Immediate Response Force Paratroopers Deploy

DOD: More Forces Ready to Deploy to Iraq Following Embassy Attack

The Pentagon is bolstering security at the US Embassy in Iraq after Iranian-backed militias attacked it on Dec. 31. About 750 soldiers are immediately deploying aboard USAF C-17s, with more deployments possible over the next several days. “To Iran and its proxy militias: We will not accept continued attacks against our personnel and forces in the region. Attacks against us will be met with responses in the time, manner, and place of our choosing," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a Jan. 2 statement. "We urge the Iranian regime to end their malign activities.”
Expanded carriage demonstration showcases possible B-1B capability

Congress Endorses Hypersonic Weapons as Development Ramps Up

Congress threw its support behind the Pentagon’s effort to design new hypersonic weapons and fully funded the Air Force’s two high-speed missile programs in the fiscal 2020 defense policy and spending bills. Lawmakers want the military to speed up testing and development of hypersonic capabilities, ranging from aircraft propulsion to weapons. They echo the Pentagon’s concern that America’s adversaries are far outpacing the US at maturing weapons that can travel at least five times the speed of sound.

Taiwan Military Chief Killed in Black Hawk Crash

The head of Taiwan’s military and seven others were killed in a Jan. 2 UH-60M Black Hawk crash near New Taipei City. Gen. Shen Yi-ming was on his way to visit his troops when the Black Hawk disappeared from radar shortly after takeoff while flying over mountains in the north of the island nation.
Weapons load crew arms F-15E Strike Eagle

Raytheon to Build More AMRAAMs for 22 Nations

Raytheon will build a new batch of Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles for 22 foreign countries under a $768.3 million Air Force contract awarded Dec. 27, 2019. This is the 33rd AMRAAM production lot and involves sales to Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey and the United Kingdom, according to a Defense Department contract announcement. The Pentagon did not say how many missiles are included in that lot.

Radar Sweep

Air Force Secretary Visits Service Members at Nigerien Air Base 201

US Africa Command release

Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett traveled to Agadez, Niger, to meet and thank personnel deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201 during the holidays, Dec. 21-22, 2019. During her first visit to the African continent since taking office in October, Barrett’s focus was centered solely on the US service members deployed there.

US Navy Declares New Fleet Created to Confront Russia Fully Operational

Defense News

The newly reinstated Norfolk, Va.-based 2nd Fleet, which was opened for business in 2018, is now fully operational, the US Navy announced Dec. 31. The fleet will oversee and control operations in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, as well has having a limited role in training and certification of East Coast-based forces deploying around the globe.