Daily Report

July 10, 2023

Brown’s Confirmation Hearing for Chairman of Joint Chiefs to Be Held July 11

The long-awaited hearing to confirm the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will begin on July 11, when Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. is set to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee. If confirmed by the Senate, Brown would be the first Airman in 18 years to serve as the commander-in-chief’s top military adviser.
Pre-ministerial press conference by the US Permanent Representative

NATO Details Leap in Member Defense Spending Ahead of Summit

Ahead of a major NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, July 11-12, official statistics show a significant uptick in defense spending among allied members. According to information released on July 7 by the alliance, there is eight percent real increase in defense spending above inflation, compared with two percent in 2022.

In Europe, SPACECOM Commander Pledges More Integration with Allies

The head of U.S. Space Command, Army Gen. James Dickinson, took a weeklong trip to Europe June 21-27. U.S. military space officials have been making a concerted effort to enhance America's cooperation with European allies as Russia’s war in Ukraine has highlighted the critical importance space plays in intelligence, command and control, communications, and guided munitions.

Radar Sweep

Biden Says War with Russia Must End Before NATO Can Consider Membership for Ukraine


President Joe Biden told CNN in an exclusive interview that Ukraine is not yet ready for NATO membership, saying that Russia’s war in Ukraine needs to end before the alliance can consider adding Kyiv to its ranks. Biden said discussion of Ukraine’s imminent membership in NATO was premature, the U.S. and its allies in NATO would continue to provide President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his forces the security and weaponry they need to try to end the war with Russia.

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Investors Bought Nearly $1 Billion in Land Near a California Air Force Base. Officials Want to Know Who Exactly They Are.

The Wall Street Journal

Government officials are investigating large land acquisitions near a major air force base northeast of San Francisco, concerned that foreign interests could be behind the investment group that purchased the land. The Air Force’s Foreign Investment Risk Review Office has been investigating purchases of roughly 52,000 acres, including around Travis Air Force Base.

Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Chosen as Pentagon’s Next Top Enlisted Service Member

Stars and Stripes

Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Troy Black, the top enlisted Marine, will become the Pentagon’s highest-ranking enlisted service member, the Defense Department announced July 7. Black, a 35-year Marine who has served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, will become the fifth senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or SEAC, according to the Pentagon. Black was selected by Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, for the position, which provides advice and insights on the enlisted force to the top U.S. general and the Pentagon’s top civilian leaders.

U.S. Destroys Last of Its Declared Chemical Weapons, Closing a Deadly Chapter Dating to World War I

Associated Press

The last of the U.S. declared chemical weapons stockpile was destroyed at a sprawling military installation in eastern Kentucky, the White House announced July 7, a milestone that closes a chapter of warfare dating back to World War I. Workers at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky destroyed rockets filled with GB nerve agent, completing a decades-long campaign to eliminate a stockpile that by the end of the Cold War totaled more than 30,000 tons.

Space Force Captain Kept US Cabinet Officials Safe Amid Europe Crisis

Air Force Times

Early last year, as Russia mounted its all-out assault on Ukraine, the U.S. Space Force quietly built a shadowy electronic warfare enterprise in the remote European countryside to secure U.S. satellite networks. That effort, led by Capt. Victoria Garcia, safeguarded the travel of two U.S. Cabinet secretaries to Kyiv, deployed a brand-new EW system for the first time and set a new standard for how the Space Force operates in far-flung parts of the world.

Go Deeper on Operational Imperatives

Air & Space Forces Magazine

Virtually every part of the Department of the Air Force’s drive to modernize is being shaped by Secretary Frank Kendall’s seven Operational Imperatives—lines of effort that address the most important and urgent challenges facing the Air Force today. Now, the department and industry are working together to develop solutions for each imperative, and the results will likely change the Air Force and Space Force for the next generation. Keep up with all the latest news on each Operational Imperative.

Biden Defends ‘Difficult Decision’ To Give Ukraine Cluster Bombs Amid Congressional Pushback

NBC News

President Joe Biden defended what he called his "very difficult decision" to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine in an interview that aired July 9, saying the war-torn country "needed" the controversial weapons to fight off invading Russian troops. “It took me a while to be convinced to do it. But the main thing is, they either have the weapons to stop the Russians now from their—keep them from stopping the Ukrainian offensive through these areas—or they don’t. And I think they needed them," Biden said in an interview on CNN.

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Former Army Staffer Accused of Fraud Scheme Targeting Gold Star Families

The Washington Post

A former Army financial counselor was charged July 6 with defrauding grieving military families out of life insurance payments for their dead loved ones, allegedly using investment trades to bleed their accounts and fatten his own. The U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey charged Caz Craffy on 10 counts, including wire and securities fraud, accusing him of swindling two dozen Army families out of six-figure life insurance payments.

PODCAST: It’s Time to Reset the Force: Leadership Conversation with Lt Gen Mike Loh, Director of the ANG

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In Episode 136 of the Aerospace Advantage, Doug Birkey chats with Lt Gen Mike Loh, Mitchell Institute’s Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (Ret.), and Heather Penney. The Air Force’s fighter inventory is too small and too old to meet the demands placed upon it. The aging aircraft must be retired, but the Air Force lacks the necessary funding to procure a sufficient volume of new fighters. We saw this when F-15s stationed at Kadena were retired without permanently assigned backfills. The modernization imperative disproportionately impacts the ANG given that those units generally possess the service’s oldest equipment. Force structure realities see the ANG as necessary to meet COCOM demands, especially those tied to homeland defense. It’s time to focus on solutions.

US Now Aiding Vietnam in Finding the Country's Missing in Action


Half a century after the last American combat troops left Vietnam, the U.S. has taken the first steps in a major but little-noticed policy shift to solidify relations with its former adversary by helping the Vietnamese account for and identify their war dead. Under a July 2020 Vietnam Wartime Accounting Initiative Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Vietnam, the State Department's U.S. Agency for International Development was given the formidable task of providing technical assistance and archival research to Vietnam on as many as 300,000 Vietnamese missing.

Pentagon’s Reversal on New Travel Expense System 'Troubling,' Key Lawmaker Says

Defense One

The Pentagon’s “sudden cancellation” of a contract to modernize its travel management system is drawing questions from the chairwoman of a key House panel, who said the Defense Department’s decision to move back to its troubled legacy software raises broader concerns about how the agency manages its information technology systems. In a June 30 letter, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) asked undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness Gil Cisneros to explain why DOD terminated a $374 million contract “aimed at replacing its archaic, quarter-century-old Defense Travel System with MyTravel, a subscription-based, software-as-a-service system.”

One More Thing

Swarm of Grasshoppers on Weather Radar Was Actually Reflective Material from Nevada Air Force Base, NWS Says


What was believed to be a swarm of grasshoppers on weather radar was chaff from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., according to the U.S. National Weather Service of Salt Lake City, Utah. “We apologize for the error when we were originally asked about this, as the appearance of insects and chaff can have some similar characteristics, which lead to the error in the original analysis,” the NWS stated.