A domestic security crisis that threatened the government of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia appeared to ease late June 24, when a mercenary tycoon, whose forces had seized critical facilities in southern Russia and begun an armed march on Moscow, abruptly stood down after cutting a deal that allowed him and his fighters to escape prosecution.
President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on June 25, a day after Russian mercenary forces reversed their plans to march on Moscow, Zelenskyy said. The White House confirmed the call. Zelenskyy and Biden discussed “the course of hostilities and the processes taking place in Russia,” Zelenskyy said in a post on Twitter. “The world must put pressure on Russia until international order is restored.”
The Marine Corps is on track to be led by an acting commandant for the first time in 164 years as senators leave town for two weeks with no end in sight to a standoff over military confirmations. The term for the current Marine commandant, Gen. David Berger, expires July 10, "at which time he must vacate the office, regardless of whether a successor has been appointed," service spokesperson Maj. Jim Stenger told Military.com in an email. Berger's deputy and nominated successor, Gen. Eric Smith, will fill the position in an acting role.
The Senate Armed Services Committee is proposing an outside assessment regarding an independent military cyber service, akin to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Space Force. According to a summary of the fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act released by the committee, which it finalized yesterday, the provision directs “an independent assessment of creating a Cyber Force or further evolving the existing force development and management model.”
Senate authorizers do not want a new engine for the F-35—despite House lawmakers arguing that funding an alternative engine program is needed to keep next-gen engine technology for future fighter aircraft on track. Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. Jack Reed’s markup of the annual defense policy bill does not fund the Adaptive Engine Transition Program, or AETP, committee staff told reporters.
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.
As part of their push at this week’s Paris Air Show, Raytheon Technologies has rebranded itself as RTX, with the Raytheon brand name sliding down to become one of three major business units inside the parent company. Think of it along the same lines as Facebook becoming a subsidiary of Meta, or Google suddenly being just a part of a company called Alphabet. RTX (the stock ticker for Raytheon) is the parent, while Raytheon, Collins and Pratt & Whitney are the sub-brands.
The U.S. military is struggling to provide child care to its service members in Alaska, which is directly affecting operations and putting a strain on those serving in uniform. Alaska child care providers have reported that the system statewide is in crisis, with long waitlists, low wages and high enrollment costs. While most of the child care challenges facing the military in Alaska are similar to those in the civilian world, some are unique.
Defense contractor Anduril Industries acquired Adranos, a manufacturer of solid rocket motors, the companies announced June 25. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2015, Adranos manufactures solid rocket motors in coastal Mississippi and last year opened a fuel-production facility in Indiana. The startup invented a proprietary aluminum-lithium alloy fuel called ALITEC to power solid rocket motors used in tactical missiles and space launch vehicles.
Russia is likely to cancel this year’s Moscow air show, which for decades has been a major venue for showing off new military aircraft and negotiating aerospace contracts, a top official of its organizing agency said June 23. Viktor Kladov, director for international cooperation at the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec, was quoted by the state news agency Tass as saying that the show “in all probability” won’t take place this year. It had been scheduled for the end of July.
A strategy for harnessing technology from commercial and non-traditional companies proposed by former Defense Innovation Unit director Mike Brown has caught traction in one House committee’s fiscal 2024 defense spending bill. The legislation, which the House Appropriations Committee approved June 22, would allocate $1 billion toward establishing a “hedge portfolio” made up of innovative, commercially available systems including low-cost drones and satellites, agile communication and computing nodes and artificial intelligence capabilities.
On the wall of the Pentagon’s D ring, 10th corridor, fifth floor, is a painting by longtime military artist Harley Copic titled “Hide Your Head in the Sand.” Its subject matter? None other than a camo netting-covered Porta-John in Iraq. Within a forward-deployed Porta-John’s steamy confines, the scalding stillness of which can make an exterior 125-degree Iraq afternoon feel, at least momentarily upon exiting, like a fall evening in Montana, rank counts for nothing.