Some must-reads from this week's issue of Inside the Air Force:
1. At the behest of President Trump, the Pentagon has begun taking immediate steps to establish a sixth branch of the U.S. military -- a Space Force -- by 2020, though its creation requires congressional authorization, according to a new report provided to Congress.
2. A recent Air Force analysis found buying Block 5 MQ-9A Reapers is a smarter investment than procuring General Atomics' newer MQ-9B, which costs more and lacks worthwhile capabilities, a congressional source tells Inside Defense.
3. The F-35 program's concurrency cost estimate fell 2 percent from March 2017 to March 2018, reflecting a considerable drop in forecasted issues balanced by an increase in realized costs, according to a new report to Congress.
4. The Air Force plans to choose a light-attack aircraft by the end of fiscal year 2019, and is only considering bids from Textron and Sierra Nevada, according to a recent presolicitation notice.