The Department of the Air Force announced Aug. 26 it will conduct infrastructure planning in 2022 for construction and renovation projects at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., projected to begin in 2023. Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall approved the plan, which will provide the construction and renovations necessary to enable the 319th Reconnaissance Wing to develop and train crews in support of future Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions. The announcement comes as the Air Force looks to restructure ISR capabilities to meet national defense priorities and support joint all-domain command and control capabilities.
Two provisions in the latest version of a House defense bill seek to bridge the “valley of death,” the acquisition-process obstacles that can stop promising technology from getting to troops in the field. One would establish a five-year pilot program to more quickly identify such technologies, and the other would expand Navy programs that foster small-business innovation.
The Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. military are conducting extraction operations to evacuate Americans using helicopters and ground troops as the window begins to close for rescuing all people at risk in Afghanistan. The CIA has launched clandestine operations to rescue Americans in and outside Kabul in recent days, according to U.S. and other officials. The missions are using American military helicopters but are under the control of the CIA, a typical arrangement in such operations.
“In July, the Defense Department released an unclassified memo on its space operations, identifying five ‘Tenets of Responsible Behavior.’ Significantly, these principles move beyond finger pointing to standard setting. Reinforced are some core tenets of the Outer Space Treaty, including due regard and the avoidance of harmful interference, as well as the long-standing expectation that states limit the creation of long-lived debris. … But there is one glaring gap in the memo: Nowhere does it describe the testing of weapons as irresponsible or as a practice to be avoided,” writes Dr. Jessica West, Senior Researcher at the Canadian peace research institute Project Ploughshares.
The U.S. State Department has OK’d a sale of precision-guided weapons worth about $258 million to South Korea. The sale, announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Aug. 25, will help South Korea address threats on the Korean Peninsula and progress the transfer of wartime operational control to the country, the agency said.
As the Defense Department digs out of its mound of technical debt, the office of the chief information officer is ensuring military services and defense agencies receive value for these new investments. DOD is implementing a revamped approach to IT portfolio management to better connect investments to mission requirements. Danielle Metz, the DOD deputy chief information officer for information enterprise, said the new framework will integrate with DOD business processes to enforce recommendations for optimization and modernization.
Taiwan announced a more modest pace in defense spending for next year on Aug. 26, but will spend $1.44 billion on new fighter jets, as the island bolsters its forces in the face of increased pressure from Beijing. China has stepped up its military activity near Taiwan, including holding assault drills last week near the island, which it regards as Chinese territory to be brought under Beijing's control, by force if necessary.
The Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base has been selected as the location for the Air Force’s new Cyber Warfare Mission, according to announcements by Gov. Mike DeWine and Sen. Sherrod Brown. “The Cyber Warfare Wing (CWW) will put Mansfield in the middle of the military’s cutting edge cyber capability and the fight against emerging cyber threats. The mission will also bring approximately 180 new jobs to the base,” Brown said in a news release issued Aug. 25. DeWine said he received “this outstanding news” directly from the Secretary of the Air Force.
President Joe Biden on Aug. 25 signed into law a pilot program to connect veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder with service dogs. The Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers for Veterans Therapy Act—PAWS—requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a five-year program to provide service dogs and training to veterans with PTSD.
With the aging Minuteman III ICBM system staring down obsolescence in the near future, the Air Force and its partners are looking to develop the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent. At the same time, they will have to sustain the legacy platform until the end of the decade. Find out how they’re managing the delicate balance.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is set to meet with US President Joe Biden. When he does, he plans to ask the United States for a special increase in Foreign Military Financing dollars specifically to procure an advanced version of Boeing’s F-15 fighter jet, military sources tell Breaking Defense. Israeli sources said that the request has been shaped with two options. The first is an agreement from the US to allow Israel to use allocated funds before the original schedule of the FMF agreement; the second would be a special allocation increase in the overall FMF agreement.
At first glance it did not look very different from the other light aircraft dotted around Exeter airport’s runway, a chunky extra compartment bolted to the bottom of the fuselage the only hint that there was more to it than met the eye. But the plane took off a little more steeply than might have been expected and it was noticeably quieter than the norm. This was the maiden test flight in England of the Electric EEL, a hybrid electric plane, the like of which may soon be coming to airfields across the world.