OPINION: To Compete with China and Russia, the US Military Must Redefine ‘Readiness’
“Despite the [2018 National Defense Strategy’s] success in building a sense of urgency, it has not changed defense investment priorities at the scale or scope necessary to prepare the U.S. military for great power competition,” writes Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David H. Berger. “While there are several reasons for this, we believe that a major contributing factor is a fixation on ‘readiness,’ and how it is conceptualized, by the military services, the Defense Department, and Congress.”
Joint All-Domain Awareness
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Air Force Hunts for Ways to Use Not-Quite-Ready Tankers
Ten years to the month since Pentagon leaders chose the Boeing KC-46 over a similar tanker built by European rival Airbus, the plane is still in testing and is expected to be war-ready no earlier than late 2023, thanks to needed improvements in its refueling system. “As I look over the 10 years, I have to say...right now where we're at in the program is we're making lemonade out of lemons,” Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, the head of Air Mobility Command, said during a Monday Defense Writers Group Zoom meeting.
Insider Attacks Against US Troops in Afghanistan Have Dropped to a Historic Low. Here’s Why
For one, the February 2020 peace agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban gave the latter an incentive to cease direct attacks on U.S. and coalition forces through those “Taliban infiltrators” described in the State Department Inspector General report.
DOD Likely to Miss 2021 Deadline for Counter-Drone Weapon
"Low-collateral effect interceptors" against small drones would be used in "defeating small UAS in urban environments, over sensitive sites, or situations where the rules of engagement would not allow kinetic effects," the Defense Department’s solicitation to industry says.
Pentagon Chief Purges Defense Boards; Trump Loyalists Out
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered hundreds of Pentagon advisory board members to resign this month as part of a broad review of the panels, essentially purging several dozen last-minute appointments under the Trump administration.
Austin Creates Safe Haven for Transgender Troops as DOD Solidifies Policy
The Defense Department is making it clear that all activities restricting transgender people from serving in the military will be put on pause until the Pentagon can untangle the policies put into place by the Trump administration restricting those people from participating.
GOP Congressman: Army Must Push FBI, Congress for More Specifics on Capitol Threats
A Republican congressman urged the Army on Feb. 2 to push for more information about specific threats that warrant a continued National Guard presence at the Capitol. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) spoke on the phone with acting Army Secretary John Whitley on Feb. 2 after sending a letter last week signed by 10 other Republicans requesting a briefing on threats to the Capitol complex.
Russia Hints It May Return to Overflight Treaty If US Does
Russia may consider returning to an international pact allowing surveillance flights over military facilities if the United States reverses its exit, the top Russian diplomat said Feb. 2.
F-117s Cleared to Refuel from All KC-135s as ‘Retired’ Stealth Jets Expand Operations
The Air Force's Air Mobility Command (AMC) has issued a formal order that all KC-135 Stratotankers are now cleared to execute aerial refueling operations with F-117 Nighthawks. The order is quite the 'back to the future' directive as the F-117 was first cleared for aerial refueling operations in the mid-1980s and has been officially retired for 13 years now, although this really isn't the case for a number of the remaining ‘Black Jets.’