US Rushes $800M In Weapons, Helicopters to Ukraine as Russia Coils for New Offensive Into the Donbas
The United States will send an $800 million security assistance package of additional military weapons systems, vehicles, and munitions to Ukraine as Russia prepares to significantly increase its assault on the Donbas region, President Joe Biden announced April 13. The latest arms transfer will include 11 Mi-17 helicopters that the administration had originally planned for Afghanistan but will send to Ukraine instead.
With a final ruling expected soon on whether Space Command will move to Alabama, Colorado’s congressional delegation is again vowing to fight to keep SPACECOM headquartered at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs. The Government Accountability Office has been reviewing the Jan. 13, 2021 decision by the Trump administration to locate SPACECOM’s headquarters in Huntsville, Ala. While that review is complete, according to a number of sources, the watchdog agency has yet to make its findings public. It has, however, briefed members of Congress—and Peterson’s supporters don’t sound happy.
DOD to Build Project Pele Mobile Microreactor and Perform Demonstration at Idaho National Laboratory
The Department of Defense’s Strategic Capabilities Office released a Record of Decision for Project Pele, a program intended to design, build, and demonstrate a mobile microreactor. SCO will construct an inherently safe by design nuclear microreactor capable of being transported by the DOD and able to deliver one to five megawatts of electrical power for a minimum of three years of full power operation.
That the United States is behind China and Russia in the area of hypersonic weapons is no secret. But the successful endurance test of a new jet-launched hypersonic in March is giving weapons maker Lockheed Martin hope that the United States is on track to close the gap.
The Defense Department has scuttled plans to merge the Defense Department’s commissary system with the military branches' three separate exchange services. In an April 4 memo to Pentagon leadership, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks ordered officials to “cease all efforts to consolidate the Defense resale entities.”
A project for a $30 million renovation of the fitness center at Schriever Space Force Base outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was approved last month, giving Guardians stationed in the rural area access to a more modern gym after several years of fighting for updates to the building. U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., earmarked the project in the fiscal 2022 omnibus funding bill. The funding was secured last month, and will be crucial for maintaining morale, recruitment and readiness, an aide for the senator told Military.com.
Western weaponry pouring into Ukraine helped blunt Russia’s initial offensive and seems certain to play a central role in the approaching, potentially decisive, battle for Ukraine’s contested Donbas region. Yet the Russian military is making little headway halting what has become a historic arms express.
The U.S. Space Force in 2025 plans to launch to geostationary orbit three small satellites that will attempt to dock with a propellant tanker so they can be refueled in space. The idea is to “test out pieces of the refueling infrastructure,” Col. Joseph Roth, director of innovation and prototyping at U.S. Space Systems Command, told SpaceNews at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.
The head of Italy’s defense giant Leonardo has said there is a “great willingness” in Europe to bring countries together to launch joint defense programs as funding multiplies in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo predicted jointly planned and produced systems were increasingly in demand on the continent after years in which countries duplicated designs, leading to massive wastes of funding.
The U.S. Army, as part of its recruiting efforts, has thrown a lot of spaghetti at the wall to entice young men and women to sign their lives away in service to the military’s oldest branch. Its latest campaign is a Buzzfeed quiz, a popular time-wasting method from the early 2010s that people evidently still do in the Year of Our Lord 2022.