Pentagon Reveals Second Wave of Strikes Against Houthis in Yemen

U.S. and British forces have carried out airstrikes and sea-launched cruise missile attacks on nearly 30 locations in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, the Pentagon said Jan. 12, striking a dozen more sites than were previously revealed. All told, more than 150 precision munitions were employed against more than 60 targets spread out over 28 locations.

VCSAF Slife: New Force Generation Model Better Explains ‘Capacity, Risk, and Readiness’

As the Air Force plans to unveil sweeping changes to its structure, organization, and training to "re-optimize" for competition with China, one part of the service’s overhaul is already underway: a new force generation model for how the service deploys Airmen. “It gives us a better ability to articulate capacity, risk, and readiness to the joint force,” Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. James C. “Jim” Slife, told Air & Space Forces Magazine in an interview shortly before his elevation to the USAF’s No. 2 job.

Air Force Taps Selfridge ANGB to House 12 New KC-46 Tankers

The Air Force has chosen Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich. as the preferred location of a dozen new KC-46A Pegasus refueling aircraft. After an environmental impact analysis in 2025 and final approval, the base will welcome the fleet's arrival starting in 2029, set to replace the A-10 Thunderbolts and KC-135 Stratotankers currently stationed at Selfridge.

Radar Sweep

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Released from Hospital

CBS News

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was released from the hospital Jan. 15, after a two-week stay to treat complications stemming from surgery to treat prostate cancer, according to a statement from the Pentagon. “The Secretary continues to recover well and, on the advice of doctors, will recuperate and perform his duties remotely for a period of time before returning full-time to the Pentagon. He has full access to required secure communications capabilities,” the Pentagon said.

How Lloyd Austin’s Medical Mystery Ignited a Firestorm

The Washington Post

The uproar unleashed by the news that the Pentagon chief had undergone two hospitalizations and a surgery following a prostate cancer diagnosis without notifying the White House or Pentagon staff has threatened to overshadow his tenure leading America’s sprawling military enterprise, and created a potentially damaging distraction for Biden as he intensifies his reelection campaign. It has simultaneously triggered a debate over the proper balance between privacy and disclosure for top government officials and what rights, if any, they have in keeping serious medical problems to themselves.

COMMENTARY: Readiness Redefined, But Not Measured

War on the Rocks

“The Air Force’s leadership understands that two decades of low-intensity air conflict in the Middle East has resulted in a force unprepared for major combat operations against a peer threat. In September 2023, Secretary Frank Kendall ordered a comprehensive review of readiness across the Air Force. ... The Air Force cannot currently measure the readiness of its individual pilots because it relies on one-size-fits-all training metrics. It asks squadron commanders to only report the readiness of the entire squadron, and only on a subjective scale,” writes Matthew Ross, a former F-15E evaluator pilot and current member of the Air National Guard.

France Buys 42 Rafale Jets for More Than $5.5 Billion

Defense News

France has ordered 42 Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation in a deal worth more than €5 billion (U.S. $5.5 billion), the Armed Forces Ministry announced Jan. 12. The purchase comes as French lawmakers express concerns about the Franco-German project to develop a successor to the Rafale. The Future Combat Air System, as it’s known, isn’t expected to enter service before 2045 or 2050, according to the French Senate’s defense committee.

Strikes in Yemen May Be First for US, UK But Not Designed to Escalate Conflict: Analysts

Breaking Defense

The decision by the U.S. and U.K. to launch air and naval-based strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen may be a first since the outbreak of the current conflict in Gaza, but analysts told Breaking Defense it appears to be designed not to provoke a wider regional war. The strikes, launched by the two nations on Jan. 11 with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, were in response to a series of Houthi attacks on maritime shipping vessels in the Red Sea, officials from both countries have stressed, and were meant to degrade the militant group’s capabilities. And, analysts agree, no more than that.

DISA Poised to Create Intelligence Entity in 2024


The Defense Information Systems Agency expects to have a new intelligence unit up and running later this year, according to the agency. Last year, DISA’s director Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner announced the agency would adopt what are known as J codes in an effort to more closely align with the entities it works with as a combat support agency. Those J codes refer to directorates that include personnel, operations, plans and intelligence, among others.

Ukraine Says It Destroyed 2 Russian Command Planes, a Costly Blow for Putin's Air Force

NBC News

Ukraine shot down a Russian spy plane and airborne command center, Kyiv’s military chief said Jan. 15, in what would be a significant blow to the Kremlin’s forces. After reports of the incident had circulated for hours, Ukrainian army chief Valeriy Zaluzhny claimed that Ukraine’s air force destroyed two of Russia’s top-class aircraft, namely the A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft and an Il-22 air control post, both crucial to orchestrating movements on the battlefield.

DOD Says Sensitive Weapons Sent to Ukraine Were Not ‘Diverted’

Inside Defense

The Defense Department inspector general says that the U.S. military has failed to comply with enhanced tracking requirements for thousands of technologically sensitive weapons sent to Ukraine, but the Pentagon asserts there is "no credible evidence" that the unaccounted-for weapons have been stolen or diverted elsewhere.

SDA to Acquire Satellites with Custom Payloads to Enable Faster Targeting on Battlefields


The Space Development Agency is gearing up for its next procurement of satellites for a military communications network known as the Transport Layer Tranche 2. SDA, an agency under the U.S. Space Force, plans to acquire 20 satellites carrying a new type of payload to transmit targeting information. SDA documents describe the payload, dubbed Warlock, as a communications node “specifically designed to close future kill chains.”

PODCAST: Realizing the Quantum Computing Edge: Key Considerations

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In Episode 163 of the Aerospace Advantage, THE Mitchell Institute’s John “Slick” Baum chats with national security expert Maj. Gen. Cameron Holt, USAF (Ret.), founder of the Quantum Industrial Coalition, Paul Stimers, and Heather Penney about one of the top topics in defense innovation. The imperative to develop, produce, and field quantum computing capabilities is real. While some aspects of this technology may be nearly a decade away from useful maturity, other elements are advancing at a pace to yield operationally relevant offerings in five years, or even less. This episode explores how quantum technologies can bridge from the lab to the operational battlespace.

Air Force Officer Becomes First Active-Duty Service Member Crowned as Miss America


A big congratulations to Miss Colorado and recent U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) graduate, Madison Marsh, as she is now the first active-duty Air Force officer to win the Miss America pageant. The U.S. Air Force posted on social media Jan. 14 about the win and congratulated Marsh on her new title. “Congratulations to our very own Airman, 2nd Lt. Madison Marsh, aka Miss Colorado—who was just crowned Miss America 2024! Marsh is the first active-duty service member to ever win the title.”