The Air & Space Brief: Air Force pilot requirements adjusted; Italy’s NATO air policing, Space Force not a military service?
Welcome to the Defense One Air and Space newsletter. Here are our top stories this week:
Inside the Air Force’s push for racial equity: From adjusting how potential future pilots are evaluated to committing to deep and sometimes unflattering reviews of its culture, the Air Force is committed to improving inclusivity and ensuring equal opportunity in the ranks, Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown Jr., said in an exclusive interview with Defense One. “There's still a lot to do, because this is a cultural shift,” Brown said. “This isn't something that you can get done in just a couple of years.”
Italy’s NATO air police: Italy’s policing of the skies above the Black Sea, its recent air policing in the Baltic skies, and its aircraft-carrier-based patrolling of the Mediterranean have established the country as a stalwart of NATO’s various air policing programs, writes AEI’s Elizabeth Braw.
Space Force: Not a military service? While the mission is vital, the Space Force shouldn’t be a military service, Johns Hopkins’ Paula Thornhill argues. “By making the Space Force a military service, Congress has done it a disservice, forcing a poorly suited organizational identity onto it in the process. Fortunately for the Space Force and its leaders, there are other models that it might look to as its culture and identity take shape,” she argues in an oped for Defense One.
Academy harassment: The number of reports of sexual assault and harassment at the military service academies increased by half last year—the highest number of reports since the Defense Department first started collecting this data. At the Air Force Academy, which educates future airmen and Guardians, harassment complaints rose from 5 in the 2019 to 2020 academic year to 12 in the 2020-2021 academic year.
Sign up to get The Air & Space Brief every Tuesday from Tara Copp, Defense One’s Senior Pentagon Reporter. This week in space history: On Feb. 20, 1997, “The space probe Galileo, exploring Jupiter and its moons, discovered Icebergs on Europa,” NASA writes. The discovery added “credence to the possibility of hidden, subsurface oceans.”
From Defense One
Italy Is a Quiet Pillar of NATO's Aerial Policing // Elisabeth Braw
Rome seems happy to contribute more than their share of ground troops and jets to NATO missions—as long as they can do it sotto voce.
The Space Force Isn't a Military Service // Paula Thornhill
Unlike its sister branches, it doesn't deal in violence. It needs a different model.
"There's still a lot to do,' said Gen. C.Q. Brown, '...we didn't get here overnight, we're not gonna get out of here overnight."
Reports of Sexual Assault, Harassment at Military Academies Spike // Elizabeth Howe
The number of reports likely still represents only a small portion of actual instances of sexual assault and harassment.