Daily Report

April 22, 2024

PHOTOS: 12 B-2s Conduct Massive Fly-Off, Elephant Walk

The Air Force carried out the largest B-2 Spirit fly-off in recent history, when 12 aircraft—the majority of the nation's stealth bombers—took off one by one on April 15 from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The event also created a massive elephant walk as the aircraft taxied to and took off from the base's lone runway.

Radar Sweep

The House Passes Billions in Aid for Ukraine and Israel After Months of Struggle. Next Is the Senate

The Associated Press

The House has approved $95 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel, and other U.S. allies in a rare weekend session as Democrats and Republicans banded together after months of hard-right resistance over renewed American support for repelling Russia’s invasion. The whole package will go to the Senate, which could pass it as soon as April 23. President Joe Biden has promised to sign it immediately.

Ukraine Aid Package Could Help Kyiv Slow Russia’s Advance


President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed his gratitude to the U.S. House of Representatives for approving a new $61 billion package of military assistance for Ukraine after months of delays. He said the aid could save thousands of lives. While it's not uncommon for a country's future to be decided by politicians, a nation's very existence hinging on a vote 5,000 miles away is as extraordinary as it sounds.

Russian Tu-22M3 Backfire Shot Down With S-200 Missile: Ukraine’s Spy Chief

The War Zone

Ukraine says that it shot down the Russian Tu-22M3 Backfire-C bomber that crashed April 19 in the Stavropol territory in southern Russia. Speaking exclusively to TWZ, Lt. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense’s Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR), said that the Russian bomber was brought down by a Soviet-era S-200 (SA-5 Gammon) long-range surface-to-air missile. If that’s the case, it would be an unprecedented event, with Ukraine never having previously been responsible for the destruction of a Tu-22M3—or any other Russian long-range bomber—in the air.

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Muted Reactions to Israeli Strikes on Iran Hint at De-Escalation

The New York Times

The Israeli military struck Iran early on April 19, according to two Israeli and three Iranian officials, in what appeared to be Israel’s first military response to Iran’s attack last weekend but one whose scope, at least initially, appeared to be limited. Initial reaction in both Israel and Iran was muted, which analysts said was a sign that the rivals were seeking to lower the temperature of their conflict.

The Army National Guard Owes Thousands of Former Soldiers Unpaid Bonuses. It's Asking Them to Figure It Out.


Thousands of former Army National Guard soldiers were mailed letters from the service component asking them to figure out whether they are owed unpaid bonuses, according to internal documents reviewed by Military.com. The Guard letters went to former soldiers who may have never received their promised enlistment bonus after the service component got behind on the payments. The vague correspondence essentially asks them to jump through bureaucratic hoops to find out whether they're owed anything, and if so, how much, the documents show.

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US Agrees to Withdraw American Troops from Niger

The Washington Post

The United States informed the government of Niger on April 19 that it agreed to its request to withdraw U.S. troops from the West African country, said three U.S. officials, a move the Biden administration had resisted and one that will transform Washington’s counterterrorism posture in the region.

US Weighs Sending Additional Military Advisers to Ukraine as Russia Gains Momentum


The U.S. is considering sending additional military advisers to the embassy in Kyiv, the latest show of American commitment to Ukraine as Russia appears to be gaining momentum in the two-year conflict. The advisers would not be in a combat role, but rather would advise and support the Ukrainian government and military, according to Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder.

Airman Dies While Deployed to Andersen Air Force Base

Air Force Times

An Airman assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron died during a deployment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on April 17. The Air Force said Senior Airman Marcus Jordan, 28, was found unresponsive at Andersen and pronounced dead after receiving medical care around 2:30 p.m. local time.

ANALYSIS: Major Trends and Takeaways from the Defense Department’s Unfunded Priority Lists

Breaking Defense

Celebrated by defense hawks, reviled by defense skeptics, and ignored by OSD leadership, the annual unfunded priority lists (UPLs, or “wish lists”) get attention as indicators of where holes exist in the defense budget. This year’s lists total a near-record high of $29.4 billion, driven by an ambitious national defense strategy, a defense top line that does not keep up with inflation, and an unstable world that demands attention.

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Would You Really Die for Your Country?

The Economist

In and around the world’s conflict hotspots, the question of how to get more people into uniform is vital. Some countries are reconsidering an old solution: mandatory military service for young people (or young men), often for school-leavers. Terminology varies. Conscription typically means compelling civilians to enlist in the armed forces, whereas military service often refers to a subset of that—ordering young people to do a stint in the forces. At the start of the 20th century around 80 percent of countries had some form of conscription; by the mid-2010s it was just under 40 percent.

PODCAST: Space Electronic Warfare: Key to Modern Combat Operations

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In episode 179 of the Aerospace Advantage, Slick and Charles Galbreath chat with Col. Chris “Trigger” Fernengel and Lt. Col. Chris “Shocker” Adams of the Space Force. Electronic warfare stands as the Space Force’s leading offensive counterspace capability at the moment. This is a big deal given that space operations depend on cyber and the electromagnetic spectrum to connect the enterprise both within space and to downlink stations on earth. We explore these realities with two of the Space Force’s top experts on the topic. Understanding the risks, capabilities, and limitations of space electronic warfare is crucial to inform the ongoing discussion regarding counterspace capabilities and the need to improve the U.S. space architecture’s resilience.

China Orders Apple to Remove Popular Messaging Apps

The Wall Street Journal

China ordered Apple to remove some of the world’s most popular chat messaging apps from its app store in the country, the latest example of censorship demands on the iPhone seller in the company’s second-biggest market. Meta Platforms’ WhatsApp and Threads as well as messaging platforms Signal and Telegram were taken off the Chinese app store April 19. Apple said it was told to remove certain apps because of national security concerns, without specifying which.

China to Leverage Growing Commercial Space Sector to Launch Megaconstellations


China will utilize expected launch capacity from the country’s emergent commercial space sector to help realize its megaconstellation plans. The move will help traditional state-owned players focus on civil and military programs, including human spaceflight, military and lunar plans, while also boosting China’s overall launch and space capabilities and meeting national strategic goals. China has outlined plans for two separate low Earth orbit communications megaconstellations.

One More Thing

How ‘Civil War’ Brought Its Combat to Life

Task & Purpose

Alex Garland’s “Civil War” is now in theaters and it’s one of most gripping and tense films of the year. Imagining the United States torn apart in a modern civil war, with the Western Forces, Florida Alliance and others fighting against states loyal to a dictator, it looks at the last days of the combat against the federal government. The film's military advisor Ray Mendoza breaks down what went into the action design.