“Three years ago, the National Defense Strategy Commission created headlines when they concluded: ‘The security and well-being of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades. America’s superiority—the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security—has eroded to a dangerous degree.’ The situation has not improved, especially when it comes to airpower,” writes retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.
The Chinese military has built targets in the shape of an American aircraft carrier and other U.S. warships in the Taklamakan desert as part of a new target range complex, according to photos provided to USNI News by satellite imagery company Maxar. The full-scale outline of a U.S. carrier and at least two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are part of the target range that has been built in the Ruoqiang region in central China.
Two new C-130J Super Hercules aircraft buzzed over the Kentucky Air National Guard Base on Nov. 6 before taxiing to stop on the flight line under the spray of water cannons while a crowd cheered their dramatic arrival. The event marked a new era in aviation for one of the most decorated units in the Air Force. The pair of state-of-the-art aircraft are among eight J-model planes the Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing will receive over the next 11 months. They replace eight aging C-130 Hercules H-model aircraft that entered service in 1992 and have seen duty all over the globe.
U.S. military surgeons are losing their skills at a "precipitous rate" as the number of surgical procedures performed in military hospitals has declined, a study has found. The number of general surgery procedures dropped by nearly 26 percent from 2015 to 2019, while surgical readiness—measured by the military health system's standards for general surgery—declined by 19.1 percent.
The Biden administration has no plans to designate space systems as a new critical national industrial sector despite the economy’s increasing reliance on space-based capabilities such as GPS and growing concerns about possible cyberattacks on satellites that could shut down U.S. businesses and cripple its military.
The U.S. Air Force has now been in the Middle East for more than three decades. Even the end of the Afghanistan War isn’t likely to mean a major drawdown from the region. While the Air Force has adjusted its posture—for example, bringing home its EC-130H Compass Call electronic warfare planes for the first time in 20 years—retired Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle does not expect a radical rebalancing of air power assets in the Middle East.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived an assassination attempt with armed drones that targeted his residence early Nov. 7. Officials said he was unharmed. The attack was a major escalation amid tensions sparked by the refusal of Iran-backed militias to accept last month’s parliamentary election results. Two Iraqi officials told The Associated Press that seven of al-Kadhimi’s security guards were injured in the attack with two armed drones, which occurred in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone area.
In a surprise move, California-based Viasat announced Nov. 8 a plan to acquire UK-based Inmarsat for a cost of some $7.3 billion—potentially creating a commercial satellite communications behemoth worth $4.1 billion in 2021 revenue, of which 40 percent is in government sales, including to the Defense Department.
The Pentagon doesn’t want to innovate alone. Heidi Shyu, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, said Nov. 8 that she has discussed the Pentagon’s research and development priorities with her counterparts in Australia, Japan, Latvia, Germany, and the U.K. in an effort to establish monthly teleconferences with U.S. allies.
The Defense Department on Nov. 4 picked a new winner for its multibillion-dollar contract to move military service members’ household goods around the globe, ending the latest chapter in a procurement saga that’s dragged on for more than two years so far. The Global Household Goods contract went to Homesafe Alliance, a consortium of companies led by KBR. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity award is estimated to be worth nearly $6.2 billion over four years, with at least 40 percent of that total figure going to small, subcontracted movers, according to U.S. Transportation Command.
The U.S. military space catalog currently serves as the main source of data about the location of more than 27,000 satellites and space debris objects. But that information is still not enough to figure out what rival nations are doing in orbit, Lt. Gen. Nina M. Armagno, staff director of the Space Force, said Nov. 8.
Maximum performance climbs are always a spectacle to behold. It can be an MD-80 Mad Dog or an F-15 Advanced Eagle, seeing a flying machine giving its all at low level just prior to clawing its way into the heavens is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. But have you ever seen an airship pull off such a feat?