Autonomous Cargo Planes: Is This the Future of ACE?

In an exercise focused on Agile Combat Employment earlier this year, the Air Force got a taste of technology that could prove pivotal to the concept—autonomous software and hardware that can let conventional aircraft taxi, take off, fly, and land without a pilot at the controls. Un

‘Proliferation Everywhere’: How Space Force Will Answer New Threats

Revelations that Russia is developing a space-based anti-satellite nuclear weapon made headlines earlier this month, posing threats to military and civilian satellite constellations. The Space Force aims to counter that risk by doubling down on its “proliferation” strategy, potentially expanding into other orbits, including seldom-used orbits, to ensure resiliency, said the Space Force's lead acquisition executive Frank Calvelli.

Watch, Read: One Panel at the AFA Warfare Symposium the Chief Wants Airmen to Know

Lt. Gen. Adrian L. Spain, deputy chief of staff for operations, and Brig. Gen. David C. Epperson, director of current operations, spoke with Air & Space Forces Magazine editor-in-chief Tobias Naegele at the AFA Warfare Symposium on Feb. 13, 2024 about Air Task Forces, Combat Wings, and the Air Force Force Generation Model—all things that will affect Airmen’s deployments for years to come. Watch the video or read the transcript.

Radar Sweep

South Korea Eyes Mixed Fleet of Manned, Unmanned Warplanes

Defense News

With South Korea’s KF-21 fighter jet nearing mass production, the country is looking to incorporate unmanned technology that can operate alongside the Air Force’s fleet. The military’s growing interest in manned-unmanned teaming comes amid a declining pool of 18-year-old conscripts and as relations with neighboring North Korea worsen.

OPINION: China Is Running Out of Lines to Cross in the Taiwan Strait

The New York Times

“The PLA’s now-normalized presence around Taiwan raises the risk of an accidental confrontation. But over the longer term, it has also gradually created a dangerous sense of complacency in Taipei and Washington while giving China the crucial operational practice it might one day need to seize the island,” writes Ben Lewis, an independent defense analyst specializing in China and Taiwan military and security affairs.

Air Force Academy Battles Wildfire at West Monument Creek

Air Force Times

Firefighters are working to contain a large wildfire that broke out along the southern grounds of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado on Feb. 25. “While some hot spots remain, the fire is no longer spreading, and the forecasted precipitation for Feb. 27 bodes well for firefighting operations,” the academy said the evening of Feb. 26. “The footprint of the fire has not significantly changed from this morning and the fire is not fully contained.”

Internal Pentagon Review Finds No ‘Ill Intent’ Behind Austin Hospitalization Secrecy

A newly released internal Pentagon review into the secrecy surrounding Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s January hospitalization for complications from cancer surgery has essentially absolved anyone in the department from wrongdoing. The 30-day review did not find “any indication of ill intent or an attempt to obfuscate,” according to a three-page unclassified summary released Feb. 26.

OPINION: Why the Pentagon Needs a Quantum Czar

Breaking Defense

Quantum computing, at least on paper, is a game changer for national security, and the U.S. government has been pursuing it accordingly. But those efforts are scattershot, and often include overlapping areas of focus. In this new op-ed, Rebecca Grant of IRIS Research calls for Congress to appoint a lead DOD official to wrangle the various quantum lines of research.

Space Force Bucks Fixed-Price Trend for Nuclear Command Satellites


In a departure from recent guidance, the Space Force will use cost-plus contracts for its high-priority strategic communications satellite program. Space Force acquisition executive Frank Calvelli said Feb. 23 that the service has decided to not use fixed-price contracts for the Evolved Strategic Satellite Communications System (ESS), a critical component of the U.S. military’s nuclear command, control, and communications (NC3) network that provides nuclear-survivable communications.

What’s Next for the New CJADC2 Minimum Viable Capability


The Pentagon’s Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office is poised to put its new and highly anticipated minimum viable capability for Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) to work at the Army’s latest Project Convergence experiments kicking off this week.

One More Thing

Just How Fast Is The F-15EX Really?

The War Zone

A story published during the Singapore Airshow last week gained much attention, specifically the claim that the F-15EX Eagle II—the U.S. Air Force’s newest F-15 incarnation—can reach a speed of “nearly Mach 3.” If that sounded too good to be true, that’s because it was. But there’s no doubt that the Eagle II can hit a very impressive speed.