New Reserve Commission Starts Work: A 13-member commission created by Congress to independently assess the strength of the National Guard and Reserves kicked off its work March 6 at a press conference in Washington, D.C. Highlighting the change of the reserve components “from a strategic reserve to more of an operational reserve,” the panel aims to provide an in depth assessment at a time when more than 46 percent of the 826,500 service members of the Selected Reserve have been mobilized to active duty, according to a panel statement. Arnold L. Punaro, a former commander of the 4th Marine Division and director of reserve affairs for the Marine Corp, chairs the group, which expects to complete and deliver its report next year. Commission hearings start March 8.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.