Daily Report

May 22, 2024

B-52s Land in UK to Kick Off Another Bomber Task Force

B-52 Stratofortess bombers kicked off yet another Bomber Task Force mission May 20, with the first aircraft touching down at RAF Fairford, U.K., the Pentagon said. The appetite for bomber task force exceeds capacity,” the head of Air Force Global Strike Command Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere told Air & Space Forces Magazine last month. ”There’s so much interest across the globe with all our geographic combatant commanders. I’m sure they would take as many as we could give them.”

Russia’s New Counterspace Weapon Is in the Same Orbit as a US Satellite

Russia launched a counterspace weapon into the same orbit as a U.S. government satellite on May 16, U.S. officials said, as tensions between the two countries in space continue to ratchet up. U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood first disclosed the existence of the Russian counterspace weapon during a speech at the United Nations on May 20, and Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder confirmed it May 21. 

Space Futures Command, New Integrated Mission Deltas Launch This Summer

It’s set to be a busy summer for the Space Force, with the service planning to provisionally stand up its new Space Futures Command and two new Integrated Mission Deltas, according to a senior leader. Lt. Gen. Philip A. Garrant, head of Space Systems Command, offered details on the upcoming organizational moves during a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event on May 21. 
amraam ukraine rtx

Top Lawmaker Wants Report on Dogfight Missiles, Whether to Extend AMRAAM

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, wants to make sure the Air Force and Navy have enough air-to-air missiles for their crewed and uncrewed fighters through the end of the decade and is directing them to submit an annual assessment of the threat and need in his markup of the 2025 National Defense Authorization Act.

Radar Sweep

Russia Begins Tactical Nuclear Weapon Drills near Ukraine Border

The Guardian

Russian forces have started military drills near Ukraine simulating the use of tactical nuclear weapons in response to what Moscow deems threats from western officials about increased involvement in the conflict. Vladimir Putin ordered the drills earlier this month in a move Russian officials said was a warning to the west not to escalate tensions further.

‘What’s the Problem?’ Zelensky Challenges West Over Hesitations.

The New York Times

With his army struggling to fend off fierce Russian advances all across the front, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine urged the United States and Europe to do more to defend his nation, dismissing fears of nuclear escalation and proposing that NATO planes shoot down Russian missiles in Ukrainian airspace.

Pentagon’s Maritime Aid Operation Faces Immediate Obstacles in Gaza

The Washington Post

The Pentagon’s highly anticipated plan to deliver aid to suffering Palestinians via a floating pier off the Gaza Strip has encountered almost immediate logistical and security setbacks, officials said May 21, marking an inauspicious start to the mission intended to ease a severe humanitarian crisis there.

DOD: Russia’s Use of Starlink Will Be a ‘Continuous Problem’ in Ukraine

Defense One

The Pentagon and SpaceX could be playing an unending game of whac-a-mole to identify and shut off Starlink satellite terminals obtained by Russia to use in Ukraine. “I think this will be a continuous problem. We can continue to identify them and turn them off, but I think Russia will not stop" at trying to get more terminals, John Hill, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for space and missile defense, told the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces May 21.

‘They’ve Grown Back’: How Russia Surprised the West and Rebuilt Its Force

Defense News

The Pentagon in March put a price tag on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Speaking in the officer’s club at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin read a list of costs the Kremlin had tallied over two years: More than 315,000 troops killed or wounded. Over $211 billion spent. Some 20 medium or large ships damaged or sunk in the Black Sea.

Dean of the Mitchell Institute Visits Ukraine

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Recently, retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, the dean of the Mitchell Institute, was invited to Kyiv, Ukraine, to participate in discussions with key leaders of their Air Force, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and the Ministry of Defense. Discussions across three days centered on optimizing the use of airpower in accomplishing the defense of Ukraine and ejecting Russian military forces. Gen. Deptula emphasized that achieving air superiority is vital to securing those objectives.

OPINION: Global Navigation Jamming Will Only Get Worse. The US Needs to Move Fast


“Jamming and spoofing attacks on GPS and other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) are becoming increasingly common as geopolitical crises escalate, creating major challenges and risks for aviation, shipping and other critical services across the world,” writes Sean Gorman, the CEO and cofounder of Zephr, a developer of next-gen location-based solutions.

US Military Laser Weapon Programs Are Facing a Reality Check

The War Zone

The U.S. Air Force's vaunted Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) program closed out without ever reaching its goal of testing a laser-directed energy weapon on a fighter. This revelation came just days after the U.S. Army disclosed it was facing major hurdles with its new laser-armed variants of the 8x8 Stryker light armored vehicles. Earlier this year, the Air Force also announced it was no longer proceeding with a long-held plan to fit a laser weapon onto an AC-130J Ghostrider gunship. These are just the latest examples of U.S. military laser weapon programs facing stark reality checks despite significant advances in this technology in recent years.

CENTCOM Bound: Army Soldiers Slated to Test High-Power Microwaves Against Drone Swarms

Breaking Defense

After receiving four high-power microwave prototypes designed to stop drone swarms, the U.S. Army is preparing to send them on to the Middle East to see how they perform, according to Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George. Testifying before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee May 21, George told lawmakers that like the Stryker-mounted lasers recently sent over to the U.S. Central Command area, the service’s high-power microwave prototypes are also headed that “immediately.”

One More Thing

Wayward Alligator Returns to Florida Air Force Base for Second Time


Evidently, one alligator didn’t get the message after he was wrangled off a Florida Air Force base last month. According to MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa, Fla., the 12-foot gator “returned to duty” a few days ago, spotted laying on a sidewalk near a medical building on the base.