DAF Personnel Chief on Why Diversity Should ‘Scare the Hell Out of Our Adversaries’

From making it easier for pregnant women to continue flying to updating its pilot candidate scoring mechanism, the Department of the Air Force has made changes big and small in the last few years with an eye toward diversity and inclusion, part of a broader push by the Pentagon to make the U.S. military more diverse. “We have to be, in order to succeed, a mirror of the country that that we claim to and do defend,” Alex Wagner, assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower and reserve affairs, told Air & Space Forces Magazine.
Lockheed Martin’s SDA Tranche 0 Transport Layer satellites are seen in one of its processing facilities.

After Successful Launch, Lockheed Looks to Go Even Faster on Future SDA Satellites

The Space Development Agency successfully launched 13 small satellites into orbit Sept. 2, more than doubling the size of “Tranche 0” of its planned constellation in low-Earth orbit. And while it only took three years from contract award to launch for this latest batch—breakneck speed by Pentagon standards—SDA and industry are already considering ways to get faster as they work on both Tranche 1 and Tranche 2, said an official at Lockheed Martin, which built 10 of the satellites on this launch. 

Outstanding Airmen of the Year: Tech. Sgt. Theodore Sebsibe

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, Md. Air & Space Forces Magazine is highlighting one each weekday from now until the conference begins. Today, we honor Tech. Sgt. Theodore Sebsibe, the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of the Electrical Systems with the 316th Civil Engineer Squadron at Joint Base Andrews, Md. 

Radar Sweep

Pentagon Extends Deployment of 400 Troops Along US-Mexico Border

Task & Purpose

Roughly 400 active-duty troops will remain on the US-Mexico border until Sept. 30, nearly two months past their original orders, after a Pentagon extension of their deployment. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved extending the troops, a mix of Army soldiers and Marines, to continue assisting U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, with border enforcement operations, Air Force Lt. Col. Devin Robinson, a Pentagon spokesman, told Task & Purpose on Sept. 5.

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DOD Launches Domestic Cruise Missile Defense Program to Protect US Cities, ‘Critical’ Sites

Inside Defense

The United States—which since the advent of flight more than a century ago has relied on two vast oceans as a buffer against adversaries attacking U.S. citizens and soil with low-flying aircraft and missiles—this summer began designing a next-generation domestic air defense system to protect cities and critical infrastructure from Russian and Chinese cruise missiles.

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.

ANALYSIS: China Is Honing Runway-Repair Teams

Defense One

The U.S. Air Force has been open about its hunt for more bases and new missile defenses in the Pacific, which reflects the assumption that the region’s scarce runways would be among the first items targeted in a conflict with China. Less is heard about similar efforts by the People’s Liberation Army, which has the very same problem of how to ensure that its own aircraft have places to fly and fight from.

Poland Unveils HAASTA Prototype for Drone-on-Drone Warfare

Breaking Defense

The Polish government on Sept. 5 rolled out a new armed, unmanned aerial vehicle concept aimed at countering smaller drones, known as the HAASTA, to kick off the annual MSPO defense trade show. In the announcement, the government stated the design draws on “insights gained from recent years of combat operations”—a not-so-veiled reference to the Ukraine conflict, which Poland has been studying intensely. Design of the system follow a new standard, STANAG 4703, which sets airworthiness requirements for fixed-wing light unmanned aircraft.

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OPINION: A War-Winning Swarm Missile Will Knock China out of Taiwan—Fast

The Telegraph

“When analysts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies ran a series of war games simulating a Chinese invasion of Taiwan last year, they learned something surprising. The games indicated that the U.S. Air Force, fighting nearly alone after the destruction of much of the U.S. Navy, could almost single-handedly destroy the Chinese invasion force,” writes commentator David Axe.

AUKUS Standoff: Australia, UK Wait on Congress to Approve Pact

Defense News

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers traveled to Britain this spring in an effort to get tough on China. But House China committee Chairman Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and his delegation quickly found their British counterparts had another matter top of mind: AUKUS, the trilateral nuclear-powered submarine agreement with Britain and Australia. Officials from those countries made clear to Gallagher and other U.S. lawmakers that Congress must take steps to ensure the deal is a success. Specifically, they want lawmakers to approve a blanket exemption for the U.K. and Australia within Washington’s stringent export control regime.

New Collaboration Hub Looks to Connect Army Aviation with Emerging Tech


The Army has opened a new collaboration, prototyping and testing center aimed at linking members of the Army aviation community with new and emerging technologies from non-traditional vendors. The Applied Innovation Center (AIC) opened its doors Aug. 29 in Huntsville, Alabama — strategically located near Redstone Arsenal where the Army’s program executive office for aviation and U.S. Army Aviation Missile Command are headquartered. While the AIC is an Army aviation organization, the intent is for it to be available to other Defense Department components and potentially expand to other strategic locations across the country in the future.

One More Thing

Remains of Tuskegee Pilot Who Went Missing During World War II Identified after 79 years

ABC News

The remains of a Tuskegee pilot have been identified, 79 years after he went missing during World War II, according to the Defense Department. Second Lt. Fred L. Brewer Jr. was piloting a single-seat P-51C Mustang nicknamed "Traveling Light" in late October 1944 out of Ramitelli Air Field in Italy when he went missing in action, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.