More F-16s Arrive in Middle East as AFCENT Fighter Footprint Grows to 6 Squadrons

More U.S. Air Force F-16s arrived in the Middle East, the service announced Oct. 24, as threats to American forces in the Middle East continue to grow. The New Jersey Air National Guard’s 119th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron's arrival in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) region increases the Air Force’s fighter footprint in the Middle East to six squadrons. U.S. bases in the Middle East have begun to come under attack from militia groups aligned with Iran, and officials have voiced concerned about possible region-wide escalation of the Israel-Hamas war.

Radar Sweep

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DOD Policy Official: Focus Remains on China, Despite Competing Global Crises

Inside Defense

A senior Pentagon policy official said today that the United States intends to keep its focus on deterring China, despite addressing ongoing crises in Ukraine and Israel. Mara Karlin, assistant defense secretary for strategy, plans and capabilities, who is also performing the duties of the deputy defense under secretary for policy, spoke at the Brookings Institute about the Pentagon’s continued focus on China as the “pacing challenge” identified in the 2022 National Defense Strategy.

PODCAST: How the United States Air Force Accelerated AI Adoption

Harvard Business Review

In August 2022, the Pentagon tasked Victor Lopez, then a captain in the U.S. Air Force, with launching a new Air Force innovation unit that leveraged commercial developers and military talent to acquire advanced technologies. Having been granted flexibility in the setup of the office, Lopez pondered the complexities of his assignment and the decisions around organizational design he would have to make. ... Harvard Business School assistant professor Maria Roche is joined by Lopez to discuss the challenges of digital transformation in a large bureaucratic organization and the specific choices the U.S. Air Force needed to make.

US Cyber Command Sets Up Defensive Activity Aimed at Improving Concepts and Coordination


U.S. Cyber Command plans to use a global event to improve how it performs defensive operations and works with partners. The International Coordinated Cyber Security Activity (INCCA), as the command is calling it, is a defensive effort where participants will search for publicly known malware on Department of Defense networks and systems, a CYBERCOM spokesperson said.

How X-Bow Plans to Break the Northrop-Aerojet ‘Duopoly’ on Rocket Motor Production

Defense One

Newly established Pentagon supplier of solid rocket motors X-Bow Systems says its advanced methods will set it apart from the defense primes currently making the motors that power a host of U.S. missiles. The solid rocket motor industry has been consolidated into two domestic suppliers: Aerojet Rocketdyne, which was recently bought by L3Harris Technologies, and Orbital ATK, which was purchased by Northrop Grumman in 2018.

US Army Sending Iron Dome Batteries Back to Israel

Breaking Defense

The U.S. Army will send its two Iron Dome batteries back to Israel, a defense official confirmed Oct. 24. “As we’ve said previously, the U.S. will be flowing additional Iron Dome support to Israel. As a result, the Department of Defense is currently engaged in planning to support the provision of U.S. Iron Dome batteries to Israel,” the official said in a statement. “However, due to operational security, we are unable to provide further details at this time.”

Companies Lobby Congress to Approve $1 Billion ‘Hedge Portfolio’

Defense News

A group of companies led by a Silicon Valley advocacy group is urging congressional appropriators to approve a House proposal to establish a $1 billion hedge portfolio aimed at quickly fielding commercial technology. In an Oct. 24 letter, drafted on behalf of 63 companies, the Silicon Valley Defense Group calls on lawmakers to fully fund the provision, which was proposed by the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee.

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Violent Videos and ‘Brutal Voyeurism’ Are Redefining Modern War

The Washington Post

The wars in Israel and Ukraine have fueled an explosion in videos online showcasing the horrors of modern war, bringing killings and cruelty to a global audience of viewers who are unprepared—or all too willing—to watch. The supply of new graphic videos has boomed as fighters use cellphones and GoPro cameras to record or live-stream footage from a point-blank perspective, either for purposes of military strategy or propaganda.

Space Force Wants Ability to Refuel Military Satellites in Orbit

Stars and Stripes

Space tankers being developed by a Denver-based tech company could soon keep U.S. military satellites in orbit longer. The Space Force awarded a $25.5 million contract last month to Astroscale U.S. Inc. to develop and deliver an in-orbit refueler by 2026, the service announced in a Sept. 19 news release. The firm is a subsidiary of the Tokyo-based Astroscale Holdings Inc., a private orbital debris removal company.

Terran Orbital to Build 36 Satellite Buses for Lockheed Martin


Terran Orbital announced Oct. 24 it will build 36 satellite buses for Lockheed Martin, a strategic investor in the company and critical customer. Lockheed Martin is producing satellites for the Space Development Agency, an organization under the U.S. Space Force that is building a mesh network of military satellites in low Earth orbit. The 36 buses are for satellites that SDA ordered for its Transport Layer Tranche 2 Beta portion of the constellation. Lockheed Martin’s contract is worth $816 million. SDA also ordered 36 Beta satellites from Northrop Grumman.

One More Thing

Here’s Why Some B-52s Have White Wing Tips

The War Zone

AU.S. Air Force B-52H bomber that recently made a rare stopover in South Korea and then took part in a first-of-its-kind trilateral U.S.-South Korean-Japanese aerial exercise caught The War Zone's attention for another reason: its bright white wing tips. We subsequently reached out to figure out what the significance of this was and have now gotten a response from the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.