B-2 Bombers Return to Red Flag, Joined by Australian F-35s and UK Typhoons

Three B-2 Spirit bombers made their return for the first Red Flag exercise of 2024 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., this week, alongside the U.K.’s Royal Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. More than 30 units and 2,000 personnel are participating in the air combat training, deemed by the participating allies as one of the "most advanced" and "toughest" training opportunities in the world.

3 Firms to Split $2.5B for New Missile Warning, Tracking, and Defense Satellites

The Space Development Agency has selected three contractors to build 54 satellites—48 for missile warning/missile tracking (MW/MT) and six for missile defense—in deals worth a combined $2.5 billion, the agency announced Jan. 16. L3Harris, Lockheed Martin, and Sierra Space will all build 16 MW/MT satellites and two missile defense satellites as part of the Tranche 2 Tracking Layer—itself a portion of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture, a massive planned constellation of satellites in low-Earth orbit.

Quick Actions Earn F-15E Pilot the Mackay Trophy for Daring Secret Mission

An F-15E Strike Eagle pilot was honored last week with the 2022 Mackay Trophy, awarded by the Air Force and the National Aeronautic Association for the year’s most meritorious flight. Maj. Stephen Keck was part of the 335th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, serving as the Defensive Counter-Air Team Lead for a mission in an undisclosed location, during his award-winning flight.

Radar Sweep

US Carries Out New Airstrike Against Houthis in Yemen

ABC News

The U.S. has carried out another airstrike targeting a Houthi missile facility in Yemen, according to U.S. Central Command. "At approximately, 4:15 a.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Forces struck and destroyed four Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles prepared to launch from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen," said a statement issued by U.S. Central Command. The third U.S. military strike against Houthi targets was launched because the four missiles posed an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships, according to two U.S officials.

Iranian Ballistic Missiles Strike Near US Facilities in Northern Iraq

NBC News

Ballistic missiles fired by Iran caused explosions near the U.S. consulate and a U.S. military facility after a missile struck Erbil in northern Iraq, officials said Jan. 15. No casualties or damage have been reported and National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said no U.S. personnel or facilities were targeted.

US Cyber Command Looking at How to Utilize Tactical on-the-Ground Systems


U.S. Cyber Command is getting more serious about leveraging capabilities the services are developing for on-the-ground, tactical operations to jam or disrupt enemy systems. Each of the services, in one way or another, has been developing forces and capabilities to conduct tactically focused, on-the-ground cyber and electronic warfare effects, known as radio frequency-enabled cyber.

These Air Force Jobs Have the Highest Turnover

Air Force Times

When it comes to military job retention rates, not all specialties are created equal. A Marine in an administrative or logistics role, for example, may see a lot less turnover in their specialty than a rifleman or aircraft maintainer. New data from all the military services reveals the lowest-retention jobs for each of the services, highlighting a variety of challenges the services face, from competitive pay to effective career progression.

While DOD Progresses on Innovative Tech, More Work Left to Be Done: Report

Breaking Defense

The Defense Department is making progress on the technological front, but still has a long way to go in order to deter threats posed by China and Russia, according to a new report by the Atlantic Council’s Commission on Defense Innovation Adoption. “While U.S. companies continue to demonstrate technological prowess, this rate of innovation serves little use in deterring conflict unless the DOD is able to procure and get new technology into the hands of warfighters at a faster pace,” according to the final report. “The current U.S. defense acquisition system was not designed to keep pace with today’s rapid rate of innovation.”

Defense Department Expands ID Card Renewals by Mail to US-Based Retirees, Dependents


Military retirees and their dependents based in the U.S. may now renew their military ID cards online and receive them by mail, relieving them of a trip to the on-base ID card office. The Defense Department announced Jan. 16 that it’s expanding a pilot program that began in 2023 and initially allowed certain dependents' Uniformed Services Identification cards, or USID, to be renewed by mail.

Another Possible Challenge for DOD’s $18B Moving Contract: No Movers

Federal News Network

For the moment, the Pentagon’s transition to a new multibillion dollar contract for household goods moves is being held up by IT integration issues between Defense Department systems and those of its prime contractor. But the long-planned overhaul faces a much more dire challenge: the possibility that almost no one in the current moving industry will take part in the new arrangement.

US Faces Growing Challenge in Bid to Contain Middle East Violence

The Washington Post

The United States faced intensifying military action by Iran and its allies on Jan. 16, an escalating threat to the Biden administration’s effort to contain violence across the Middle East following the launch of Israel’s war with Hamas militants. A drumbeat of tit-for-tat incidents between U.S. forces and Iranian-backed armed groups, including a new round of strikes against Houthi militants in Yemen, and Iranian strikes into Iraq and Syria, served as a test of Washington’s attempt to limit regional instability and avoid a direct confrontation with Tehran.

One More Thing

Beale’s Four-Legged Airmen, a Testament to Collaboration Between Humans and Nature

Air Force release

Beyond its strategic importance as a hub of some of the most sophisticated reconnaissance capabilities, Beale Air Force Base also embraces its environmental responsibilities through participating in one of the biggest cow grazing programs in the DOD. This one-of-a-kind feature to Recce Town is part of the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron Natural Resource Department’s symbiotic partnership with local ranchers where the base welcomes an average of 2,000 cows from all over California to its vast expanses of open terrain.