Austin Tests Positive for COVID-19 Again—Second Time in Eight Months

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III has COVID-19 for the second time in 2022. Austin said in a statement Aug. 15 that he’d tested positive that morning. He was “experiencing mild symptoms” and planned to quarantine at home for five days in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Austin previously tested positive for the coronavirus in January. Meanwhile, the Department of Veterans Affairs published research into the consequences of repeatedly being infected with the coronavirus. Researchers analyzed data in the department’s “vast health care databases."
f-35 lot 15

F-35 Lot 15 Will Include Up to 129 Fighters, Cost $7.6 Billion

Lot 15 of the F-35 fighter will include up to 129 aircraft, including 49 F-35As for the Air Force, and cost up to $7.6 billion. The final contract award came less than a month after the F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin announced a “handshake” deal for Lots 15-17 of the fighter, the result of months of delayed negotiations.

Brown Tours Pacific as U.S. and China Hold Dueling Exercises

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. had hardly left the Indo-Pacific theater before China flew a joint bomber and fighter mission with U.S. partner Thailand. In nearby Indonesia, the U.S. concluded exercise Garuda Shield alongside Australia, Japan, and Singapore. At each stop, Brown held an all-call with Airmen to discuss the Air Force's role in the National Defense Strategy, to talk about resiliency, and to urge Airmen to innovate. In small group settings, he had breakfasts and lunches with Airmen to gather their feedback and to provide mentorship.

Radar Sweep

Drone Attack Targets US Base in Syria, No Casualties

The Associated Press

An attack with drones hit a compound run by American troops and U.S.-backed Syrian opposition fighters in eastern Syria, the U.S. military said, adding that there were no casualties or damage. The military said the attack took place in the vicinity of al-Tanf base near where the borders of Syria, Jordan, and Iraq meet. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

China and Thailand Kick Off Joint Air Force Drills


Thailand and China kicked off a joint air force exercise Aug. 14, the kingdom's military said, the first such drills in years following a pause forced by COVID-19. The "Falcon Strike" exercise comes after China's largest military drills around Taiwan, which were conducted in retaliation to a visit there by United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Hardest Thing About Missile Defense in Guam? Finding the Right Site

Defense One

The Missile Defense Agency is taking first steps for a facility—which will include a command and control center—in Guam as part of a long-term missile defense plan in the Indo-Pacific region. But choosing the right site has been one of the nascent program’s biggest challenges.

Microsoft Disrupts Russian-Linked Hackers Targeting NATO Countries

Breaking Defense

Microsoft has taken actions to disrupt hacking campaigns linked to a highly persistent Russian threat actor that has targeted defense and intelligence consulting companies, among other entities, primarily in NATO countries, the company announced. The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) has been tracking the Russian state-sponsored group SEABORGIUM since 2017, whose campaigns involve phishing and credential theft campaigns.

Inside the War Between Trump and His Generals

The New Yorker

An excerpt from the forthcoming book, “The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021,” by journalists Susan B. Glasser and Peter Baker, details the unpredictable and often contentious relationship between former President Donald Trump and senior U.S. military leaders, from retired Marine General and Defense Secretary James Mattis to Trump's hand-picked choice for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley.

German Air Force Takes Flight for First Indo-Pacific Deployment

Defense News

The German Air Force has sent a fleet of aircraft around the world for its first-ever deployment to the Indo-Pacific region, a move meant to demonstrate its operational capability during two regional exercises and to show solidarity with its allies there. Six Eurofighter jets—painted with the flags of Germany, Singapore, Australia, South Korea, and Japan—left Neuburg Air Base followed by four A400M multirole aircraft and three A330 multirole tanker transport aircraft.

North Star Plans Blanket Coverage of Near Earth Orbits With Up to 30 Satellites

Breaking Defense

Montreal-based startup North Star Earth and Space is planning to launch up to 30 satellites for monitoring near-Earth obits to create almost constant coverage of where and how systems are operating in space—creating a revolutionary capability beyond that of most nations right now. “We’re trying to monitor everything,” the firm’s CEO Stewart Bain said.

Space Force Takes Over All Military Satellite Communications

The Army transferred some of its satellite operations to the Space Force on Aug. 15, marking the latest move to reorganize and grow the youngest military branch. In addition to control of the communication satellites, 500 people will transfer from the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command, based in Huntsville, Ala., to Schriever Space Force Base in Colorado as part of the expansion.

In Assessing His First Year, Kendall Sees Achievement but Many Challenges Ahead

Air Force release

With his West Point pedigree and nearly five decades serving on Active duty, the upper reaches of the Department of Defense, and assorted national security endeavors, Frank Kendall had a highly refined idea for what he would face when took his seat as Air Force Secretary in 2021. Now, after one full year on the job, Kendall’s assessment of what his leadership has brought (and what it hasn’t), and how that has shaped the Air Force and Space Force to better address the global threats facing the United States, is generally positive.

OPINION: DOD Falling Short on Responsive Space Capabilities


“Responsive space is a concept that the United States continues to pursue but has not yet achieved. As Russia and China continue to proliferate anti-satellite technology, and space increasingly becomes a warfighting domain, the ability to rapidly reconstitute our presence in space is emerging as a national security imperative,” writes Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.).

One More Thing

Air Force Rescuers Just Flew Hundreds of Miles Over the Pacific to Save a Patient on an Oil Tanker

Task & Purpose

The Air Force search and rescue community backed up their motto ‘These things we do so that others may live’ earlier this month when several squadrons, aircraft and Airmen scrambled to fly hundreds of miles over the open ocean to save a complete stranger with a life-threatening medical condition. In less than two days, the Air Force and Air National Guard pulled off the complex operation “flawlessly,” according to one statement, despite the challenges of distance and rough seas.