Q&A: Talking Strategy

Dr. Mara E. Karlin is acting deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, the Department of Defense’s No. 2 policy role. Karlin was one of the primary developers of the 2022 National Defense Strategy, which redefined China as the “pacing challenge” for the U.S. military. Karlin discussed the NDS and the Air Force’s and Space Force’s roles with Pentagon Editor Chris Gordon in an interview in August.

Radar Sweep

If the Government Shuts Down, Here’s What Troops Can Expect

Task & Purpose

If a government shutdown hits Oct. 1, one thing is clear: Active-Duty troops, whether deployed or at home, should expect to keep going to work every day while missing paychecks after October 1. But many kinds of routine military business may be put on hold.

Air Force Looks to Put Test Pilots Through Emerging Technology Course


The U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School wants to add a course on emerging technology to its curriculum. The school—where the Air Force trains pilots, engineers and navigators to test and evaluate new aerospace weapon systems and aircraft—put out a request for information Sept. 25 seeking partners that could help deliver a full-time, in-person course on emerging technology for test pilots beginning next July.

OPINION: Deterrence in Space Requires More Than SilentBarker’s Eyes

Defense News

“Recently, with the launch of the critically important National Reconnaissance Office-Space Force SilentBarker mission into orbit, Space Systems Command leader Lt. Gen. Michael Guetlein has said this system will ‘deter aggression’ by allowing ‘our competitors to know that we have eyes in GEO [geosynchronous orbit].’ While openly discussing the deployment of this indications and warning system for GEO is helpful for enhancing strategic communications, it is not a deterrent to aggression in space,” writes Christopher Stone, a senior fellow for space deterrence at the National Institute for Deterrence Studies

Space Force’s Speedy Launch Record Clears Way for Bigger Launches—Faster

Defense One

Now that the U.S. Space Force has launched a satellite just 27 hours after receiving orders, industry says it can start sending even bigger payloads to space faster. The “Victus Nox” mission, the Space Force’s effort to launch a satellite within 24 hours, lifted off Sept. 14. Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha launch vehicle took a small satellite built by Boeing-subsidiary Millennium Space Systems to low Earth orbit to provide space domain awareness data.

Little Stealthy Flying Wing Drone Displayed by South Korea

The War Zone

The South Korean armed forces have showcased a stealthy-shaped flying wing drone in a huge military parade in Seoul on Sept. 26. A small uncrewed aircraft like this could offer the country a less detectable and vulnerable means of conducting surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It might also be capable of performing other tasks, including launching electronic warfare attacks or kinetic strikes, or even hitting targets directly as a kamikaze drone/loitering munition.

Space Force Selects University Partner to Evaluate Classified Ground Systems Software


The Space Force awarded a $10 million contract to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab to evaluate the software and cybersecurity of ground systems being developed for a new classified satellite network. According to a Sept. 26 announcement, Johns Hopkins University’s APL will assess the ground systems of the Evolved Strategic Satcom (ESS) satellites that are being developed for nuclear command control and communications.

OPINION: Congressional Budget Dysfunction Poses a Threat to US Security


“Despite knowing China is America’s “pacing” threat, the 118th Congress failure to sufficiently fund the requirements of the U.S. military may have a higher likelihood of undermining our security than does China,” writes retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

US Air Force Holds ‘No-Notice’ Military Drills Right Next to China

EurAsian Times

The U.S. Air Force carried out a no-notice agile combat deployment exercise at Kadena Air Base in Japan on Sept. 22. The service deployed various aircraft, including multiple F-15C/D Eagles, F-15E Strike Eagles, and F-35A Lightning IIs, to assess their capacity to generate and disperse airpower swiftly. In an official statement, the US Air Force revealed that the 18th Wing, the host unit at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, conducted the exercise.

One More Thing

The Overlooked Legacy of Workers and ‘Downwinders’ Who Were Harmed by Race to Build First Atomic Bomb


J. Robert Oppenheimer and the band of geniuses he recruited won the existential race to create the atomic bombs that ended World War II. They also set the stage for a nuclear arms buildup in which worker safety was an afterthought and the mushroom cloud became a Las Vegas tourist attraction. The blockbuster movie “Oppenheimer” about the rise and fall of the man called the “father of the atomic bomb,” based on a book by Kai Bird, gave a riveting account of the personal and political trials involved in the success of the Manhattan Project. But the film had a glaring omission in the estimation of Christopher Godfrey, director of the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs at the Labor Department.