Guard Training, Ops May Halt Without Refund for Capitol Defense

The National Guard will sharply cut back on training and operations for the rest of the fiscal year if it isn't refunded the $521 million it spent responding to the Jan. 6 insurrection and providing extended security at the the Capitol, National Guard Bureau head Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson said at the Pentagon on June 23. The money is "significant," and the reimbursement must not be delayed, he said. The Guard's busiest time is during August and September, when hurricanes and wildfires spur calls for help.

Why USAF Wants to Cut ISR Operations in Fiscal 2022

Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft are among the Air Force's most-requested assets worldwide, but the service wants to cut back the number of combat air patrols it supports with ISR on any given day so it can free up funds in the fiscal 2022 budget to develop next-generation platforms. Convincing lawmakers, however, will be a challenge. Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) said in a June 22 hearing that plans to reduce capacity from 60 simultaneous MQ-9 missions to 56 runs counter to what U.S. Central Command and other combatant commanders want, citing CENTCOM's placement of MQ-9s at the top of its unfunded priorities list in 2020. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, testifying June 23 at a House Armed Services Committee hearing, said “what [the Air Force is] really doing is not decreasing the number of tails." Rather, he explained, USAF is reducing the number of combat lines in maintains—lines that consist of several aircraft each—"so that [USAF] can have the ability to upgrade their capability and network their birds together in ways that we haven’t done before.”

Austin: GBSD’s Future Will Depend on New Nuclear Posture Review

After some lawmakers questioned the need for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program, top Defense Department leaders said June 23 that its future will depend on a review of the military’s nuclear posture. The Pentagon is asking for $1.1 billion to fund the GBSD program in the DOD's fiscal 2022 budget request, while the first test flight of the Minuteman III replacement is planned for 2023. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III faced multiple questions in a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee about the expense of the GBSD and whether it's needed at this time. Austin said the long-term “valuation” of the program will be part of the Pentagon’s next Nuclear Posture Review.

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The Rising Cost of Being in the National Guard: Reservists and Guardsmen are Twice as Likely to Be Hungry as Other American Groups

Washington Post

National Guard and Reserve Soldiers are having trouble feeding their families due to a year of record deployments. Hunger among Guard members and Reservists is more than double the national rate, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from mid-April through early June. They report more food insecurity than nearly any other group, regardless of household income, education, age or race. Nearly one in five Guard members report sometimes or often not having enough to eat.

Top General Forcefully Defends DOD Policies Amid Accusations of ‘Critical Race Theory’

U.S. News and World Report

The military's top officer on June 23 volunteered a forceful defense to a congressional panel of the Defense Department's attempts to better understand social injustice within its ranks and American society, moments after facing accusations from conservative members that he called "offensive." An unusually emotional impromptu statement from Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, followed provocative questions from Republican members during a budget hearing, including from Rep. Michael Waltz, who, like Milley, served in the Army as a Special Forces officer, about studies in "white rage" and "critical race theory.”

United CEO Complains that the US Military isn’t Training Enough Pilots for Airlines to Poach

Task and Purpose

The CEO of a major airline is saying that a pilot shortage might be on the horizon—if it’s not already on its way—and it’s due to the military not producing enough pilots that they can then siphon away to the private sector. While answering a question about the United Aviate Academy, United Airlines’ training program for future pilots, Scott Kirby, the CEO for United suggested that the military was to blame for the limited pool of pilots available to airlines.

Air Force Plans to Cut 45 Planes from Its Workhorse C-130 Fleet, Upgrade Others

The U.S. Air Force believes it can sustain and upgrade 92 of its oldest C-130 military transport aircraft even as it aims to downsize the overall Hercules fleet over the next few years, according to top brass. During a Senate Armed Services Airland subcommittee hearing Tuesday, the Air Force reiterated budget plans to reduce its C-130 fleet to 255 aircraft in the near future from about 300 currently.

Royal Navy Ship off Crimea Sparks Diplomatic Row Between Russia and UK

The Guardian

Britain was unexpectedly embroiled in a diplomatic and military dispute with Russia on June 23 after Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender briefly sailed through territorial waters off the coast of the disputed territory of Crimea. The warship sailed for about an hour in the morning within the 12-mile limit off Cape Fiolent on a direct route between the Ukrainian port of Odesa and Georgia, prompting Russian complaints and a disagreement about whether warning shots were fired.

Israel Seeks US Dough To Help Build Airborne Laser After Tests

Breaking Defense

Eager to capitalize on its successful tests of airborne lasers to shoot down drones, Israel has reached out to the US seeking funding. Results of last week’s successful small scale test already have been shared with “relevant” organizations in the US, Israeli sources say. The Israeli Defense Ministry and Elbit Systems performed the first successful test of an airborne laser that intercepted and downed several types of drones over the Mediterranean.

Russian Warships Came Within Just 34 Miles of Hawaii During Recent Drills

The Drive

The top U.S. military command in the Pacific says that Russian naval vessels passed between 23 and 34 miles of the Hawaiian Islands at one point during their recent exercises in the region, but have now departed the area. This disclosure follows reports over the past 10 days or so that the presence of Russia's warships, as well as its combat aircraft, in the region had prompted the scrambling of F-22 Raptor stealth fighters on at least two separate occasions and the movement on short notice of an entire carrier strike group to the waters off Hawaii.

US Planning to Evacuate Afghan Interpreters, Top US General Says

Defense One

The Pentagon and State Department are developing plans to evacuate Afghans whose work with the United States has placed them in danger of being killed by the Taliban after U.S. and coalition forces complete their withdrawal, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said June 23. “We recognize that there are a significant amount of Afghans that supported the United States, supported the coalition. And that they could be at risk, their safety could be at risk,” Milley said.

ULA Delays Further Use of Enhanced Upper-Stage Engine Pending Studies

Space News

United Launch Alliance will not be using an upgraded upper-stage engine in upcoming Atlas 5 missions as the company investigates the source of vibrations seen during a May 18 flight. The engine issue was identified during the launch of the U.S. Space Force’s SBIRS-5 missile warning satellite, which was successfully deployed. The Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10 engine that powered the Atlas 5’s upper stage had a new nozzle extension that was observed vibrating, or “ringing,” during flight.

US Air Force Funds Development of Pulsejet-Powered Air Decoy


The US Air Force (USAF) is funding development of a new pulsejet-powered decoy as it continues seeking cheaper and simpler forms of unmanned air vehicle (UAV) and cruise missile propulsion. The USAF Armament Directorate awarded start-up Wave Engine a $1 million contract to build and demonstrate a “Versatile Air-Launched Platform (VALP)”, the company said on June 22

One More Thing

Air Force Vet Jason Eady Releases "French Summer Sun" Reflecting on War and Family


On a trip to Italy three years ago, Texas-based singer/songwriter Jason Eady sought out the beach where his grandfather had fought in the Battle of Anzio during World War II. The location loomed large in his mind, but in reality it was much smaller than he imagined. That discovery clarified something big for Eady: the luck that goes into being alive. With so little room to fight or seek cover, his grandfather might not have survived – and Eady wouldn’t be here today writing a song about it.