Brown Endorses Air Force Re-Optimization: ‘The Right Thing to Do’

Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. may have moved on from Air Force Chief of Staff to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, but he is keeping an eye on the Air Force’s effort to “re-optimize for great power competition”—and is pleased by what he sees. At a Defense Writers Group meeting March 28, Brown told Air & Space Forces Magazine that the re-optimization led by Secretary Frank Kendall, which will include the formation of a new Integrated Capabilities Command, moves to establish combat wings, and the reintroduction of warrant officers for some career fields, is “the right thing to do.”

Advancing in Space, China Poses Growing Threat, USSF Leaders Warn

The People’s Republic of China's rapid military advances in space mean the People's Liberation Army no longer merely threatens American assets in orbit, but now has the space-based sensing and targeting capabilities to better enable its joint forces to threat the U.S. on Earth, Space Force leaders warned March 27.

Radar Sweep

Putin Says He Won’t Start a War with NATO. But Western Bases Hosting Ukraine F-16s Would Be Targets

The Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin scoffed at the possibility of his country launching an attack on a NATO member, calling it “sheer nonsense,” but warned that any Western air base hosting U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets that are slated for deployment in Ukraine would be a “legitimate target” for the Kremlin’s forces. “Their statements about our alleged intention to attack Europe after Ukraine is sheer nonsense,” Putin said late March 27, referring to warnings in the U.S. and Western Europe that Russia could turn its sights on other countries unless it’s stopped.

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CENTCOM's Unfunded Priorities List Seeks $362M for Counter-Drone Mission, $44M for Maven

Inside Defense

U.S. Central Command has sent Congress an unfunded priorities list that identifies an unmet need for $362 million in spending to counter unmanned aerial systems, according to a new document obtained by Inside Defense. An earlier UPL document obtained by Inside Defense and signed by Gen. Michael Kurilla, chief of CENTCOM, did not identify specific program needs. “C-UAS capabilities are the top USCENTCOM priority,” according to a breakdown.

Sentinel Flight Test Delayed More Than Two Years

Defense One

The U.S. Air Force’s new intercontinental ballistic missile won’t have its first flight test until February 2026, documents show, putting the costly program further behind schedule. The new date is a significant delay from last year’s budget documents, which put the LGM-35A Sentinel ICBM program’s first flight test at December 2023.

Hermeus Rolls Out New Uncrewed Aircraft as Company Edges Toward Goal of Hypersonic Flight

Breaking Defense

Hermeus unveiled its new high-speed, jet-powered Quarterhorse Mk 1 aircraft March 28, taking another small step toward the Atlanta-based startup’s goal of producing the world’s first reusable hypersonic plane. The uncrewed Mk 1 aircraft is set to become the first Hermeus-produced aircraft to take to the skies during flight tests at Edwards Air Force base scheduled later this year, which are aimed at proving it can safely conduct high-speed take off and landings.

Northrop Says Air Force Design Changes Drove Higher Sentinel ICBM Cost

Defense News

A Northrop Grumman official on March 25 attributed the explosive projected cost growth of the U.S. Air Force’s next intercontinental ballistic missile to the service’s design changes, including to the nuclear missile’s silo and connecting cables. The Air Force’s original plan for modernizing its ICBM enterprise included keeping nearly all its existing copper cabling in place to be reused for the upcoming LGM-35A Sentinel. That’s roughly 7,500 miles’ worth of copper cabling, connecting 450 half-century-old Minuteman III ICBM silos scattered through the Great Plains region with launch control centers and other facilities.

Troops Still Aren't Getting Enough Sleep, and the Defense Department Isn’t Taking Responsibility, Watchdog Says

Service members still aren’t getting enough sleep, in large part because there’s no coherent Pentagon effort to remedy the problem, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office released this week. The GAO found that fatigue among service members “appeared to be more the rule than the exception,” with Active-Duty troops sleeping less than seven hours nightly twice as often as civilians. That lack of sleep has contributed to safety mishaps, near-misses, and numerous deaths.

DOD in Early Talks to Fund a Peacekeeping Force in Gaza


Biden administration officials are in preliminary “conversations” about options for stabilizing post-war Gaza, including a proposal for the Pentagon to help fund either a multinational force or a Palestinian peacekeeping team. The options being considered would not involve U.S. troops on the ground, according to two Defense Department officials and two other U.S. officials. ... Instead, DOD funding would go toward the needs of the security force and complement assistance from other countries.

US Leaders Promise Security for Gaza Dock Mission amid Threat Concerns

Military Times

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. CQ Brown said he is confident that U.S. troops working to provide humanitarian aid to residents of Gaza will be protected from violence in the region. Brown’s comments come amid concerns from Senate Republicans that the mission could cost American military lives.

How Marine MQ-9s Will Adapt for a Pacific Fight, Pave Way for Future Drones

The War Zone

Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1), the specialized Marine Corps unit tasked with operationalizing innovations for the service's air arm, is about to receive two MQ-9 Reapers. The addition of the combat-proven drones into VMX-1's diverse stable will allow the squadron to deliver new capabilities to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) and improve the ways the service's existing MQ-9s can be used in future high-end conflicts. It will also work to pave the way to an increasingly uncrewed future for the Corps.

US Joins Austria, Bahrain, Canada, & Portugal to Co-Lead Global Push for Safer Military AI

Breaking Defense

Delegates from 60 countries met last week outside D.C. and picked five nations to lead a yearlong effort to explore new safety guardrails for military AI and automated systems, administration officials exclusively told Breaking Defense. “Five Eyes” partner Canada, NATO ally Portugal, Mideast ally Bahrain, and neutral Austria will join the U.S. in gathering international feedback for a second global conference next year, in what representatives from both the Defense and State Departments say represents a vital government-to-government effort to safeguard artificial intelligence.

UK RAF Seeking More Advanced Autonomous Collaborative Platforms

Aviation Week

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is hoping to field an attritable autonomous collaborative platform (ACP) to operate and provide mass to its combat aircraft fleets by 2030, the service’s new strategy has outlined. The service has already developed and advanced disposable systems–defined as Tier 1 ACPs–for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, electronic warfare, or acting as decoys, and it plans to declare such a capability operational as early as next year.

One More Thing

National Air Force Museum Prepares Eclipse Event for Up to 30K

Dayton Daily News

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force said that it is preparing for as many as 30,000 visitors to view the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. The museum’s Special Events Coordinator Taylor Gentry that the museum is preparing a family-friendly day, with events like a hot air balloon launch, rocket launches, a raffle, story for children and education about eclipse science.