Daily Report

July 30, 2021
Brig. Gen. Lawrence Schloegl Visits Soldiers in D.C.

Guard to be Reimbursed for Capitol Mission in $2.1B Bill Cleared for Biden’s Signature

The House and Senate passed a $2.1 billion emergency security supplemental bill July 29 that fully reimburses the National Guard for its role in protecting the U.S. Capitol after the Jan. 6 insurrection. It also provides relief for Afghan interpreters who helped the U.S. during the war and significantly increases the number of authorized Special Immigrant Visas. The bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature with just two days left before the Guard's funding runs out.
afghan air force readiness

Watchdog: Afghan Air Force Already Losing Readiness Before US Withdrawal is Complete

The effectiveness of the Afghan Air Force is already dropping even before U.S. and coalition forces complete their withdrawal from the country, with the majority of its airframes losing readiness last month. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction on July 28 released its latest quarterly report to Congress, detailing several issues facing the health and effectiveness of Afghan forces. The AAF, long touted as one of the few success stories in the U.S.-led training mission, has been key to Afghan military capabilities. But that is waning as U.S. contractors leave and advisers are already gone from the country.
Northrop Grumman DA/RC

Northrop Grumman Earnings Up in Second Quarter, Strong on Space

Strong performance in space systems helped Northrop Grumman achieve sales three percent higher than a year ago, company officers reported in a July 29 second-quarter earnings call with reporters. CEO Kathy Warden said the company’s prospects are rosy given strong support in Congress for not only a higher defense spending plan than the one requested, but also for Northrop Grumman’s programs, specifically. Warden said Congress has endorsed the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) missile system, the B-21 bomber, the F-35 fighter, and the Navy’s Triton unmanned reconnaissance aircraft based on the RQ-4 Global Hawk. She expects an “integrated” new National Defense Strategy and Nuclear Posture Review “in the next six months or so” and is “pleased” that the Biden administration is reviewing both documents in tandem.

Radar Sweep

Biden to Pick Aerospace Industry Executive Alex Wagner as Air Force Personnel Boss

Air Force Times

President Joe Biden plans to announce Aerospace Industries Association executive Alex Wagner as his nominee to be assistant Air Force secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, a White House source tells Air Force Times. Wagner currently serves as AIA’s vice president for strategic initiatives, “leading efforts on talent and workforce policy as well as developing strategic partnerships to tell the story of technological innovation and the people who drive it,” according to a White House biography.

Air Force Special Operations’ Next Big Battlefield: Facebook

Task and Purpose

Air Force Special Operations Command, like the Army Special Operations Command, hosts psychological warfare units. Such units have become too focused on operational security (i.e. preventing data leaks, watching for aircraft spotters) during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they have fallen out of the practice of proactively detecting and countering disinformation campaigns, RAND found. The Air Force seems to be aware of this problem. In 2016, the service created a new career field called 14F, Information Operations.

Gen. Brown on Extremism in the Air Force and Threats from China, Afghanistan

PBS Newshour

The Air Force’s top officer is Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the first and so far only Black service Chief in U.S. military history. Nick Schifrin sits down with General Brown to look at his history and his priorities for the force, including how he plans to address diversity, racism, and extremism issues.

Biden Orders Tough New Vaccination Rules for Federal Government

The Associated Press

President Joe Biden on July 29 announced sweeping new pandemic requirements for millions of federal workers as he denounced an “American tragedy” of rising-yet-preventable deaths among unvaccinated U.S. employees and others. Biden also directed the Defense Department to look into adding the COVID-19 shot to its list of required vaccinations for members of the military. And he has directed his team to take steps to apply similar requirements to all federal contractors.

Beyond ABMS: Air Force Pushes Experimental Tech For AI, IT, Data

Breaking Defense

The Department of the Air Force is expanding its Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) tech campaign to address top-level, department-wide modernization needs for both the Air and Space services—including AI tools; standardized, integrated IT; and data standards for all programs, not just ABMS.

Space Force Launches Small Satellite to Test New Sensor Possibilities

C4ISRnet.com

The U.S. Space Force launched a new experimental satellite July 29 that will test the possibility of installing large, deployable weather sensors on small satellites. Named Monolith, the satellite is an Air Force Research Laboratory program exploring the possibility of using small satellites for Department of Defense missions.

Defense Companies Not Weighing Vaccine Mandates, Yet

Defense One

U.S. defense companies are urging employees to get coronavirus vaccines, but stopping short of requiring them, even in parts of the country experiencing high levels of infection. But that could change in the coming months depending on a host of factors, most notably if the Food and Drug Administration gives full approval to vaccines that are currently being administered under an emergency use authorization.

Space Force Sees ‘Advantages and Opportunities’ in Nuclear-Powered Space Missions

Space News

Space vehicles powered by small nuclear reactors—a technology that NASA believes could help get humans to Mars faster—also could be used for military missions in deep space, the vice chief of the U.S. Space Force said July 28. Nuclear propulsion “holds the potential for significant advantages in terms of efficiency compared to standard chemical rockets,” Gen. David Thompson said on a virtual forum hosted by the Mitchell Institute.

'You Can Forgive Yourself:' Molly Helps Vets with PTSD, New Study Says

Military.com

For 13 years, Scott Ostrom endured horrible dreams: nightmares in which bullets "just dribbled out of the end” of his weapon in a gunfight; situations when he shot people point-blank; messes where he failed his fellow Marines. But after three sessions of using MDMA, aka Ecstasy, aka Molly, in conjunction with therapy, the nightmares are gone, seemingly forever, he said in an interview with Military.com.

VIDEO: Space Power Forum with Gen. David D. Thompson

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Watch the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies’ virtual Spacepower Forum event with Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David D. Thompson. Thompson discusses the continued buildout of the Space Force, including how the Space Force is preparing to defend against adversary advancements in counterspace technologies, ongoing efforts to consolidate space acquisition, and the service’s role in supporting the Defense Department’s joint all-domain command and control strategy.

One More Thing

Russia's Nauka Module Briefly Tilts Space Station with Unplanned Thruster Fire

Space.com

Nauka's bumpy ride to the International Space Station didn't get any smoother after the new Russian science module docked July 29. A little over three hours after docking was complete, cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov were in the Zvezda module to which Nauka docked, preparing to open the hatch between the two vehicles. Then, at 12:45 p.m. EDT, thrusters on Nauka fired "inadvertently and unexpectedly," according to NASA spokesperson Rob Navias. As a result, the space station briefly lost what engineers call "attitude control," which is quite rare, Navias noted.