The U.S. Air Force Looks To Advanced Manufacturing To Keep Existing Aircraft Flying And Develop Next-Gen Capabilities

What if there were Olympic events that weren’t physical, but were focused instead on completely geeking out on super-cool breakthrough technologies for real-world aerospace and defense challenges? Even better, what if they offered prize money totaling nearly a million dollars?

Now there are just such events, thanks to the U.S. Air Force’s Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO). In fact, participants in five such Olympic “sports” (or Technical Challenges, as the RSO calls them) have already been competing over the past few months. Those competitions will culminate when the winners are announced during next week’s four-day Advanced Manufacturing Olympics. This virtual conference runs from October 20-23, and features technology demonstrations, expert speakers from both industry and the military, virtual networking opportunities, and the awarding of prized for those Technical Challenges mentioned above.

“RSO is working to revolutionize

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US Air Force sends software updates to one of its oldest aircraft midair

WASHINGTON — For the first time, the U.S. Air Force updated the software code on one of its aircraft while it was in flight, the service announced Oct. 7.

And there’s a surprise twist: The aircraft involved wasn’t the “flying computer” F-35, the mysterious B-21 bomber still under development, or any of the Air Force’s newest and most high-tech jets. Instead, the service tested the technology aboard the U-2 spy plane, one of the oldest and most iconic aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory.

On Sept. 22, the U-2 Federal Laboratory successfully updated the software of a U-2 from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, which was engaged in a training flight near Beale Air Force Base, California, the Air Force said in a news release.

To push the software code from the developer on the ground to the U-2 in flight, the Air Force used Kubernetes, a containerized system that allows

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The bipartisan House task force on America’s future defense is path-breaking

Late last month, a bipartisan congressional task force issued a timely report that, apart from purely security-oriented outlets, received far less media coverage than it deserved. Congressional bipartisanship has become virtually an oxymoron in the current political climate. Nevertheless, Republicans and Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee Task Force on the Future of Defense were able to come together to produce a serious, thought-provoking essay that focuses on implementing a defense strategy that is responsive to the threats that will confront America far into the future, indeed as far as the end of this century.

Many of the task force’s proposals have been outlined in previous studies and in congressional testimony. They include a greater focus on funding and developing advanced technologies and incorporating them into military systems and structures; concluding a new arms control agreement with Russia; and controlling the leakage of technology by expanding the Committee on

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More than 1,000 Air Force cyber security operators to transfer to Space Force

Maj. Gen. Kim Crider said space “will become the next front of the cyber conflict”

WASHINGTON — As many as 1,000 enlisted personnel and 130 officers currently in Air Force cyber security jobs will be asked to join the U.S. Space Force, a senior official said Oct. 8.

The selected airmen from cyber security career fields also have expertise in space programs and could be transferring to the Space Force in fiscal year 2021, said Maj. Gen. Kimberly Crider, Space Force chief technology and innovation officer.

The officers and enlisted personnel were hand picked to join the Space Force as the service experiences a growing demand for cyber security talent, Crider said Oct. 8 at the CyberSatGov virtual conference.

“We worked this out very closely and carefully with our Air Force partners across the Department of the Air Force,” Crider said. These cyber experts are needed for “defensive operations,” she

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Army shutting down Asymmetric Warfare Group, Rapid Equipping Force

  • The Army announced this month that it’s deactivating Asymmetric Warfare Group and Rapid Equipment Force.
  • The groups were set up 15 years ago to provide advisory support and to rapidly equip soldiers to counter new threats during the post-9/11 wars.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

After nearly 15 years, the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) and Rapid Equipment Force (REF) are being deactivated.

The primary mission of AWG was to provide advisory support to the US Army. It would do that by rapidly transferring current threat-based operations and solutions to tactical and operational commanders in order to defeat emerging asymmetric threats and enhance multi-domain effectiveness.

AWG was headquartered in Fort Meade, Maryland. It was the only unit within TRADOC with the capability and structure to globally engage warfighters and disseminate observations and information to the rear to enhance soldier survivability. AWG understood that it is vital for the Army

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SpaceX aborts launch of GPS Space Force satellite with 2 seconds to go

SpaceX aborted a scheduled launch of a US military GPS satellite on Friday night with just about two seconds left in the countdown. The launch was scheduled for a 15-minute window that opened at 6:43 p.m. PT. All appeared to be proceeding smoothly, until two seconds before launch. SpaceX was just starting the engine ignition sequence when it stopped the clock.  



a crane next to a body of water: SpaceX shared this scenic view of the Falcon 9 that'll carry Space Force's GPS satellite into orbit. SpaceX


© Provided by CNET
SpaceX shared this scenic view of the Falcon 9 that’ll carry Space Force’s GPS satellite into orbit. SpaceX

“Standing down from tonight’s launch attempt of GPS III-4,” SpaceX tweeted a few minutes before 7 p.m. PT, though it didn’t say whether a ground or flight vehicle issue was to blame. The next launch window opens at 6:39 p.m. PT Saturday, SpaceX said. 

SpaceX and the US Space Force are getting along famously. Friday’s attempted launch in Florida follows a Space Force Falcon 9 launch in

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Case closed: California judge ends SpaceX’s lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force

The judge said the Air Force’s actions were not arbitrary, capricious, or in violation of the law, and that SpaceX was not entitled to any relief in this action.”

WASHINGTON — A California judge Oct. 2 officially ended SpaceX’s 18-month-long lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force. Following a Sept. 24 ruling denying SpaceX’s claim, the judge on Friday ordered the case to be closed. 

U.S. District Court Judge Judge Otis Wright II of the Central District of California on Sept. 24 ruled against SpaceX in its legal complaint over contracts the U.S. Air Force awarded in October 2018 to United Launch Alliance, Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin. 

The judge’s Sept. 24 order, first reported by Reuters, was sealed by the court because it contained sensitive information.

In the Oct. 2 motion to close the case, the judge noted that his Sept. 24 order denied SpaceX’s claim, “concluding that the

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US Army discontinues Rapid Equipping Force

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army has discontinued its Rapid Equipping Force stood up during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to get urgently needed capabilities into the field in 180 days or less.

As the Army shifts from a focus on counterinsurgency operations to going up against near-peer adversaries like Russia and China across air, land, sea, cyberspace and space domains in large-scale operations, the REF’s utility and mission has been in question.

The service is also disbanding its Asymmetric Warfare Group.

“As our focus changes to great power competition and large-scale combat operations, Army analysis indicated that the personnel and resources could best be utilized in building the operational fighting force,” an Oct. 2 Army statement read. “To ensure the value of organization’s work over the past 14 years is not lost, all lessons learned will be maintained by the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, via the Center for

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SpaceX aborts launch of GPS Space Force satellite with two seconds to go

SpaceX aborted a scheduled launch of a US military GPS satellite from Florida on Friday night with just about two seconds left in the countdown. The launch was scheduled for a 15-minute window that opened at 6:43 p.m. PT, with the weather forecast at 70% favorable for liftoff. All appeared to be proceeding smoothly, until two seconds before launch. SpaceX was just starting the engine ignition sequence when it stopped the clock.  



a crane next to a body of water: SpaceX shared this scenic view of the Falcon 9 that will carry Space Force's GPS satellite into orbit. SpaceX


© Provided by CNET
SpaceX shared this scenic view of the Falcon 9 that will carry Space Force’s GPS satellite into orbit. SpaceX



a large crane in front of a sunset: SpaceX shared this scenic view of the Falcon 9 that will carry Space Force's GPS satellite into orbit. 


© SpaceX

SpaceX shared this scenic view of the Falcon 9 that will carry Space Force’s GPS satellite into orbit. 


“Standing down from tonight’s launch attempt of GPS III-4,” SpaceX tweeted a few minutes before 7 p.m. PT, though it did not say whether a ground or flight vehicle issue was to blame. The

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Boots on The Moon Are Going to Have to Wait, Space Force General Says

There will be no boots on the moon by 2024. 

Just days after a U.S. Space Force general said members of the military’s newest branch would one day deploy into orbit, another top general said those days are still far, far away.

“The best and most direct route for any member of the United States Space Force to go personally and physically into space today…remains what it has been for decades,” Lt. Gen. David Thompson, the Space Force vice commander.

That would be an application to NASA’s astronaut program.

“When do we expect to have boots on the moon? No idea. Certainly not in my career,” Thompson said. “[I]s it possible and certainly expected some day in the future that members of the United States Space Force will go physically, directly and personally into space, I would say absolutely.”

So when? 

“We’re not talking five or 10 years,” Thompson said.

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