Pentagon continuing resolution

Congress Passes Stopgap Funding as Pentagon Waits for 2022 Budget

Congress passed a continuing resolution Sept. 30 to keep the Pentagon and the rest of the government funded through Dec. 3, avoiding a shutdown with just hours to spare. The stopgap measure, approved 65-35 in the Senate and 254-175 in the House, means the Defense Department will start the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, under a continuing resolution for the 12th time in 13 years, according to the Government Accountability Office.
north korea hypersonic missile

North Korea Claims Hypersonic Missile Test; Intel Community Unsure

North Korea tested a missile it called the Hwasong-8 “strategic weapon” Sept. 28, suggesting later that it was a hypersonic missile—but the Pentagon said it’s unclear exactly what Pyongyang flew and that it doesn’t change U.S. military posture in the Western Pacific. Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, head of U.S. Northern Command, said Sept. 30 that the U.S. Intelligence Community is “still making an assessment” of what was tested, which he said North Korea has claimed was a hypersonic missile.
space command

GAO Expects Space Command Findings by Spring; Colo. Lawmakers Want Basing Work Stopped

The Government Accountability Office expects to report findings in the spring of 2022 in its investigation into the Defense Department’s choice of Alabama as the likely permanent home of U.S. Space Command. Members of Colorado's congressional delegation registered their latest complaint Sept. 30 in the form of a letter to Department of the Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall calling the selection process for the headquarters of DOD’s 11th combatant command a “significant departure” from the norm and alleging, as in past letters, that political angling played a role. The members want Kendall to halt any work on moving the command from its temporary home in Colorado to Alabama.
pentagon suicide report

580 Service Members Die by Suicide in 2020, New Pentagon Report Says

Five hundred and eighty service members died by suicide in 2020, the Pentagon announced Sept. 30, when the Defense Department released its annual suicide report. Those 580 deaths mark the most the DOD has recorded in at least five years, with the Active-duty component accounting for 384, the Reserve for 77, and the National Guard for 119. In the Air Force, 81 Active-duty members, 12 Reservists, and 16 Air National Guard members took their own lives in calendar year 2020, according to the report.

Radar Sweep

US Troops Go to Court Seeking Vaccine Exemption for Those Who've Had COVID-19

Two U.S. service members who have recovered from COVID-19 are asking a federal judge to put an immediate stop to the Defense Department's mandatory COVID-19 vaccine order. Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Robert and Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Hollie Mulvihill filed a suit Aug. 17 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado seeking an exception to the order for military members who have recovered from the illness.

DOD Trying to Keep China From Accessing Critical US Space Technology


Chinese investments in U.S. space startups and use of Chinese software by DOD suppliers are issues of growing concern at the Pentagon, officials said. “I will tell you that supply chain is one of the most important things that we are focused on right now within DOD,” Colin Supko, director of the Defense Department’s trusted capital program, said Sept. 28 at the Space Sector Market Conference.

Turkey Wants Compensation for Ouster From US-Led Jet Program

The Associated Press

Turkey intends to seek compensation for its removal from a U.S.-led F-35 fighter jet program, possibly during a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on the margins of a Group of 20 meeting next month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. Erdogan also said there would be no “turning back” from a deal with Russia for Turkey’s acquisition of S-400 advanced missile defense systems.

Defense Lags Behind Commerce in UK ‘Galactic’ Space Power Goals

Breaking Defense

The United Kingdom’s new National Space Strategy envisions the nation as a major space player in the near future—what Prime Minister Boris Johnson has termed a “Galactic Britain”—while leaving details about its military plans to a still-to-come Defense Space Strategy.

China Preps Rollout of a New Carrier-Based Fighter Jet

Defense News

China will debut its next-generation, carrier-borne fighter jet later this year, according to the country’s main state-owned aerospace conglomerate and the chief designer of its current carrier-based fighter jet. This comes as China has demonstrated a pair of its land-based J-20 stealth fighters powered by indigenous engines at the ongoing Zhuhai airshow.

ICBM Modernization and Sustainment: Getting Minuteman III to the Finish Line

Air Force Magazine

With the aging Minuteman III ICBM system staring down obsolescence in the near future, the Air Force and its partners are looking to develop the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent. At the same time, they will have to sustain the legacy platform until the end of the decade. Find out how they’re managing the delicate balance.

One Senator’s Plan to Cut Through the Politics and Get Answers on Afghanistan

Defense One

One senator is introducing a bill that would establish a nonpartisan commission to study the war in Afghanistan to try to cut through the political drama that has surrounded lawmakers’ consideration of the conflict this week. A nonpartisan commission is one way to rise above that fray, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., said.

This Tuskegee Airman Accomplished a Lot. But Nothing Topped Winning the 1st ‘Top Gun’ Trophy

Air Force Times

James Harvey doesn’t want to be known as the first Black fighter pilot to fly in Korean airspace. He doesn’t want to be known for his Distinguished Flying Cross or the 11 Air Medals he earned in combat. And he doesn’t want to be known for his time as a commander, a test pilot, or an officer reporting to the head of NORAD. Harvey, one of the few members of the Tuskegee Airmen still living, wants to be remembered as the winner of the first “Gunsmoke” aerial shooting competition in 1949.

Skunk Works Boss Says He Can't Comment on Video of Mysterious Stealth Shape at Radar Test Range

The Drive

Jeff Babione, the head of Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works advanced projects division, declined to comment in a somewhat cryptic way on a video that emerged last week showing what looked to be a stealthy, advanced fighter aircraft-like test shape at the company's secretive Helendale, Calif., radar cross-section measurement facility. Separately, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said he was not aware of the clip and couldn't comment on it.

One More Thing

Why the Royal Air Force Burns Pianos Every Year

Every September, the Royal Air Force—along with American fighter units who served as volunteers during the Battle of Britain—commemorate the Battle of Britain with the ritualistic burning of a wooden piano. The piano is delivered in a ceremony, often ceremoniously hacked to pieces by airmen wielding axes and sledgehammers. Then, it’s set ablaze.