Most Americans readily recognize the Global Positioning System, ubiquitously referred to as GPS, as the technology that allows them to navigate across the United States on a daily basis. What far fewer realize is that this same network is also critical to setting a standardized time to a billionth of a second, and also serves as the basis for the functioning of many elements of critical infrastructure, from facilitating financial transactions to ensuring the delivery of fuel to gas stations and water and electricity to homes. Also lesser known is the newest U.S. military branch tasked with keeping GPS online and preventing a catastrophe that could plunge the nation into a dark age.
U.S. European Command’s Gen. Christopher Cavoli and other top NATO defense officials met May 10 in Brussels to fine-tune new defense plans for Europe that are expected to transform how the alliance will defend itself for years to come. The meeting came ahead of a summit this summer in Vilnius, Lithuania, where heads of state are expected to formally approve a strategy that NATO commanders have been hammering away at since the last summit in Madrid a year earlier.
Private Base Housing Firm Tried to Get All Communications Records from a Military Family Advocacy Group
When Kate Needham received five subpoenas from attorneys representing Balfour Beatty Communities, her heart sank. The company, which manages roughly 43,000 homes for the Department of Defense, demanded copies of all correspondence between her organization, Armed Forces Housing Advocates, and anyone with whom AFHA had discussed Balfour Beatty—part of the discovery process in lawsuits brought against the company by 20 military families who allege they were harmed by the housing conditions in their Balfour Beatty-built homes.
“Fourth-generation aircraft have given the U.S. Air Force a competitive edge against adversaries for decades. As a former Air Force fighter pilot, I spent over 2500 hours in a F-15 cockpit. Today, older F-15s have reached the end of their useful lives. Meanwhile, a new version of the fighter, the F-15EX, has arrived on the scene. This raises important considerations for Congress: What is the nature of the modern threat, what mix of aircraft gives us the most capability against that threat, and what will maximize value to the taxpayer?” writes retired Air Force Gen. William R. Looney III.
As the U.S. focuses on great power competition with China and Russia, a terrorist attack or massive crisis response would be a “strategic distraction,” according to a panel of military and government officials. National Counterterrorism Center Director Christine Abizaid, speaking May 10 at the Global SOF Foundation’s SOF Week, said the most likely type of attack isn’t a large-scale al-Qaida-style coordinated one.
The Pentagon’s chief information office will take over all 5G-related activities within the department at the start of the next fiscal year, as it moves towards “an open network, open software approach” for industry to “dominate” and have a leg up against adversaries like China. Speaking at a Defense Tech Week event, Pentagon CIO John Sherman said his office “is taking over the 5G lead for DOD” on Oct. 1 and has already been working on this area with the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering’s office.
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has defined seven Operational Imperatives for the Department of the Air Force to work on, warning that “if we don't get them right, we will have unacceptable operational risk.” From a resilient space order of battle to the development of next-generation tactical air dominance and global strike platforms, these imperatives will define the Air Force for decades to come—Dive deeper into each one with our new “Operational Imperatives” pages highlighting all the latest news and developments on these critical efforts.
The Air Force secretary is asking for more budget flexibility from Congress. But his suggestions likely won’t fly in this year’s defense policy bill. A legislative proposal sent to Congress on April 12 would allow Air Force, Navy, and Army secretaries to start a weapons program if they are “surprised technologically” by a threat or see a “great opportunity” for new technology—without waiting for a lengthy budget cycle, said Frank Kendall.
“Born to Fly”, a new film made in collaboration with the People Liberation Army’s Air Force, recently jetted to the top of the Chinese box office. It’s drawn comparisons with “Top Gun: Maverick”, the Hollywood blockbuster starring Tom Cruise. The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, discuss what these two films say about how China and America see themselves.