SpaceX Maiden Falcon Heavy Flight Sends Car to Space Blasting David Bowie Song
Air Force officials were in Florida on Tuesday to watch SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket blast off on its maiden voyage. The rocket, which is now “the most powerful operational rocket in the world,” according to the company, carried a bright red Tesla Roadster into space. The electric car and its dummy driver, known as “Starman,” captured the world’s attention via live video feed as it cruised around the solar system blasting David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on its way to Mars. Read the full story by Amy McCullough.
DOD Leaders Warn Congress a CR Would Impact Military Pay, Readiness
?Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned lawmakers against yet another continuing resolution, claiming another long-term stopgap measure would take paychecks away from service members and limit the ability to recruit needed manpower. Specifically, Mattis said, a continuing resolution would prohibit the Pentagon from recruiting the 4,000 airmen it needs to rebuild readiness, ground aircraft due to a lack of maintenance and spare parts, and deplete ammunition stockpiles. Meanwhile, President Trump on Tuesday called for another government shutdown if Congress can’t approve legislation curbing immigration. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.
B-52 Sets New Record in Bombing Run on Taliban
A B-52 has set a new record for most precision weapons dropped in a single sortie, dropping 24 guided bombs on Taliban targets in Afghanistan. The mission, which took place in Badakhshan province, is an expansion of a new offensive on Taliban revenue and infrastructure. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.
Mattis: New, Low-Yield Nuclear Weapon A Bargaining Chip With Russia
The Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review includes plans to develop a new, low-yield nuclear weapon to be launched from submarines. This weapon will not only give the military another survivable option for deterrence, it could be used to persuade Russia to return to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told lawmakers on Tuesday. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.
US Airstrikes Continue in Yemen
US airstrikes in Yemen have continued with a steady pace through the end of 2017 and the beginning of this year, with 18 total strikes conducted in December and January. The ongoing campaign against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS-Yemen is conducted in coordination with Yemen’s government and is aimed at targeting the groups’ ability to hold territory and coordinate attacks, US Central Command said in a statement. A Dec. 15 strike killed AQAP external operations facilitator Miqdad al Sana’ani, and another on Dec. 19 killed Habib al-Sana’ani, an arms facilitator with AQAP, according to CENTCOM. —Brian Everstine
—A South Korean single-seat T-50B Golden Eagle assigned to the Black Eagle Aerobatic team crashed and caught fire at the Singapore Airshow on Tuesday. The pilot sustained minor injuries: Business Insider.
—Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, speaking with reporters at the Singapore Airshow, said allies will be especially important now that the United States is “back into great power competition:” Bloomberg.
—Two C-17s and Air Force Reservists from JB Charleston, S.C., recently delivered nearly 100,000 pounds of humanitarian aid to Haiti: DOD release.