US Airstrike Kills Militia Leader in Iraq in Rare Targeted Attack

The U.S. conducted a rare drone strike in Baghdad on Jan. 4 that killed a leader of an Iranian-backed militia, in an effort to deter further attacks on American forces in Iraq and Syria. The Pentagon described the strike, which took place at noon local time, as a “necessary and proportionate” step to eliminate a ranking Iraqi militia figure who has been implicated in planning and carrying out attacks on U.S. service personnel.

Bass Announces Departure Date as CMSAF, Reveals Advice for Her Successor

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass’ tenure as top enlisted Airman will end March 8, when she’ll hand the reins over to Chief Master Sgt. David A. Flosi. Bass announced her departure date during an AFA Warfighters in Action event on Jan. 4 as she detailed her priorities for her final few months in the position and her advice for Flosi.

Radar Sweep

The War in Gaza May Widen. The Biden Admin Is Getting Ready for It.


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.

‘We’re Out of Money’: US Exhausts Security Funds for Ukraine

Defense News

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.

White House Says North Korea Providing Russia with Ballistic Missiles

The New York Times

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.

Space Force Seeking a Digital Overhaul of Its Aging Launch Infrastructure


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.

Hicks Picks Replicator Capabilities; Pentagon to Brief Key Lawmakers


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.

New Arctic Pay for Troops Was Passed by Congress a Year Ago. But the Pentagon Waved It Off.

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 the military's existing programs already compensate service members serving in those areas well enough.

US Leads World in 2023 Launches, Sats on Orbit: Study

Breaking Defense

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.

Airborne Range Hawks Enabling More Hypersonic Flight Tests

Defense News

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.

‘Iron Bird’ Rig for Quarterhourse Hypersonic Jet Completes Tests

The War Zone

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.

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MDA Cleared to Re-Purpose Hawaii Homeland Defense Radar on Guam, Dodging Four-Year Delay

Inside Defense

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.

One More Thing

Miss America Field Features Air Force Officer Who Champions Cancer Research

Stars and Stripes

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.