Pentagon Steps Up Effort to Evacuate Families of Defense Department Service Members from Afghanistan
The Pentagon has intensified its effort to evacuate the families of Defense Department service members and civilians from Afghanistan, creating a system to track the number of immediate family members who remain there more than two months after the U.S. withdrawal. In a memo, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin H. Kahl asked service members and civilians to submit via email relevant information about their immediate family still in Afghanistan—data that had previously been tracked by the services.
Guardians at the Air Force Academy hiked to the top of Eagles Peak on Nov. 5 to celebrate the activation of a Space Force detachment at the school. The group displayed the Space Force flag at the summit to herald the opening of Space Force Delta 13, Det. 1, the first Space Force unit authorized at the school.
NASA is pushing back plans to return astronauts to the moon by at least a year to 2025, Administrator Bill Nelson announced Nov. 9, saying the Trump administration's ambitious goal "was not grounded in technical feasibility." It also means the race against China to put down stakes for a more permanent presence on the lunar surface has heated up.
The Air Force is moving headlong into the prototype phase of the service's new, open architecture-based signals intelligence (SIGINT) program, tapping Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems to develop the sensor hardware and networking backbone in support of the effort. Engineers at BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman will provide prototype SIGINT sensor platforms for the USAF's Global High-altitude Open-system Sensor Technology (GHOST) program, according to statements by both defense companies.
The engines that power the Air Force are the best in the world. But as technology continues to evolve, new improvements promise greater power, range, and other capabilities. Read the latest on advances in aircraft engines and propulsion technology.
Col. Gary Donovan, commander of Tinker Air Force Base’s 552nd Operations Group in Oklahoma, was removed from his post Nov. 8 following an investigation that found he skirted safety protocols and fostered an unhealthy workplace culture, a spokesperson confirmed Nov. 9.
Cloud technologies are accelerating change at every level of the Air Force—and the Space Force. Whether it's pure computational power to enable autonomy or advanced encryption to ensure mission-grade security, the future of IT is here and now.
There is potential for the Israeli and Emirati militaries to cooperate in space, Shlomi Sudri, general manager of Israel Aerospace Industries’ Space Division, told The Jerusalem Post following the International Astronautical Congress in Dubai. “Overall we are living in a relatively similar attitude line in the globe, and there are a lot of things in the neighborhood that are of interest to both countries, so there is a possibility,” Sudri said of potential military cooperation in space. “It may be possible to cooperate with the UAE’s military.”
They’re calling it an “apogee kick motor,” but the object’s true identity and purpose remain unknown. China’s Shijian-21 spacecraft, a satellite with the stated purpose of cleaning up space junk, has an orbital companion, but we’re not entirely sure what it is. The Shijian-21 satellite was launched to space by a Long March-3B rocket on Oct. 23. Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency said the spacecraft “entered the planned orbit successfully” and that it “will be mainly used to test and verify space debris mitigation technologies.”
The Defense Department has awarded $32.6 million to invest in electromagnetic spectrum management tools. The awards were made to three companies that are a part of the National Spectrum Consortium: Peraton Labs, Leidos, and Shared Spectrum Co. The awards were made via an other transaction agreement (OTA) through the consortium. DOD has increasingly used OTAs to rapidly buy and fund prototype development as well as fielding new technologies.
“Yet another dangerous entitlement expansion could be coming soon. On Nov. 10, the House Agriculture Committee will discuss a bill that would put significantly more members of the armed forces on food stamps, weakening the military in numerous ways. Yet the federal government has no evidence to justify this policy—and even if there is a problem that needs to be solved, there’s a better option than greater dependency on government welfare,” writes Robin Walker, senior director of federal affairs at the Foundation for Government Accountability.
Air Force-backed startup Hermeus rolled out a hypersonic aircraft prototype, firing the drone’s afterburning engine during a ceremony at an Atlanta airport. The unveiling of the non-flying Quarterhorse prototype marks the latest step in the Georgia company’s effort to make reusable hypersonic aircraft and eventually jetliners that can fly passengers at five times the speed of sound.
Airmen commenced participation in U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear command and training exercise, Global Thunder 22, on Nov. 2. Global Thunder is an annual command and control exercise designed to train U.S. Transportation Command components, units, and task forces as well as assess joint operational readiness. Airmen and Guardians at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., are taking part in the exercise to test and demonstrate their technical skill sets.
Romania’s foreign minister said Nov. 9 that he asked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in person to consider boosting the U.S. troop presence on the Black Sea to address flaring tensions with Russia. “We have discussed about the importance of increasing the U.S. presence in the region and in Romania,” H.E. Bogdan Aurescu said at an Atlantic Council event a day after the meeting. The Black Sea has become a flashpoint in tensions between Moscow and the West after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, which gave it access to the peninsula’s Black Sea coast.
As Veterans Day approached, an African-American flight crew from Scott Air Force Base, Ill., set out to make history and mark a bittersweet period of our nation’s military history. They made history by becoming the first all-Black crew to land a C-21 aircraft at Sharpe Field in Alabama, formerly known as Tuskegee Army Airfield. Captains Kyle Green and Johnny Frye made the trip from Scott to the civilian airfield to speak with student pilots and reflect on the sacrifices of those who came before them.