USAFSAM visits Minot Air Force Base to Continue Cancer Study

Air Force Finds Elevated Levels of Toxic Chemicals at Minot

The Air Force has found residue of a harmful and possibly carcinogenic substance at intercontinental ballistic missile facilities at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., it announced Aug. 24. According to service officials, military bioenvironmental experts found elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in an underground launch support building at the base.

Outstanding Airmen of the Year: SrA. Kostiantyn Khymchenko  

The Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2023 will be formally recognized at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference from Sept. 11-13 in National Harbor, Maryland. Air & Space Forces Magazine is highlighting one each weekday from now until the conference begins. Today, we honor SrA. Kostiantyn Khymchenko (or, “KK”), an HVAC Journeyman with the 633rd Civil Engineer Squadron at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. 

Radar Sweep

Subscription Required

Norway Gives F-16 Jets to Ukraine, Joining Denmark, Netherlands


Norway will donate U.S.-made F-16 combat aircraft to Ukraine, the Norwegian prime minister announced during a visit to Kyiv on Aug. 24, joining an effort led by the Netherlands and Denmark. F-16s have been on Ukraine's wish list for a long time because of their destructive power and global availability. The fighter jet is equipped with a 20mm cannon and can carry bombs, rockets, and missiles. "We are planning to donate Norwegian F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, and will provide further details about the donation, numbers and time frame for delivery, in due course," Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said in a statement.

Top JADC2 Official Retires; No Permanent Replacement Named


The top official in charge of overseeing the Pentagon’s movement toward a new way of warfare has retired, a spokesperson confirmed to DefenseScoop. Lt. Gen. Mary O’Brien was the Joint Staff director of command, control, communications and computer (C4)/cyber and chief information officer, prior to leaving the military earlier this month. In that role, she was a key player in the Department of Defense’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) initiative, one of its top modernization priorities.

Ukraine’s Su-27s Are Launching JDAM-ER Winged Bombs Too

The War Zone

Our best look so far at a winged JDAM-ER GPS-guided glide bomb in Ukrainian service also confirms that these weapons are being carried by Su-27 Flanker fighters, as well as the MiG-29 Fulcrums on which they have previously been seen. The photo of a JDAM-ER under the wing of a Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 also provides more details of the unique new pylon construction, apparently explicitly developed to allow these jets to haul these prized weapons.

How Iranian Drones Found in Iraq, Ukraine Reflect Its Growing Ambitions

Air Force Times

Iranian-made attack drones recovered in neighboring Iraq and far-flung Ukraine are symptomatic of a regime hungry for international influence, according to U.S. intelligence officials involved in the stateside review of the weapons. Remnants of explosives-laden unmanned aerial vehicles, namely an angular Shahed-101 and more-oblong Shahed-131s, were shown to reporters Aug. 23 during a briefing at the Defense Intelligence Agency headquarters at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C.

Go Deeper on Operational Imperatives

Air & Space Forces Magazine

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.

Congressional Watchdog ‘Expects’ to Open New Investigation of SPACECOM Basing Choice

Breaking Defense

At the request of Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is likely to open yet another investigation into White House and Defense Department decision-making that led to President Joe Biden’s declaration last month that Space Command’s permanent headquarters will be in Colorado. “It still has to go through our formal review process, but yes, we expect to accept it,” Chuck Young, GAO’s managing director for public affairs, told Breaking Defense in an email regarding Rogers’ review request. “It’s too early to say how long it will last.”

Meet the Tiny State Department Offices Clearing Billions of Dollars’ Worth of Weapons for Ukraine

Defense One

As Ukraine battled to push Russia out of the suburbs of Kyiv in March of last year, State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Mira Resnick got an urgent call from a U.S. military airfield in Germany. An allied cargo plane full of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles had just landed, and the U.S. needed permission from the State's Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs to ship the weapons on to Ukraine.

Space Force to Seek Industry Ideas for Rapid Deployment of Satellites


The U.S. Space Force is kicking off a new initiative focused on the rapid deployment of satellites during conflicts or emergencies. From Aug. 30 through Sept. 28, companies can submit bids for the “Tactically Responsive Space Challenge” on the DoD Small Business Innovation Research portal. Selected proposals will receive “direct to Phase 2” Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contracts worth up to $1.7 million.

US, Europe Officials: Prigozhin’s Death Strengthens Putin, For Now


U.S. and European officials assessing the fallout from the death of mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin say it’s likely to strengthen Vladimir Putin’s short-term grip on Russia but weaken his standing over time. Outside governments are still trying to ascertain exactly what caused Prigozhin’s plane to crash in Russia on Aug. 23, two months after he led a brief mutiny and clashed with Russian forces over grievances about the Kremlin’s approach to the war in Ukraine.

One More Thing

Even Morgan Freeman Can’t Make Pentagon Briefings Exciting

Military Times

The press briefing podium at the Pentagon is the place good orators go to die. For reasons unknown, anyone who stands on this particular soapbox under fluorescent lights seemingly has their energy sapped, their sparkle dimmed. So severe is this phenomenon that even legendary actor and voice of a generation, Morgan Freeman, was overtaken by the DOD briefing curse.