DOD Mulls How to Return to Office, Promises Telework Is Here to Stay
As a new omicron subvariant, BA.2, of coronavirus has taken hold in Europe and some Asian countries, the Defense Department is preparing a possible larger reentry to the workplace for its civilian employees. However, things will not look like they did before the pandemic. In a March 16 memo, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks wrote that there will not be a “one-size-fits-all” plan to return to work and that the Pentagon will implement the lessons it learned throughout the pandemic in order to create a more efficient and effective workforce. That means telework is here to stay and will be used more to make DOD a more flexible employer.
Air Force, Army Remain Divided Over Modernization Investments
Senior Army officials are touting a variety of new ground-based, long-range missiles that are in the works and could be deployed against China in the coming years. But an Air Force leader says the military would be better off if funding for those programs were directed toward air- and missile-defense capabilities.
COMMENTARY: Six Things NATO Can Do to Help Ukraine Right Now
“Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine presents a dilemma for Western policymakers. Direct military intervention risks unacceptable escalation, particularly for NATO members. But letting Russian aggression against a European democracy go unchecked will have devastating, long-term consequences for the Ukrainian people, European security, and the entire concept of a rules-based international order,” write retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies; Marc R. DeVore, senior lecturer at the University of St. Andrews’s School of International Relations; Emma Salisbury, doctoral candidate at Birkbeck, University of London; and Michael Hunzeker, a former Marine and assistant professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government.
Don’t Expect China to Save Ukraine
China’s close relationship with Russia means it's better positioned than most countries to help negotiate the end of the war in Ukraine, but experts said March 17 that even Beijing is unlikely to be able to stop Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s siege that has killed or injured more than 2,000 civilians. President Xi Jinping’s role in ending the war, which has lasted three weeks so far, is expected to be a topic of discussion when he speaks with President Joe Biden on March 18, the first time the two leaders will speak directly since a virtual call in November.
The Latest on Missile Warning & Defense
Recent Russian and Chinese missile launches raised the stakes in space. Find out the latest news on sensing, tracking, and defending against enemy missile strikes.
AFRICOM’s Chief Warned Mali About the Wagner Group. It Didn’t Work.
America’s top commander for Africa said he personally urged Mali’s ruling military junta not to invite in Russian mercenaries the Wagner Group before it did just that. The West African country’s transitional government has reportedly allowed in as many as 1,000 mercenaries from the Russian private contractor since December, highlighting competing efforts by Russia and the U.S. to wield influence in the region.
Old, Weak Landing Gear Springs Led to a B-2’s $10M Skid Off the Runway
Weak springs in a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber led to the collapse of its left landing gear and a skid off the runway as it was touching down at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., in September, an Air Force investigation found. The two key springs in the bomber’s collapsed left main landing gear didn’t provide enough pressure to keep it in its locked position, according to an accident investigation report that Air Force Global Strike Command released to the public March 17.
Drones Could Be Key to Solving One of the Air Force’s Biggest Training Challenges
For years, the Air Force has struggled to figure out how to use a modest training budget to teach fighter pilots to battle large numbers of advanced aircraft. Now the service is seeing whether the answer could lie in the previously untapped potential of drones. The Air Force has awarded North Carolina-based Blue Force Technologies an initial $9 million contract to develop uncrewed air vehicles optimized for adversary air missions, the Air Force Research Laboratory announced.
Pentagon’s JADC2 Strategy: More Questions Than Answers
Nearly a year after it was signed by Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, the Pentagon released a public version of its joint all domain command and control strategy—the effort to develop capabilities for commanders to prosecute high-speed, globe-spanning conflict by linking all U.S. military sensors to all shooters across the land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace domains. And it is a bit of a damp squib.
Orbit Fab Gets $12 Million to Integrate Refueling Port With Military Satellites
Orbit Fab, a venture-funded startup offering a refueling service in space, announced it has won a $12 million deal to ensure its fueling interface works with U.S. military satellites. The funding includes $6 million from the Air Force and Space Force and $6 million from Orbit Fab’s private investors. The contract is for the integration of Orbit Fab’s fueling port, called RAFTI—short for rapidly attachable fluid transfer interface—with military satellites. The port allows satellites to receive propellant from Orbit Fab’s tankers in space.
Brown and Ohio's Governor Celebrate Region’s Partnership Before NCAA Game
Ohio’s governor and the Air Force Chief of Staff celebrated the military branch’s 75th anniversary March 16 by highlighting the good relationship the military has with the Dayton, Ohio, community. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is the catalyst behind 32,000 direct jobs and 103,000 indirect jobs in the Dayton region as well as 17 percent of the region’s economy. DeWine and Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. attended the Big HOOPLA event at Carillon Historical Park shortly before the Wright State Raiders took on Bryant University in an NCAA Tournament First Four basketball matchup.