Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby has clarified remarks he made April 19, stressing that the U.S. government has only facilitated deliveries of spare parts for Ukraine's fighter jets, not whole aircraft, at least not so far. The Ukrainian Air Force had already denied widespread reports that it has received any additional fighter jets or other fixed-wing aircraft from any of its foreign partners.
Canada’s military will establish a new space division later this year as it further develops its capabilities and skills for space operations. Royal Canadian Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Adamson, the service’s director general for space, said Canada is following its allies who have created similar organizations. The U.S. has a Space Force expected to number 16,000 people at full strength, but Adamson noted that Canada’s version would be much smaller.
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on April 20 spoke with his Chinese counterpart for the first time since becoming Pentagon chief more than a year ago, breaking a communications impasse that American officials saw as increasingly dangerous amid concern that Beijing might provide military support for Russia’s war in Ukraine. Austin, who calls China the U.S. military’s leading long-term challenge but has been forced to focus heavily on Russia this year, requested the telephone conversation with Gen. Wei Fenge after months of failed effort to speak with Gen. Xu Qiliang, the highest ranking uniformed officer in the Communist Party military structure.
The Department of the Air Force is facing an existential question over how to structure its leadership to further the advancement of technologies in a landscape that is increasingly reliant on new capabilities. The Air Force saw its first-ever chief architect, Preston Dunlap, resign Monday after three years of service, in what he called a “passing of the baton.” Now the Air Force is questioning how it will continue to accelerate the development of technologies throughout its two military services, and that could mean the need for a chief architect is not warranted.
The Pentagon's security concerns around 5G are pretty well known and a high priority. But the time it will take to field 5G capabilities is also a major concern, according to a top Navy tech official. The Defense Department has been working on several 5G pilot programs, including some for smart warehouses, one at Naval Base Coronado, Calif. But Michael Galbraith, the Navy's chief digital innovation officer, who is a longtime commercial IT executive, said those solutions could easily become obsolete by the time they are out of production.
The U.S. military’s electronic warfare enterprise needs to take a page from SpaceX when it comes to responding to new threats, the Pentagon’s director for electromagnetic warfare said. After SpaceX sent Starlink terminals to Ukraine in February in an apparent effort to help Ukraine maintain its internet connection amid war with Russia, SpaceX founder Elon Musk claimed that Russia had jammed Starlink terminals in the country for hours at a time. After a software update, Starlink was operating normally, said Musk, who added on March 25 that the constellation had “resisted all hacking & jamming attempts” in Ukraine.
As Congress pushes the Space Force to develop a responsive launch capability that can reconstitute assets quickly, the service is looking more broadly at how it can make its entire architecture more responsive. For the last two years, Congress has included language in the National Defense Authorization Act directing the Space Force to establish a Tactically Responsive Space Launch program and to develop plans for how the service will execute the initiative. The Space Force has opted not to request funding for the effort, relying instead on congressional largesse including a $50 million add in the Fiscal 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Act.
After several years of planning and delays, the Department of Veterans Affairs is pushing for funding to open four new, unique burial sites within the next two years—two columbaria in major cities and two rural cemeteries in the West that eventually will entomb 310,000 veterans or family members. The four sites are in New York City; Indianapolis; Elko, Nev.; and Cedar City, Utah, and will cost the VA $3 million next year to ensure that they will open and be staffed within the next two years.
A Texan who died when the bomber he served on was shot down in World War II is finally coming home for burial in a rural East Texas cemetery. Tech. Sgt. Frank A. Norris, 23, of Quinlan, Texas, was serving with the Army Air Forces as a flight engineer aboard a B-24 Liberator, according to a Defense Department statement. His bomber was part of an Aug. 1, 1943, air raid on the Ploesti oil fields in Romania, the biggest of the war on that strategically important target.