US Asks China for Dialogue After ‘Unsafe’ RC-135 Intercept—But No Talks Set

Despite a public plea by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III to open up lines of communications following a dangerous near-miss between American and Chinese jets last month, the U.S. and China have not held top-level military conversations recently, and there are no set plans for any. Austin’s appeal came Jan. 11, a few weeks after a Dec. 21 episode in which a Chinese plane flew within 20 feet of a U.S. Air Force RC-135 Rivet Joint. Both the American and Chinese militaries said the encounter was risky, and the Pentagon said the Chinese jet engaged in an “unsafe maneuver.”
Counter-UAS drone defense

CENTCOM Sees Success with Integrated Anti-Drone and Missile Defenses

U.S. Central Command is making progress tying together air, missile, and drone defenses—but there’s still more to be done to achieve “single-pane-of-glass” integration, officials say. Fully integrating sensors and defenses will demand further innovations, both in integrating new technologies and repurposing existing ones, said CENTCOM Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Gregory M. Guillot in a virtual discussion Jan. 17 hosted by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance. 
air force base resilient basing

Report: Air Force Must Invest in Resilient Basing. Here Are Some Cost-Effective Ways

Passive defenses—including hardened aircraft shelters, asset dispersal, prepositioned munitions and the ability to rapidly repair runways—are the most cost-effective air base defense investments, according to a new RAND Corporation report. However, the Air Force should invest in a multifaceted combination of active and passive defenses to fend off future threats from China and Russia, the report’s authors argue.

Radar Sweep

Subscription Required

Air Force, Marine Generals Seen as Top Picks for Joint Chiefs Job

The Wall Street Journal

President Biden is considering two service chiefs and the head of the U.S. cyber defense command to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in what will be the president’s biggest opportunity to date to shape U.S. military leadership. Air Force Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown, the Air Force chief of staff, and Gen. David Berger, the Marine Corps commandant, are leading candidates to succeed Army Gen. Mark Milley as the Pentagon’s top officer when his four-year appointment ends Sept. 30. Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, who serves as both head of U.S. Cyber Command and the director of the National Security Agency, also is a contender, U.S. and defense officials said.

Putin’s Comments Underline Growing Russian Concern over Jet, Tank Production

Breaking Defense

It was an eye-opening scene, even by the standards set in Moscow over the last year. In a recording of a Jan. 11 call, President Vladimir Putin ripped into Deputy PM and Minister of Trade and Industry, Denis Manturov, over the slow production rates of key defense equipment. In the recording of the conference call released by the government-run RIA Novosti news service, Putin is described as “humiliating” Manturov after the latter corrected the Russian president over his charge that defense enterprises had not yet secured contracts for the manufacture of replacement fighters.

New Parental Leave Policy Could Help Retention, Recruiting

Defense One

All parents in uniform will get a dozen weeks of leave when they welcome a child under a new Pentagon policy. But only time will tell how the change, which standardizes leave policies that previously varied based on the parent’s role, will affect retention and recruitment. The policy, announced Jan. 4 but backdated to Dec. 27, gives military parents up to 12 weeks of paid leave within the first year of the birth or adoption of a child. The change was mandated by the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.

Ben Wallace and EU Defense Ministers to Press Germany over Tanks to Ukraine

The Guardian

The British defense secretary, Ben Wallace, will join counterparts from Poland and the Baltic countries in Estonia to mount a final attempt to put pressure on Germany to authorize sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine this week. The meeting of so-called “Leopard coalition” of countries willing to or keen to see western tanks sent to Kyiv comes a day before a group of about 50 defense ministers assemble in Ramstein, Germany to discuss future weapons shipments to Ukraine.

US, Ukraine Top Military Chiefs Meet in Person for First Time

The Associated Press

The top U.S. military officer, Army Gen. Mark Milley, traveled to a site near the Ukraine-Poland border on Jan. 17 and talked with his Ukrainian counterpart face to face for the first time—a meeting underscoring the growing ties between the two militaries and coming at a critical time as Russia’s war with Ukraine nears the one-year mark. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met for a couple of hours with Ukraine’s chief military officer, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, at an undisclosed location in southeastern Poland.

Raytheon to Develop Planning Software for Military Cargo Missions that Would Fly on Space Rockets


Raytheon Intelligence & Space announced Jan. 17 it won a four-year, $8.7 million contract to develop mission planning software for the U.S. Air Force rocket cargo program. The company will design a planning tool that would allow the Air Force to coordinate a rocket cargo mission. The Air Force’s rocket cargo project is studying the possible use of commercial space launch vehicles to transport humanitarian aid and other cargo payloads around the world. Several commercial space firms have signed agreements with the U.S. military to share data and conduct simulations.

DOD Pursuing Next-Gen Virtual Training for Fighter Pilots


The Pentagon’s Silicon Valley-based innovation hub is on the hunt for advanced flight-training capabilities that use emerging technologies like extended reality to teach the next generation of fighter pilots in synthetic environments. The Defense Innovation Unit issued a new commercial solutions opening to acquire “best-in-class commercial immersive training solutions for synthetic training environments and extended-reality training devices to produce the next generation of fast-jet pilots.”

One More Thing

How a Comedian and Air Force Spouse Are Helping Feed Military Families

Air Force Times

Food insecurity isn’t funny. But one stand-up comedian hopes her humor will garner the attention the problem needs. “Did you know that most people need to eat to live?” Ashley Gutermuth, an Air Force spouse in New Jersey, deadpans as the camera surveys a table stacked with produce, rice, canned goods and more in a Dec. 15, 2022, Instagram video.