Continuing resolution

Congress Passes Continuing Resolution to Fund Government Through Feb. 18

Congress passed a continuing resolution shortly before 9:30 p.m. Dec. 2 to keep the government funded through Feb. 18, capping a hectic day on Capitol Hill. The deal to keep the government open didn’t come together until the morning of Dec. 2, when House Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced the Further Extending Government Funding Act, keeping funding at fiscal 2021 levels with a few exceptions, one being an extra $4.3 billion for the Department of Defense’s accounts to pay for the care of Afghan evacuees on military bases.
Space Force rideshare

Space Force Rideshare Launch Will Help Create ‘Freight Train to Space’

The Space Test Program (STP)-3 launch scheduled for Dec. 5 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla., will prototype new warfighter capabilities, add nuclear launch detection sensors to orbit, and enhance Space Force efforts to improve resiliency in a new “threat-driven paradigm.” In all, 16 payloads from Space Force, NASA, the National Nuclear Security Administration, and others will ride on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 vehicle’s longest mission to date, estimated to clock seven hours, 10 minutes at a cost of $1.14 billion. The mission will include combined operational and nuclear detection and prototype satellites in the areas of optical communication, space domain awareness, and weather.

Radar Sweep

China’s Hypersonic Test ‘Increases Tension in the Region,’ Pentagon Chief Says

Defense One

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III acknowledged that China’s hypersonic test in July had boosted unease in the region but downplayed it as just one of many concerning behaviors. Austin is one of several top U.S. defense officials who have begun talking more openly about the July launch and its significance among other emerging Chinese military capabilities.

OPINION: Responses to Russian Anti-Satellite Test Should be More About Capability than Condemnation

“This recent test is a great opportunity for U.S. Space Command and the Department of Defense to articulate to Congress the requirement for weapons systems that can credibly deter and win wars in its '100 kilometers and up' area of responsibility. The focus on norms of responsible behavior and international shaming is an area better served by State Department actions,” writes Christopher M. Stone, a senior fellow for space studies at AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies Spacepower Advantage Research Center. Stone previously served as special assistant for space policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.

‘A Matter of Time’: Airman’s Safety Report Warns CV-22 Harnesses Could Prove Fatal

Air Force Times

Harnesses designed to keep Airmen safely inside the CV-22B Osprey, the iconic special operations tiltrotor aircraft, could instead be putting their lives in jeopardy, an enlisted aviator told his superiors in an anonymous report in July. Five months and one safety investigation later, the military says it stands by the harness and will continue to use it.

WATCH: Why USAF Needs ‘Fifth-Generation Weapons’

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies via YouTube

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies rolled out its policy paper on precision-guided munitions, “Affordable Mass: The Need for a Cost-Effective PGM Mix for Great Power Conflict” by retired Col. Mark Gunzinger, director of future concepts and capability assessments. Maj. Gen. Jason R. Armagost, director of strategic plans, programs and requirements, Air Force Global Strike Command, joins Gunzinger to discuss why the Air Force must develop a “fifth-generation weapons inventory for a fifth-generation force” that will maintain the nation’s precision strike advantage against America’s strategic competitors.

New Jets, Same Old Mistakes in Air Force Purchasing

Federal News Network

The Defense Department is in the midst of an acquisition program for a new fighter jet. Actually it’s an extensively modified version of an old warhorse, the F-15, known as the F-15EX. Dan Grazier said the plane may be mostly new, but the Air Force is making some old mistakes in buying it. He is a military fellow at the Project on Government Oversight, and he joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Aircraft Propulsion: The Power of Modern Propulsion

Air Force Magazine

The engines that power the Air Force are the best in the world. But as technology continues to evolve, new improvements promise greater power, range, and other capabilities. Read the latest on advances in aircraft engines and propulsion technology.

OPINION: Two Cheers for the Pentagon’s New Data and AI Initiative

Council on Foreign Relations

“Technology leadership requires data and AI leadership, and right now DoD’s data and AI efforts are splintered. For example, according to Govini, a decision science company based in Virginia, at least 15 separate institutions within DoD invest to some extent in artificial intelligence, AI adjacent technologies, foundational enabling capabilities for AI, or programs that use AI during development. Each with its own separate processes, data, code, and programs. There is not enough structured coordination between them or oversight through a central “AI hub.” This undermines the ability of the United States to lead in emerging technologies and defend DoD’s networks,” write Lauren A. Kahn and Michael C. Horowitz with the Council on Foreign Relations.

WATCH: Challenges Posed by Adversaries in Space

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies via YouTube

In a virtual Spacepower Forum by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, Space Force Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, deputy chief of space operations for operations, cyber, and nuclear, discusses the challenges posed by adversary space developments, the continued development of Space Force operations, and the service’s top priorities with retired Air Force Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, Explorer Chair for Space Warfighting Studies at the Mitchell Institute’s Spacepower Advantage Research Center.

DOD Kicks Off 5G Dynamic Spectrum Sharing Experimentation at Hill AFB

DOD release

The Department of Defense hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the successful deployment of a private 5G cellular network at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Dec. 2, 2021. Led by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, the project will evaluate the technical feasibility, methodologies, and utility of spectrum sharing and coexistence with diverse 5G networks in a band of vital importance to commercial industry.

Civil Air Patrol Celebrates 80th Anniversary

USAF release

Civil Air Patrol members throughout the United States and in overseas squadrons are celebrating the organization’s commitment to community service today—a commitment that began Dec. 1, 1941, and has continued for 80 years. More than 56,000 members, youth, and adult members volunteer their time and talent to perform essential emergency services, advance aerospace and STEM education, and provide youth programs that build character, enhance physical and mental fitness, and shape the leaders of tomorrow.

One More Thing

Pushing to the Limit: Special Tactics Airmen Compete Together for Team USA Bobsled

USAF release

For the first time ever, two special tactics Airmen assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing competed together in a major competition for Team USA Bobsledding at Park City, Utah, Nov. 28-29. U.S. Air Force Special Tactics Officer Maj. Chris Walsh and Staff Sgt. Matt Beach, a combat controller, competed together at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation North American Cup for a chance to represent Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics.