AFCENT Unveils a New Patch to Recognize Partners as Part of ‘Transformed’ Command

Air Forces Central has unveiled a colorful new patch to acknowledge the significant role U.S. allies and partners play in military operations in the Middle East. Lt. Gen. Alexus G. Grynkewich, the commander of AFCENT, said the move is an overdue recognition that coalition partners are an integral part of AFCENT. “We’ve got a group of people that have been working together on various missions for 30 years, and we don't actually have something that we can all say is our patch, where we're working together,” Grynkewich told Air & Space Forces Magazine.

Space Force Deactivates One Space Surveillance Satellite, Sets Plans for Two More

The Space Force declared “mission complete” for one of its space surveillance satellites and took it off operational status last month, ahead of another satellite joining the constellation next year. The Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program provides the Space Force with the ability to track and characterize objects in geosynchronous orbit. The first two satellites launched in 2014 and were accepted into service in 2015, and the second of those, GSSAP Space Vehicle 2, is no longer operational after it was transferred from Space Operations Command to Space Systems Command. 

Radar Sweep

US Gives Final Approval Allowing F-16 Training for Ukraine to Begin


The Biden administration has formally approved the transfer of F-16 training materials to Denmark, allowing Ukrainian pilots to begin training on the long-anticipated fighter jets, according to two U.S officials. At the same time, the U.S. this week provided written assurances to Denmark and the Netherlands promising to “expedite” the approval of all necessary transfer requests so that the aircraft can be sent to the battlefield as soon as the pilots are trained to use them, according to one of the U.S. officials and a State Department spokesperson.

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Ukraine Says Kyiv Won’t Receive F-16 Fighter Jets This Year

The New York Times

Ukraine will not receive F-16 fighter jets from its allies this year as hoped, a spokesman for the country’s Air Force said late Aug. 16, confirming that, as expected, the advanced planes won’t play a role in the current counteroffensive. “It is already obvious that we will not be able to protect Ukraine with F-16 fighters this autumn and winter,” Yuriy Ihnat, the spokesman, told Ukrainian television. “We had high hopes for this aircraft,” he added.

Maui Wildfire Burned ‘Within 3 Miles’ of a Defense Supercomputing Data Center


Though flames from the deadly wildfires that burned through Hawaii this month came within miles of the Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC), that facility—notably, one of only five Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Centers in the U.S.—remains fully operational with no physical damage to report, DefenseScoop confirmed on Aug. 17.

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.

Laser Weapons ‘Finally’ Seeing ‘Real Progress,’ Missile Defense Agency Official Says

Breaking Defense

With directed-energy research now coming to fruition, the Missile Defense Agency is putting “increased emphasis” on development of directed-energy weapons for shooting down adversary missiles, according to a senior MDA official. “I think part of [why] the Missile Defense Agency in the past few years kind of backed away was that technology needed still needed to mature. It needed to mature in power levels that could be delivered on target, and needed to mature and reduction of the size, weight, and power requirements to produce the directed-energy effects,” explained Laura DeSimone, MDA executive director, in an online interview with Defense News.

Airmen Need More Trust, Autonomy to Win Next Wars, Air Force Boss Says

Air Force Times

New Air Force doctrine published Aug. 14 outlines a vision of decentralized mission command that empowers units to work unilaterally in urgent situations, without waiting for multiple levels of leadership to approve their every move. It’s an invitation to think outside the box in an organization that thrives on hierarchy and process. And it’s a plea to stop the perfect from being the enemy of the good.

More Tankers, E-7s, And Better Comms: Lessons from Air Force’s Red Flag

Defense One

The latest iteration of the U.S. Air Force’s Red Flag wargame revealed some kinks to be worked out before the service can fully interoperate with the U.S. Navy in the Indo-Pacific region. The air combat exercise, which ran from July 17 to Aug. 4, started at Nellis Air Force Base and extended hundreds of miles off the California coast. It included a Navy carrier strike group—and that was useful, said Lt. Col. Andrew Stevens, deputy commander of the 414th Combat Training Squadron during Red Flag 23-3.

Pentagon Review Calls for Reforms to Reverse Spike in Sexual Misconduct at Military Academies

The Associated Press

The U.S. military academies must improve their leadership, stop toxic practices such as hazing and shift behavior training into the classrooms, according to a Pentagon study aimed at addressing an alarming spike in sexual assaults and misconduct. U.S. officials said the academies must train student leaders better to help their classmates, and upend what has been a disconnect between what the cadets and midshipmen are learning in school and the often negative and unpunished behavior they see by those mentors.

Satellite Startup True Anomaly Opens Colorado Factory

Defense News

Colorado-based startup True Anomaly, which develops satellites and software for military space customers, revealed a 35,000 square-foot manufacturing facility Aug. 17. The building, called GravityWorks, will host the production for the company’s Jackal spacecraft. With the new facility in place, True Anomaly expects to be able to produce a “mission-ready” satellite every five days.

BAE Systems to Acquire Ball Aerospace for $5.5 Billion


BAE Systems, a defense and security conglomerate based in the United Kingdom, announced Aug. 17 it intends to acquire Ball Aerospace for $5.5 billion. Ball Aerospace, based in Westminster, Colorado, is a manufacturer of spacecraft, components and other systems for military, civil, and commercial space applications. The acquisition would give BAE Systems “strong growth potential in areas aligned with the U.S. intelligence community and Department of Defense’s highest priorities,” the company said in a statement.

One More Thing

Have There Ever Been Any Fighter Jets with Three Seats?

Simple Flying

Fighter jets are known for their sleek design, agility, and formidable firepower. Typically, these aircraft are designed for single-seat operation, with the pilot solely responsible for flying and engaging in combat, although many also include two-seat configurations. However, there have been instances where fighter jets with three seats have been developed, albeit for specific purposes.