SDA Director Embarks on Space Architecture Overhaul

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—The newly established Space Development Agency promises to chart the first steps of a “comprehensive architecture” to address eight critical defense priorities by the end of September, the organization’s director said at the Space Symposium here Tuesday. Fred Kennedy, who comes to the fledgling SDA from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, said the agency would develop, buy, and deploy its first assets on orbit, along with ground segments, no later than 2022. He also acknowledged those plans could have longer-term implications for the Air Force’s next-generation space programs currently underway. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

To Deter Enemies, US May Eventually Flex Space Muscle

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Wednesday the US may eventually demonstrate its offensive space capabilities in order to deter potential threats. She wouldn’t elaborate on what those capabilities might be, but she said the service explored the concepts in a nearly four-month space strategy study that wrapped up in February. The analysis provided the first update in two years to the military’s ideas of how to rule the space domain. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

Fick Tapped to Replace Winter as Director of Joint Strike Fighter Program Office

President Donald Trump has nominated USAF Maj. Gen. Eric Fick for a third star and appointment as director of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program. Fick currently serves as the office’s deputy director, and if confirmed he will replace Vice Adm. Mat Winter, who has led the JPO since May 2017. Trump also nominated USAF Maj. Gen. Marc Sasseville for a third star and assignment as commander of US North American Aerospace Defense Command Region and 1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern). Sasseville currently serves as deputy director of the Air National Guard.

Debris from Missing Japanese F-35 Found, Pilot Still Missing

Search and rescue crews on Wednesday found debris from a Japan Air Self Defense Force F-35 that went missing during a Tuesday training flight out of Misawa AB, Japan, as USAF and US Navy aircraft joined the search for the pilot and aircraft. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Strikes on ISIS Targets Continued After Victory over Physical Caliphate

US and coalition strikes on ISIS targets continued despite the defeat of the group’s self-proclaimed physical caliphate last month. US Central Command on Wednesday released its roundup of airstrikes in Operation Inherent Resolve, showing 52 strikes in both Iraq and Syria targeting ISIS from March 24 to April 6. This included 29 strikes inside Syria, targeting 28 ISIS tactical units, 72 vehicles, 17 fighting positions, 15 supply routes, and three vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. During the same time period, there were 23 strikes inside Iraq. On March 24, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces declared victory over ISIS’s caliphate after clearing their last outpost in the Syrian village of Baghuz. The strike pace declined after the victory declaration, with US and coalition aircraft conducting 193 strikes in Syria between March 10-23. —Brian Everstine

Q&A with ULA CEO Tory Bruno

United Launch Alliance Chief Executive Officer Tory Bruno sat down with Air Force Magazine at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday to discuss the future of launch services, military space investments, and changes underway in the space industrial base. Read the full interview by Rachel S. Cohen.

AFA Welcomes Raaberg as Executive Vice President

Retired Maj. Gen. Doug Raaberg is AFA’s new Executive Vice President. In his new role, he will serve as the association’s senior staff liaison with the Air Force for budgets, programs, systems, operations, and legal issues. Additionally, he is responsible for outreach with stakeholders across the Air Force, Field organizations, and the aerospace industry. “General Raaberg’s proven and positive leadership credentials in both the Air Force and with industry will be of great value to AFA,” AFA President, retired Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright, said. “The strategic insights that Doug brings from his decades of selfless service to our Air Force will energize, sustain, and grow AFA’s many programs and initiatives.” Raaberg is a command pilot with more than 4,700 flying hours, primarily in the FB-111, B-1, and B-2. He commanded the nation’s only B-2 stealth-bomber wing, which spearheaded the air campaign for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. He flew 35 combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and the International Security Assistance Force. He also holds the world record for the fastest non-stop flight around the globe. After retiring from the Air Force, he worked for Northrop Grumman, where he most recently served as Chief Executive in the United Arab Emirates. He also worked as CEO of DLR Solutions, LLC. “I am excited to join the Air Force Association. Our mission of supporting our airmen and their families is very important to me,” Raaberg said. “I look forward to working with General Wright to expand and empower association membership so we can better support all Airmen for Life around the globe.”


Opinion: Yes To A US Space Command But No To A Separate Space Force

Warfighting advances by Russia and China call for more attention to space operations that are the purview of a combatant command. Therefore, the reestablishment of US Space Command is timely and appropriate. However, the creation of a new armed service, the US Space Force, is not. Congress has the final say, and it should say no. Forbes

Top Armed Services Republican: ‘I don’t think anybody is satisfied’ with Space Force Proposal

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) told reporters that he expects the broad outlines of the proposal —to have a military branch for space under the Department of the Air Force—will be taken up by the House, but that lawmakers will change specifics within the plan. The Hill

Opinion: The US Air Force Needs F-35s, Not the F-15EX

Only about 20 percent of USAF fighters are fifth-generation aircraft. Winning tomorrow’s wars depends on growing that share faster, not slower. Defense One

Air Force Finds High Levels of Toxins in Water at Luke Base

The US Air Force will begin testing water in the area surrounding Glendale’s Luke Air Force Base on Wednesday after tests revealed high levels of toxins in the base’s water supply. The elevated levels of potentially harmful chemicals were found in the base’s surface and groundwater, but not in the drinking water.

MMA League Partners With Air Force Reserve

The Air Force Reserve has entered into a partnership with the Professional Fighters League, a mixed martial arts organization. Air Force Times

SpaceX Readies First Falcon Heavy Launch for Paying Customer

The mission will open up competition for big commercial satellites launches and national security missions. Bloomberg

One More Thing …

Hubble Watches Spun-Up Asteroid Coming Apart

A small asteroid has been caught in the process of spinning so fast it’s throwing off material, according to new data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories. NASA