Haugh Becomes First Airman to Take Command at CYBERCOM

Airmen took command of two major defense intelligence organizations Feb. 2, as Gen. Timothy D. Haugh succeeded Army Gen. Paul M. Nakasone as head of U.S. Cyber Command, and Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Kruse became director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Haugh is the first Airman to lead CYBERCOM, which was founded in 2010 and only became a unified combatant command in 2017. Kruse is the first Airman to lead the DIA since 1996. 

Now Is Not the Time to Go Weak on the F-35

“The year 2024 will stand as a transformative year for modernizing the U.S. Air Force’s fighter force. Bottom line: the service needs to reset fast. That is why it was welcome news when Lockheed Martin recently announced the Tech Refresh 3/Block 4 variant of its F-35 are projected to join operational Air Force units by the third quarter of this year,” writes Douglas A. Birkey, executive director of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Radar Sweep

US, Britain Strike Yemen’s Houthis in a New Wave, Retaliating for Attacks by Iran-Backed Militants

The Associated Press

The United States and Britain struck 36 Houthi targets in Yemen on Feb. 3 in a second wave of assaults meant to further disable Iran-backed groups that have relentlessly attacked American and international interests in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. But Washington once more did not directly target Iran as it tries to find a balance between a forceful response and intensifying the conflict.

National AFA Officer Nominations Due Feb. 27


The AFA Nominating & Governance Committee will meet this spring to select candidates for open AFA National Officers and Board of Directors positions for election at the AFA 2024 National Convention in September.

Fear and Ambition Propel Xi’s Nuclear Acceleration

The New York Times

Nineteen days after taking power as China’s leader, Xi Jinping convened the generals overseeing the country’s nuclear missiles and issued a blunt demand. China had to be ready for possible confrontation with a formidable adversary, he said, signaling that he wanted a more potent nuclear capability to counter the threat.

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US Air Force Adding Auto GCAS To T-7As

Aviation Week

The U.S. Air Force will add an automatic ground collision avoidance system (AGCAS) to its Boeing T-7A Red Hawk trainer fleet as the service works through issues on the aircraft’s escape and oxygen systems, according to a new Pentagon report.

Air Force Preps for Mega Overhaul with an Eye Toward China


The Air Force is putting the final touches on a major structural shakeup that would remake the force as part of the Pentagon’s push to keep up with China’s military buildup. Within the next few weeks, the service will announce it is consolidating some of its major three- and four-star commands, integrating fighter jets and bomber aircraft into single units, and beefing up its budget and planning shop, according to six people familiar with the plans.

COMMENTARY: Could a Rogue Billionaire Make a Nuclear Weapon?

The Wall Street Journal

“I first learned of a secretive Pentagon-funded study about rogue nuclear entrepreneurs more than five years ago from Stephen Lukasik, a former head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. We were talking about the Office of Net Assessment, the long-term analysis division of the Pentagon, famous in Washington policy circles for its predictions about the Soviet Union’s military capabilities and then later China’s rise. Lukasik mentioned that he had led several studies for the office, including one that looked at whether a private company or wealthy entrepreneur could produce nuclear weapons,” writes national security editor Sharon Weinberger.

As the Heat Rises with F-35 Upgrades, Inside Collins’s Bet on a New Cooling System

Breaking Defense

For several years, a problem has been brewing for Lockheed Martin’s F-35: future upgrades will make the jet run even hotter than it does now, more than its current cooling system is believed to be able to handle. In the near term, Pentagon officials expect that a high-profile upgrade to the plane’s F135 engine will avoid most of these cooling issues. But in the longer term, the military fears future aircraft upgrades needed to keep pace with threats decades down the line will push the heat factor even higher, and officials have recently suggested they’re casting about for new cooling options.

Maxwell AFB Activates New Grey Wolf Training Unit

Air Force Times

Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., has launched its first Active-Duty flight training unit since the end of World War II as it prepares for the arrival of the new MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopter later this year. The unit, Detachment 3 of the New Mexico-based 58th Operations Group, activated Jan. 31 to help Maxwell’s 908th Airlift Wing train the Grey Wolf pilots who will eventually staff operational helicopter units.

Space Force Effort to Replace Aging Space Tracking Software Lagging: DOT&E

Breaking Defense

One of the two major software development programs that would allow the Space Force to ditch its outdated information technology system for keeping tabs on satellites, spacecraft, and dangerous space junk has fallen behind on testing, due to a host of problems that include both technology issues and training gaps, according to the Pentagon’s testing director.

Space Force to Put Firms Under Contract for Commercial Reserve by 2025

Defense News

The Space Force expects to begin identifying members for its Commercial Augmentation Space Reserve—an effort to scale up its use of commercial capabilities during a conflict—and get them under contract by 2025, if not sooner. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, who provides civilian oversight for the service, approved the Commercial Space Office’s plan for the construct, known as CASR, last fall.

One More Thing

Police Find Military Grade Air-to-Air Rocket in Washington Home

Task & Purpose

A Bellevue, Wash., man had a conundrum. He had acquired a military-grade rocket made during the Cold War from his deceased neighbor and was looking to donate it. He had called the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio about giving it to them. The museum then called the police. That’s according to the Bellevue Police Department, which this week shared that they had sent the bomb squad to the man’s home to discover he was in possession of an air-to-air munition.