Daily Report

Nov. 24, 2021

Editor’s Note

The Daily Report will not publish Nov. 25-26 due to the Thanksgiving holiday. We will be back in your inboxes Monday, Nov. 29.
OPIR

Upgraded Missile Warning Satellites Come ‘Another Significant Step’ Closer to Reality

The Space Force’s “go fast acquisition” of three new missile warning satellites passed a system-level critical design review Oct. 28 that judged how the satellites and associated ground systems will work together and how the new equipment will work with existing missile warning systems. The satellites are designed with “improved warning” features to detect missiles that move faster or create a dimmer infrared signature than current systems are designed to track. The system-level review represented "another significant step" toward the first launch, planned for 2025, the company said Nov. 23.
Rated Preparatory Program

Air Force Extends Deadline to Apply for the Rated Prep Program

Active-duty Airmen who want to become pilots, combat systems officers, air battle managers, or remotely piloted aircraft pilots now have until Dec. 31 to apply for the Rated Preparatory Program. The Air Force launched the program in partnership with the Civil Air Patrol in 2019 in an effort to tackle the service's lingering pilot shortage. “Through RPP, qualified Airmen gain skills they may have not had the opportunity or resources to gain before entering the Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Brenda P. Cartier, Air Education and Training Command’s director of operations and communications. “We want to provide our Airmen the tools to pursue their lifelong dream of flying in the Air Force—a dream they may have never thought possible.”
data hackathon

Data Hackathons to Help Expand Digital Engineering in the Testing Community

So-called “hackers” from three commands competed in a hackathon Nov. 1-5 to help the Air Force Test Pilot School figure out how to manage stores of data in an expansion of digital engineering. Now the Air Force Test Center plans to stage quarterly hackathons with the next goal “to not only have more participants, but to work with squadrons and hopefully get a bigger mission impact.”

Radar Sweep

Key Pentagon Posts Remain Vacant Amid Supply-Chain Crisis

Defense One

More than a dozen senior weapons-buying positions in the Pentagon remain filled with acting officials 10 months into the Biden administration. Most of the vacant positions have been temporarily filled by career civil servants, but in some cases these acting officials cannot sign off on certain decisions.

Opinion: The Real Space Force—A Great Second Season

Air Force Times

“Count me among the disappointed that Netflix’s ‘Space Force’ was granted a second season. It continues the pattern Netflix began with ‘House of Cards’ of profiting from undermining confidence in our government and those who honorably serve. I am impressed with the accomplishments of the genuine United States Space Force as it approaches its second anniversary. They should restore your American pride. China sending a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile circling the globe in near earth orbit and then maneuvering toward its target should make it clear that the imperative to preserve leadership in space is nothing to joke about,” writes Mark Kennedy, president emeritus of the University of Colorado, who represented Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 to 2007.

The Air Force Wants to Kill a Drone That Ground Commanders Say They Can’t Live Without

Task & Purpose

“We believe we have a genuine requirement for them … it gives us visibility and intelligence gathering capabilities that we might not otherwise have,” said Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, when he spoke before the House Armed Services Committee in March 2020. McKenzie was not talking about the advanced F-35 fighter, the deadly AH-64 attack helicopter, or even the legendary A-10 attack plane. He was talking about the humble MQ-9 Reaper drone, which can stay airborne for long periods of time while collecting intelligence and firing missiles.

Opinion: Prioritize NATO’s Core Task: Collective Defense

Defense News

“The NATO Parliamentary Assembly meets next week in Washington to discuss the alliance’s redraft of its 2010 Strategic Concept, and the agenda is loaded with relatively new missions. Protecting against cyberattacks, hybrid warfare, the Chinese challenge, terrorism, and global warming indeed all need to be part of NATO’s expanding mission. But traditional collective defense remains the top priority, and that needs to be reflected in the new Strategic Concept, which will be drafted next year,” write Hans Binnendijk, distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council and former NSC senior director for defense policy; and Julian Lindley-French, chairman of The Alphen Group.

Aircraft Propulsion: The Power of Modern Propulsion

Air Force Magazine

The engines that power the Air Force are the best in the world. But as technology continues to evolve, new improvements promise greater power, range, and other capabilities. Read the latest on advances in aircraft engines and propulsion technology.

Student Veterans Battle for GI Bill Benefits at MIT, Another School Fighting the VA

Military.com

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, lost GI Bill eligibility for one of its programs and never sought approval for doctoral courses due to a series of paperwork snafus and poor communication with state approving authorities, leaving some veterans at the school in limbo and out thousands of dollars, an investigation by Military.com found.

One More Thing

In a First Test of Its Planetary Defense Efforts, NASA Is Going to Shove an Asteroid

NPR

NASA is about to launch an unprecedented mission to knock an asteroid slightly off course. In the first real-world test of a technique that could someday be used to protect Earth from a threatening space rock, a spacecraft is scheduled to blast off from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. The golf-cart-size spacecraft will travel to an asteroid that's more than 6 million miles away—and poses no danger to Earth—and ram into it. Scientists will then watch to see how the asteroid's trajectory changes.