Editor’s Note

In recognition of the Columbus Day holiday, the Daily Report will not publish Monday, Oct. 11. We will be back in your inboxes Tuesday, Oct. 12.
dod climate change

DOD Adopts Plan to Confront ‘Existential Threat’ of Climate Change

The Defense Department announced Oct. 7 that it has adopted a Climate Adaptation Plan to guide decision-making on everything from readiness to supply chains. The plan and accompanying statement by Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III were prompted by a Jan. 28 Executive Order by President Joe Biden calling for all agencies to adopt adaptation and resilience plans to respond to significant climate risks and vulnerabilities.
dod revolving door

Former Air Force Acquisition Chief: DOD Should Leverage ‘Revolving Door’ in New Ways

As the Air Force and the rest of the Department of Defense look to modernize and compete in a rapidly changing world, they need to attract top talent in a new array of fields, from programmers to data scientists to quantum researchers. In order to actually make that work, DOD and Congress need to rethink what goes into governmental service, the Air Force’s former acquisition boss said Oct. 7. That includes the notorious “revolving door.”

Radar Sweep

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US Troops Have Been Deployed in Taiwan for at Least a Year

The Wall Street Journal

A U.S. special operations unit and a contingent of Marines have been secretly operating in Taiwan to train military forces there, U.S. officials said, part of efforts to shore up the island’s defenses as concern regarding potential Chinese aggression mounts.

F-35 Engine Maker Braces for Sustainment Cost Spike

Breaking Defense

Pratt & Whitney, the company that manufactures the engine for the F-35 stealth fighter, has a big, costly problem—and no easy solution in sight. In the mid-2020s—just as the Pentagon expects to see a sharp decrease in F-35 sustainment costs—the first F135 engines used by the jet will hit 2,000 hours and will be sent to the depot for a scheduled overhaul.

CIA Creates New Mission Centers Focused on China and Technology

CBS News

CIA Director William Burns announced a series of organizational changes intended to hone the agency's focus on key national security challenges, including the launch of two new mission centers, one focused on China and another dedicated to transnational and technological threats. The China Mission Center "will further strengthen our collective work on the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century, an increasingly adversarial Chinese government," Burns said in a statement.

How Well Can AI Pick Targets From Satellite Photos? Army Test Aims to Find Out

Defense One

Two live GBU-32 bombs were dropped on range targets selected by an artificial intelligence tool on Oct. 7, part of a U.S. Army effort to see how AI might soon be used on the battlefield. The F-35 strikes are part of the fourth iteration of the XVIII Airborne Corps’s Scarlet Dragon exercise, which aims to test whether applying AI to multiple data streams can speed up finding and hitting pre-invasion targets. The test will be run by operators with the XVIII Airborne Corps out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

92 Percent of Active-duty Troops Have Been Vaccinated as Mandatory Deadlines Near


More than 92 percent of Active-duty troops have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as service deadlines for getting the jab approach. But roughly 103,000 service members haven't even gotten their first shot despite deadlines for being fully immunized. That includes roughly 48,600 Army Soldiers, 7,000 Navy Sailors, 15,500 Air Force Airmen and Space Force Guardians, and 26,800 Marines, according to statistics released by the services.

OPINION: Automation a Key Enabler of the Future Space Economy


“The new space economy is being driven by more than billionaires and tourists wishing to go to the great beyond, or governments seeking to commercialize space missions. Capital is rapidly flowing to space companies—through special-purpose acquisition companies, initial public offerings, and venture capital funding based on the potential for new markets and value creation. But what specific advances in space technology can justify this accelerated infusion of capital? The answer is a revolution in automation, enabled by artificial intelligence,” write Sita Sonty, Troy Thomas, and Cameron Scott, top defense analysts at Boston Consulting Group.

Software Reform Tops Air Force Acquisition Nom's Priorities

Defense Systems

Improving how the service acquires software and IT systems, while making DevSecOps the norm, ranks among the top priorities for the Biden administration's pick to be the Air Force's chief weapons buyer. “There is a clear need today to adapt our processes to enable better software acquisition and cybersecurity,” Andrew Hunter, the White House nominee to be assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics, told senators in responses to policy questions for his Oct. 5 confirmation hearing, testifying that “cybersecurity works best when you make it part of the design.”

One More Thing

Project Oxcart: Why You Had to be Married to Fly the CIA’s Fastest Plane


The SR-71 Blackbird remains the fastest operational military aircraft in history to this day, despite leaving service more than two decades ago, but its Lockheed predecessor in the A-12 was actually faster. The A-12 would ultimately lead to the missile-packing Mach 3 interceptor YF-12. The missile-defeating legend that is the SR-71 first took to the skies in 1962 under the CIA’s banner in what was dubbed Project Oxcart.