Biden administration officials are drawing up plans for the U.S. to respond to what they’re increasingly concerned could expand from a war in Gaza to a wider, protracted regional conflict. Four officials familiar with the matter, including a senior administration official, described internal conversations about scenarios that could potentially draw the U.S. into another Middle East war. All were granted anonymity to speak about sensitive, ongoing national security discussions.
The U.S. had no funds left to replace weapons sent to Ukraine, Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a Jan. 4 press briefing. “We’re out of money,” he told reporters. There exists $4.2 billion left in authority to send such aid, Ryder explained, but the lack of replenishment funds will likely lead to a pause in support, as the Pentagon doesn’t want to risk the readiness of U.S. forces.
The White House accused North Korea on Jan. 4 of providing Russia with ballistic missiles that Moscow has begun to fire on targets in Ukraine, and said that in return the North was seeking a range of Russian military technologies. The North Korean-produced missiles, with a range of 550 miles, were shipped to Russia in violation of United Nations restrictions on the North, the White House said as it made public recently declassified intelligence findings.
The U.S. Space Force is soliciting proposals from the private sector for a new initiative — ‘digital spaceport of the future’—focused on modernizing outdated information systems at the nation’s space launch facilities. The project is being run by the Space Force’s technology arm SpaceWERX and the Assured Access to Space office that oversees the nation’s space launch ranges, including the world’s busiest spaceport at Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks recently selected the “capabilities” that will be prioritized for the initial tranche of her Replicator unmanned systems initiative, DefenseScoop has learned. However, specific systems haven’t been picked yet, according to a Pentagon spokesperson.
When Sen. Lisa Murkowski's legislation authorizing the Pentagon to provide an Arctic pay incentive to service members stationed in Alaska was passed into law, it was viewed as an essential way to improve quality of life and boost morale amid a string of recent suicides. But more than a year after it was passed in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, the Pentagon has not enacted a new Arctic pay bonus, and a defense official told Military.com the military's existing programs already compensate service members serving in those areas well enough.
The United States led the world, far surpassing both China and Russia, in the number of space launches and satellites placed on orbit in 2023, according to a just-released study. But rather than the U.S. government it is one US company, billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, responsible for that victory—a situation that is not new, but one that has been exacerbated since 2019 and the firm’s first launch for its Starlink mega-constellation to provide global internet access.
Last spring, the Pentagon’s Test Resource Management Center received requests from two program offices to provide support for upcoming hypersonic flight tests—one over the Atlantic Ocean and one over the Pacific. The flights would be 10 days apart. In the past, the testing community wouldn’t have been able meet that demand, according to George Rumford, TRMC’s director.
Quarterhourse, the uncrewed hypersonic test aircraft project, from aviation startup Hermeus, has completed ground testing in its ‘dynamic iron bird’ form, a ground-based test rig used to prove various systems and their integration. The milestone comes as Hermeus works toward a planned first flight before the end of this year.
The Defense Department can now re-purpose a homeland defense radar for Guam after the Senate dropped its opposition to the move, lending speed to the project to improve air- and missile defenses of the Western Pacific U.S. territory. The radar was originally purchased for Hawaii but never emplaced due to local opposition over the size and impact of the large sensor.
Madison Marsh was shooting for the stars four years ago when she entered the Air Force Academy, as a cadet with a pilot’s license and the dream of becoming an astronaut. These days, Marsh is a second lieutenant pursuing graduate studies in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School through a special Air Force partnership program. Oh, and she’s also a Miss America contestant.