USAF Will Test Out a New Way to Organize Deployments: Air Task Forces

In an attempt to build more cohesive teams of Airmen, the Air Force will test out a new system for grouping and deploying troops overseas, top service leaders announced last week at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference. Air Task Forces, or ATFs, are intended to replace the service’s model of Air Expeditionary Wings with “forces all packaged together in a light-footprint, deployable unit,” deputy chief of staff for operations Lt. Gen. Jim Slife told reporters.

Answering the China Challenge 

The Air Force is using these exercises to drill Airmen in new operational concepts, such as agile combat employment, which emphasizes the ability to work from dispersed and sometimes austere locations.  

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Chinese Blockade of Taiwan Would Likely Fail, Pentagon Official Says


A Chinese blockade of Taiwan would likely fail and a direct military invasion of the self-ruled island would be extremely difficult for Beijing to carry out successfully, senior Pentagon officials told Congress on Tuesday. China's military in recent years has stepped up activity around Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its Sept. 19. U.S. CIA Director William Burns has said Chinese President Xi Jinping has instructed his country's armed forces to be ready to invade by 2027.

Old Is New Again as Air Force Special Ops Branch Revamps Training

Air Force Times

Air Force Special Operations Command is going back to the future. As the U.S. enters its third year since 2001 without major combat operations, AFSOC Commander Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind sees an opportunity to reset how the Air Force trains its most elite corps—and he’s looking to the 1990s for inspiration.

Lockheed Aims to Hit F-16 Production Goal by End of 2025

Defense One

Lockheed Martin is gearing up to build F-16 fighter jets at full speed as U.S. defense officials say production capacity is one of the holdups to getting the much-anticipated jets to Taiwan. “We're working our way through that initial portion of the ramp this year and then we'll continue to increase that up to four-per-month deliveries by the end of 2025,” said OJ Sanchez, vice president of Lockheed's F-16 and F-22 programs.

Under DIU ‘3.0,’ Innovation Hub Looks to Take on More Embedded Role Throughout DPD

Breaking Defense

By design, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) has existed as an office always somewhat apart from the Defense Department. But under new leadership, DIU appears to be headed for a new chapter in its eight-year existence, one that is less about trying to change the game and more about playing on the same team. The change represents a “pretty significant shift,” Doug Beck, a former vice president at Apple and captain in the Navy Reserve who took over DIU in April, told Breaking Defense, with the office aiming to become more embedded across the department.

Beyond ChatGPT: Experts Say Generative AI Should Write—But Not Execute—Battle Plans

Breaking Defense

Chatbots can now invent new recipes (with mixed success), plan vacations, or write a budget-conscious grocery list. So what’s stopping them from summarizing secret intelligence or drafting detailed military operations orders? Nothing, in theory, said AI experts from the independent Special Competitive Studies Project. The Defense Department should definitely explore those possibilities, SCSP argues, lest China or some other unscrupulous competitor get there first. In practice, however, the project’s analysts emphasized in interviews with Breaking Defense, it’ll take a lot of careful prep work, as laid out in a recently released SCSP study.

Capitol Hill Dysfunction Threatens Key Defense Initiatives

Defense News

Congress is struggling to perform its most foundational duties this year, and experts say it’s starting to take its toll on national security. Lawmakers are at an impasse as a government shutdown looms, there’s plenty of uncertainty about the budget and one senator is blocking the promotions of hundreds of high-profile military officers.

CACI Optical Terminals Pass Initial Tests Required for Space Development Agency Satellites


CACI International’s optical communication terminal passed initial ground tests required to compete for Space Development Agency satellite contracts, the company announced Sept. 18. CACI, a defense contractor based in Reston, Va., said its optical terminal successfully completed an interoperability test, bringing it closer to meeting technical requirements set by the Space Development Agency (SDA) for its constellation of military satellites in low Earth orbit.

One Way the Air Force Is Filling Electronic-Warfare Gaps: Hiring Interns

Defense One

The Air Force’s electronic warfare wing is working to reduce its personnel vacancies with new hires and an internship program—but it still needs hundreds more to meet growing mission needs. “We have increased our footprint,” Capt. Benjamin Aronson, a spokesperson for the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing, told Defense One on the sidelines of the Air, Space & Cyber conference.

Air Force’s 9th Bomb Squadron Commander Fired After Just a Couple of Months on the Job

The commander of an Air Force maintenance squadron at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas was fired this week, just two months into his new role, after officials lost faith in his abilities to lead. Lt. Col. Brian Milner, the commander of the 9th Bomb Squadron, was relieved of command on Monday due to “a loss of confidence in his ability to complete the assigned duties,” a spokesman for the 7th Bomb Wing told

One More Thing

Area 51: Secrets, Saucers, and Silliness?

We Are The Mighty

When it comes to Area 51, the line between reality and folklore is often blurred, leading to a cloud of mystery that hovers over this secretive military base. By delving into the specifics, we salute the men and women who may or may not be reverse-engineering flying saucers as we speak.