On Dec. 20, the Space Force is celebrating four years as a service. The smallest military branch, with around 8,600 service members, it’s shrouded in more secrecy than many of the others, leading to a seemingly perpetual question from the public: “What does the Space Force do?” Americans can see F-35s on an Air Force base's runway. They can see Army soldiers driving Humvees and watch Navy aircraft carriers ship off to sea. But you can't see outer space and, due to the highly classified nature of the Space Force's operations, broadcasting what it does is often not possible.
At a time when numerous costs are increasing, many military families will see decreases in their child care expenses in 2024. The lower rates at military child development centers will especially benefit those in the lower income categories. As before, the fees are based on total family income, to include spouse income and other sources.
The Pentagon “has invested billions of dollars to integrate artificial intelligence into its operations,” according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office, but has not taken the necessary steps to determine the full scope of the AI workforce needed to operate the new tools. GAO’s report—published on Dec. 14—found that the Department of Defense “has made efforts to define and identify its AI workforce,” but still “can't fully identify who is part of its AI workforce or which positions require personnel with AI skills.”
Michigan lawmakers are pressing the Air Force to select Selfridge Air National Guard base in Macomb County for a new squadron of KC-46A refueling tankers, as the Pentagon looks to retire the aging KC-135 Stratotankers currently hosted by the base. In a letter signed by nearly the entire Michigan delegation plus Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Sen. Gary Peters ... says Selfridge is the “ideal” location and candidate for a squadron of 12 KC-46s, as well as for new fighter aircraft to replace the base's A-10 squadron.
Defense contractor L3Harris announced Dec. 20 it has received approval from the Space Development Agency to move into production on 16 satellites designed to detect and monitor hypersonic missiles aimed at the U.S. or its allies. L3Harris said its satellites cleared a critical design review and a production readiness review.
After more than two decades of debate, discussion, and policy dissection, Canada's air force finally has the green light to acquire armed drones. A fleet of 11 MQ-9B Reaper drones, built by U.S. defense contractor General Atomics, will be purchased in a $2.49 billion package, Liberal MPs announced Dec. 19 on behalf of Defence Minister Bill Blair.
A female singer’s live rendition of “Let It Be,” by The Beatles washed over a crowd of mourners inside a Dalton church as they followed the draped casket of Jake Galliher, the 24-year-old U.S. airman from Massachusetts killed in November, out the double doors for his burial on Dec. 20.
The Pentagon is wrapping a veil of secrecy around the substance of an upcoming Defense Science Board summer study, marking as classified particular areas of focus that will be explored as part of the influential advisory panel's marquee 2024 investigation, an effort that typically culminates in August and often shapes future weapon system investment plans.
The U.S. Air Force’s new Boeing T-7A Red Hawk trainer is undergoing climate chamber testing in Florida, the service announced Dec. 19. A series of testing is underway at the McKinley Climatic Lab at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, to verify T-7A system functionality during periods of extreme temperatures. During the tests, performance of the T-7’s propulsion, hydraulic, fuel, electrical, secondary power, and overall operations will be evaluated in conditions ranging from minus-25 degrees to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
As Soviet ICBM tests and the launch of Sputnik in the 1950s added intensity to the Cold War, the United States turned its attention to the ice sheets of Greenland for an edge. Meant to be a “city under the ice,” Camp Century was designed to be a series of “twenty-one horizontal tunnels spidering through the snow,” according to the University of Vermont. … Destined to house nearly 200 residents, the top-secret missile base in northwestern Greenland, far north of the Arctic Circle, was publicly touted as a “remote research community” under the auspices of the Army Polar Research and Development Center. In reality, it was “a top-secret plan to convert part of the Arctic into a launchpad for nuclear missiles,” according to the Washington Post.