Daily Report

March 4, 2021

B-21 Bomber Shelter May Reveal Size of Secret Jet

The Air Force may have inadvertently revealed the size of the secret B-21 bomber with the release of an image of a temporary shelter for the airplane. The service is evaluating several designs for temporary shelters for everyday use and deployment to temporary operating locations. If the B-21 fully fits within the shelter's footprint, it has a wingspan of about 140 feet.

No One-Size-Fits-All Response to Space Attacks, Raymond Says

U.S. officials are trying to hash out the ground rules for extraterrestrial combat more than a year after standing up a Space Force to fend off threats on orbit. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for what actions by a satellite could be considered an act of war. Proportional response in a war that extends to space will depend on a broader context than earlier conflicts where the U.S. might respond to a barrage of rockets with its own airstrike, the Space Force’s top general said March 3. “I think it depends on the strategic context that's going on in the world,” Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond said during an event hosted by the National Press Club.

GAO Turns Down Anduril’s ABMS Protest

The Government Accountability Office recently turned down a protest by California-based Anduril Industries, which challenged how the Air Force is running aspects of its Advanced Battle Management System acquisition. Anduril filed the protest in November to push back on a solicitation for contractors to participate in ABMS that it felt restricted competition. In its Feb. 22 decision to deny the protest, GAO sided with the Air Force and said the requirement for battlefield node support is “logically connected” with the broad scope of work in the program's secure processing field.
Iraqi Security Forces Receive More Vehicles and Weapons

Al-Asad Air Base Comes Under Rocket Attack, Pentagon Confirms

About 10 rockets struck Al-Asad Air Base, Iraq, on the morning of March 3, just over a year after Iranian ballistic missiles ravaged the installation and left more than a hundred U.S. troops with traumatic brain injuries, the Pentagon confirmed. An American contractor suffered “a cardiac episode while sheltering” and died. There are no other reports of injuries, the Pentagon said. Iraqi security forces are playing point on the investigation, said Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson Col. Wayne Marotto. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Radar Sweep

Former Air Force Acquisition Boss Joins Drone Maker Volansi

Defense News

Former Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper will join the board of directors of Volansi, a commercial drone delivery company looking to expand its defense revenue, the company announced March 3. As assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics, Roper oversaw an annual budget of $60 billion in funding for research and development, testing, procurement and modernization of all Air Force and Space Force acquisition programs.

AFRL, NORTHCOM Eye Commercial Internet Sats for Arctic

Breaking Defense

U.S. Northern Command is working with Air Force Research Laboratory to test commercial SATCOM capabilities in the Arctic, Air Force officials say—a key part of NORTHCOM head Gen. Glen D. VanHerck’s new strategy for beefing up joint operations in the ever-more contested far north.

DC Guard Chief Agrees ‘Optics’ Slowed Deployment During Capitol Riot

The Hill

Army officials on a call with law enforcement officials Jan. 6 expressed concerns about the optics of deploying the National Guard to the U.S. Capitol, the commander of the D.C. National Guard said March 3. “The Army senior leaders did not think that it looked good, it would be a good optic. They further stated that it could incite the crowd,” Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, commanding general of the D.C. Guard testified to a pair of Senate committees.

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OPINION: America’s Forever Wars Have Come Back Home

Foreign Policy

“It’s no coincidence that, after years of fighting abroad, the United States is beset with paranoia, loss of trust, and increasingly bitter divisions,” writes Stephen M. Walt, the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.