Lawmakers Warn Time is Running Short to Get 2022 NDAA Passed

With less than two months left in 2021, lawmakers are warning that time is growing short for Congress to sort through the procedural hurdles necessary to get the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act signed into law. The NDAA is typically considered “must-pass” legislation and has been approved by Congress every year for more than half a century. While it does not actually appropriate the money spent on defense, the policy bill does authorize the appropriations and sets a host of policies and restrictions. It also typically sets a number of reports for the Pentagon to deliver to Congress, and without it, certain special pay authorizations will expire.

C-130 Catches an X-61 Gremlins Vehicle in Airborne Recovery Test

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency crashed one of its four remaining Gremlins air-launched drones during a flight test in October but not without demonstrating some of the autonomous swarming program’s key objectives. In tests, the X-61 Gremlins Air Vehicles, or GAVs, launch from the wing of a C-130. October's test at the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, “successfully validated all autonomous formation flying positions and safety features” and “ultimately demonstrated airborne recovery to a C-130,” according to a news release.

Accountability for Erroneous Kabul Strike Up to Combatant Commands

The release of an Air Force Inspector General report on the erroneous Aug. 29 air strike that killed 10 civilians in Kabul, Afghanistan, has prompted questions about accountability that will now be left up to the relevant combatant commanders, according to the Pentagon. “The report and its findings have now been transmitted to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command,” Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said Nov. 5. “Each of those commanders can take a look at the process breakdowns and can determine for themselves if, in fact, in addition to process improvements, there might need to be accountability at their level.”
SMC WGS-10 Launch Team

Commercial Satcom Providers Must Meet Federal Cyber Standards for Military

Commercial satellite communication providers who want to sell their services to the U.S. military will have to meet the same voluminous cybersecurity standards imposed on federal agencies themselves—plus additional ones specific to space and national security, according to a Space Force official. The move comes amid growing concern about cyberattacks on U.S. satellites that could cripple the U.S. military’s global communications network.

Radar Sweep

Pentagon’s JADC2 Office Could Phase Out in Coming Years

Breaking Defense

The Pentagon's cross-functional team overseeing efforts to connect sensors and shooters for the military’s ambitious joint all-domain command and control initiative could phase out in the next three to five years, according to a top general. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Dennis A. Crall said Nov. 4 that the Joint All Domain Command and Control Cross-Functional Team could phase out as the military services make progress rolling out capabilities to enable JADC2.

Joint Chiefs’ Information Officer: US is Behind on Information Warfare. AI Can Help

Defense One

The United States needs a better strategy and more advanced tools for information operations, Lt. Gen. Dennis A. Crall, the Joint Staff’s chief information officer, said Nov. 4. The government has become slower and less confident in its approach, a reticence it can’t afford as artificial intelligence drastically increases the pace of messaging and information campaigns, said Crall, who is also the Joint Staff’s director for command, control, communications, computers, and cyber.

32 Turbofan Engines, 16 Avenger Cannons, 10 Tons of Armor: This is an A-10 Elephant Walk

Task and Purpose

At Warfield Air National Guard Base, Md., 16 A-10C Thunderbolt II attack planes of the 104th Fighter Squadron lined up down the runway Nov. 3 for an ‘elephant walk,’ in which aircraft line up in formation on the airstrip. The ‘elephant walk’ tradition dates back to large numbers of World War II bombers taking off to attack targets in Europe, but the 104th used the maneuver as a chance to showcase “the capability of pilots, airfield operations, and maintainers of the 175th Wing,” according to a news release.

As Europe Looks to the Indo-Pacific, So Does the Luftwaffe

Defense News

The German Air Force is preparing to send fighters, tankers, and transport aircraft across the world to the Asia-Pacific region in a little less than a year, as its colleagues in the European Union continue to assess how the bloc should increase its involvement in the region. The Luftwaffe will deploy six Eurofighter aircraft, three Airbus A330 tankers and three A400M transport aircraft in support of Australia’s Pitch Black exercise, scheduled for Sept. 5-23, 2022.

PODCAST: Operation Enduring Freedom: A 20-Year Air Commander Retrospective, Part 2

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In episode 48 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, Operation Enduring Freedom: A 20-Year Air Commander Retrospective, Part 2, retired Gen. Buzz Moseley, retired Gen. Chuck Wald, retired Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, and retired Maj. Gen. Larry Stutzriem provide first-person air commander perspectives regarding the air campaign they led against the Taliban, which began Oct. 7, 2001, ushering in a new era as B-2s set new bombing mission endurance records—flying over 40 hours on a single sortie—while remotely piloted MQ-1 Predators introduced a new form of unmanned combat airpower.

OPINION: Security Clearance Reforms Needed to Accelerate Space Innovation


“The Space Force is embarking on an aggressive effort to incorporate commercial technology from new entrants into its current and future architectures. High-profile efforts like the Space Enterprise Consortium, SpaceWERX, and others are all designed to help bring nontraditional space companies into the fold by overcoming the Defense Department’s acquisition hurdles and barriers to entry. This effort is laudable and has yielded small-dollar successes. Yet, while the service is working to bring down contractual barriers, security clearances remain a key obstacle,” writes Joshua C. Huminski, director of the National Security Space Program at the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress.

One More Thing

The Best Places for Veterans to Live? Try Tampa, but Avoid Detroit, Survey Finds


A new survey on the best and worst places for veterans to live put a Florida city on top for the second year in a row and Detroit at the bottom—again. Tampa led the list based on factors ranging from housing affordability, job opportunities, and availability of Department of Veterans Affairs facilities to quality of life and a welcoming atmosphere for veterans. Motor City came in last among 100 cities in the annual survey conducted prior to Veterans Day by the WalletHub personal finance website.