‘Lives Are at Risk’: Pentagon Declassifies Hundreds of Dangerous Chinese Intercepts of US Planes

Chinese aircraft have engaged in many more risky intercepts of U.S. planes over the past two years than was previously publicly known, the Pentagon said Oct. 17. There have been more than 180 dangerous incidents over the South and East China Seas during that period, according to newly declassified information released by the Pentagon. That is more than the previous decade combined.

Airpower Expert: Israel Not Hamstrung by Human Shields in Gaza

Airpower can legally be used against Hamas targets under the Geneva Conventions, despite the terrorist group’s use of human shields, airpower expert retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula said in an interview. He also argued for more decisive action to back up U.S. threats against would-be entrants in the conflict, and for a new force-sizing strategy that recognizes the security realities of the world.

KC-135s Arrive in Saudi Arabia to Replace Departed KC-10s

KC-135 Stratotankers have arrived in Saudi Arabia to replace the KC-10s which recently left the region for good after 30-plus years of service. The aerial tankers from Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., arrived at Prince Sultan Air Base on Oct. 2. The 384th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron (EARS) will support combat operations throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
arrw missile

Air Force Says ARRW Test Provides ‘New Insights,’ But Offers Few Specifics

The Air Force conducted another test of the AGM-183 Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) hypersonic missile on Oct. 12, but the service is once again withholding most details. The test “focused on the ARRW’s end-to-end performance,” according to an Air Force release, although that release did not say whether the missile actually fired and flew to its planned target, or whether it was a success.

Radar Sweep

Ukraine Uses US-Provided Long-Range ATACMS Missiles Against Russian Forces for the First Time

The Associated Press

The United States has quietly delivered a small number of long-range ballistic missiles that Ukraine said it urgently needed and that President Joe Biden promised last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed Oct. 17, saying they were used on the battlefield against Russia and “executed very accurately.” “Today I express special gratitude to the United States,” Zelenskyy said in his evening address, adding that the missiles “have proven themselves.”

A New Foreign War and a Different Type of Top General for the US


The U.S. military is embarking on its campaign to support Israel with a different type of top general: one who speaks softly and stays far away from Washington’s political battles. Just two weeks ago, Gen. C.Q. Brown took over as the chair of the Joint Chiefs from Gen. Mark Milley, who tended toward long speeches during his four years in the top job and whose blunt comments drew criticism from the left, the right, and even at times within the Biden administration.

The Next Drone War Is Coming to Gaza

Defense One

If Israeli defense forces launch a ground offensive into Gaza, they could use a mix of drone-enabled hacking tactics to find Hamas targets, coordinating cyber operations and tactical drones in a way that no other country has achieved. But the conflict has already revealed unexpectedly sophisticated drone tactics—by Hamas, experts say. Since launching its cross-border assault on Oct. 7, the group has used small commercial drones to drop grenades on tanks, ambulances, border posts, and—importantly—communication towers, according to a report from drone analysis group Dronesec.

Lockheed on ‘Campaign-Like’ Hunt for New Solid Rocket Motor Supplier—or Suppliers

Breaking Defense

Lockheed Martin is embarking on a “broad” and “campaign-like” mission to foster a new solid rocket motor supplier, Chief Executive Officer Jim Taiclet said Oct. 17, hinting that the world’s largest defense contractor is eyeing a long-term plan for the supplier to compete across the industrial base. “Our objective is to bring anti-fragility into our own supply chain first and to broadly apply that to the DoD in partnership with them as well,” Taiclet told investors during the company’s third quarter earnings call.

Defense Innovation Board to Study Innovation Barriers, Data Economy

Defense News

The Defense Department’s technology advisory board is launching two studies focused on identifying the practices and policies that impede innovation and improving the way the Pentagon uses and integrates data, from battlefield operations to acquisition processes. The deputy undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, David Honey, commissioned the Defense Innovation Board to complete the two studies by February.

Red Hill Task Force Says It Removed 3.5 Million Gallons of Fuel in First Day of Drainage


The task force assigned to defuel the Red Hill depot in Hawaii that leaked thousands of gallons of jet fuel into the surrounding area in 2021 said Oct. 17 that it had drained 3.5 million gallons of fuel in the first day of work. The progress update was released on a Joint Task Force-Red Hill app meant to inform the public on the defueling after pre-operation checks performed Oct. 16. The task force has roughly 100 millions gallons left to remove.

Scientific Systems to Develop Satellite Inspection Software for US Space Force


Scientific Systems, a defense contractor based in Woburn, Massachusetts, won a $1.5 million contract from the U.S. Space Force to develop software for in-space object detection and identification. The company will work on the project with Stanford University’s Space Rendezvous Laboratory over the next 15 months, Scientific Systems’ vice president Owen Brown told SpaceNews Oct. 17.

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Nearly 70 Percent of US Troops Are Overweight or Obese, Research Report Says

Stars and Stripes

Almost seven out of every 10 U.S. troops are either overweight or obese, according to a new report, which also warns the growing trend could compromise military readiness and undermine national security. The American Security Project, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that studies modern national security issues, conducted the study and found 68 percent of Active-Duty service members fall somewhere between overweight and obese on the body mass index, which is a long-used but controversial method of assessing a person’s body classification by height and weight.

Air Force Applying the ‘Tom Brady Effect’ to Hiring Cyber Workers

Federal News Network

When it comes to hiring the next generation of cyber workers, the Air Force isn’t relying on typical pre-requisites as measures of success. No doubt cyber certifications and training are important, but the service is also analyzing candidates at a whole other level. Air Force Lt. Col. Andrew Wonpat, a member of the Air National Guard’s Cyber Operations Group, said the service is turning to a new approach, called the cyber decision cognitive assessment and readiness system (CYDE CARS) program, to expand the pool of cyber workers it can recruit.

One More Thing

Chicago Air Force Captain Killed in 1952 Crash Finally Laid to Rest

CBS News Chicago

More than 70 years after being killed in a military plane crash, a Chicago service member finally received the sendoff he deserved. A decades-long recovery effort and modern technology helped give his family the much-needed closure they prayed for. ... Delbert Draskey was an Air Force captain when, in November of 1952, the military cargo aircraft he was traveling in crashed into the side of Mount Gannett in Alaska.