2023 ndaa

Senate Confirms Hundreds of Generals, But 7 Top USAF, USSF Leaders Still Wait

The Senate confirmed over 400 senior military promotions Dec. 5, after Sen. Tommy Tuberville mostly lifted his monthslong hold on military nominations. Specifically, Tuberville lifted his hold on all nominations below four-star generals and admirals. Out of 455 pending general and flag officer nominations, affecting 451 people, the Senate confirmed 425 on Dec. 5. Of the 30 nominations still pending, 11 are for four-star officers.

Radar Sweep

Replicator Offers Use Case for Defense Budget Reform, Panel Says

Defense News

The Pentagon’s Replicator initiative, which aims to establish a repeatable process to quickly field and scale innovative technology, offers a good illustration for the value of budgeting reform, according to defense experts. Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks announced Replicator in late August as a mechanism to field large quantities of innovative systems to deter adversary aggression. The first iteration is focused on producing thousands of small autonomous systems and sensors on an18-to-24-monthh timeline.

Use More Drones, US Tells Allies, Partners

Defense One

The U.S. is pushing allies and partners to use more drones in their militaries and operations, the Pentagon’s top Asia-Pacific official said. “Whether it's with partners in South China Sea, with India, with other high-end partners, we have been talking with them about opportunities we see for them to integrate some of these low-cost unmanned systems into their militaries, particularly for maritime domain awareness and to help them police their electoral areas,” Ely Ratner, assistant defense secretary for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, told the Defense Writers Group on Dec. 5.

DARPA Picks 14 Vendors for Lunar Economy-Building Study

Breaking Defense

DARPA has chosen 14 companies—ranging from launch providers to robotic vehicle makers to firms planning to transport cargo around cislunar space—to undertake a study on the types of technologies needed to create a working lunar economy, the Pentagon’s far-future research agency announced.

DOD Staff Working on New 'Mil-to-Mil' Communication with China

Inside Defense

The Defense Department and the Chinese military are currently working at the staff-level to re-establish communication among the nations' top defense officials following a meeting between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco last month, according to a senior Pentagon policy official. Ely Ratner, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told reporters at a Defense Writers Group breakfast that senior U.S. and Chinese military leaders have not yet spoken, but stressed that “active discussions” are going on at the “working level” right now regarding the “sequencing” for planned meetings and engagements over the next 12 months.

NRO Signs Agreements with Five Commercial Suppliers of Electro-Optical Imagery


The National Reconnaissance Office announced Dec. 5 it has signed agreements with five commercial providers of electro-optical satellite imagery, including four startups that are just starting to build out their constellations. Airbus U.S. Space and Defense, Albedo Space, Hydrosat, Muon Space, and Turion Space were selected for the NRO’s Strategic Commercial Enhancements program, which seeks new and emerging types of electro-optical imagery beyond what the agency already procures from Maxar, BlackSky, and Planet Labs under a 2022 contract known as the Electro-Optical Commercial Layer.

Subscription Required

Air Force Wearable Tech Gives First Sergeants a Read on Stress Levels

Stars and Stripes

New first sergeants across the Air Force will soon be wearing specialized smartwatches and rings as part of a program monitoring stress. The goal is to alert first sergeants before their stress reaches debilitating levels, Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Gradel said in a recent interview.

Ukrainian Leaders Head to the US as Kyiv Prepares for Winter Fighting


Ukraine’s top national security leaders are in Washington this week for a series of critical meetings with their U.S. and NATO counterparts as Kyiv seeks to become a weapons-building powerhouse once again. The meetings, which begin Dec. 6, have major implications for not only the war, but also for Ukraine’s ability to manufacture arms in the coming years. With the war at a standstill and concern building over long-term Western support for Kyiv, the gathering is likely a barometer for what that support will look like in the months and years ahead.

New Power Station to Be Built on MacDill Air Force Base to Ensure They Keep Power in Case of Emergency

FOX 13

MacDill Air Force Base plays a big role in the Tampa Bay area's economy, but even more importantly, it's critical to national security. Now, there's a new plan to give the military base more resilience in the event of a local or national emergency. It's a plan that's been in the works for more than a decade, and it's a new way to make sure MacDill has electrical power no matter what. Tampa Electric and base officials announced plans Dec. 5 for a new power station to be built on the northwest corner of MacDill.

Pentagon Has Investigated Dozens of Extremism Cases Within Its Ranks


The Pentagon has investigated 183 instances of extremism in military ranks, according to a new report, including 78 cases of troops “advocating for, engaging in, or supporting the overthrow of the U.S. Government or seeking to alter the form of the Government by unconstitutional or other unlawful means.”

One More Thing

Concept for a 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center Approved by DC Commissions

The Architect’s Newspaper

In Washington, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) and Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) recently approved a concept by Fentress Architects for a new Visitor Education Center at the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. Fentress Architects developed the concept with the Pentagon Memorial Fund (PMF); both are based in Washington, D.C. The forthcoming Visitor Education Center is sited within walking distance from the Pentagon Memorial at 1 North Rotary Road in Arlington, Va. in close proximity to the Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Air Force Memorial.