If the U.S. government shuts down as expected on Oct. 1, it will halt the payments of salaries across the Department of Defense, furlough hundreds of thousands civilian employees, and slow the pace of war planning and the military modernization, the Pentagon said Sept. 28. “If there is a shutdown in just a few days, our service members would be required to continue working, but would be doing so without pay, and hundreds of thousands of their civilian colleagues would be furloughed,” Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said.
A key Senate panel advanced the nominations of the top uniformed leaders for the Air Force and Navy this week, but lawmakers warned that actually finalizing their confirmations may still take some time. Senate Armed Services Committee members backed Adm. Lisa Franchetti for the position of chief of naval operations and Gen. David Allvin for the role of chief of staff of the Air Force as part of routine panel work Sept. 27. The two nominees to join the Joint Chiefs of Staff were accompanied by 36 other general and flag officer promotions.
Iranian vessels pointed lasers against a U.S. attack helicopter operating in the Persian Gulf on Sept. 27, in what the U.S. military is calling “unsafe, unprofessional, and irresponsible.” According to a U.S. Navy statement, personnel aboard vessels belonging to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy pointed lasers at a U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter while in flight.
More than two months before Russia’s invasion, the U.S. sent teams of Marines and Navy sailors from U.S. Cyber Command to Ukraine to hunt for malicious cyber activity. Known as “Hunt Forward” teams, the U.S. operators sat alongside Ukrainian cyber personnel and hunted for suspicious cyber activity on Ukrainian networks, aiming to identify and address potential threats and mitigate harm from any possible attacks. Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, who leads both Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, discussed the pre-invasion work of those teams Sept. 28 at a National Press Club event in Washington D.C.
An important theme to come out of the Air & Space Forces Association's main annual symposium this year was the unique mix of capabilities the new F-15EX Eagle II fighter offers and how those attributes will be in very high demand. Air Force leadership constantly spotlighted what the F-15EX will bring to the table, especially in the context of a Pacific fight.
The Deputy's Innovation Steering Group, a high-level Pentagon team that will manage the recently announced "Replicator" initiative, held its first meeting Sept. 28 to kickstart its mission to fill pressing military technology gaps in under 18 months. “The purpose was to ensure familiarization with the initiative across the Pentagon and military services, offer an opportunity to ask questions and provide input to support the future direction for Replicator,” Eric Pahon, public affairs adviser to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, wrote.
If the trilateral security pact between the US, United Kingdom and Australia, dubbed AUKUS, is going to succeed, the United States needs to change its attitude about its ability to protect information in light of recent “security breaches,” a senior Republican congressman said today. “We go into this sometimes with an arrogance to say nobody can protect information like we can,” Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., said during an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “We look sort of speciously at our friends… [and] with what we’ve gone through here recently, with security breaches, we should be the last ones to be lecturing somebody else about what they need to do.”
The Pentagon said Sept. 28 it will not take any actions to limit service members’ uaccess to guns and ammunition as part of its suicide prevention efforts, months after an advisory panel appointed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin proposed firearms restrictions to reduce deaths. Austin signed a memo saying the department will not impose a minimum age of 25 for guns and ammo purchases or a seven-day waiting period for guns sold at military stores, which were both recommended by the advisory panel in February.
The Defense Department is standing up two BRAVO AI Battle Labs at U.S. European Command and Indo-Pacific Command to develop and test new data-enabled capabilities, the Pentagon announced Sept. 27. Over the next year, the commands will each host several BRAVO “hackathons” where participants will use Defense Department data collected from the operational theater to produce rough prototypes that could turn into real Defense Department programs. Members of the U.S. military and civilians can take part, and some hackathons will even have international participation, according to a DOD press release.
With a government shutdown seemingly on the horizon, the military is bracing for how its long-term planning will be impacted. But no single service is likely to be hurt as much as the Space Force, America’s newest branch of the military, which has ambitious growth plans laid out for next year, argue Charles Galbreath and Tim Ryan of the Mitchell Institute in this new analysis.
Many military families will soon see a large and welcome decrease in their child care fees—in some cases, a cut of more than 40 percent, according to Military Times’ calculations. The lower rates will especially benefit those in the lower income categories. As before, the fees are based on total family income, to include spouse income and other sources.
In the fourth building of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, visitors will find the museum’s latest overture to the young and the young-at-heart—“Discover Steampunk.” It’s an exhibit that blends historical, current, and future-oriented sensibilities, giving visitors a glimpse of a unique visual style inspired by what in the late 19th century was considered futuristic fantasy.