President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin concluded their summit on June 16 with an agreement to return their nations’ ambassadors to their posts in Washington and Moscow and a plan to begin work toward replacing the last remaining treaty between the two countries limiting nuclear weapons.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is considering whether to mandate the coronavirus vaccine for service members after the shot receives full Food and Drug Administration approval, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Harker told the House Armed Services Committee on June 15.
If a fight over Taiwan occurs, the Air Force plans to wage conventional warfare against China by flying nuclear-capable aircraft into its airspace—or by launching cruise missiles from outside its airspace from other nuclear-capable aircraft. Either way, Beijing would have no quick way of determining whether the attacking U.S. bombers were carrying nuclear or conventional munitions. Its nascent strategic warning system would not be able to differentiate between a nuclear and non-nuclear attack until weapons actually started exploding on its territory, and China’s highly centralized nuclear command authority might not be willing to wait that long before responding.
President Joe Biden is requesting $715 billion for the Defense Department in fiscal year 2022 — a 1.6 percent increase compared to 2021. However, some analysts expect the topline to be significantly higher once lawmakers are finished with the budget. While keeping military spending relatively flat, Biden asked for a big bump in funding for non-defense agencies. In recent years, Republicans on the Hill have demanded more military expenditures.
The end of pandemic financial protections coupled with the lingering housing challenges of recent years could lead to “an unprecedented wave of veterans homelessness” in coming months, advocates warned lawmakers on June 16. They’re pushing for more resources to help those vulnerable veterans but also intervention from federal and local officials to maintain those protections for a little longer, to prevent a potential tragedy.
China is set to launch three astronauts into orbit to begin occupation of the country's new space station. The three men are expected to spend three months living and working aboard the Tianhe module some 236 miles above the Earth. It will be China's longest crewed space mission to date and the first in nearly five years.
A key House Democrat wants the Pentagon to reassess a Trump administration decision to halt the Missile Defense Agency’s research into laser interceptors. That decision to move directed energy-related funds to other defense organizations, Rep. James Langevin, D-R.I., argues, could prevent the technology from being used to defend the United States or deployed troops.
After a rocky year moving to new orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Air Force is warning its troops that supply shortages could make transitions difficult this summer too. April to September tend to be peak moving months around the nation, but after coronavirus forced many civilian and military families to put off transitioning to their new homes, moving companies were forced to downsize. Now the demand is overwhelming the industry.
In 1898, the three-mast barque Belgica became the first ship ever to successfully winter in the Antarctic, subjecting her crew to extreme isolation and stress. More than a century later, NASA uses the experiences of the Belgica to help prep its astronauts for the similarly bleak emptiness of space travel.