US Space command

US Space Command Achieves Initial Operational Capability

U.S. Space Command boss Army Gen. James H. Dickinson declared the command’s initial operational capability in a speech at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Aug. 24. IOC status means the Defense Department’s 11th combatant command has “matured to the point where we have strategic effects,” said Dickinson in a speech just five days shy of the second anniversary of the command's re-establishment. Unlike IOC for a piece of equipment, Dickinson called the command’s institutional IOC “more strategically focused.”
afghanistan deadline

Biden: Withdrawal On Pace to Finish by Aug. 31, But DOD Drawing Up Plans if Extension Needed

With a rapidly approaching deadline to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden said the evacuation mission is on pace to finish by Aug. 31, though he has asked the Pentagon for contingency plans should that change. U.S. and coalition efforts have evacuated approximately 70,700 people in 10 days as the Taliban has taken Kabul. There’s untold thousands more U.S. citizens, Afghan special immigrant visa applicants, and other vulnerable people awaiting a plane to leave. Biden said the “sooner we can finish, the better. Each day of operations brings added risk to our troops.”
space force commercial

‘Guardians Wanted’: Space Force Launches New Recruiting Video in Push for Young, Diverse Talent

The Space Force debuted a new fast-paced recruiting video, featuring clips of space operators responding to cosmic challenges posed by adversaries to inspire the next generation of Guardians. In the video, Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond slowly walks a stage, talking to young Guardians in solemn words about adversaries, repeating the oft-mouthed line: “Space is hard.” "It used to be all we had to worry about was astrophysics, Kepler’s Laws [of planetary motion], gamma rays, solar flares, rocket science, black holes, and the Theory of Relativity," Raymond said. "But now, we also track about 30,000 objects, orbiting at over 17,500 miles an hour, and our entire way of life depends on us to protect our satellites from attack, day and night."

B-2s from Whiteman Deploy to Iceland for Bomber Task Force

A trio of B-2s from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., arrived in Iceland on Aug. 24, ahead of a Bomber Task Force mission in which they will conduct training across Europe and Africa. The bombers and their crews, from the 509th Bomb Wing, will integrate with NATO allies and regional partners during their deployment.
NASA Space Force

‘Space Junk’ is Greatest Shared Threat to Space Force and NASA, Says Administrator

Low-earth orbit is too crowded, not only with satellites from around the world, but also debris created by “irresponsible” spacefaring nations, NASA administrator Ben Nelson said when describing the greatest shared threat with the Space Force. “We've had irresponsible folks that have launched and blown up assets and there are thousands of pieces of space junk that are flying around at 17,500 miles an hour,” Nelson said at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Radar Sweep

DOD Picks Intel To Make Chips In US

Breaking Defense

The Defense Department has selected US semiconductor giant Intel to diversify designs and increase onshore manufacturing of chips used in Defense Department electronics and IT systems. The contract award is the first phase in the DOD’s Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes—Commercial (RAMP-C) program, which is intended to bolster U.S.-based commercial foundries, the manufacturing facilities for high-end chips. Intel Foundry Services, launched this year, will lead the work, parent company Intel announced Aug. 23

How One Tech Entrepreneur Is Scaling Up Veteran-Led Evacuation Efforts

Defense One

A veteran-led effort called Task Force Dunkirk is working to evacuate Afghans who have worked with the United States. They’re up to about 150 people, mostly veterans of the infantry, Special Forces, or other special operations units. These volunteers are like “battle captains” in a virtual tactical operations center, which they manage via a variety of apps. The battle captains have been working in shifts of three or four, 24 hours a day. “We have evacuated about 116 people already,” said Joe Saboe, the founder of Trendlines, which provides consulting and software to help develop workforces. “We have [communications] with 800 individuals right now. They’ve all passed through vetting and evaluation process so we can get them out.”

ICBM Modernization And Sustainment: A Comprehensive Approach to Building GBSD

Air Force Magazine

With the Air Force aiming to develop, deploy and maintain the new Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent at a rapid pace starting in 2029 and lasting for decades, the need for a broad strategy encompassing cyber security, digital engineering, and other new technologies has never been greater, and that will require integrated support like never before.

What Satellite Attack Weapon Might The US Reveal Soon?

Breaking Defense

With Defense Department leaders pushing to declassify and demonstrate an existing US anti-satellite weapon, the question becomes what kind of system might be revealed. Considering that whatever the system is, it has long been covered by the deepest, darkest cloak of secrecy—i.e. under a so-called Special Access Program, or SAP—it is impossible to say for sure. As the old saying attributed to the Tao Te Ching goes: “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”

China’s Top Priority In Afghanistan Is Stability, Experts Say

Defense One

The scene at the Kabul airport continues to be chaotic more than a week after the Taliban captured Afghanistan’s capital, with throngs of people so desperate to escape the country that some are passing babies over barriers to help get them out. But just three miles away, it’s business as usual at the Chinese embassy. China is one of only a handful of countries that have kept their embassies in Kabul open amid the Taliban takeover. Beijing’s interest in Afghanistan, at least in the short term, is more focused on preventing instability.

US Authorities Warn Against Flying Drones Over National Lab

The Associated Press

Drone pilots beware. Authorities at one of the nation’s top nuclear weapons laboratories issued a warning Aug. 23 that airspace over Los Alamos National Laboratory is off limits. The birthplace of the atomic bomb, Los Alamos lab reported that recent unauthorized drone flights have been detected in restricted airspace in the area. Officials said if you fly a drone over the lab, you likely will lose it.

OPINION: Can Frank Kendall Help the Space Force Win the Space Race Against China?

Space News

“Recently confirmed Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall, a former chief weapons buyer for the entire Defense Department, has returned to the Pentagon charged with leading the Air Force and the Space Force. When he served as chief of Pentagon acquisitions during the Obama administration, Kendall put great emphasis on competition, fixed price contracting, and on leveraging defense contractors’ internal research and development. As it turns out, this is exactly what is desperately needed to catapult the newly minted Space Force into an American space century, and it cannot come too soon,” writes Charles Beames, chairman of the SmallSat Alliance.

US Prepared To Destroy Equipment It Can't Airlift Out Of Kabul As Withdrawal Deadline Looms

The Drive

The Pentagon has confirmed that U.S. forces at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul could destroy any weapons and other equipment that they cannot take with them as they withdraw at the end of the ongoing evacuation operations. This comes as the planned deadline for the conclusion of this mission, Aug. 31, looms ever closer. To be completely gone by that date, American troops will have to begin packing up sooner than that, which only raises further questions about how many evacuees will actually be able to depart safely in the end, especially now that the Taliban says it has actively begun blocking Afghan citizens from leaving the country.

One More Thing

Remains of World War II Pilot on Way Back to Delaware

Air Force Times

Delayed by the pandemic in 2020, a long-awaited homecoming for the remains of U.S. Army Air Force 2nd Lt. George M. Johnson is tentatively set for Oct. 2, with reinterment in Odd Fellows Cemetery in Seaford, Del.