The Pentagon used a special Hellfire missile that packs no explosives to strike Islamic State militants in Afghanistan on Aug. 28 in retaliation for a suicide bomb attack at the Kabul airport last week, according to two U.S. officials. The airstrike, carried out by a Reaper drone flown from the Persian Gulf region, killed two militants associated with the Afghanistan offshoot of the Islamic State extremist group and injured a third individual.
U.S. President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley attended the dignified transfer of the remains of the 13 fallen service members killed in Afghanistan last week, at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Aug. 29.
Iraq has reached a preliminary deal to purchase a multimillion-dollar arms package from Turkey, including armed drones, attack helicopters, and electronic warfare systems, Iraqi defense minister Juma Inad said Aug. 29 in televised remarks. Baghdad has reached an understanding with Ankara to purchase 12 T-129 ATAK helicopters that are produced by Turkish Aerospace Industries, six Koral electronic warfare systems manufactured by Aselsan, and an unspecified number of TB2 Bayraktar armed drones as part of the deal.
In the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul and the ouster of the Afghan national government, alarming reports indicate that the insurgents could potentially access biometric data collected by the U.S. to track Afghans, including people who worked for U.S. and coalition forces. Afghans who once supported the U.S. have been attempting to hide or destroy physical and digital evidence of their identities. Many Afghans fear that the identity documents and databases storing personally identifiable data could be transformed into death warrants in the hands of the Taliban.
For the first time in its history, the Air Force Technical Applications Center has a Space Force colonel as the vice commander. Col. Richard R. Beckman took the oath of office Aug. 20, officially swearing him into the U.S. Space Force at a ceremony held at the nuclear treaty monitoring center. The colonel arrived at Patrick Space Force Base, Fla., in July and waited until August to transfer from one branch to another after receiving full Senate confirmation to do so.
Cloud computing is helping the Air Force reinvent everything from combat systems to working from home. Find out the latest on Air Force IT modernization here.
South Korea’s air force will join U.S. Space Force-led joint military drills aimed at bolstering the latter’s defense capabilities in outer space. This is part of a broader agreement reached Aug. 27 during a bilateral meeting between Republic of Korea (ROK) Air Force chief of staff Gen. Park In-ho and U.S. Space Force Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., according to an Aug. 29 ROK Air Force news release. Park has been visiting the U.S. since Aug. 25 at Raymond’s invitation.
A woman who cradled a baby in her arms at the airport and posted on social media that she loved her job. A young husband with a child on the way. Another man who always wanted to be in the military. A man who planned to become a sheriff’s deputy when his deployment ended. Heart-wrenching details have emerged about some of the 13 U.S. troops killed in a horrific suicide bombing at Afghanistan’s Kabul airport, which also claimed the lives of more than 160 Afghans.
One of the keys to an agile Space Force acquisition system is to remove barriers between operators and buyers and treat acquisition as a core function of the newest military branch, a study from the RAND Corp. suggests. The study lists other recommendations, including increasing the volume of information that is shared with industry and giving decision-making subordinates more autonomy.
Former CIA director Gina Haspel and retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Stephen W. Wilson have been appointed to Arlington-based defense contractor BAE Systems Inc.’s board of directors, the company announced Aug. 29. Their terms will run through April 2024.
Are we there yet? The next-generation James Webb Space Telescope—the powerful successor to the famous (and famously old) Hubble Space Telescope—has finally finished testing and is ready to be packed up and shipped to its launch site. That’s a big checkmark on the to-do list for the much-delayed observatory. “Webb’s many tests and checkpoints were designed to ensure that the world’s most complex space science observatory will operate as designed once in space,” NASA said.