The Biden administration is pulling all American troops out of Afghanistan and formally transitioning to an advisory role in Iraq. But the U.S. military operation in Syria has seen no changes—and officials expect hundreds of troops to remain in the country for the foreseeable future. Roughly 900 U.S. troops, including a number of Green Berets, will remain in Syria to continue supporting and advising the Syrian Democratic Forces fighting the Islamic State, the same role they have played since the American-led intervention in 2014, according to a senior Biden administration official.
Russia is reportedly working on two so-called Doomsday planes to carry the country’s senior military and political leadership in case of a nuclear attack. The Russian Air Force and Space Forces will receive two airborne commanding posts based on the Il-96-400M plane, according to Russian government news agency RIA Novosti, citing a source in the country’s defense sector.
The House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on strategic forces in its markup of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act raises concerns about the state of the U.S. space launch infrastructure and questions DOD’s procurement of commercial space data. The subcommittee, led by Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), released its proposed NDAA language July 27. The full committee will mark up the bill July 28.
The Senate has agreed on a massive funding package that would refund the National Guard ahead of the fast-approaching Sunday deadline as the force faces a near total shutdown. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, on Tuesday announced an agreement with Republicans on a $2.1 billion plan that would pay the $521 million tab the Guard accrued during its response to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
The U.S. Air Force has spent years trying to keep a jet fuel leak from reaching Albuquerque’s drinking water supply and now says it has enough information to outline its work, paving the way to wrapping up the cleanup efforts. Officials from Kirtland Air Force Base say they will spend the next several months to a year writing a report that they will submit to the New Mexico Environment Department. Once the state reviews and approves it, the base can make recommendations for a final cleanup.
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said the United States will continue to help Taiwan and other allies in the Pacific defend themselves against aggression from China even as he said a new, more transparent relationship with Beijing is desired. “We will not flinch when our interests are threatened, yet we do not seek confrontation,” Austin said at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore on July 27, during his second overseas trip to the Pacific.
The Defense Innovation Unit has signed an agreement with tech company Anduril to provide counter-unmanned aerial system capability, with a unique setup that will allow Anduril to quickly update the military capabilities. The agreement, a five-year deal worth up to $99 million, could serve as a proof of concept for both DIU and the tech firm—that a software solution can be quickly integrated in existing DOD locations, then updated on a rolling basis as new threats emerge, under a services contract model.
Cloud technologies are accelerating change at every level of the Air Force—and the Space Force. Whether it's pure computational power to enable autonomy or advanced encryption to ensure mission-grade security, the future of IT is here and now.
During a forum to present capability needs to industry members, U.S. Cyber Command leaders gave their take on how the operation has improved its acquisition practices and structures over the last few years. Cyber Command, still relatively young and continuing to mature in many ways, received limited acquisition authority just five years ago. Congress capped the command’s buying power at $75 million, under a so-called crawl, walk, run approach to determine whether the command could execute the authority.
A set of guidelines issued by Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III for responsible space operations should be part of a wider conversation about how to maintain safety and security in space, a senior Pentagon official said July 26. Austin in a July 7 memo said DOD should operate in space “with due regard to others and in a professional manner.” The memo also listed “tenets” of responsible behavior: Limit the generation of long-lived debris; avoid the creation of harmful interference; maintain safe separation and safe trajectory; communicate and make notifications about space activities.
The sun was shining on Air Force Lt. Col. Rob Marshall and his buddies last month when they got down on their hands and feet and cranked out 20 pushups on the snow-capped peak of Denali, the highest point in North America. Though many people might not choose to do pushups after climbing up 20,310 feet of snow and ice, it was easy-peasy compared to the ordeal the handful of Airmen and veterans had just been through.