Pentagon Chief Visits Nuke Base to Highlight Weapon Spending
Defense Secretary Mark Esper used his first-ever visit to a nuclear missile field in frigid North Dakota to tout the Trump administration's multibillion-dollar plan for a top-to-bottom modernization of the nuclear arsenal. The costly project is necessary, he said, to keep up with Russia and outpace China.
Secret Drone Crash, B-1 Engine Malfunction Among Major 2019 Air Force Mishaps
The calamities were just two of 28 Class A aviation-related mishaps, or accidents that involve fatalities, severe damage totaling $2 million or more or a complete loss of the aircraft, that the Air Force sustained in fiscal 2019, according to data recently provided exclusively to Military.com.
Air Force Academy to Commission Space Force Officers
Graduates from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado are expected to cross-commission into the Space Force this spring, military officials said. About 60 cadets would be commissioned into the new armed service branch, which formed in December. “They’re doing Air Force Academy curriculum, and they’ll just be directly commissioned into the Space Force,” academy Vice Superintendent Col. Houston Cantwell said.
Defense Digital Service Builds Counter-Drone SWAT Team, ASAP
Sometimes, when lives are at stake, even Silicon Valley can’t innovate fast enough. That’s why the director of the Defense Digital Service, Brett Goldstein, has started forming rapid-response “SWAT teams” drawing on the Defense Department’s in-house talent. The first such team that Goldstein has created—pulling together both existing DDS personnel and a Defense Innovation Unit project called Rogue Squadron—is aimed at countering small drones.
Top U.S. Air Force General Hopes for Major KC-46 Fix by March
After more than a year of deliberations, the U.S. Air Force is hoping to have a fix in hand for the KC-46 tanker’s most critical technical problem by the end of March, the service’s top general told Defense News in an exclusive interview. The hope is for the Air Force and Boeing to sign off next month on a finalized design for the KC-46’s Remote Vision System, or RVS—a series of cameras and sensors that allow its users to steer the aircraft’s boom into a plane for aerial refueling.
'Hit With a Truck'—How Iran's Missiles Inflicted Brain Injury on U.S. Troops
Reuters interviewed more than a dozen officials and soldiers and spoke with brain-injury specialists to assemble the most comprehensive account so far of the nature of the soldiers’ injuries and how they sustained them. The slowly rising casualty count underscores the difficulty in detecting and treating what has become one of the most common injuries in the U.S. military during two decades of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, where U.S. troops face roadside bombs, rockets and mortars.
The U.S. Navy Just Got Its Hands on a New Kind of Iranian Missile
U.S. weapons experts have gotten their first look at a new "uniquely Iranian-designed missile," Navy Capt. William Urban, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, told reporters on Feb. 19. Sailors aboard the destroyer Forrest Sherman and cruiser Normandy confiscated eight of the new 358-missiles during separate weapons seizures in the Middle East.
Pentagon’s PFAS Burning Practices Are Unsafe, Lawsuit Claims
Environmental groups, led by the nonprofit legal firm Earthjustice, allege the Defense Department violated the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019, which spelled out guidelines for safely incinerating firefighting foam containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. The groups allege DOD entered into three contracts between November 2018 and May 2019 to incinerate more than 2 million gallons of stockpiled waste despite having concerns about the disposal process.
Pentagon's Tech Agency Reveals Potential Breach Involving Personal Data
The agency that secures the U.S. military’s information technology infrastructure across the globe says sensitive personal data, including Social Security numbers, hosted on its network may have been compromised in a breach between May and July 2019. The Defense Information Systems Agency notified potential victims of the breach in a letter this month, saying it had tightened protocols for protecting personally identifiable information because of the incident.
Air Force Touts Digital U Tech Reskilling Effort
The Air Force is taking a servicewide approach to reskilling with its "Digital U" program. Air Force Deputy Chief Information Officer Bill Marion said that initiatives like Digital U were part of the service's push to train all personnel in cyber capabilities, unlike other government programs like the Federal Cyber Reskilling Academy that targeted reskilling individuals who displayed technical aptitude.
The Air Force is leveraging emerging technologies and new legislation to accelerate acquisition decisions and streamline sustainment. Read more here.
Three Downed Aircraft, Associated with 7 MIAs from Famous WWII Battle, Located in Pacific Ocean
In February 1944, the U.S. military launched Operation Hailstone, a massive military assault on Japanese fortified positions in the Pacific. On Feb. 17—76 years later—researchers announced the discovery of three U.S. aircraft remains associated with seven service members missing in action.