HASC to Consider Space Revamp in 2020 Defense Bill

The House Armed Services Committee will consider an amendment to create a new military space organization as it marks up its 2020 defense policy bill June 12, according to the panel’s chairman. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) told reporters at a June 10 Defense Writers Group breakfast that although the debate continues over how exactly a Space Force or Corps might function within the Pentagon, he doesn’t “trust the Air Force on its own, within its existing structure, to properly prioritize space.” Committee members couldn’t agree on a way forward until it was too late to include Space Force language in the chairman’s version of the legislation, Smith said. But a compromise amendment resembles the Space Corps proposal HASC passed in 2017, which was later stripped from the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. HASC’s idea is more cost-effective and streamlined than the Trump administration’s proposal, Smith argues. The chairman’s mark also includes new guidelines for the National Security Space Launch program. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

Pentagon, Lockheed Reach “Handshake Deal” on F-35 Multi-Year Buy

The Defense Department and Lockheed have a tentative agreement on the first multi-year buy of F-35s, worth about $34 billion for 478 aircraft for US and partner or customer nations. The agreement covers production Lot 12 with options for Lots 13 and 14. The first lot will include 157 aircraft, according to a Pentagon statement. The “framework” of the deal would lower the cost of an F-35A to $80 million in Lot 13, a year earlier than initially planned. Under Lot 11, the aircraft cost $89.2 million each. The announcement comes days after the Pentagon awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.8 billion contract for the continued design of Block 4 upgrades of the aircraft. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Busy Week Puts USAF Airpower on Display in Europe

USAF aircraft and personnel are deployed throughout the European theater this week supporting everything from large-scale multinational exercises to Swiss flight evaluations. Aircraft, ships, and personnel from 18 nations, including the United States, will participate in the annual Exercise Baltic Operations 2019, a large-scale, maritime-focused event that allows NATO nations to train in Eastern Europe. The Air Force participation in this year’s event includes KC-135s and F-15s from RAF Lakenheath, England, according to a USAFE release. Multiple KC-135s and personnel from the Tennessee and Wisconsin Air National Guards also are deployed to Bulgaria for exercise Saber Guardian 19, which features about 8,000 participants from allied nations operating in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania, according to USAFE. F-35s from Hill AFB, Utah, are deployed to Los Llanos AB, Spain, for a NATO Tactical Leadership Program flying course, where they will fly alongside aircraft from Spain, Poland, and Greece. Hill F-35s also deployed to Payerne AB, Switzerland, last week to demonstrate the F-35A’s capabilities during Swiss flight evaluations. Switzerland hosted five competitors during the evaluations—Lockheed Martin F-35A, McDonnell Douglas F/A-18E/F, Airbus Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, and Saab Gripen E—as it tries to figure out the best path forward for recapitalizing its fighter fleet. Additionally, an EC-130 Compass Call has deployed to Krzesiny AB, Poland, for additional training. —Brian Everstine


New Raytheon Technologies Would Be $100 Billion Behemoth, No. 2 at Pentagon

If their merger goes through, Raytheon and United Technologies would become the second-largest US defense contractor after Lockheed Martin, and the third-biggest aerospace and defense company worldwide, including civil markets, with $100 billion in business. The companies tout their merger as highly complementary, with little overlap and no need for either firm to sell off divisions because of potential monopolies. UTC is already in the process of spinning off its Otis and Carrier units, which don’t fit the aerospace and defense focus. The Pentagon said it’s studying the merger, but President Donald Trump wondered in a TV interview if it will diminish competition. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.

Goldfein Assigns New Budget Director, Deputy of NATO Air Operations in Afghanistan

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein on June 10 assigned a new senior budget official and a new leader for NATO air forces in Afghanistan. Brig. Gen. Michael Griener, director of Air Force budget programs in the office of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial management and comptroller, has been assigned to be director of budget operations and personnel in the same office, according to a Pentagon release. Col. John Walker, director of the Joint Staff legislative affairs, has been selected for the rank of brigadier general and for assignment as the deputy commander of NATO Air Command-Afghanistan and vice commander of the 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force-Afghanistan, according to the release.

Japan MOD: F-35 Pilot Experienced Spatial Disorientation Before April Crash

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35 pilot who crashed in April likely experienced spatial disorientation before diving directly into the sea. The F-3A, one of a four-ship training flight, crashed about a half hour after take off from Misawa AB, Japan. Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said during a June 10 briefing the jet dove into the sea at a speed of about 680 miles per hour. “We believe it highly likely the pilot was suffering from vertigo or spatial disorientation and wasn’t aware of his condition,” Iwaya said, according to Reuters. “It can affect any pilot regardless of their experience.” The remains of the pilot, 41-year-old Maj. Akinori Hosomi, were found last week. The JASDF has suspended operations of its F-35s since the mishap, though flights are expected to resume soon. —Brian Everstine


An entry in the June 10 Daily Report misstated the home base of the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb squadron. The squadron is deployed from Minot AFB, N.D.


NATO’s New Military Commander: ‘I Suspect’ Turkish-Alliance Mil-to-Mil Ties Will Endure

NATO’s recently installed Supreme Allied Commander Europe walked a delicate line on June 7, reiterating US concerns about Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system from Russia yet affirming Ankara’s value as an ally. Defense One

Two-Star Fired from Running Top Secret Program Office; Under Multiple IG Investigations

A groundbreaking female fighter pilot was fired from her current job as director of the Defense Department’s Special Access Programs Central Office—which manages and oversees some of the military’s most secretive classified programs—and is under several inspector general investigations. Air Force Times

Kirtland Gets New Space to Develop US Space Defense

The US Air Force has begun construction on a facility at Kirtland AFB, N.M., that will play a major role in defending the nation from attacks by other countries on US satellites. Albuquerque Journal

Japanese Residents Awarded $7 Million Over Military Aircraft Noise at Yokota

A Japanese high court on June 6 awarded more than $7 million to people living near Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo as compensation for aircraft noise but rejected their demand to restrict flight operations at the base. Stars and Stripes

Can Artificial Intelligence Improve Aerial Dogfighting

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to automate air-to-air combat, which would free pilots to concentrate on the larger air battle creating a human-machine team. DARPA created the Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program to take on this project. C4ISRNET

Air Force Disputes Lawsuit to Stop Urban Training in Idaho

A lawsuit seeking to stop soldiers and military jets from coordinating exercises in nine urban centers in Idaho should be dismissed because such proposed training is needed due to the nature of modern war, the US Air Force said June 7. Associated Press

Is Electronic Warfare Already Legacy Technology

Electronic warfare is often held up as a core category of modern warfare—technology that has the potential to transform battlefield operations. C4ISRNET

Google’s Searching for Military Spouses? Who Want IT Careers

Grow with Google has launched new tools that can help spouses find remote work opportunities and start their own businesses, and they’re providing scholarships to help spouses get the training they need to start their IT career. Military Times

One More Thing…

Watch a Mothership Drone Release its Swarm

Guided by GPS and inertial measurement sensors, the hand-sized machines steer with articulated flaps. Individually, each of the gliders is a CICADA, or Close-In Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft. Together, they are a flock of valuable sensors. C4ISRNET