Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day

Groups gathered across the country on Sunday to commemorate the end of World War I a century ago. “Today marks the 100th anniversary of the sadly named ‘war to end all wars.’ On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, men who lived and fought in trenches that scarred the face of Europe, emerged after four years of fighting, and for the first time smelled the warm air of peace,” said Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie during a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, which was attended by many senior US and military leaders. More than 100,000 Americans were among the 18 million military members and civilians killed in the first World War. Though the war did not officially end until the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, hostilities between the allied nations and Germany concluded seven months earlier on Nov. 11. President Woodrow Wilson declared Nov. 11 Armistice Day in 1919, and the day was designated a legal holiday in 1938. However, in 1954 Congress changed the name to Veterans Day, honoring all those who have served in the military, at the urging of veteran service organizations. More than 41 million Americans have served during war time, and almost 700,000 have given their lives, said Wilkie. “If you ask any of them why they did it, they will tell you it was the right thing to do,” he added. “This day is for them.” —Amy McCullough

VA Secretary to Reauthorize Dog Experimentation for Spinal Cord Injury Research

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said the department will continue canine experimentation in the hopes of finding a cure for spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and related early death, saying he’ll press on with canine research until someone tells him that it “does not help in that outcome.” A self-professed dog lover, he stressed that such research is performed “under strict supervision,” and noted that the department has only 92 dogs in its “treatment and research facility,” compared to the 2,000 he said are euthanized daily in the US. He also cited the role of the department’s previous canine research in prior medical breakthroughs, including the development of the cardiac pacemaker and of “cardiac ablation, that creates the means to correct deadly cardiac arrhythmias,” as well as in “the research that led to the first liver transplant.” “I’m going to do everything that is ethical to make sure that our veterans come first,” he said. Wilkie said the initial go-ahead for canine experiments came from “the previous management.” —Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory

AFRL Finds Agile Way to Modernize IT

When AFRL management asked staff in 2015 what they should do with the lab’s two-decade old business IT systems, the most common answer was “Turn it off.” Soon, they’ll get their wish. This is the story of how one agency used new acquisition authority to accelerate its IT modernization needs. Read the full story by Shaun Waterman

Air Force Academy Topples West Point in Schools’ First Cyber Competition

Air Force Academy cadets on Nov. 2 bested a West Point team at the Capture the Flag Cyber Competition, “the first head-to-head” clash of the service academies’ cyber titans, at the US Military Academy. During the competition—which Air Force Academy instructor Capt. Justin Raynor described as a “live, six-hour attack and defend-style event”—each 12-student team was tasked with attempting “to control and compromise the opposing team’s computer system,” according to a release. The coveted flags are strings “of characters” that “demonstrate a competitor has successfully exploited a bug,” reported the Pointer View newspaper. The USAF team was awarded a trophy and a star for its achievement.


Armistice Day: White House Defends Trump WW1 No-Show

The White House has defended US President Donald Trump’s decision to miss a memorial event on Saturday after he faced a backlash. Mr Trump, who was in France to mark the centenary of World War One’s end, cancelled a visit to a US military cemetery because it was raining. BBC

Air Force Identifies Yokota Airman Stabbed to Death in Western Tokyo

An airman with the 374th Security Forces Squadron out of Yokota Air Base in Japan was stabbed to death Friday in an apparent domestic dispute. Air Force Times

How Mattis is trying to keep U.S.-China tensions from boiling over

When the United States imposed sanctions on China’s military this fall, China retaliated by canceling Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ plans to meet his counterpart in Beijing. But just days later, a Chinese general visited the Pentagon with a reassuring message: Beijing valued the importance of military ties between the two countries. Reuters

J-20 Displays Missiles for First Time in Celebration of PLA Air Force’s Birthday

Armed with six missiles, China’s most advanced stealth fighter jet, the J-20, opened its missile bay door to the public for the first time when performing at the Airshow China 2018 in Zhuhai, South China’s Guangdong Province on Sunday, in celebration of the 69th birthday of the Chinese People’s Liberation (PLA) Air Force. Global Times

Patrick Shanahan on the F-35, Modernization and Budget Cuts

When Patrick Shanahan arrived at the Pentagon as the new deputy secretary of defense in July 2017, his impact was unclear. A career in Boeing had brought Shanahan in contact with both the defense and commercial divisions, but he had never worked inside the department — and now he was in charge of driving internal reforms for Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Defense News

US to Stop Refueling of Saudi Aircraft in Yemen War

The United States will stop refueling Saudi Arabian aircraft fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Pentagon and the Saudi kingdom said late Friday. AP News

Secretary General Stresses Importance of Transatlantic Bond, INF Treaty

In a speech hosted by the German Atlantic Society in Berlin on Monday (12 November 2018), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg underscored the importance of the transatlantic bond at a time of unprecedented security challenges. In particular, Mr Stoltenberg warned that the deployment of new Russian SSC-8 missiles puts the historic INF treaty at jeopardy, calling https://www.nato.inton Russia to ensure full compliance with the treaty. NATO

US Navy F/A 18 Fighter Jet Crashes into Philippine Sea; Both Pilots Safe

A US Navy fighter jet operating off the aircraft career USS Ronald Reagan crashed into the sea northeast of the Philippines Monday but both of its pilots ejected, were rescued and were in good condition, the 7th Fleet said in a statement. CBS

One More Thing:

They Shall Not Grow Old

Peter Jackson has restored and colorized documentary footage from World War I. The results bring an utterly new and breathtaking perspective on those who served in the “War to End All Wars.” Watch the trailer.