military police, which is often the city’s most significant need, as it grapples with crowd control and large public events.
Bill Croom, an AFA member for more than 60 years, was honored in Washington with a special “Enduring Leadership Award” by AFA President & CEO Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright, USAF (Ret.). A retired lieutenant colonel and combat veteran of the Vietnam War, Croom received the AFA President & CEO’s special Enduring Leadership Award at a dinner Aug. 10 attended by board members and AFA staff.
A privately owned MiG-23UB Flogger crashed Aug. 13 at the conclusion of the Thunder Over Michigan airshow in Ypsilanti, Mich. Video shows the MiG-23UB in a shallow left turn before the two crew onboard eject. The stricken MiG then careened into the ground. WDIV reports both crewmembers ejected safely and have been recovered from the water, but there is no information yet on injuries, if any, on the ground.