An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot receives fuel from with a KC-135 Stratotanker while in flight over Saudi Arabia, Oct. 22, 2021.

An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot receives fuel from with a KC-135 Stratotanker while in flight over Saudi Arabia, Oct. 22, 2021. U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Joseph Pick

The Air & Space Brief: China’s hypersonic did ‘circle the globe’; Female fighter pilots make history: “We fly for her.”

Welcome to the Defense One Air and Space newsletter. Here are our top stories this week:  

China’s hypersonic missile that launched this summer “did circle the globe,” a U.S. official confirmed to Defense One. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley called the launch a potential “Sputnik moment,” and defense experts said it reveals how far behind the U.S. is in hypersonic technology. “Maybe the nuclear game has just changed,” one American Enterprise Institute visiting fellow warned. 

Major weapons manufacturers are preparing to fire potentially thousands of workers who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine by the Biden administration’s Dec. 8 deadline. That could delay some programs, the CEOs of some of the nation’s largest defense firms said during quarterly earnings calls last week. While some of the firms are proactively hiring additional workers now to pick up the slack, there’s a risk that some production lines may temporarily shut down due to a lack of skilled workers. 

The Air Force and Space Force will miss getting all active duty airmen and Guardians 100 percent vaccinated, but not by much, according to the services’ latest COVID-19 vaccine statistics. As of Oct 25, 94.6 percent of the active-duty force was fully vaccinated. Only 88.9 percent of the total force, including Guard and reserve personnel, had been fully vaccinated. Each of the services is also now evaluating exemption requests filed by some members.

Female fighter pilots from the 25th and 36th Fighter Squadrons at Osan Air Base in South Korea made history Oct. 25. Ten women planned and flew the first large all-female formation flight with A-10s and F-16s: “The significance of today’s flight is not for us, the pilots,” said Capt. Grace “Slap” Herman. “It is for the young girl who has never seen a female fighter pilot, let alone 10 of them. We fly for her.”

Sign up to get The Air & Space Brief every Tuesday from Tara Copp, Defense One’s Senior Pentagon Reporter. On this day in 1947, Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” aircraft took its first and only flight.


From Defense One

‘It Did Circle the Globe’: US Confirms China’s Orbital Hypersonic Test // Tara Copp: “Maybe the nuclear game has just changed,” one analyst said.

As COVID Hits Defense Factories, Some Workers Push Back on Vaccine Mandate // Marcus Weisgerber: Some Republican lawmakers say the requirement will compromise national security.

Air Force Will Miss Its COVID Vaccination Deadline by a Few Percent // Elizabeth Howe: The service’s Nov. 2 goal is nearly a month earlier than those of its sister services.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.