B-2s Land in Iceland for First Bomber Task Force in Months

Three B-2 bombers have deployed to Keflavik, Iceland, where they will operate and participate in exercises with other USAF aircraft and air forces of allied and partner countries, the service announced. The deployment is the second of the B-2 to Iceland but the first since the B-2 fleet cleared a six-month “safety pause.”
airmen retraining

Career Airmen Can Retrain More Easily Under New Air Force Rules

The Air Force is making it easier for career enlisted Airmen to retrain into a different specialty, following similar changes it made earlier this year for first-term service members. The Noncommissioned Officer Retraining Program (NCORP), for Airmen on their second or any subsequent term of enlistment, opened Aug. 1 with Phase I, during which service members from overstaffed career fields can volunteer to retrain into undermanned specialties. 

Radar Sweep

Space on Agenda for Biden’s Trilateral Summit with S Korea, Japan

Breaking Defense

Military, civil, and commercial cooperation in space will be among the myriad agenda items during the first trilateral summit among US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Aug. 18 at Camp David, according to government sources. Driving joint operations between the two Pacific nations—each a key regional ally to the U.S.—has been a goal for many administrations over the last 40 years. But historical enmities, especially around Japan’s actions on the Korean peninsula during World War II, have often stymied the efforts to make Tokyo and Seoul close military partners in their own right.

New Developments in Warfighter Training

Air & Space Forces Magazine

Driven by advancements in technology and research, the Air Force and Space Force are adapting how they train their warfighters to complete the missions at hand. Keep up with all the latest news on changes and improvements to the services’ training enterprises.

Air Force Considers Training Changes Across All Special Ops Jobs

Air Force Times

Air Force Special Operations Command is taking a closer look at how it trains airmen to join each of its career fields, as the service’s elite corps prepares for a new era in combat. The wide-ranging review, led by AFSOC Commander Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind, will prompt changes to the initial qualification and advanced training phases that Airmen move through on their way to their first operational units, command spokesperson Lt. Col. Becky Heyse said in an Aug. 11 email.

Space Force Pitch to Private Sector: ‘Help Us with Space Protection’


The U.S. Space Force is tasked with keeping a watchful eye on foreign rivals’ activities in outer space, and avoiding surprise attacks. To accomplish these tasks the service can’t rely on existing technologies alone, and is turning to the private sector to fill critical gaps, officials said Aug. 12 during a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies podcast.

Logisticians Battle Distance, Weather, Red Tape in Giant Pacific Exercise

Defense One

Logistics moved to center stage in a giant Army exercise in Australia this summer, a nod to the Pacific region’s vast distances and rough weather. But another age-old hurdle also popped up: government regulations. “Probably our most significant obstacle was the agricultural inspections” in Australia, said Col. Daniel Duncan, assistant chief of the logistics section of I Corps, which plays a major role in Army operations in the Pacific. “They are very, very stringent.” From July 22 to Aug. 4, U.S. forces participated in the largest-ever iteration of the Australia-based Talisman Sabre exercise, with Duncan’s soldiers helping provide logistics to more than 34,000 people from 13 participating nations.

Why Will Roper Still Believes the Pentagon Should Work More Like Formula One

Breaking Defense

It’s been over two years since Will Roper left the Pentagon as the Air Force’s acquisition czar, and though senior service leaders seem to have moved away from some of his more ambitious ideas, Roper is not giving up on the digital design tools that he claims are critical for the United States to keep ahead of China. “Imagine if China makes this pivot,” Roper said of a revolution in digital design, where data-rich models can enable quick refreshes of complex weapon systems like aircraft. “Well, their designs may not be perfect between digital reality and physical, but if they have a way to iterate and tighten those gaps, then they will be exploring at an echelon far beyond us,” he warned Breaking Defense in an Aug. 4 interview.

How F-16s for Ukraine Could Harm Russia Without Taking a Single Shot

Defense News

“With F-16 fighter jets expected to be provided to Ukraine over the coming months, opinions of their usefulness spans from a gamechanger in the war with Russia to a total waste of resources. But there is one way that these aircraft will harm Russia even if they never shoot down a missile, fighter jet, or helicopter: They will cost the Russian Aerospace Forces precious aircraft life,” writes Michael Bohnert, a licensed engineer at the think tank Rand. He previously worked as an engineer at a naval nuclear laboratory.

Air Force Research Lab Opens New ‘Extreme Computing’ Facility amid International Arms Race for Quantum Tech


The information directorate for the Air and Space Forces’ premier research arm has opened a new center aimed at boosting the department’s quantum prowess, as the United States and China compete for new high-tech computing capabilities that could alter the military balance of power. A ribbon cutting for the Extreme Computing Facility located in Rome, N.Y., was held Aug. 8, according to a release issued Aug. 14 by the Air Force Research Lab.

‘Unprecedented’ Promotion Hold Leads to 3rd Service Without a Confirmed Chief


The Navy now joins the Army and the Marine Corps in being without a Senate-confirmed leader. The upcoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is also affected. While the immediate impacts of the ongoing retirements seem minor and ceremonial—empty picture frames in the halls of the Pentagon and use of words like relinquishment rather than change of command—military leaders say the lack of confirmed military leaders will be dire.

North Korea’s Kim Orders Sharp Increase in Missile Production, Days Before US-South Korea Drills

The Associated Press

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un again toured major munitions factories and ordered a drastic increase in production of missiles and other weapons, state media said Aug. 14, as the South Korean and U.S. militaries announced they will begin major drills next week to hone their joint capability against the North’s evolving nuclear threats. Kim’s push to produce more weapons also comes as U.S. officials believe Russia’s defense minister recently talked with North Korea about selling more weapons to Russia for its war with Ukraine.

One More Thing

The Close Call of the Northrop YA-9A Prototype

Flying Magazine

In the mid-1960s, the U.S. Air Force presented aircraft manufacturers with an interesting challenge—design a clean-sheet close air support (CAS) aircraft to replace the aging Douglas A-1 Skyraider. Accustomed to developing sleek fighters and bombers that ventured into supersonic speeds, this new request challenged them to instead prioritize cost, survivability, and low-speed maneuverability. It was a new set of requirements that required new thinking.